Other Media Review

Sony 505 Review by Test Driver Laura

Used by permission of Sony Electronics IncSo I wrote up a review, a serious review, of the Sony eReader 505.  I talked about what I wanted out of the test drive – namely to answer my question of whether I could download the ebooks I check out from my library on the eReader. I can.  Now I needed to decide if I wanted to actually purchase one.  I am still mulling that question over. 

I can’t say I had any pre-conceived notions of what an eReader was like, but the Sony eReader 505 delivers an electronic device that I can read like a book.  I found the MP3 player function to be poor (talk about craptastic lag time and a power-sucking function) and the digital picture display function pointless. However, there are probably 29 other people on the test drive that can articulate their opinions on the eReader better than I can. 

What I can uniquely offer is my husband’s unscripted and honest opinion that, I believe, cuts to the heart of the matter.  He asked me last night to proof read a letter that he wrote to the Governor of Ohio relating to a current guest of the Ohio penal system and whether the Governor should alter this guest’s sentence (Hubby is an assistant prosecuting attorney and yeah someone died because of the guest).  Important stuff, but then so is reviewing a Sony eReader for the Smart Bitches.  I was going to ask him to return the favor on the review.  Instead, I showed him the eReader.  The following discussion (not even making it up) occurred. 

Would you be interested in purchasing a device such as this? 


Why not? 

    Because I don’t read. But if you want to get one…*shrug*…you read more than I do. You work hard. So what…you get this thing and than pay like a buck ninety-nine for the book? 

The cost of the book is about the same as if you purchased the paperback or hardback in the store. 

    So you pay $200 for this thing and then you have to pay more to get a book? 

Right. But the cost is closer to $300 for the eReader. 

    Oh. It has a light-up screen so you can read in the dark, right? 

No, it doesn’t have that. 


    So…it’s more convenient to carry around than a book? 

I believe that’s the idea. So for example, if we went on a week long vacation where I could read most of the time, I could just take this instead of a stack of books.

    We don’t take week-long vacations. 


Stay tuned for Round 2: Even if the device works great can I afford all that convenience? Additionally, I will have my plans for a week-long book reading vacation.

[Sarah asks: Who here wants Laura to go on a reading vacation? *raises hand*]

Comments are Closed

  1. 1

    It sounds nice to have one. Yet I must admit I still stick to traditional books and Internet reading matters.

  2. 2
    library addict says:

    I thought for sure you were going to say you loaded the letter onto the 505 since it reads Word documents and proofread it that way.

    You could always go with the “it will save shelf space” argument. 

    And, yes, Laura should get a week-long reading vacation :)

  3. 3
    Daisy says:

    Sounds like a typical man/woman conversation.  My vote is to buy the reader and go on vacation.

  4. 4
    Mary G says:

    LOL – I love it.  About the same as my review in a million less words. Brevity = win :)

  5. 5
    Joy says:

    Laura – you need a week long vacation :-)  That was one of my fav things about the reader

  6. 6
    MamaNice says:

    Man, arguments must be a pita when you’re hubby is an attorney!

  7. 7
    MamaNice says:

    Ok, I meant to say, when you’re arguing with a hubby who is an attorney.

    Yes, take a long reading vacation, I want to enjoy it vicariously!

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Krentz-Wee says:

    Me, me, I want a reading vacation!

    My husband & I stopped by a bookstore today – it’s supposed to be a good store, and I believe it is, an independently owned store in Washington Depot, CT.

    I didn’t buy any books. (This seemed to amaze my husband, who’s become accustomed to my ebook bill.)

    They didn’t have a romance section. I did see a Sophie Kinsella in the regular fiction section, but really?!  Then I found the Lit Crit section, but couldn’t find Heaving Bosoms. I know, it could have been anywhere. But this was a “2 strikes and you’re out” for me.

  9. 9
    Nicole says:

    Ammo for arguments with husband about ereader: It saves space!  That worked wonders for my husband.

  10. 10
    Jody says:

    Never have come across someone who SO needs at least a week’s reading vacation as Laura.  And that’s not a vacation FROM reading.

    I’ve decided there are 98 reasons I don’t need either a Sony or a Kindle at this time.  Mostly because I have at least that many dead tree books I need to read before accumulating any more.

  11. 11
    RKB says:

    Honestly, what I like best about the Sony E-reader is that you can take a document or book in that’s in (RTF, TXT, etc) format, enlarge the font on your computer, then upload it to your e-reader.  If grandma wants to read something but the font is too small, you can make it just right for her!

    matter92 – yes, this would definitely matter to a 92 year old grandma!

  12. 12
    willaful says:

    I have actually had that conversation with that husband, but he’s the one trying to get me to buy an e-reader. I’m always stuck on the fact that the books—which don’t physically exist and seem to be essentially rentals—cost as much as a real live book I can dispose of in any way I choose.

  13. 13
    Sandy D. says:

    But…..one of the best things about vacations is discovering new bookstores!

  14. 14
    West says:

    I second SBSarah- Laura needs a reading vacation.

    And to throw my two cents in-

    first, I find e-books to actually be less than physical books (at least the ones I buy are).

    Second, as someone else pointed out, they save on shelf space. I have, in fact, had to start switching the series I read to e-format whenever possible, because I’ve run out of space (like the In Death Series, the Troubleshooter series, Dark Hunter, and so on).

    And third, there are so damn good authors out there who are e-published only. And an e-reader is much, much easier than sitting at your computer for hours to read. Believe me, I had to do that for three months when I first discovered e-books, until I got my 505.

    past32- I am waaaay past 32 e-books in my collection.

  15. 15
    West says:

    That was supposed to say “cost less”. I find most e-books to cost less than physical books.

    *looks around, searching for where she left her brain*

  16. 16
    Marianne McA says:

    Reminds me of the conversation I had with my dh 15 years ago, when he was trying to persuade me that we needed a home computer.
    Me: (mystified) but what on earth can you do on a PC that you can’t do perfectly well with a piece of paper and a pencil?

    I love my Sony, love the idea of it, love the fact of it – I’m so profoundly a reader that carrying a library in my handbag is a source of great and sekret happiness – but I think it’s a bit of a luxury. I don’t need it.

    Still, sometimes it’s nice to have something just because you love it – as Peter Wimsey says to Harriet about the chessmen: ‘To be possessed is an admirable reason for possessing.’

  17. 17
    ev says:

    which don’t physically exist and seem to be essentially rentals—cost as much as a real live book I can dispose of in any way I choose.

    Unless you store them on an SD card or memory stick and then you have them. Which is why Kindle probably took it off the new one- then they can take them back when they want to.

    Hubby managed to loose all his stuff for his 505 off his computer and was able to get them all back with no problem.

    And since you can register 3 readers and 3 devices under the same name, you can share books that way easily.

  18. 18
    RKB says:


    I’m always stuck on the fact that the books—which don’t physically exist and seem to be essentially rentals—cost as much as a real live book I can dispose of in any way I choose.

    Don’t buy a Kindle and don’t buy books that have DRM restrictions.  Many e-book publishers chose not to use DRM and are doing very well.  Without the DRM, you literally can do whatever you want with your copy of the book.

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