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I had to take some time off this morning to run Dad over to the local Target where I saw a nice end-cap display of the Sony PRS-505. The price was good too, but of course as of today, the PRS-505 is old news. Sony announced […]

Sonyprs700I had to take some time off this morning to run Dad over to the local Target where I saw a nice end-cap display of the Sony PRS-505. The price was good too, but of course as of today, the PRS-505 is old news. Sony announced the expected successor: the PRS-700, which should hit stores next month. There’s a price increase for the upgrade of course; look for the 700 to retail around $400. So what do you get for the extra money?Aside from a minor external redesign, there’s a touchscreen and an LED sidelight. The light alone might convince more than a few to purchase or upgrade. As far as the touchscreen, I’m on the fence on whether or not the extra price justifies the feature. I’m guessing the touch technology is adding a good 10% or more to the overall price, but does it add 10% or more functionality? I’m thinking not, although I’m sure some would argue. Here’s why: you can flip pages with the touchscreen and you can highlight passages using the stylus and touchscreen. No handwritten notes, at least not by the touchscreen; for notes, you have to use the on-screen keyboard.There’s something to be said for touch with the user interface and overall experience of course. However, I’d personally like to see more functionality from the touchscreen expense. Perhaps this will come in the form of a future software upgrade?

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  1. Kevin, I am too lazy to look into this right now, but I thought the touch screen also gives you a keyboard and enables search capabilities. That I would consider a major benefit if you use the reader to hold reference manterial (without search, it’s pretty pointless… even with search, it would be nice if you could follow links in the books).

  2. Kevin C. Tofel Friday, October 3, 2008

    Oliver, you’re correct; that’s the virtual keyboard I mentioned in the post. I guess I’m picky: I’d like to see a little more functionality in the upgrade. It seems like Sony has gone from a leader in this space to a follower and they’re not quite catching up with the 700.

  3. Kevin, they’re also claiming faster page flipping. Which I’m taking to mean it has a faster processor for the extra $$$ as well.

  4. I was disappointed with the 700 – not a whole lot there to justify its larger price. The 505 isn’t exactly a laggard when it comes to page turning.

  5. Kevin, what are you looking for? Quite honestly, I’d rather see the price go down than them adding more features. $300 – $400 isn’t exactly appealing to the broader masses consuming paperback books.

    For instance, I DO NOT care about wireless on my reader. It’s not a burden for me to sync the documents I want on it from my computer. There are plenty of places I go to that don’t have Sprint EVDO coverage anyway, so the Kindle would have no advantage (and can you add books to the Kindle via computer in those cases?).

  6. Great. I just bought the Sony 505 – literally ordered it a week ago. I agonized for months over it too. Sigh. Does the 700 have a much faster page turning? I am a fast reader and it can be annoying to see that black screen so often.

  7. Aileen, my wife is a fast reader and was happy with the 500. She’s even happier after I upgraded her to the 505. But the primary reason is the more ergonomic placement of the buttons on the 505. I wouldn’t worry about “missing out” on the 700.

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