I considered buying an eBook reader when the first e-Ink based readers were introduced but I wasn’t convinced of their usability at the time. Now, after a little time’s gone by and the market’s a bit more established and with a nine-hour flight coming up, I thought I’d take the plunge.
The Kindle still isn’t available in the UK, presumably because Amazon can’t hammer out the deals with the cellphone networks. The SonyReader 700 isn’t available in the UK either – that’s the touch-screen one but anyway I’ve heard a few complaints about the screen being too reflective.
So my only option was the Sony 505s.
- The type’s very clear
- Easy to read in strong light
- Excellent battery life – about 7,000 page turns
- Page turning becomes less noticeable as you grow used to it
- Bookmarking’s useful
- It uses ePub, an open standard, rather than the Kindle’s DRMd AZW
- It holds plenty of books with SD-card expansion if you need it
- I’d like more screen real estate
- I’d like more, and better formatted, ePub books available
That last point’s a bit of a pain. The 505 will read RTF, HTML and PDF but works best with ePUB. Unfortunately a lot of ePUB downloads haven’t used the specification very well and consequently don’t use the functions of the reader very well.
Now I’m going to have to learn the EPUB format (essentially a set of XML files with additional content, all compressed) and write my own software to convert.