Monday, August 18, 2008

Sony Ebook vs Kindle

Instant Gratification Girl here - I was unable to resist the lure of the shiny new Sony eBooks at Borders (with a vacation coming up, having books is critical!). My new eBook i silver, though, not the shiny spiffy red that is being offered for pre-order and not available until September. If the puppies are psychic, they were a wee bit off.

The new eBook is thinner and lighter, and they've moved the buttons a bit (and made the page-turning buttons larger). Insteadof having the numbered buttons along the buttom of the screen, they are along the side, and a small page-forward and page-back button also were moved to the side. The "peg" is gone and there is a menu button now that is much easier to deal with. They obviously put a bit more thought into the ergnomis this time.

There is also a "go to page" function (woah, was that a huge miss in the first edition), and bookmarking is much easier. Can't actually search in books, but the listing features for titles and authors is much cleaner. And - PDFs now resize and reflow in a much more readable way. All in all, a very nice upgrade.

Even if it's not red.

My MIL asked why not a Kindle, from Amazon. My FIL has one, and is very pleased with it - and it's definitely a good option. The Kindle is a wireless device, so you can download content from Amazon whereever you are, and offers searching and annotation via the little teensy keyboard on the bottom, and the ability to suck down websites and such for later use. Live access to Wikipedia, too. (hm, I might miss that).

So why not a Kindle, with all that content available? A couple of reasons (first and foremost, having downloadable books available all the time is probably not a good idea for me, the book-hoarder) -- I like the more solid feel of the Sony. The Kindle is light, but most of the case is plastic. The eBook just feels better to me, especially the way that I ted to hold it while reading.

The Kindle also has large previous-page, next-page buttons along the sides; in fact, the next page button is most of the right side of the Kindle, and every time I picked up my FIL's, I turned the page. There was no way to hold id comfortably (for me) that didn't start flipping pages at random as I shifted my hands.

I also gravitated towards the Sony because of the variety of formats that I can read - pdf, rdf, doc, bbeb, epub -- and the easy of transferring things to the reader. Having the wireless download is a great idea, but being able to easily transfer my own documents to the Reader from my computer (no emailing - and no cost) was definitely a clincher. The amount of free content out there (Gutenberg, anyone?) is amazing. New books are cheaper on the Kindle vs the Sony eBook store or other electronic books stores, but the pricing structures seem to be evening out. A big plus here is that the Reader supports the open-source ePub format, which opens up enormous vistas of other ebook formats. Well, it's always possible to use a conversion program to make .lit, mobi, epub, docs, text, and html files into the "standard" format, of course, but having so mnay options is a plus.

I think if I read more 'subscription content' -- magazines or newspapers -- that the Kindle would be a better option. As it is, that's only a tiny portion of what I read - and since I spend 70% of my day in front of the computer, it's less of an issue.

But the Wikipedia access is pretty cool. I wonder does that work outside of the US?

1 comment:

Weva said...

Came across this Googling the vs. I too went with the Reader, for nearly identical reasons. I'm deploying to Iraq for State soon and can't lug all my reads.