Friday, May 29, 2009

The Title Fight - Kindle versus Sony

At this point, I'm sure you think I'm on Amazon's payroll. But honestly, as an avid reader, I had a keen interest in E-readers prior to my Kindle Mother's Day gift, and I know you have an interest as well. I feel compelled to be your conduit for information!

So my husband sits down this evening and starts to read his July Consumer Reports. He announces they have pitted the Kindle against the Sony, and the Kindle won. Do we trust every word CR says? Not necessarily, but it is a good place to start. Here is my boiled down version of their report:

Kindle 2: $359
Sony PRS-700BC: $349

Convenience - The Sony requires installation of software on your PC, in order to download. It takes about a hour to set this up. Kindle is wireless via Sprint's 3G network, and you are up and running in 5 minutes.

Screen - Both are the same size (6 inches), both frugal with power. Type and images are more crisp and accurate on the Kindle, and pages turn a little more quickly. The Sony does have a night-light, where the Kindle does not.

Navigation - Sony has the slight advantage here via the touch screen, versus Kindle's joystick.

Portability - Both weigh about 10 oz. Kindle is a bit thinner.

Availability of titles - This is a toss-up. Kindle has 270,000 titles, far more than Sony, at an average price of a few dollars less than Sony. Amazon also offers a free first chapter or intro for every title. Sony offers this only on a limited number of titles. However, Sony offers access to 500,000 free public-domain titles. (I might add that you can easily access most public-domain titles on other free sites and upload them to your Kindle.)

Versatility - The Sony is solely for reading books, but the Kindle offers an audio option as well. The Kindle also offers feeds to select blogs, newspapers and magazines for a small fee.

Bottom Line - The Kindle is easier to use and very versatile because of the wireless feature. The Kindle DX will have a larger 9.7 inch screen, and will be the same resolution as the smaller version (it will cost $489 when released this summer). If the touch screen and the night light is your hill to die on, then the Sony is worth considering.


Unknown said...

Great summary! I didn't realise they were that expensive. For some reason I thought they were about $200. I think it will be a while before i get one, but I have recommended them to a few older people who are starting to struggle with their site.

PS. You've been transferred to my google reader, so I should be able to comment on your blog fairly quickly now!

Anonymous said...

Well done on bottom lining it and I have to say I am one of the sheep who blindly follow Consumer Reports.

And yes, I would have been in line for the Kool-Aid in Jonestown.

My main question regarding a Kindle is: what is the advantage over checking out books for free at the library? I am a notorious cheapskate and I am certain I will never own a Kindle.

So I'm curious why you would get one versus an actual book. Is it also part computer, this Kindle?

Sandy Nawrot said...

Jackie - I do believe they are a bit overpriced. My husband and I both say that it SHOULD be about a $200 product. I'm sure someday it will be! I do intend to load mine up big time for my trip!

Cardiogirl - I am a big "free book at the library" girl. But the advantage of the Kindle is the portability. So when I travel to Poland for nearly 3 weeks, I don't have to cart 50 pounds of books with me. Another big advantage is that you can increase font size so it is very easy to read. You can also instantly get newspapers (cheaper than if you bought the hard copy), magazines and blogs. Try to get your hands on one, and you will fall in love!

Jen - Devourer of Books said...

Great summary, I'm keeping this starred to help me when I finally decide to take the plunge. I'd decided on the Sony Reader, but now I'm unsure again.

Amy Reads Good Books said...

Nice summary. Thanks! I'm getting more and more tempted. I can see how awesome it would be for a long trip.

ANovelMenagerie said...

I want a Kindle soooo bad!

Kim said...

Great summary, Sandy.
Undoubtedly this is the way we will read in the future but I love the touch, feel and smell of books. I know we have had this discussion before and when I was reading your review it came back into my mind again. I am saddened to think that Kindle (or Sony) will do to book reading what email has done to letter writing..... not that I would be without email or my notebook. I get upset because I don't get hand written letters any more and I can't bear to think of a world without paper books.

Melissa said...

I'm still not convinced I need a reader, but I was doing some internet research on them this week and one thing I read about the Sony with the touchscreen was that it had an awful amount of glare.

I also found another one called Cool-er Reader that comes in iPod like colors. The reader is only $250, but the books are much more exspensive than Amazon.

Matt said...

This woman sitting next to me at coffee this morning was reading from Kindle 2. The reader is soooo slcik-looking and cool. I'm very tempted and might even be sold on it for travel. Travel only probably because I still like the texture of holding a book in my hand.

Staci said...

I love the idea of having one of these for traveling with because I love my books too much to ever give them up for good!!

Desert Rose said...

Nice comparison :) But for now I'm sticking with my Sony 505, heard it's better than the 700 :)

Serena said...

great comparison, but they are both still to expensive for me.

Anonymous said...

The Kindle is a great and cool way to read books, magazines, etc. Even without the travel/c ommuting convenience, it's just fun to read that way. I have read BOOKS all my life, but I really enjoy this. I recommend that you all give it a try (you caj return it in 30 days for a full refund). There are almost 300,000 books available for the kindle through Amazon (most pretty cheap), plus thousands of public domain books from other sites. This is great stuff.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Nice comparison post. I've had a Kindle2 since late February and love it. Love it for reading while traveling as well as at home. I still buy some paper books as well as borrow from the library. It's a great way to read periodicals at a much lower rate than buying paper. I could (and hope to) read totally on the K2 in the future.