Sony PRS-650: The First Date

Posted September 20, 2010 by Meoskop in Uncategorized / 13 Comments

There’s a well deserved cliche about trading in your beloved for the younger model. I do have a roving eye. Something about the extra equipment a Kindle packs makes me think “What If” although I know my preferences run to Sony. Sitting on the shelf in all it’s graphite glory, the Kindle 3 seems to say “How do you know if you haven’t tried?” It’s true, Sony isn’t meeting all my needs, but I love how it looks in red and the things it can do to an epub! I always put the Kindle down.

My beloved Sony PRS-505 cover snapped. (I bought that cover in London, I could go on for pages about it, but I won’t.) So, as one does, I thought “Should I replace the cover or the reader?”  After all, a few hundred bucks or opening the box I put the old cover in – same thing.  Mostly. Sort of. (Hey, I’m not a debt counselor, don’t bring your bourgeois guilt to me!) I slid on my flip flops, grabbed a new handbag to counter my Sunday Scrubbing Clothes and took myself off to the Sony Style store.

They had no idea what I was talking about. There’s some PS3 launch going on. (I played that sex toy meets Harry Potter looking thing at Lollapalooza and Darling, I was not impressed. I have to say Darling. I went shopping in Palm Beach. Sunglasses on the head, air kisses, skeletons walking around when it’s not even Halloween, it’s just what we do.) But there they were, tucked into a little corner. And there I was, flush with cash from a brief stop at my savings (hah!) account and ready for a new love. We did a little speed dating, the PRS-650 and me. Sure, I flirted with Pocket, but size matters. (Didn’t we learn that with iPad?) The PRS-650 felt lighter, the screen was brighter, I knew I’d made the right choice. I could kick the PRS-505 to a cousin, I could put it on ebay, it would be fine. Someone would love it. PRS-650 had me laughing at it’s jokes and thinking about taking it back to my place. Then it happened.

You know how you’re with someone at a party and everything is going great, the place seems a little too bright and the conversation a little too loud but the person you’re with seems so incredibly clever that it’s worth it? Then, out of nowhere, they say something like “I can tell you’re not one of those women.” Or maybe it’s “Like our President – that moron!” Suddenly you notice their nose hair needs trimming, your feet hurt, you didn’t get enough sleep last night and oh my goodness – is that food in their teeth? Eeeww. (You don’t? Um, ok, you know that guy in the mosh pit who cheers while forgetting he has a beer in his hand so it ends up getting dumped all over your head? Yes. Like that.)

PRS-650’s touch response stopped working. I could tap, I could select, but the swipe to turn a page froze. I reset, I re-requested, I begged it to come back from it’s selective unresponsiveness. Nothing. Look, there are enough emotionally distant, needy and unresponsive people in my life. I don’t need to take anything from my reader. Thinking it was me, I tried to turn a page on the Pocket again. It responded eagerly (a little too eagerly if you ask me) but PRS-650 still refused to budge. Open menu? Sure. Select item? No problem. Turn the page? It was holding a grudge.

I went back home to PRS-505. We haven’t talked about it. I sort of want to ask if PRS-505 has ever considered getting rejuvenated. You know, a brighter screen might be just the thing. We could forget about the lack of PDF scaling or note taking if we had some additional clarity! (I can’t see it happening. PRS-505 has abandonware issues.) I’m not sure what we’re going to do long term. I’m glad I got to see what PRS-650 was like before things went too far. I’m sure it’s going to make someone happy, but I suppose it’s not going to be me. Maybe it was just a bad first impression. I’m not sure what I’d say if PRS-650 called me. (Did I leave my number?)


13 responses to “Sony PRS-650: The First Date

  1. *drools over Sony*

    I love how your mind works 🙂

    Unfortunately, even though Sony sell cameras, TVs, etc. here, they won’t sell their eReader. I have begged, I have pleaded. Then I told them I wouldn’t wait while they thought about it and bought an iPhone (as that was the only option I had if I wanted to read eBooks). Now the Kobo is here, but…

    Maybe one day the Sony and I can go on a date…

  2. I don’t really understand Sony’s marketing /development on this. They started with (imo) the strongest product, but they never moved to solidify their position. Now they seem like afterthoughts.

  3. A friend of mine bought one while in the US. I haven’t asked to try it as I figure I’ll cry…or rant at Sony 🙂 I figure they think we’re so small we’re not worth the effort…

    And it’s weird that they haven’t moved to solidify their position. Amazon have 🙂

  4. Is Kindle available in NZ?

    Here’s my Kindle theory. Yes, Amazon wants the book market but the Kindle is much bigger than that. Amazon wants to sell you everything from groceries to televisions. The Kindle is a hand held link to their store, with you all the time. That’s invaluable future market penetration waiting to be exploited.

    My Spouse hates shopping on the internet – won’t do it. He hates going to stores but will if he needs something and I’m busy. If he could tap a few keys on an e-reader and get his item delivered the next day? Amazon would own him.

  5. I have had my 650 for about three days. It freezes more often than I am comfortable with and I’ve emailed Sony about the issue. I also have a Kindle 3, which I loved at first, but since the honeymoon phase ended, we’ve been at odds with each other – hence my current affair with the Sony 650.

    I miss my ex, the Sony 505. At least he was dependable!

  6. Update – I took my SD card out of the 650 and it hasn’t frozen once! Not once! And I’ve been putting it through it’s paces, opening and closing books, searches, notes, impatient page-turns, you name it. Very strange.

  7. I wonder if there is some sort of software error related to using the SD card. I don’t think the one I was testing had an SD card in it, but I can’t actually swear it didn’t. Hm. 505 is a bit slower when using an SD card but just having one loaded doesn’t seem to matter.

  8. Further Update: I put all my files back onto my SD card, but first I converted all my PDFs into ePubs. Since I’ve reloaded my ePub-only card, nothing has frozen up at all. I’m assuming that one of the PDFs was too large or was corrupted in some way so it was hanging the reader up. It’s running better and faster than it did when I took it out of the box. 🙂

  9. Luc Poilot

    My 1 month old PRS 650 freezes every time I close a book, loosing the book and the page I was at.
    Of course, it happened just when I needed it for a week in the hospital. I managed to get by with my faithfull old Bookeen, but I really, really hated Sony for those days.

  10. Luc – It’s unfortunate. I’ve only had one freeze on my 505 in the last year, but I am hearing a lot of problems with the 650 and 350. I thought Sony had the superior product, but I’ll be trying an iPad soon.

  11. Luc Poilot

    I deleted everything and reloaded about 20 books.
    No freeze since. It seems there is a bug in the management of large libraries. Why 2 GB of memory if they cant be used ?