Sony Reader PRS-505 Review - Is it Worth Your Money?

by Travis Van Slooten - Date: 2009-03-21 - Word Count: 560 Share This!

The Sony Reader 505 has become an attractively affordable ebook reader since the Sony Reader PRS-700 was released. The screen offers pages that look real, the device is light, and it's easier than ever to carry the books you want with you at all times.

When many people think of handheld ebook readers, they often assume that you're going to have to lug something huge and inefficient around. While some of them are big and bulky, that's just not the case with the Sony Reader. It weighs an impressively low 9 ounces without the cover, and it's definitely small enough to fit into a purse, laptop bag, or anywhere else.

Another thing people assume is that the battery life is going to be dreadful. Thankfully, the Sony Reader 505 can last a full 7,500 continuous pages on a single charge. That is a lot of reading! Users report that they are able to go weeks without charging. Of course, it all depends on how often you'll be using your reader.

One thing that helps the battery life is the way the screen display works. It uses e-ink technology, which looks like real paper. The display is not backlit, so it saves a lot of battery power. Unfortunately, this does mean that you will need to use a book light if you plan on reading in the dark.

In addition to loving the display, users report being incredibly happy with the design of the Sony Reader PRS505. The buttons are very intuitive for everything from turning the device on to turning the pages. This makes all the difference when you want your reading experience to be as seamless as possible.

An issue that many people have with the Sony Reader is that they have developed their own proprietary format for ebooks. That means they steer you to their online store, where they do have a more limited selection that other readers offer. The good thing is that there are some Open Source software options that can convert certain ebook formats for you, making them usable on your reader.

Speaking of downloading books, you'll definitely be able to fit as many as you could ever need on this device! You'll be able to store around 150 right off the bat, with the option to use the expand slots to add more memory. You can even buy more memory cards to swap them out depending on your current needs.

The Sony Reader PRS-700 was supposed to be the new and improved Sony Reader but many consumers have been disappointed with it. For starters, it's currently priced at $399 ($130 more than the Sony Reader 505) and the touch screen that was introduced seems to have made the display harder to read. It's for these reasons many Sony Reader customers have decided to stick with their 505's and not upgrade to the 700.

All in all, there are really some great things about the Sony Reader PRS-505. It was definitely designed with the user in mind and is likely to be everything you ever wanted (and more) in an ebook reader.

Should you consider the newer Sony Reader 700? Read the full Sony Reader 700 review here and find out if the upgrade is worth it. Then see how it stacks up against the Amazon Kindle by reviewing the Kindle vs. Sony Reader comparison.

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