New Nook vs Sony Reader Comparison Review
This review compares the new Nook with the Sony Readers, the Sony PRS-350, PRS-650, and PRS-950.
First, let's take a look at the differences between the three Sony Readers. For the most part, the actual reading experience and feature-set is the same on all three. Here's an earlier review comparing the PRS-650 vs the PRS-350.
The base model is the PRS-350 with its 5" screen. The PRS-650 has a 6" screen and adds memory card slots and audio support. The PRS-950 has a 7" screen and adds 3G wireless, WiFi, 2-page landscape mode, and a few other upgrades.
New Nook vs Sony Readers (PRS-350)
New Nook, Sony Reader Similarities
- All use E Ink Pearl display panels.
- All have infrared touchscreens that use Neonode's zForce technology.
- All support EPUB and PDF formats encumbered with Adobe DRM, and DRM-free ebooks too.
- Tap a word to look it up in the dictionary.
- Add notes, highlights, bookmarks.
- Search, jump to page, table of contents.
- Add custom screensavers.
- All have long battery lives, ranging from 2 weeks to 2 months, depending on how they are used.
- All have fast page turn feature for quickly scanning through pages.
- All offer periodical subscriptions in addition to ebooks.
- Active hyperlinks.
- Support for library ebooks.
New Nook Advantages
- Supports Barnes and Noble's ebooks (DRM) in addition to Adobe (Nook Books won't work on Sony, even though they are EPUB, but Sony's ebooks will work on a Nook).
- Less page flashing. Full-page refresh once every sixth page instead of every page.
- Slightly faster page turns.
- Comes with WiFi for shopping for ebooks and periodicals directly from the Nook (only the PRS-950 has this option).
- B&N's ebookstore has a wider selection than Sony's.
- Integration with social networks for sharing passages and recommendations on Facebook and Twitter.
- LendMe feature allows users to lend certain ebooks--works directly from the Nook.
- Choose from 6 font types, Sony Readers only have 1 unless you add different fonts manually.
- Better text sizes (the Sony Readers need a size between small and medium; the jump is too much).
- Adjust line spacing and margins.
- Turn on and off publisher defaults.
- New Nook has a pleasant soft textured coating.
- View book details in library, with options to share, archive, lend, read reviews, view related titles.
- Write reviews for ebooks.
- Turn pages by tapping screen in addition to swiping (Sony's react to swiping only).
- Runs Android 2.1, making it highly hackable to run other Android apps.
- Price: $139
Sony Reader Advantages
- Touchscreen works with a stylus in addition to fingers (for some reason the Nook doesn't respond to a stylus).
- All three have much better PDF support than Nook, with many more PDF features.
- Supports a few extra formats: DOC, RTF, TXT. Plus JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP images (new Nook supports those but only for screensavers).
- Landscape mode (surprisingly the Nook doesn't have this feature).
- Functional web browser for PRS-950 (the new Nook has a hidden web browser but it doesn't work very well yet).
- PRS-950 has free 3G wireless.
- PRS-650 and PRS-950 support MP3 and AAC audio files and have headphone jacks.
- Notes are exportable.
- SD card slot in addition to Pro Duo memory card slot (950 and 650). The New Nook has one microSD card slot.
- Capable of deleting ebooks from the devices themselves.
- Contrast adjustment feature.
- Write notes and scribbles directly on an ebook or PDF.
- Multi-level table of contents support (new Nook has just one level).
- History feature allows for going back and forth between all previously visited pages within a book.
- Seven languages supported for menus.
- Nine different keyboards for different languages/regions.
- Word log keeps track of words looked-up in the dictionary.
- Keyboard history offers quick word selections.
- Slideshow feature for images.
- Type text memos.
- Drawing app.
- Custom Zoom dial.
- 10 translation dictionaries.
- Can type words to look-up in dictionaries.
- More solid build, metal vs plastic.
- PRS-650 and 350 are sold in several countries; the new Nook is US only.
- Price: $179 - $299 (prices vary all the time with sales; the PRS-350 has dropped as low as $99).