New Nook vs Sony Reader Comparison Review

Nook Touch vs Sony Readers


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.

Hands-on videos, photos, and more details about all of these ereaders can be found on their dedicated review pages: Nook Touch review PRS-350, PRS-650, PRS-950.

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

Nook Touch
  • 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

Sony PRS-650

  • 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).

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