« Sony PRS-950 Review

PRS-950 PDF Review

This PRS-950 PDF review will demonstrate how the Sony Daily Edition displays various PDF files, from complex PDFs with multiple columns, images, and graphs, to single-column text-based PDFs.

This PDF review is pretty much identical to the PRS-350 PDF review and PRS-650 PDF review. All three devices share the exact same features for PDF viewing, with the exception that the PRS-950 has a 2 page view option for landscape mode. The main difference between the three all comes down to screen size, and the Daily Edition's 7" display is the largest. You can check those other reviews mentioned above to compare pictures to see the difference in text size and the amount of text shown on-screen.

PRS-950 PDF Video Review

PRS-950 PDF Features and Functions

  • Add freehand notes and drawings.
  • Type notes and memos with an on-screen keyboard.
  • Add bookmarks and highlights.
  • 5 reflow text sizes (works best for simple text-base PDFs).
  • Active hyperlinks.
  • History feature goes back to all previously visited pages, much like a web browser's back button.
  • Table of contents support for multiple levels.
  • Custom Zoom dial.
  • Zoom lock.
  • 2 and 3 column view.
  • Cut margins setting.
  • Landscape mode.
  • Dictionaries works with PDFs, 2 English, 10 translation.
  • Jump to page.
  • Run Searches.
  • Adjust contrast (works great for PDFs with light-colored text).
  • View 2 pages at once in landscape mode.
  • Quickly scan through pages.
  • Export notes and highlights as an .rtf.

PRS-950 PDF Default View

This first image is an example of a regular single column PDF. The original formatting of a PDF is preserved and sized to fit the screen on the default font setting. The other font settings will reflow the PDF and reorganize layout, which works well for text-based PDFs but no so well for complex PDFs with images, tables, etc.

Overall, readability greatly depends on how the PDF is originally formatted. This particular PDF is readable on the default setting if you have good eyesight. This picture below shows the contrast on its default, original setting. The succeeding images show it with the contrast adjusted to make the text appear darker.

Note: Make sure to click the images below for close-ups.

Sony PRS-950 PDF View
Default PDF Layout - Portrait

Another way to view PDF files is to change the screen to landscape orientation. This fits the PDF to the width of the screen. In this mode the font size is larger than in portrait mode because it breaks the page down into 3 sections.

Sony PRS-950 Landscape
Default PDF Layout - Landscape

The touchscreen allows for adding notes and highlights directly on the screen using the stylus or a finger.

Sony PRS-950 PDF Notes
Add Freehand Notes and Scribbles

2 and 3 Column PDFs

Here's a look at a typical two-column PDF document using the custom zoom dial, which works on all ebooks and PDFs. There is a set to width and set to height mode for this as well. There's a new page-lock feature that sets the zoom in place for turning pages instead of resetting it as the older Sony Readers did.

With the zoom set in, you can pan around the page using the arrows or by holding and dragging around the page with a finger or the stylus.

Sony PRS-950 PDF Zoom
Custom Zoom Dial

Without the zoom the text is too small to read comfortably in this layout, but is possible.

Sony PRS-650 2 Column PDF
2 Column PDF

This is the same document as above but with the 2 column pre-set zoom setting. With this setting active, the page is broken down into 4 quadrants, and when you turn the page it moves the zoomed box from top-left to bottom-left to top-right and so on. There's also a setting for 3 column PDFs.

Sony PRS-950 PDF
2 Column PDF Zoom

Sony PRS-650 PDF Review: Comics

Some mangas and comics display well and others don't. It all depends on how the original is formatted, or how much work you are willing to put in to making it look good if it isn't sized optimally for an ebook reader.

This particular comic is fairly easy to read in portrait mode.

Sony PRS-950 Comic
Default Comic Layout - Portrait

In landscape mode, the page is broken down into 3 sections, making the text quite readable. Again, it all depends on how the original is formatted, but with the PRS-950's larger screen most will work fine in this mode.

Sony PRS-950 Comic Landscape
Default Comic Layout - Landscape

PRS-950 PDF Review Conclusion

The Sony PRS-950 has some of the most advanced PDF features as far as ebook readers are concerned, just keep in mind that a 7" screen with a resolution of 600 x 1024 isn't the optimal size for most PDFs and isn't as large as most expect—not even close to as large as the Kindle DX's and PocketBook 902/903's 9.7" screens.

In fact most find it surprising that the PRS-950's screen is the same width as a 6-inch ebook reader, so the difference for most PDFs in portrait mode is negligible. In landscape mode the text is larger, and the page is broken down into 3 sections instead of 2 like with the PRS-650. So less of the page is shown on the Daily Edition in landscape mode at one time. If you can get by with the smaller text size in landscape mode, then the PRS-650 might be a less expensive choice if the lack of wireless is not an issue.

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