Kindle vs Sony: The Battle Continues

Barbara Vey -- November 24th, 2009

With Christmas approaching, I’m again being asked what I want and my mind keeps drifting to an e-reader.  No…I don’t have one yet.  Never even tried reading a book on one.  And the battle rages on which is better the Kindle or Sony.

The Kindle can store 1, 500 e-books, is slim, longer battery life and has an Amazon library of ten of thousands of e-books, newspapers and magazines.  Font changeable, Mac and PC ready, and Text-to-Speech lets you have the book read to you outloud.  It also has an internet feature.  Downside, no backlight (which I really want), it doesn’t have a protective case (which makes no sense to me) and you can’t get electronic library loans on it.  Their official statement:  Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines.  Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback.  Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered wirelessly in less than 60 seconds; no PC required.  3G Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle; no annual contracts, no monthly fees, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.
  Global Coverage: Enjoy 3G wireless coverage at home or abroad in over 100 countries. Paper-Like Display: Reads like real paper without glare, even in bright sunlight.  Long Battery Life: Read for days without recharging.  Read-to-Me: With the experimental Text-to-Speech feature, Kindle can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book’s rights holder made the feature unavailable.  Free Book Samples: Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy

The Sony Reader Daily Edition has free library e-book check outs, which is huge for me.  I’ve always loved the library and here’s one more reason to use them.  Their official words:  Experience the freedom to wirelessly browse, purchase and download books from The eBook Store from Sony with free 3G wireless access. Measuring just 0.6" thin and weighing only 12.75 ounces, the Reader Daily Edition also features a 7" paper-like display and touch screen navigation. Carry hundreds of books at a time and enjoy your content in either portrait or landscape viewing modes. Plus, the Reader supports multiple formats including ePub and PDF while giving you access to over one million free public domain titles from Google Books.

Then there’s the cost, Kindle (Global) $259 and Kindle DX (US wireless) $489.  Sony Reader Daily Edition $399.

Readers seemed mixed, but most I talked to prefered the Sony.  Now, I can get the Kindle for my iPhone, but the screen is super small for reading, but it is backlit.  Then there’s the Apple’s strongly rumoured ‘tablet’ — a cross between an iPhone and a full computer.  This sounds like something I’d might be interested in.  Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Then there’s the whole problem with wanting to lend people books you’ve read on your e-reader.  Easy to do with a paper book, but lots of questions with an e-reader.

Maybe I’m just not ready for an e-reader or just need to wait for the perfect one to come along.

How about you? Do you own one? Do you want one?  Are they worth the money?  Can anything really replace a well worn book?

Bottom Line:  I’d rather have a Wii system for Christmas this year anyway.  (I really hope my kids are reading this.)

106 thoughts on “Kindle vs Sony: The Battle Continues

  1. Max M. Power

    I have an e-reader that I have used for years. I have had a PDA Palm Pilot and now I have a Palm Smart Phone. The thing is all the books are transferable. My daughter and I can share the same book on our own seperate phones. I love to read and my e-reader comes in handy but nothing will ever replace a book in my hands, paper between my fingers.

  2. Bonnie Rose Leigh

    I own the Kindle and have had one for over a year. I’d kill the person who’d try to steal my kindle before I’d give it up. I absolutely adore it. I can order a book while sitting in the passenger seat while driving down the highway or while sitting in the hospital ER while lying on a gurney awaiting admission. I take my kindle everywhere and have a habit of showing it off to tons of curious bystanders. It has a long lasting battery time and during the day natural light it fine to read under. At night, I use a clip light with a bendable neck. The e-ink tech makes the letter crisp and clear to read easily.

  3. Jusy

    Like Max M., I’ve been a long time ebook reader before they came out with a dedicated device. No desire to purchase one of them. I’m started with a Sony Clie and have now moved to my Palm Centro. I love it. One gets use to what one has, especially when you love to read. It’s great to read in bed without the lights on :) I can borrow books for my Palm from two great library systems — New Jersey and New York City, even before the dedicated readers.

  4. Charlene Teglia

    I love the Sony reader! Our library has e-check out, which is an awesome bonus. It’s very easy to use. We were able to transfer our existing e-library to the device, and downloading new titles is easy and fast. My husband I share it, and love that we can each have a book in progress and trade without losing our places.

  5. Stephanie Newton

    I have a Kindle, too. I love it. I like that it doesn’t have a backlight because I’m on the computer all the time. I wanted something that felt more like a real book. But the real winner for me was the almost instantaneous delivery of books with the Kindle. I’m hooked!

  6. Grace Fonseca

    I have the Kindle and I love it. I show it to people all the time who are curious. I can adjust the text to any size I want. It doesn’t hurt my eyes. I can download books if I want to read something else. Plus it saves valuable book shelf space.

  7. Kathy Parker

    I have been using the Kindle 2 for the past 6 months and LOVE IT! I like the ease of purchasing a book in less than 60 seconds. When reading a book for my book club, the highlighting and note taking features are a plus! Come upon a word you don’t know – instant dictionary feature! If you want the “feel” of a book, purchase the leather holder/case. That’s what I did.

  8. Diane

    To you Kindle people: Only Amazon can deliver books to you- doesn’t that scare you? If you do get any other e-reader, then you can get books from library, other bookstores, etc. Now do you really want to let Amazon control the world? People need to wake up and realize what is happening. Have you noticed that there are no longer any stationery stores- except the big boxes? That is what you are causing to happen when you get all of your books and other merchandise from Amazon. Soon there will be no stores left except Amazon, Walmart and Costco. Is that what you want? Please wake up before it is too late- or maybe it already is. Diane

  9. Linda LaRoque

    I’ve had an Ebookwise Reader for several years. Other than having to convert PDF files to Word before downloading, I’ve been pleased. I read a lot on my Palm Treo phone as it’s always with me.

  10. Greg

    I don’t understand the point of having someone who doesn’t believe in or use e-readers review them. I would like to read a comparison by someone who is familiar with them and can thereby enlighten me as to which to buy.

  11. Cassie

    I actually have both a Kindle and a Sony. I bought the Kindle myself, and have never regretted it. Just recently, I got a new job and they provided me with a Sony on loan. I think both work just fine for actual reading–the only real difference is in the store. Kindle has Amazon & wireless, but is much more limiting in the formats it can handle. Sony can handle practically anything, but you have to plug it in. Just something to think about :-)

  12. AmyF

    I’ve tried the first version of Kindle & didn’t think it was too slick. The Sony seems to have a better grasp. The Nook looks very promising. I agree with Diane’s point about only getting books from Amazon with the Kindle…don’t let our bookstores die! I understand B&N supports the Nook, so a case can also be brought against them for that, but it does look like a really good e-reader. It’s an on-going debate & issue! Just keep reading!

  13. Heidi

    Something else to think about: While the Kindle’s text-to-speech function is certainly a benefit for consumers, it actually can be a copyright infringement. Using the text-to-speech function effectively creates an audio version of the material–something Amazon wasn’t authorized to do when it licensed only the electronic rights.

  14. Holly

    My first Kindle had a problem; Amazon replaced it in less than 24 hours! When they lowered the price, I complained and got a refund immediately. Great customer service.

  15. sony fan

    I have ordered Sony’s The Daily Edition. Don’t like Kindle’s inability to export notes and highlights to Word. Also, don’t like just buying from Amazon. Like touchscreen and stylus to take notes.

  16. Helen Scott Taylor

    Barbara, I have just been thinking about ereaders as well, and I’ve come to the same conclusion as you. It is almost impossible to choose as neither of the big ones quite fit the bill for me. There seem to be many new ones in development. I’ve decided to wait until the New Year as I’m sure there will be many released in 2010.

  17. Liz Kreger

    I’m still weighing the pros and cons of both. I want an e-reader so badly but its one of those things I’ll have to buy for myself and give to hubby to present to me as a gift. He wouldn’t have a clue as to what I’m talking about if I asked for an e-reader. LOL

  18. Julie

    I have both an eBookwise and a Kindle. Both have positives and negatives. But I got the Kindle after having the eBookwise for nearly 2 years. And I like the Kindle for its ease of use, especially regarding buying books. However, for those of you who said you can only buy from Amazon — you’re wrong. I’ve bought several books from several sources. I just make sure that I get the mobi/prc non-DRM file. Then I plug my Kindle into the USB on my computer and I drag it the right folder on the Kindle. What made me realize how much I enjoy the Kindle and how natural it felt was when I was holding it (in the leather cover which makes it feel like a paperback) and raised my hand to try and turn the page manually rather than click the next page button.

  19. ww michelle

    I am tossing around the idea of getting nook from barnes and noble. has huge capacity and easy downloading. also free classics downloads from within the store with their wifi and it is only 259. it also has ability to change text size. has a dictionary thw ability to take notes and you can download music to listen to while you read.

  20. Debbie Kaufman

    I don’t know what to think. A free trial of one would be nice! Amazon makes me nervous since they did that massive delete of documents on everybody’s Kindle without the owner knowing it would happen.

  21. Alana Abbott

    I’ve been yelled at for making the amazon-only assumption about the kindle — kindle readers have told me that it’s not true! If you buy e-books in the adobe pdf file format, which many, many shops and publishers support, you can upload that to your kindle with no trouble. Same with rtf files and, I’m sure, other file formats. The nook is also going to support other pdf files (non B&N purchased), as well as Doc and Excel files and various other format. I think both companies are willing to allow other e-book stores to thrive (while making it easiest for you to shop from their store!).

  22. cindy

    I have the Sony touch. I have had it for 2 months and so far I love it. I mostly use it for getting books from the library, which works fine. I have had problems because I downloaded more than one library book on it at a time. It will come up with a page protected and not allow you to read it. I just download one read it and then get another, that seems to work for me best. The books I purchased I have no problems with. I was going to get the Nook but did not want to wait. With Sony touch you can make notes, it takes a sd card so you can expand your memory. I would purchase this again. Almost got the kindle because I wanted to subscribe to Time magazine, but with Sony you can not do that. After much research I have found that each reader has its own unique features.


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