Conversations interrupted

A good weekend last weekend – up to Staffs for Oatley minor’s naming, with an overnight stay in Leamington (at the Angel Hotel) en route. Some follow-on notes from conversations:

For : the best source for non-pink girl’s clothes (and non-blue boy’s clothes) that we’ve found is Vertbaudet. French, as you might expect from the name.

For and , the iPhone/iPod Touch ebook app was Stanza. The iPod Touch and the Sony PRS-505 are comparable in price: £165/£214/£283 for 8Gb/16Gb/32Gb iPod Touch vs. £199 for the PRS-505 (256Mb internal, expandable via SD cards). Battery life on the PRS-505 is excellent (Sony claim 6000+ page turns, which I suspect is optimistic), whereas the iPod lasts about a day of solid reading. On the other hand, the iPod does more than read ebooks. Both support EPUB format ebooks (which is what Waterstones sell), although the implementation on the PRS-505 isn’t great (for example, only a partial implementation of CSS2, significantly below that required by the OPS component of the EPUB spec). Sony’s support for the PRS-505 isn’t great; there has been one firmware update to date in the US which introduced EPUB support (the UK version has always had support for EPUB).

A summary:

PRS-505 iPod Touch/iPhone + Stanza
Price £199 £165 (8Gb)
£214 (16Gb)
£283 (32Gb)
Battery life 6000+ page turns (over a week in standby) ~1 day
Display 6″ diagonal
600×800
3 bit grayscale eInk
3.5″ diagonal
480×320
colour LCD
Daylight visibility Excellent Good
Night visibility None (no backlight) Good
Page turn speed ~0.5s Instant
Prerender speed 10-15s 2-3s
Internal Memory 256Mb 8Gb/16Gb/32Gb
Additional Memory SD card None
ePub support Partial Good
MP3 playback Yes (but hampered by limited memory and poor battery life) Yes
User Interface Physical buttons (PRS-700 has touch screen) Multitouch screen
Aspect switch Yes (but hampered by physical UI) Yes (via accelerometer)
EBook Upload Sony software (Windows only)
Calibre (multiplatform)
Stanza desktop (Mac only)
Calibre (multiplatform)
Download over wifi
Application support No Yes
Software update Infrequent Frequent

My feeling is that the iPod Touch has the edge in terms of usability and readability (the page turn speed on the PRS-505 is still a limitation), although the PRS-505’s display is very legible. Having used both for at least a couple of weeks, I’d recommend the iPod Touch/iPhone + Stanza more strongly.

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