Kindle1 VS Sony E-Reader(PRS-505)- Comparison (Updated)

The following is a detailed comparison between kindle and the Sony Reader(PRS-505).

Sony E-Reader kindle-photo.jpg Kindle





  • 6 Inch “electronic paper” display
  • SVGA 800×600 Approx.170 Pixels Per Inch
  • 8-level gray scale
  • Uses E Ink® – a significant improvement over CRT and LCD technology. The result is a reading experience that’s similar to paper .
  • 6 inch diagonal electrophoretic –electronic-paper display
  • 600 x 800 pixel resolution.
  • 4-level gray scale
  • Uses E Ink® technology which provides a sharp, high-resolution screen that looks and reads like real paper


  • 6.9 inches x 4.9 inches x 0.5 inches
  • 175.6 mm x 123.6 mm x 13.8 mm
  • 4.9 inches x 7.5 inches x 0.7 inches
  • 190 mm x 134.5 mm x 18 mm

Computer Requirement

  • Requires computer to browsing and buy books online, then download books to your PC.
  • From the PC you download selected content into your Sony® Reader.
  • Requires computer to purchase and download content when not in a wireless coverage area


  • Adobe® PDF (unencrypted)
  • JPEG
  • MP3
  • TXT
  • RTF
  • BBeB (Encrypted and Unencrypted)
  • GIF
  • BMP
  • PNG
  • MP3 (Unencrypted)
  • AAC (Unencrypted)
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC)
  • Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
  • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
  • GIF (.GIF)
  • PNG (.PNG)
  • BMP (.BMP)
  • PDF (experimental )
  • Text (.txt)
  • Amazon Kindle (.azw),
  • Unprotected Mobipocket books (.prc, .mobi)
  • Audible Audio books (.aa)
  • MP3 Music files (.mp3).


  • 2 slots, an SD slot AND an memory stick Duo slot. Both can be used at once for up to an additional 10GB of storage


  • No wireless connectivity.
  • Download ebooks from the online ebook store, CONNECT ebooks, to your computer
  • Use the CONNECT Reader software to access ebooks on your computer
  • Use USB cable to transfer content from your computer to the E-reader.
  • Download content directly to memory card to bypass USB cable transfer.
  • Use EVDO/CDMA Wireless connectivity to shop the Kindle store and download ebooks (only if you are in a wireless coverage area)
  • Download ebooks from Online Kindle store to your computer
  • Use USB cable to transfer content to your Kindle (If you are not in a coverage area).

Content Delivery Time

  • As fast as internet connection and USB cable transfer will allow.
  • Less than a minute when done wirelessly.
  • In non-wireless area, its as fast as internet connection and USB cable transfer will allow.


  • Just over 160, 000 books available
  • The CONNECT™ Store puts thousands of eBook titles online. You’ll find all the latest bestsellers as well as a deep catalog of books in every category – fiction, non-fiction, business, self-help and more, with free first chapters available, plus author bios and reviews. Most titles cost less than their print versions, and CONNECT™ offers additional specials.
  • More than 90,000 books available, including more than 95 of 112 current New York Times® Best Sellers and all New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise.
  • Top U.S. newspapers including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post; top magazines including TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes—all auto-delivered wirelessly
  • Top international newspapers from France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times—all auto-delivered wirelessly
  • More than 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN’s Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post—all updated wirelessly throughout the day.
  • Email your Word documents and pictures (.JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG) to Kindle for easy on-the-go viewing.
  • Free book samples. Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.


  • 250 g (Approx 8.8 oz, without Soft cover)
  • 289 g (approx 10.3 ounces)


  • Internal memory holds up to 160 average size eBooks at a time
  • Internal memory – 256 MB holds over 200 books, magazines, newspaper, and blogs at a time

Power Supply

  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery
  • AC adapter USB
  • Battery Recharge

AC adapter: Approx. 4 hours.
USB-cable: Approx. 6 hours

  • Read 7,500 page with a single charge
  • AC Power adapter
  • Long Life Rechargeable Lithium Polymer Battery.
  • Leave wireless on and recharge approximately every other day.
  • Turn wireless off and read for a week or more before recharging.
  • Fully recharges in 2 hours.

Wireless Fees

  • None
  • Free wireless

Wikipedia access

  • Download wikipedia content just like you would any other content.
  • Includes free wireless access to the planet’s most exhaustive and up-to-date encyclopedia—

Supplied Accessories

  • PC Management Software
  • Soft cover
  • USB cable
  • AC Power
  • Book cover
  • Power adapter
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • No software necessary


  • 3 sizes
  • 6 sizes


  • Operating Temp: 5 ºC to 35 ºC
  • Storage Temp: No info…
  • Operating Temp: 0 ºC to 35 ºC
  • Storage Temp: -10 ºC to 45 ºC


  • PRS -505 SC (silver)…latest
  • PRS -505 LC (Navy blue)
  • One version…


Screen: Sony is better – 8 level gray scale as opposed to Kindle’s 6.

Size: Sony is smaller in every dimension.

Computer Requirement: Required at all times for sony content download. Need sometimes for Kindle (only in non-wireless coverage areas).

Sony – AA, PRC, MOBI, AZW, HTML not covered
Kindle – BBeB, AAC, RTF not covered
everything else equal

Expansion: Sony offers more capacity to expand and hold additional content – up to 10 GB.

Connectivity: Both utilizes computer as a connectivity source. Kindle bypasses this requirement when in a wireless coverage area.

Content: Much more content availability with Sony.

Weight: Sony reader a little lighter.

Capacity: Kindle holds more titles in internal memory.

Battery Power: Both devices give good content mileage.

Fees: Neither device charges a fee for download.

Wikipedia Access: Both can deliver content. Kindle can do wirelessly.
Accessories: Just about the same (Sony includes connection software).

Sony has a better screen, is smaller, requires computer as mediator for content download, delivers more available content, weighs less, charges no fees, and can deliver wikipedia content.

Kindles holds more in internal memory, delivers its contents wireless when in coverage areas otherwise computer mediator needed.

So which device do you choose? Your choice really depends on your taste.

If you are looking for a device that delivers content wirelessly and hold more in internal memory, is a reasonable size and weight, and give access to a decent amount of diverse content, then you may want to choose Kindle.

If you are looking for a device that does not necessarily deliver content wirelessly, but still delivers it in a timely manner, holds a decent amount of content in internal memory, gives access to a huge content inventory, is a reasonable size and weight (smaller and lighter than Kindle), then Sony may be your choice.

Regardless of which device you choose, you will be getting one of the best electronic book readers on the market. Good Luck on your choice

Update I
Can you Rotate the screen?
YES for the PRS-505, NO for the kindle . To rotate the Screen on your PRS-505, simple hold down the “Size” button for about 5 seconds and the screen will rotates from portrait to landscape and back.

Can you jump forward more than one page at a time in either device?
YES for both devices.
For the PRS-505, hold the “Page Forward” or “Back” button for five seconds and the page will jump 10 pages in the direction of the button. For the Kindle, hold down the “Alt + Prev Page” or “Alt + Next Page” buttons and the page will jump in the direction of the button by quite a few pages. I am not sure how much, but it seems to be a little more than the PRS-505

* For the PRS-500:”1″ brings you to the start of the book. “2” brings you to 20% of the book. “3” to 30% and so on. So if you want to open to about half way in the book simply hit “5”.

How Can I Make PDF Look Better on the Device?
For the Kindle , you cannot do much right now – PDF display is still in the experimental phase. As for the PRS-505, its just a simple matter of reformatting your PDF document to fit the device. Most PDF documents are formatted to fit an 8 ½” x 11″ piece of paper and not a screen the size of the Reader. In this case the Reader will have to resize your files to display on its screen. Your files may look better if you reformat them with the Reader’s screen size in mind. You can go here to download directions on how to optimize PDFs for the Reader.

Why does the page sometimes change when I place the device in my bag?
You can control this for both Kindle and the PRS-505:
For the Kindle, simple press “Alt+A” to put the device to sleep before you put it away.
For the PRS-505, you will need to turn the device off using the power switch on the left hand side of the reader which will in-turn lock the buttons. When you are ready to read again, just turn the unit on and you will pick up right where left off.

Can You Lock the Device?
For the PRS -505, you can lock the device by putting on a four digit password that will need to be entered anytime the Reader is turned on. If you use this feature you will have to remember your password or call 1-866-962-7669.
No such password access for Kindle.

Update IIListening to Audio files

You can download (via USB cable) and listen to MP3 files only as background music. This means that you cannot create a play list or organize the files the way you would on a MP3 player. Once the music starts it will play until you stop it or switch to audio books. You can adjust the volume using the built-in volume control at the bottom of the device.

You can download and listen to MP3 files on the Sony reader as you would on the player itself or as background music while reading. Tracks are listed in alphabetical order. You simply need to select the music of choice, press “ENT,” and you are on your way. In the play mode, you can see “everything:” track name, artist name, album name, elapsed time, track number, total number of track, etc. You can fast forward, rewind, stop, play, adjust volume the normal way with the built-in volume control on the device.

You have the option of listening to audio file on kindle via the external built-in speakers or privately using a headphone. PRS-505 gives you no choice but to listen with a headphone as It is not equipped with external speakers.

Both devices use up a significant amount of battery power when audio is played…so use conservatively.

If you prefer to listen to your books as opposed to reading them, Kindle gives you the option of downloading and listening to audio books from PRS-505 does not offer you this option. For more information on how to access audio books for the Kindle go here.

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14 Responses

  1. Reader doesn’t support pdf natively either. Sony’s software just converts it automatically when you drop the file onto the Reader. Take into account that you can do the same thing for Kindle by using Mobipocket Reader to convert pdf to mobi, and they’re both equal.

    Hint: If you want to preserve pdf formatting in kindle, convert your pdf pages to individual image files. Then convert the image files back to a pdf or mobi file. There are several ways to do that. You lose the ability to text search, but you’ll retain all formatting.

  2. Kindle is smaller? Not in any dimension. Also, they use exactly the same part from eInk for the displays.

  3. A lot was left out regarding the Sony eReader stats. Some of them were correct for the older Sony PRS-500, but the newer one (the one pictured) is the PRS-505 and has a number of improvements. Some stats that are missing above are:

    Supported file formats: TXT / RTF / PDF (Unencrypted) / BBeB (Encrypted and Unencrypted) / JPEG / GIF / BMP / PNG / MP3 (Unencrypted) / AAC (Unencrypted)

    Display: 8 level gray scale

    Expansion: 2 slots, an SD slot AND an memory stick Duo slot. Both can be used at once for up to an additional 10GB of storage.

    Capacity: Internal storage has doubled in the PRS-505 model, and can hold around 180 books.

    And just to clarify another point, with sony, you can read all of the books that you have on your reader on a registered computer. You are not limited to only reading 6 books, rather you are limited in the number of different systems/devices you can register.

  4. And reader _does_ support PDF’s natively. It maps as a (small) external drive, and you can drag and drop all of the supported documents without using software or its synchronization mechanisms. Even iPod can’t don’t that.

  5. Don’t forget that to send files to the yourself with the kindle it costs 50 cents per attachment.

  6. how can this be used with wikipedia or any other encyclopedia if there is no way to type in what you are searching for?

  7. […] question is this: is the kindle better than the Sony E-reader?  This site breaks it down in a point-by-point comparison, but I haven’t gotten my hands on the Sony yet to compare how they actually feel in the […]

  8. The Sony PRS 505 also now supports the open standard EPUB format for ebooks. Amazon are still trying to control the market with proprietary formats. This one fact alone pushes me towards the Sony.

  9. I have bought three sony ebooks – one for myself, one for a friend going to Africa. Her’s broke (got screen freeze) just after the warranty expired and I bought another, full price, no help from Sony. Now, mine has the same problem, and although I like the Sony capacity and free book availability, I am not crazy about shelling out money for a 4th.

  10. This was really helpful but I have one more question. What about reading at night. My husband hates when I read with the light on and he is sleeping is this something that is covered with an ereader?

  11. […] [1] Gadgets Page ” Amazon Kindle vs. Sony Reader SMACKDOWN [2] Kindle VS Sony E-Reader(PRS-505)- Comparison (Updated) ” FreshTech. [3] – Sony Reader vs Kindle [4] Amazon Kindle vs. Sony Reader, New eBooks and […]

  12. Hi, nice post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for posting.
    I will probably be subscribing to your blog.
    Keep up the good work

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