E-Readers Up Close: Using the Sony PRS-505

By William Stanek
November 18, 2009


The PRS-505 has an internal storage capacity of 192 megabytes (MB) and two expansion slots:

  • One expansion slot for Sony Memory Stick Duo or Pro Duo cards up to 8 GB
  • One expansion slot for SD, SDHC, or miniSD cards up to 4 GB
Note To use SDHC cards and cards with capacity greater than 2 GB, you must update the reader device to the latest firmware. As the reader doesn't support the MagicGate standard, data created using this feature cannot be played or copied on the reader. The reader also doesn't support copyright protection of SD memory cards.

Basic navigation with the PRS-505 is fairly straightforward. A 4-way navigation button is provided in the lower-right corner of the reader. This button and the menu button are used to navigate the menus. Using the 4-way navigation button, you can go up or down a list of items in a menu. You click the Enter button in the middle of the 4-way button to make a selection. You click the Menu button to go back to the previous level within the menu system or display the last menu when you are reading a book.

The PRS-505 provides two separate sets of buttons for turning pages. In the lower left corner of the device is a two-way navigation button with an Enter button in the middle. On the right-side of the device, you'll also find separate Next Page and Previous Page buttons.


When you work with the PRS-505, you use the buttons provided for navigation and basically have two ways to hold the device in your hand. Depending on how you're holding it, your thumb will either be resting on the left bottom corner of the device or you'll be holding the device higher up on the side, near the second set of page-turning buttons. Clicking the Previous Page or Next Page button once moves backward or forward one page at a time. Clicking and holding the Previous Page or Next Page button jumps backward or forward ten pages at a time.

In addition to the Enter button on the main navigation button, the four-way button in the lower-right corner of the device has an Enter button in the middle as well. The numbered buttons along the right side of the reader allow you to jump to a specified page. You simply push the buttons to input the desired page number and then press the Enter button on the four-way button to jump to the desired page.

On the PRS-505, near the navigation button, you'll see a Bookmark button and a Size button. You push the Bookmark button to add a bookmark to the current page for quick reference later. You push the Size button to change the text size or zoom in or out on a page. When you are reading an e-book or text, the scale switches between small, medium and large text. When you are reading a PDF, the scale switches between Fit Width where the page fits the width of the window or Fit Visible where the text and graphics fit the width of the window.

The PRS-505 has no backlighting. In most normal daylight reading conditions, you will not need a backlight. You can purchase an optional reading light. The PRS-LIGHT01 reading light has a flexible neck and clips on to the reader case. This reading light uses two LED lights and is powered by replaceable CR2032 lithium batteries that provide up to 20 hours of light.

Thanks for reading, time for me to get back to work! Hope you'll take a look at my new book Windows 7: The Definitive Guide.

William R. Stanek
williamstanek at aol dot com


This is my next to last e-reader post. If you want me to keep writing about e-readers, make some noise, post some comments or write to me and let me know. Otherwise, the next one is it.

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