Hands-On Review: the Sony PRS-T2 Reader

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With the introduction of the Sony PRS-T2 Reader, which is available in three colors, the makers of the Kindle and Nook now have to contend with a truly clever and intuitive little eReader. The PRS-T2 has built-in Wi-Fi and at only 5.9 ounces, it is two and half times lighter than the 14.6-ounce Kindle Fire. It has a six-inch E Ink Pearl V220 anti-glare display with Clear Touch Infrared technology and 800 x 600 resolution. Unlike other eReaders, it doesn’t flicker much when you turn from page to page, and the finger-swipe action is silky smooth. Plus, like the iPad, two fingers can be used to pinch and zoom in or out.

The PRS-T2 features two integrated English Language dictionaries, so you can simply tap and hold on a word and the definition will pop up. There are six foreign language dictionaries onboard as well, which you can use to look up or translate a word. The new Sony Reader includes a useful stylus, and you can use it or your finger to highlight important text and scribble notes. One of the Sony Readers, available in limited quantities, also includes a free copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, by J.K. Rowling.

Sony loaded the PRS-T2 with 2GB of internal storage capacity (approximately 1.3GB after initial settings are made) and you can expand the memory by up to 32GB using the external microSD card slot. The PRS-T2 supports ePub, PDF and TXT text formats, as well as JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP image formats. One big improvement over the PRS-T1 is battery life. The new PRS-T2 Reader supports up to two months of reading on a single charge (without wireless), which is three weeks more than its predecessor. Plus, the buttons are shaped as icons, whereas the PRS-T1 had a row of simple buttons.

Icon-Shaped Buttons Sony Reader Store


The Sony PRS-T2 Reader’s Wi-Fi capabilities provide access to the Sony Reader Store, where you can browse through and purchase thousands of books, newspapers and magazines. Sony also simplified the library borrowing process. The PRS-T2 supports wireless public library access, so you can browse your local public library electronically from anywhere. All you have to do to download a book is tap the Public Library Icon, browse and then download your library book directly to the device. The library, publishing and eBook blog TeleRead described the Sony library borrowing process as “extremely simple” compared to the “rather complicated Amazon process.” The blog goes on to say that “if you are interested in library borrowing, then there is no question that the Sony is the unit to have.”

So, whether you’re looking for an eReader to travel with or a quick way to gain access to your local library’s collection, the Sony PRS-T2 really delivers. Plus, unlike the Kindle, there are no distracting ads that compete for your attention. The Sony PRS-T2 is also equipped with a Facebook feature that lets you easily share book quotes and cover art on Facebook. There’s an Evernote feature as well, which lets you view Web clippings saved on Evernote and you can also use Evernote Clearly to optimize plain text articles so they’re readable on the PRS-T2’s E-Ink Pearl V220 display. The new Sony PRS-T2 Reader is now amazingly lightweight and the battery has really been improved. Plus, between the Sony Reader Store and the Public Library function, even the most voracious readers won’t exhaust the PRS-T2’s possibilities.

Sony PRS-T2 Reader
Display
Display Technology E Ink Pearl with Clear Touch Infrared Technology
Gray Scale 16 level gray scale
Resolution 800 x 600 pixels
Screen Size 6.0" (15.2 cm)
Memory
Internal Memory 2GB (approx. 1.3GB after initial setting)
External Memory microSDHC memory card slot (up to 32GB)
Media Formats Supported
DRM Text ePub (OPS v2.0) & PDF (v1.6 or before) / .epub & .pdf file extension (Adobe DRM protected)
Image JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Unsecured Text ePub, PDF, TXT
Windows System Requirements
Operating Systems Windows 7 (32/64 bit) Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate
Windows Vista (32/64 bit) Home Premium, Home Basic, Business, Ultimate (SP2 or later)
Windows XP (32 bit only) Home Edition, Professional, Media Center Edition 2004/2005 (SP3 or later)
CPU 1 GHz Intel Processor
RAM 512MB
Free HDD Space 250MB or more (depending on content amount)
Monitor 1024 x 768 display with 24-bit color
Mac System Requirements
Operating Systems Mac OS X 10.7 (64 bit only) or later
CPU 1 GHz Intel Processor
RAM 512MB
Free HDD Space 250MB or more (depending on content amount)
Monitor 1024 x 768 display with 24-bit color
Power
AC Power 3.7 V DC built-in rechargeable battery
Battery Life (Wireless Off) Up to 2 months (reading 30 min daily)
Battery Life (Wireless On) Up to 6 weeks
Recharging Time (Power Adapter) Approx. 2 hours
Recharging Time (USB 2.0 Cable) Approx. 2.5 hours
General
Operating Temperature 41 to 95°F (5 to 35°C)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 4.4 x 6.9 x 0.4" (11.2 x 17.5 x 1.0 cm)
Weight 5.9 oz (167 g)

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