Sony Revamps Its Reader


With the launch of the Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1, Sony has effectively doubled the battery life over the discontinued Reader Touch PRS-650, shrunk the weight to 5.9 ounces from 7.5 ounces, added Wi-Fi connectivity and simplified gestures by enabling two finger-control. And the T1 is priced 35 percent below the 650.

Users can now anticipate getting up to one month of battery life (assuming the wireless feature is turned off) versus 14 days on the 650.

Potter-heads will be pleased to know that a voucher is expected to be included in the box for one free Harry Potter eBook download. Referred to as the Pottermore Promotion, supplies are limited.

Those familiar with previous Sony Reader models will be impressed by a sleeker design in which there’s less bezel surrounding the 6-inch screen. The PRS-T1 is 0.4-inches narrower and 0.05-inches thinner than the 650. Sony has retained five physical buttons beneath the E Ink Pearl technology screen. The PRS-T1 measures 6.8 x 4.3 x 0.35 inches.

By going with dual-touch technology, Sony Reader users will finally be able to utilize two fingers at once: pinch open and close to zoom, rotate for back to menu, two finger scroll for status bar and secondary right click for the option menu.

Another new feature is being able to use a book cover as a kind of screen saver. If you don’t turn a page for a while, the screen can revert to the book cover. Alternatively, you’ll be able to select an image, text note or handwriting as a standby screen. Now, besides not being able to tell a book by its cover, you won’t be able to tell a cover by its book.

In the box you will find a stylus, Quick Start Guide and USB (Type A to Micro) cable. A useful accessory to go along with your PRS-T1 is the Sony PRSA-AC1 AC Charger for plugging your Reader into a wall outlet for faster charging or when a computer’s USB port isn’t readily available.

Other accessories include a cover (available in black, white or red) with form-fitting base and LED light (one AAA battery included); a standard cover (available in each of the same colors) with form-fitting base; and a soft zipper case in blue or pink that is compatible with current and prior-generation Readers.

The Sony Reader Store, the clean, well-lit cloud-based retailer, is being improved as well. Updated features include the abilities to “remember me” during account login; purchase online gift cards; set delivery designations to particular devices; rename tethered and wireless devices; and submit customer reviews from any location. Computer users can access the Web Store through IE, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

The Sony PRS-T1 has another ace up its sleeve: the ability to wirelessly download e-books and MP3 audio books from the local public library. The cloud really can have a silver lining. To find out more about the Public Library Service and content available for withdrawal, click here.