Every year I’ve been writing for The Gadgeteer, I’ve reviewed the newest Sony ebook reader. I admit I have moved on to reading mostly on my iPad 2, and I did just buy a Kindle, but I couldn’t let the new Sony reader pass without giving it a look. For many years, starting with the PRS-500, my Sony readers were my most beloved gadgets. I loved the sleek, strong metal chassis. I loved being able to store dozens of books in memory, and I didn’t mind at all that I had to connect my Sony to my computer to get new books. I felt the design of the readers was perfect; after all, Sony was a hardware company invested in producing good hardware. (Amazon was a bookseller invested in selling books…) When I heard that Sony had switched to a plastic chassis and had added Wi-Fi access, I knew I had to give the new reader a look. I ordered my Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) and hoped that I wouldn’t be disappointed in what I’d receive.
- Display Technology : E Ink Pearl™ with Clear Touch Infrared Technology
- Gray Scale : 16 level gray scale
- Resolution : 600 x 800 pixels
- Screen Size : 6 inches
- Media formats supported: DRM Text : ePub (OPS v2.0, .epub file extension, Adobe DRM protected), PDF (PDF v1.6 or before, .pdf file extension, Adobe DRM protected); Image : JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP; Unsecured Audio : Unsecured Audio: MP3 (Non encrypted), AAC (Non encrypted); Unsecured Text : ePub, PDF, TXT
- AC Power : Built-in rechargeable battery: 3.7 V DC
- Battery Life (Approx) : A single charge lasts over a month with wireless off based upon a half-hour of daily reading time.; Read on a single battery charge for 3-4 weeks with wireless on.; Up to 14,000 continuous page turns when reading only.
- Recharging Time : Fully charges in approximately 2 hours via the approved U.S. power adapter. Approx. 2.5 hours supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
- Wi-Fi : IEEE 802.11b / g / n
- Memory Size : Internal: Approx. 1.3 GB after initial setting. External: Micro SD card up to 32GB.
- Works with Windows and Mac systems
- Reader Wi-Fi
- Stylus pen
- USB cable
- Quick start guide, Warranty, Audio safety tips, Important product information
Please excuse my tilted pictures. As you can see, the Sony reader has a rounded bottom. I haven’t found any workable method to keep the reader straight while I photograph it.
The Sony Reader Wi-Fi (I’m going to follow my tradition of the ages and call it the PRS-T1) now has a plastic body, but it looks similar to the previous PRS-650 model. It measures about 6.76″ long X 4.25″ wide X 3/8″ thick. It weighs 5.7 ounces on my digital kitchen scale. The reader is sturdy, and it passed Julie’s patented Creak Test with flying colors.
The PRS-T1 is available in red, black, or white. Normally I’m all about the red gadgets, but I found that I wanted the white for a change. The plastic is shiny and slick.
The screen is the same 6″ eInk Pearl screen used in the PRS-650 (and the Kindle that Julie and I recently reviewed). Images on the screen are sharp and clear. You can see an amazing amount of detail in the photos that display as screensavers. Text is very clear, too. The PRS-T1 has a touchscreen, but it uses an IR grid overlay on the Pearl screen. Since IR energy is invisible to the human eye, you don’t see any glare or other degradation of screen clarity because of the touch layer.
This IR grid is neither resistive nor capacitive, but it is as responsive as the iPad 2’s capacitive screen. The lightest touch is sufficient to turn a page or enter data on the keyboard. Although your finger works perfectly well with the screen, Sony included a stylus for more precise control when you are entering handwritten notes or drawing. This is a big stylus; it’s about 4.75″ long with a circumference of about 5/8″ inches. There’s no silo on the reader to store this stylus, but it does have a clip that can hook over a cover, if you use one. This stylus is much easier to hold than the tiny little things that came with the previous versions of the Sony reader. I didn’t get cramps in my hands because it’s big enough that I don’t feel I’m pinching a toothpick between my fingers.
Unlike the Kindle, you have complete control over the screensaver, by the way. You can load up any images you like onto the PRS-T1, or you can turn off screensavers completely. I used the PRS-T1’s handwritten note feature to write my name and phone number, saved it as an image within the note function, and used that image as a screen saver. If I lose my reader, the (hopefully honest) person who finds it can call me.
Even though the PRS-T1 has a touchscreen, there are a few physical buttons on the front of the reader. From the left, they are: page back, page forward, Home, back to previous location, and the options menu. The panel above the buttons is metal and seems to be brushed aluminum. The buttons are made of a silver-colored plastic. They operate well.
The back of the white PRS-T1 is covered in a putty-colored rubber. This covering improves your grip and makes the reader a little less likely to slide off a tabletop. Click the above image, and you’ll be able to see the microSD card slot. This is the first Sony reader I’ve used that uses the microSD card. You can use up to a 32GB microSD card to hold extra books or music files. Sony warns that performance speed and battery life may be degraded when a microSD card is in use.
The only other controls for the PRS-T1 are on the bottom. From the left is the reset button (I was able to use a ballpoint pen tip to reset my reader!), the microUSB connector (used for charging and for syncing the reader with your computer), the headphone jack, and the power switch and status light.
I did try the headphone jack with the sample music that came with the reader. The sound was good, but the audio player isn’t something I’ve ever been interested in. At least they moved the volume controls to the touchscreen and removed them from the bottom of the reader. I always found a way to bump the old volume rocker, and I swear that seemed to shorten my battery life.
Speaking of battery life, Sony still describes life as page turns. They say you’ll get 14,000 continuous page turns when reading only. They also now describe the battery life in time. The battery charge lasts over a month reading for 30 minutes a day with wireless off or 3-4 weeks if the wireless is on. I’ve had my reader for a while now, and I still have about 3/4 of the charge left, as shown on the battery indicator. I leave WiFi on, by the way.
Sony doesn’t mention the type, but the battery is a rechargeable 3.7V DC battery. It charges in about 2.5 hours from your computer’s USB port. With the optional AC adapter, the reader charges in about 2 hours.
After you’ve opened up your reader and charged it, you’re ready to connect it to WiFi. I had no trouble getting connected to my home network. I selected my network from the list, entered the password and was connected in a few seconds. After I was on the network, I was asked to log in to my Sony Reader Store (bookstore) account or create a new one. I’ve had an account for many years, and I was able to log in without a hitch. You can see the on-screen keyboard that’s used for all input with this reader. It’s touch-responsive, so no scrolling around and selecting keys like on the Kindle. The keyboard is very responsive, and it worked well with my finger or the stylus.
Once I logged in, I connected to the Sony bookstore. Navigating the store from the reader is much like using the store through the computer-based application. I can browse, search by various criteria, read book info and reviews, and purchase and download books. I was able to see the several hundred books I’ve bought at Sony’s bookstore over the years. I was able to quickly download a previously-purchased book to my reader, but I decided I’d connect to my computer to transfer most of them over in one easy step. I could also purchase and download a book directly to my reader. Sony has always had the policy that you can redownload books you’ve purchased, so I could either download the book to my computer application or have it synced over to the computer when I next connect my reader.
Reading was easy with the PRS-T1. You can change the font size or the font type, but Sony warns that page turns and performance may be adversely affected by these changes. Pages turn easily with a finger swipe on the screen. Of course, the eInk screen is great in well-lighted areas and even outdoors in direct sunlight. It doesn’t work so well in a dark room without a good source of light.
After it was pointed out to me, I finally noticed that the Kindle I recently reviewed with Julie doesn’t do the flash-to-black page change after every page. You’ll get 4 or 5 pages where just the text changes, then you’ll get a black page change with the Kindle. The Sony PRS-T1 doesn’t do that. It goes to black for every single page change I’ve noticed.
The PRS-T1 remembers where you left off reading, but you can make other bookmarks by touching the upper right corner to “dogear” the page. You can even leave a note with the bookmark to remind you why you marked the page. You can highlight text, and you can leave handwritten or typed notes with the highlights. You can even handwrite a note directly over the page. You’ll be able to search for your notes within a book. You can also search for a keyword or phrase within a book.
There are eleven dictionaries stored in the PRS-T1, and you choose one to be the default dictionary used when you look up a word by tapping it while reading a book. The dictionaries include the New Oxford American Dictionary, the Oxford Dictionary of English, and 9 bilingual dictionaries. You cannot add additional dictionaries to the reader. You can also access the selected dictionary directly from the home page and enter words for lookup or browse, just as you can with a paper dictionary.
There are actually two pages of options in Home. Before we discuss them, I’ll mention my biggest quibble with the reader. You always swipe the screen to turn pages – everywhere but in the menus. There are buttons at the bottom of the home and some menu pages that you have to tap to change pages. I don’t know why these pages can’t follow the normal protocols.
The first home page shows the last book you were reading at the top. Touch the book’s cover to open up the book and return to the place where you left off reading. The next row shows the three books most recently added to your reader; the New badge indicates that you haven’t opened these books yet. Other buttons let you see a complete listing of all the books you have on the reader, the periodicals (magazines and newspapers which are purchased from the Reader Store) on your reader, and the collections (book categories which can be created and populated either in the reader or on your computer using the Reader application). You can also open up the Reader Store for shopping or downloading.
The second page is where you’ll be able to access your music files or your pictures. This is where you find the setup options for the reader. You can also connect to the public library through the Overdrive Media console to checkout and download books, get Google books, or go straight to a list of all your purchased content at the Reader Store.
There’s also an internet browser; it’s slightly better than the one on the Kindle, but it won’t win any speed prizes. The images are clear enough, and you can use the pinch gestures to zoom in or out for a better view. You actually use this (indirectly) when you checkout library books, so it’s not completely useless. I’ll have to be desperate before I’ll just surf the internet with this browser, though.
Checking out books is easy, albeit a bit slow. You’ll go to your library through the Overdrive Media Console and log in with your library card number. You’ll be able to search for books and check them out easily enough, then you’ll have to download them with the Overdrive download option. Once they’re downloaded (directly) onto your reader, they’ll appear and act just as any other book – you can search, take notes, highlight, bookmark, etc. They’ll have a little time-left counter beside them in the book list so you’ll know how long you have left before the book automatically checks itself in. You can also turn it in manually if you finish it before your time period is up. As a note, you can search for a book within the complete book list, and you can sort books by title, author, date, etc.
I’ve already mentioned the notes – both typed and handwritten – you can add within books. You can use the All Notes option on the 2nd Home page to see all the notes you’ve created within the books on your reader. You can search within this list to find the note of interest, then tap it and jump directly to it within its book. You can also leave notes to yourself outside of your books. They can be handwritten (or drawn) or typed.
The question that everybody wants answered is “how does it handle PDFs?” The PRS-T1 does work with PDF files. The first picture shows how it looks with standard settings. If you use the pinch gestures to zoom in on the PDF, you won’t be able to read it because it will be grainy and choppy. If you use the font size adjustment, you can resize the font and the text will be very legible. Reflow will cause a page numbering artifact – multiple pages will show the same number until you have paged through all the information on that original page. Reflow doesn’t always handle the images properly, though. The third image is all I could see of the original illustration. I did find that I could pinch-zoom in on the image in the original format to see more details, but the images did get fuzzier as I zoomed in. Also, I noticed that page turns were slower with this PDF file that with the ePub files.
To indicate how much internal storage the PRS-T1 has, I have 494 books, 4 images, and 2 audio files, and various notes on my reader and I still have more than 65% of the 1.4GB internal storage free. I won’t have to worry about putting books on a microSD card, so I won’t have to worry about the card usage reducing the reader’s performance and battery life.
Apparently Sony has replaced their three previous models with the Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1), because it’s the only reader I see on their site. I think this is a really good reader and combines portability of the previous PRS-350 and PRS-650 models with the Wi-Fi connectivity of the PRS-950. I think the reader is a good size, but it would be a little easier to hold in a case. It also needs a light source for reading in a dark room. (Read my review of Sony’s lighted case for the PRS-T1.) Sony has made changes – plastic chassis instead of metal – to help bring the price in line with other eBook readers, but I don’t think they’ve compromised the quality of the reader.
I like the Sony PRS-T1 Reader Wi-Fi and I find myself reading on it a lot lately. (I passed the Kindle along to my husband.) It’s much easier to hold for long periods than my iPad 2 is, and it doesn’t have other apps that lure me away from my book. If you’re looking for a good eBook reader with a clear screen, the ability to check out and read library books, and a screen you can read in bright sunlight, you can’t go wrong with the Sony PRS-T1 Reader Wi-Fi.
|Retailer:||Sony and other retailers|
146 thoughts on “Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) eBook Reader Review”
Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
Does it still work with calibre the same for building collections based on the metadata?
That is one of my favorite features with both Sony Readers I’ve owned. I do not understand why the other readers don’t do the same thing.
Really, of all the readers, Sony has the best interface.
@Ty I’m sorry but I don’t use calibre, so I can’t answer your question.
I have just bought this EReader and it is the first one I have owned. Find it difficult to get any info on how to use it. I go to the reader service and it tells me it is coming soon I have tried the others and it says the same. I bought it thinking it had a light as I read mostly through the night but it has no light this is a must. Where can I read your info on the case and light please.
@joyce There’s a user’s manual already in your reader. Mine came with only 2 or 3 books on it, so it was easy to find the manual in the book list. Just touch the picture of the cover to open it up.
I’ll have the lighted case review posted in a day or two. I agree that a lighted cover is a most for all eInk readers. I just ordered the lighted cover at the same time I ordered the Sony PRS-T1 because I knew I’d need it.
@Ty I believe a Sony T-1 driver was added to Calibre v0.8.22. Supposedly works for building collections from Calibre tags, though I have not yet tested it with hubby’s T-1.
I want a T-1 for myself because of the screen contrast and more font size choices and to carry around while I leave my Sony 950 for home reading, but can’t decide on color. Leaning towards white after seeing Janet’s nice pix of hers!
@joyce The lighted cover will really help for reading at night. All e-ink model readers need a light of some sort for night reading. This is no different than with a paper book! The lighted cover might be found at BestBuy or on the SonyStyle site. I bought one for hubby when I ordered his T-1 and he has liked it! Very sleek and slim, not bulky and the light is very convenient to use.
@joyce My review of the lighted cover for the PRS-T1 is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
@Cynthia I bought both my reader and cover from Amazon.
Not so fast… My PRS-700 has an integrated light. And if you had one you would know why they that is the only Sony Reader with a built in light. 🙂 I DO like the functionality, but the light is not very uniform, and the extra distance impacts the sharpness of the e-ink.
@Bryan The 700 had the lights, but they were still external lights. I thought the screen was very hard to read on the 700.
I swear my favorite Sony light ever was the Lightwedge case for the 505. The lighting was so even with that plastic wedge. I don’t like the gooseneck cases for the last three models as much as I liked the Lightwedge, but you can’t use those with the touchscreens.
Dang I forgot all about the Sony ereader! Thanks Janet for such a great review. Now I’ll have to go take a look at their website 🙂
Thanks, Bob! I was surprised that Sony came out with a new model, to tell the truth. It’s a nice reader, though.
Great and complete review. Thanks.
I’m in France and the Sony PRS-T1 black is my 1st e-reader (recieved 1 week ago). Really nice to read any pdf reports or any ePub books (not forced to purchase on Amazon).
Few comments from a european user.
Keyboard: I found the best is using my thumbs to type as I do with my blackberry. More quicker and convienient than the stylus (sure i will loose it soon).
I really appreciate the embedded translation as I have to read a lot of english reports.
Sometimes the touch screen stop workining but reset button solve it.
Using landscape orientation and synchronizing my pro agenda on Google, quite usefull to have access on my e-reader. I can read my RSS with Google Reader too.
@Claude Merci beaucoup!
@Claude (or anyone) what is pro agenda?
I tried to Google it but came up zip 🙁
Sorry if there is an obvious answer 🙂
@Bob, Sorry for confusion. My “PRO(fessionnal) agenda” is under Lotus Notes (our internal Company system). I found Calcsync (http://sourceforge.net/projects/lntogoogle/) wich allows me to push it into Google Agenda. So with the embedded browser I could have access to. It is not possible for me to have VPN and direct access to Lotus Notes with the Sony e-reader 🙁
As this reader is androïd based, certainly some new functionnalities would be added soon.
@Claude I just opened Google Agenda I found on the a search to see what it was and it opened in a different window all in French, I think, asking me if I wanted to open all web calendar links to Agenda instead of Google Calendar, Yikes!
Now I know that (I believe) Agenda in French is Calendar in American- am I right?
I think this is where I got confused 🙂
The latest version of Calibre does make collections on the PRS-T1 based on Calibre tags.
Anyone considering a case with a light but not wanting to pay what Sony charges for this item might consider a cheaper case with a separate light. I use a light (when I don’t switch the light on in the room I’m in) on a kind of flexible stalk that clips to my (non-Sony) case.
A note for UK users: the Sony bookstore isn’t online in the UK yet, and may not be available until later on in the year or even 2012, according to the chap in the Sony store when my husband picked up his PRS-T1.
@Bob Agenda or Calendar…humm, should I use the Sony PRS-T1 embedded traslator to awser? In french we use “calendrier” for the list of year dates and “Agenda” for the book (electronic, leather covered…) where you put your ToDoList in. This in not exactly the meaning you have for an event/meeting agenda (subjects and timing). So I could take notes and by the browser have access to my… daily to-do-list or meeting-list at the same time 😉
Hi, Janet! Thank you so much for your detailed review, esp. the part about downloading Overdrive books. I’m waiting for one I ordered for the library where I work, but that is exactly what I wanted to know. I can’t wait to see how the Kindle Fire deals with Overdrive, too.
I posted your review on my blog (listed here as my website) and mentioned you and linked to your post. I hope this is ok. Thanks again!
@Shannon Baker Thanks for the kind words and thanks for referring your readers to The Gadgeteer. FYI, the newest Kindle that Julie and I reviewed recently can also connect to Overdrive and check out books – assuming your library has any in the correct format for Kindle. If you hadn’t heard of it yet, you might be interested in reading about the Overdrive Media Console app for iPads, too.
I bought this a couple of weeks ago to take on a biz trip to the UK. This is my first e-reader and I really like it. A big factor in my decision was the expandable storage and the native support for pdf’s. I am an engineer that has tons of technical articles and user manuals and this displays them fine including illustrations and symbolic fonts. I can also completely re-purpose the reader by swapping the card if I want.
There are a lot of little things that Sony did that impress me – the reader functions as a storage device for the PC software installation is one, getting the on-screen keyboard right is another (I think those little keys on the kindle are ridiculous).
My one minor nit so far is the design of the stylus and case – there is no good place to store the stylus on the current case. The cover doesn’t really close right when the stylus is inserted along the edge. I hope Sony fixes this in the future with a better cover – but I consider this minor.
I am also intrigued by the fact that is (although disguised a bit) an Android device.
@ian Did you get the plain cover or the lighted cover for your reader? I have the lighted cover, and I found that the stylus fits well on the front, just to the right of the plastic silo for the light. You can read my review of the case here.
Any idea how I can delete an incorrect favourite?
@Jan Go simply on the favorite list by typing on the heart icon on the right upper corner of the browser. Then keep your finger on the screen on the required favorite few seconds and you a window will appear with a menu to open, modify or delete.
Hubby and I have purchased 2 x sony PRS-T1 readers. All good so far but some books e.g I am Ozzy has pictures in the paper copy but none download. Another Oranges and Sunshine download to reader on PC but once you sync with the ereader some of the images disappear. I have contacted book store and they were grateful for feedback. They are going to contact publishers as they think maybe some aren’t authorised to be with ebook. The ones that have images that don’t appear on ebook I believe it’s the ebook.
Hi fran craigie I haven’t had any problems with pictures, but I don’t have any books that have pictures. Hopefully the bookstore and the publishers will get the problems straightened out quickly.
I just bought this two weeks ago, and while it is easy to use and set up, there were two things which bothered me. The first is that the battery life is advertised as lasting a month which is not true. In fact, I exchanged the first one because the battery lasted only three days but the replacement does the same thing.
I definately read for more than a half hour a day, but anyone who would spend money on an ereader would do so- however not 15 hours in three days, either! Also, the location of the SD card has moved from previous models, so it fits in the back, which is a bit clumsy with the case, and harder to access.
Can you buy epub books from other sources that can be read on the Sony? For example from B&N? Also, can the Sony purchased epub books be used on non-Sony equipment. I don’t want to get left with Sony purchased books and no way to read them except on a PC if Sony backout of the business.
Many thanks for any help anyone can give – and as usual a great review from the eReader guru, Janet.
@Richard I can help with this, as I have both a B&N Nook device and two Sony readers.
You should not buy Barnes & Noble epubs for a Sony reader UNLESS you are willing and able to strip the DRM (digital rights management)! If you take that extra step, then they are just like any other epub and can be read on a Sony or whatever epub supporting device you like. I won’t post any directions publicly, but you can probably find out how if you do some Google searching.
But, without that step of stripping DRM, the B&N epubs cannot currently be used by a Sony or Kobo.
However, you CAN buy ebooks from Sony and put them on a Nook! I did that a couple times before ever having a Sony reader. You need to install some Sony software to access their ebook store, however.
Sony Reader Store books are standard Adobe DRM and will work on any Adobe DRM supporting reader, including Nook and Kobo and others. Before I got a Sony, I used the Sony software to download the book, then I added it to Adobe Digital Editions in order to transfer it to Nook.
Many thanks. That is great assistance. Thank you.
@Cynthia Thanks for answering Richard’s question.
@Richard Thanks for the new title of guru!
Thanks for the review, it was very helpful.
I have never used an ebook reader before and was wondering, if I already have many epub / pdf files can I add them simply through drag and drop? Do you have to use the provided Sony software to add things to the T1?
Seems the price is decreasing from $149 to $129
@Henry Yes, you can just drag and drop if your books are DRM free. I gave my husband a T-1 and I loaded some books I had that I thought he might like on it for him just that way.
If you want to buy books from Sony (which will have DRM on them), you’ll need to either buy them on the reader using WiFi, in which case you can skip dealing with the software, OR you’ll need to use the software to buy and transfer them from your computer if you DON’T use the WiFi option.
You should also be able to get library books directly to the device through WiFi and it may also be possible to shop some ebook vendors through the browser and WiFi as well. Hubby hasn’t tried any of that yet, so I don’t know how well it works. He mooches most of his books off me.
I have a Sony 950 and I don’t bother much with the Sony software myself, though every so often, Sony does issue a 50% off coupon (good on non-agency books) and I find it worthwhile to open up the software and go get a book. But then I just download it to my reader through WiFi or 3G.
I use free Calibre software to manage all my DRM-free books. So I use my Sony and mostly avoid the software.
The top edge looks to be flat, why not photograph it in the upside down position then flip 180 when finished.
I am hearing that there is a “freeze” problem with the Sony PRS T1. Randomly the units are freezing or fast forwarding pages on a whim. Sony is working on the problem. Anyone here having this problem?
@Richard Yes, SOME of the units do seem to have issues and there’s been a discussion thread on that over at MobileRead. My husband’s froze twice shortly after he got it, but has not had any issues since. He has now had it about five weeks and it sees daily use. The discussion thread was speculating that turning pages by swipe causes it, however, hubby pretty much exclusively uses swipe for page turning.
Some folks are not having any problems, some are. Sony is apparently aware of the issue and working on it. I was sort of holding off buying one myself, but then hubby ordered one for me, so I guess I’ll soon see if there are problems or not for myself!
I have a suggestion for a ‘The Gadgeteer’ review that might be enjoyable and useful to us “gadgeteers”. As far as I can see no-one has done one. So here goes. We seen reviews on the Kindle, Nook and Sony eReaders – excellent all of them – but little detailed review of the desktop software that goes along with them. Agreed they are mentioned. But for example a consolidated view of what the software enables: downloading of books from, cutting, pasting, web view of highlights, categories, one page / two page views, exporting of highlights and notes, availability for PC, MAC, iOS app, connection to book sources.
Just a thought.
Long Live “The Gadgeteer”!!
Great review! From the pictures and the review it looks/sounds like the screen is really good. Just to put it into terms I can see, how does the screen quality (contrast, crispness of text, reflectivity) compare to the older PRS-505 and PRS-600 readers? The text on my wife’s 505 is great (I can read it in any light that I can read a paper book) while I find the 600 needs much better lighting to read.
I put my money down today and bought the PRS T1 in white, with a black lighted cover. The white does have less noticable glare in my opinion than the black version (that’s just on the frame / bezel, the screen being e-ink of course has minimal glare).
I hear from another forum that the freezing / page turning problems being experienced on some T1’s will be fixed by a firmware update from Sony “before the end of November” – that’s an official statement from Sony.
I recently sold a Kindle 3 (with keyboard) and I previously had a Sony PRS 505. The screen contrast and clarity if significantly better in my opinion on the T1 compared to the 505, but I do not notice any difference between the T1 and the Kindle 3.
The cover is a little disappointing. There is no magnetic clasp or even a band like the old Kindle covers (or moleskine diaries). But the way the reader clips into it is very reasurring. The old Kindle covers always seemed to me to be a recipe for disaster – though they never were.
I see the US Sony online Store has them back up to $149, but the bricks and mortar store in San Diego still has them for $129.
@Henry: I have a web index to my books (pdf and epub). The greatest feature of the T1 is that I can navigate in its browser and click on the links, which immediately downloads them into the library. This is the easiest and fastest way to get any books into an e-reader and is what WiFi should have provided in ereaders all along.
The worst aspect of the T1 is the case and especially the keys build quality – compared to the 350 and 505, it feels plasticy and cheap.
Still, I think it is one of the best e-ink devices out there if you want to take charge of your own ebook library. The only open wish would be for a larger screen size, but having arrived in the Age Of Tablets now, I do no believe there is hope for that.
The big reason that I bought the T1 (other than the very informative and positive Gadgeteer review of course) was its flexibility.
I need an ereader with e-ink because for me they are definitely much easier on the eyes to read over an LCD screen and they have much fewwer distractions e.g. other applications to distract me, and they have a long battery life and are light. But I also want to be able to highlight text and clip it out for other documents. The alternative is to highlight and then type it out in Word. Best to avoid it if possible.
The Sony set up allows me to do that better than other systems. For example you can do this with Kindle, highlight, sync, go to the web app, cut and paste. However, with Kindle books, there is a limit to the amount that can be cut and paste – which varies with publishers and you never know how much. Almost a perfect solution, but then comes in my next requirement. Portability. With Kindle, you have to stay with a Kindle e-ink reader. You can go to an app on Apple or Android, but you have just lost the e-ink. With epub I have portability between e-ink ereaders. But not always as much as you think. Books bought from B&N are in epub format, but cannot be read on the sony or Kobo (unless you strip the DRM).
So in comes non-DRM books. Thankfully most – if not all – of my reads are available non-DRM. So non-DRM epubs, work wonderfully on the Sony T1, and you can highlight and sync, and then copy from the Sony Reader PC app. Cannot do that with the Nook for example. It only syncs notes from B&N bought books and only gives 256mb of storage onboard for non-B&N books, though you can use the external SD card slot.
Wow, with all those qualification how on earth did I find a wife? But if you are listening “me love”, I found a jewel!!
But the Sony PRS T1 gives me all of this flexibility. And should Sony pack up shop in the future and stop selling e-ink readers, all of my books being non-DRM will be portable to another product. I might lose some flexibility, but it’s portable.
Therepy session over.
Another French customer with a black T1. Excellent little device, albeit with some irritating bits – however the core function of e-book reading is great. Don’t let me knock that. I’d happily recommend it and buy another. So with that over, let me tell you the bad bits:
– Reader Store…. Coming soon.
No it isn’t… since it said that weeks ago, and “soon” is not weeks!
– Google Books… Oh, that’s just exactly the same thing as “Reader Store” and hence not available (in France)
– The Sony PC app for syncing/loading books is… well heck, maybe it’s me. But as a hardcore s/w developer I generally don’t get too bamboozled by applications… I found it, quite literally, unusable. Totally and completely. I can’t even fathom exactly what it is or isn’t meant to do for me, but whatever it is, it’s not what I want. Luckily the totally wonderful Calibre is freely available – so just use that instead.
– I often have a few books “on the go” at a time. I’d really like a “current reading” bookshelf kind of thing on the reader for those currently being read.
So in summary: h/w and core s/w are great. Related s/w and net services are truly awful. Luckily one can work-around them.
– I often have a few books “on the go” at a time. I’d really like a “current reading” bookshelf kind of thing on the reader for those currently being read.
there is a way to do this via a small “hack” on the reader.
the google translate can be found here:
Can you use the current page being viewed as the screen saver on this reader? This is a problem with the others if you need to keep one page up while viewing a diagram or instructions etc while working. If you turn the screen saver off how does it affect battery life? Any of you guys with the Sony able to answer this would be greatly appreciated. I have seen many people trying to hack this feature into the kindle and nook.
@Jim The Sony uses JPG files that you have on the reader as screensavers, not the current page in your book. Use of a screensaver doesn’t impact the battery life because there is no power consumption required to leave an on the screen. Power is only used when the page is drawn.
However I need to leave the last page viewed on the screen. Hopefully without excess battery drain. I would rather the screen saver never came on, and just left the last page viewed on the screen and went to sleep. I would not mind having to wait for it to restart to navigate etc… I don’t want to get my hands dirty and have to operate the reader.
Just hoping that it can go to sleep on the last page.
Thank you for the lovely review Janet. Do you have any idea on how it compares to the new Kindle Touch? I read (and watched the videos) on this page http://bestereaderreviews.net/nook-touch-vs-kindle-touch-multi-touch-screen-and-hardware-review/ that the Kindle Touch screen is more advanced with pinching gestures for zooming in and out (changing text size) in reading ebooks as well as browsing the web. He says the Kindle Touch has it but the Nook Touch doesn’t.
How is it on the Sony Reader, Janet? Does it have that pinching gesture to zoom in/out on the touch-screen?
Also, do you have to always swipe or can you just tap anywhere on the screen to move forward?
Also how good is the scribbling? So does what you write become letters or get saved as images? It must obviously be easier to write with the stylus than type on the virtual keyboard, is that right?
Thanks in advance and really appreciate the time you have put into this review and answering people’s questions!
@Nancy Sorry, but I haven’t seen a Kindle Touch, so I can’t tell you how the two readers compare. Yes, you can use the pinch gesture to zoom in and back out in a book or in the browser with the Sony PRS-T1. That doesn’t change the text size and reformat the rest of the book with that new font size; it merely magnifies the page you’re on, and you’ll have to pan around to see the whole page. You can’t tap anywhere on the screen to advance a page; tapping on the page is how you select words for dictionary lookup, associating a note, and similar functions. The scribbling is responsive, but it’s only stored as an image. Writing with the stylus is faster than tapping on the keyboard, but you can’t write very small letters and have them legible.
Thank you Janet, really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question! Have a great day!
You’re welcome, Nancy!
I just bought my first ereader yesterday, and am wondering about the value of paying for an extended warranty. Would you suggest buying Sony’s warranty for this product?
@Nan That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself. It depends on how and where you use your gear and how careful you are with it. I’m obsessively careful, and I never buy the extended warranty. YMMV.
I have just read your review because I am now thinking of getting an eBook reader. I had been afraid that a 6 inch screen would be too small for my speed of reading; but I have been playing with the new Kindle WiFi I bought for my Granddaughter for Christmas. I could bring myself to like a screen that small.
I do have a couple of important questions and would be grateful for answers. You wrote that you have passed your Kindle on to your husband. Does that mean that you prefer it to the Kindle WiFi? The Kindle cost $140 taxed and delivered to Canada. Is the Sony worth the extra cost?
Also, I find the page turn buttons on the Kindle very convenient, and do not know if the touch screen is of value — but then I have never used one other than on my laptop and that sometimes sticks.
Many thanks in advance.
Cheers and Christmas greetings.
@Archie I passed along my Kindle for a variety of reasons. I don’t like the Kindle’s keyboard. I hate having to navigate around the keyboard with the 5-way navigation buttons to select one letter at a time. I much prefer the Sony’s touchscreen keyboard, but I would imagine that the Kindle touchscreen keyboard would be as easy to use. I haven’t seen a Kindle touchscreen model, so I don’t know if their touchscreen layer introduces glare. Sony’s touchscreen layer is invisible to the eye, so there is no glare or reflection from it.
I never minded using page turn buttons on any of the early readers I owned, and I also found the Kindle’s page buttons easy to use. The touchscreen model doesn’t really matter to me for page turning, but it makes some things that you do on the reader easier – finding and buying books, navigating through menus, creating notes, dictionary lookups, etc.
The screens are exactly the same eInk Pearl screens, so that’s not a consideration in my choice. I do like the Kindle’s lighted case better than Sony’s lighted case, so accessories may be a factor in your decision. There are many companies who make accessories for the Kindles, but only Sony seems to care about their readers.
I already have hundreds of Sony books, so I tend to gravitate toward Sony devices. Otherwise, I suppose the main reason I passed the Kindle to my husband was simply because I didn’t need both, and the pearlescent white cover I selected for the Sony didn’t look very manly. 😉
Since you bought your granddaughter a Kindle, you might want to use a Kindle so you’ll be able to put both on one account and share books, depending on her age. Even if you can’t share books, both of you using Kindles may make it easier for you to help her if she needs help.
I don’t know what the price in Canada is now, but I noticed that Sony dropped the price of their new PRS-T1 readers to $99 US.
Many thanks for your very helpful reply, Janet. I went to a Future Shop today to see what the Sonys (Sonies?) were like — and I found that I preferred the Kindle page-turn buttons to the touch screen. The keyboard is not really a problem because I would prefer to do everything through my computer. What would tip me in favour of the Sony would be the seemingly greater access to books. I believe that the Kindle can only access Amazon books. Please correct me if I am wrong about that.
Thanks again. Your site is always helpful.
@Archie Happy to help. Amazon is the main source for Kindle books, but I think you can also get out-of-copyright books in the Kindle format from places like Project Gutenberg. There are stores other than Sony that sell ePubs with Adobe DRM that will work with the Sony reader. And both readers will now let you check out books from your local library, assuming the library offers books in both formats.
Just found this page, and as a programmer, couldn’t agree more with Seang. Whatever were Sony trying to do with the Reader software, it is truly awful. I decided to slot in a micro SD card and store lots of books there, but the reader keeps syncing and the books seem to appear in the reader storage as well – or do they – who knows. Thankfully I see that there is an alternative – I will give it a try.
Can you print the notes that you make in the Sony? Both the typed and handwritten notes. I had decided on a Sony – but an elf brought me the nook – I’m very frustrated that my notes are stuck in the nook. I’m also not a fan of the proprietary thing they have going.
Any other comments on the sony vs nook?
Using an e-reader for me required a bit of a journey. Firstly there is the need to populate the reader with books, many of which can be downloaded for free. Next was the need to organise and translate some of the files, and edit the metadata etc. For this I started by trying various bits of free software, found via google. This proved to be a false start. Then I found Calibre through this web site, and was totally gobsmacked. What an amazing, beautiful piece of software; it does everything that anyone could want, and so easily, for free – brilliant. It is so good that I will certainly be making a donation to the developers.
How do I change the language? Looks like Italian and I only do english. Would like some instruction. Thanks
I was wondering if you could download Mobipocket software onto the PRS-T1?
Thanks for a great review! It helped me to decide to buy the PRS-T1 as my first e-book reader. Can’t wait until it arrives!
Blessings and a happy new year wish from Sweden!
@Bo, if you mean replace the firmware on the Sony with Mobipocket software, I wouldn’t know how to do that – if it’s even possible. If you mean add a Mobipocket app, the Sony is not a tablet, and there are no apps for it.
@Eugene To change the language, go to the second page of the main menu. The very last thing on the page is settings. (I don’t know the word in Italian.) Tap that last button in the row by itself. The top function should be General Settings. Tap that option. The second option on the new page should be Menu Language. Tap that, and English is the first option in my list; Italian is the last option on my list. Tap English.
Once you get the reader back to English, you’ll find a manual is loaded up in your books. You can also go to the support option at Sony to download a manual for the Sony PRS-T1.
@Emelie Thanks for the nice words. I’m glad the review could help you find the right reader for you. Happy New Year to you, and I hope you enjoy your reader!
Does anyone know how I contact Sony to get some questions about the reader answered.
I’ve asked in several site on-line including here – about whether/how one prints the notes they take. But I have yet to find a clear answer.
I browsed through the online manual – but no luck either.
This was the best review I found. I cannot even see all of the notes independently on the nook. I really want to exchange the readers – but won’t if I can’t print the notes.
For 99 bucks does one just give it a go? Wonder how hard it is to returned an open reader???
Hi, Does any one know how to delete books from the PRS T1?
I have checked the manual and searched several web sites but there is nothing about delteing books from the reader.
@Chris Hughff open up the list of books and find the one you want. Long-press on the cover until an options window pops up. You’ll be able to open, delete, protect from accidental deletion, and see the book info in this menu. Just select “delete” to remove the book.
Hi……..In addition to book, I am interested in reading magazine articles and would like to know how the Sony ereader handles digital magazine subscriptions? Although my main interest is in the reading content of magazines, print magazine have a high amount of graphic content i.e. advertising, pictures, etc. Is there a long wait time when turning the pages on this unit due to the uploading of these graphics? Ereader reviews seldom discuss this issue.
@ B Luther With Calibre software you can manage ebooks and e-journals. If you receive them in pdf or a lot of other format in your mailbox you can push them to your ereader.
You can also dowload easily news/RSS from a lot of websites (Wired Magazine, TIME, BusinessWeek Magazine, Newsweek, Financial Times, NY times…). You can tag websites or articles on web via Readitlater and download them for a late reading.
Wonderful review, but I still have one main question:
I currently have an older version of the Sony touch (PRS650?) and LOVE it. Was thinking I might like the WiFi option on this one so I don’t have to hook to a computer to get a new book.
So my main question is: I have 1000+ books on micro SD cards already, will they still be readable on the new T1? I’ve heard some other reviews say that with the new software/format you can’t access the older stuff on the new reader. It doesn’t make sense to not make them backward compatible, but I’m not very tech savvy so can you confirm or deny that rumor.
@Dawn I should imagine any file you have that you can read on the PRS-650 should be readable on the PRS-T1. The review has a list of file types that are compatible with the PRS-T1, so you can check your file types against that list.
@Dawn My wife replaced her old PRS-505 with the new PRS-T1 and our library of books was completely compatible with the new reader (and I’m still using my PRS600 on the same library).
The only difficulty I had getting her new reader to work was that it was not compatible with the old reader library software on the computer. Once I upgraded to the new reader for PC software then everything worked fine.
My PC is in the shop for a few weeks getting an overhaul. I thought I would be able to put my sony ereader into hubbys computer and use it from there. Surely you dont require 1 comp per ereader. I plugged it in and “set up reader for PC” but it only opens his Reader for PC. I saw a google saying register both to one address. Have set ereader to factory setting went to re register it using hubbys email address and it cant accept it. We had authorised both so we could share each others library but my physical library is away at the shop so I cant access anything. I re dowloaded my books onto his computer from the bookstore but now cant get them on my reader. Thought I would use the browser on erader itsself but my “O” isn’t calibrated correctly so its un useable it only spits out an I or a P. ggrrrr
Why do the books expire that you buy online through your PC transfer to ereader? My books are saying expired when I try to open them.
Thank you Janet and Ernie for the quick responses. That eases my mind. I’ll have to check my format, but at least I now know what to look for. Thank you.
I bought it last Tuesday (Monday, the banks were closed!!!). Oh well, I still love my “PADD”. I’m a Trekker and in appearance, it’s a lot like the Personal Access Display Device. Te PRS-T1 (black) was a pretty decent buy. I originally wanted one of those Big Lots bargain ipads, but they sold out (and the BL that I frequent is closing).
My main problem is that I’m not sure how to make my text / PDF books (I write amateur Sci-Fi comedy stories for fun) show up by alphabetically by file name. I’ve heard that you can hack the PRS-T1 to use Android-like apps. I’m hoping I can do that to get the functionality I’d like.
Otherwise, it’s still a great device. And, with Amazon, I’m hoping to get Star Trek skins to make it more “Trekkie”.
Great review I have one of the readers on the way and really enjoyed you insights. God Bless
Thank you for all the great information and knowledge. I have purchased a PRS-T1 and using an e reader for the first time. I love it EXCEPT that I am confused about why the SYNC isn’t two-way. It downloads everything I loaded/purchased on my computer into the e reader, but didn’t load the books I loaded/purchased on my e reader into the computer. When I went on live chat with Sony, they told me I had to manually tell each book to upload. This seems so counter-intuitive to me, do all the e readers out there do this or is this a Sony oversight?
My PC is in getting an overhaul. I want to plug my sony ereader into hubbys computer. How do I authorise it. Can you have 2 ereaders on 1 computer. I have ” returned to factory settings ” then plugged it in and “set up reader for pc’ but it only brings up his ereader and library etc. Getting desperate. Also why do purchased books after a time on ereader show “expired”
Yes Fran, you can have two readers on one computer – that’s what my wife and I do. Perhaps the difference for us is that we only have one ereader account so we share the same library.
As far as I know, each reader can only be authorized with one account, whereas one account can have several readers authorized with it. So if this is a temporary situation you may not want to deauthorize from your account. (I am assuming that if you are using separate pcs that you have separate accounts)
When my wife gave away her old reader we had to deauthorize it first from her account (using our computer), which also meant it can no longer sync up with her library.
I`ve got a Nook ST rooted and I`m very happy with it.
Sony PRS T1 have better screen quality ? (background is whiter?)
I being a 70 year old and trying to learn have purchased a sony prs-t1 reader I have purchased books which go to my computer how do I get them to my reader ? do I have to have Wi-Fi ?
Since getting my PRS T1 for Xmas I have had problems getting onto Sony’s site to purchase books. Is it true that I can’t download from Amazon onto my e-reader? I look forward to your reply. This is driving me mad!!!!!
@Fran It’s true that you cannot load Amazon books onto the Sony reader. Have you tried accessing the Sony store directly from the reader itself and through the Sony software installed on your computer?
@ian There are a couple of ways to get books onto your reader. You can purchase and download from the Sony store directly onto your reader, and you do need WiFi for that. You can also use the Sony software on your computer to purchase books from the Sony store, then connect your reader and transfer books from your computer to the reader using the Sony software.
Seems my question was missed, so I am re-submitting. Thanks.
Thank you for all the great information and knowledge. I have purchased a PRS-T1 and using an e reader for the first time. I love it EXCEPT that I am confused about why the SYNC isn’t two-way. It downloads everything I loaded/purchased on my computer into the e reader, but didn’t load the books I loaded/purchased on my e reader into the computer. When I went on live chat with Sony, they told me I had to manually tell each book to upload. This seems so counter-intuitive to me, do all the e readers out there do this or is this a Sony oversight?
@Heather Sorry, but I don’t know how other readers do it. My experience is exclusively with Sony readers, other than a bit with my recently purchased Kindle. You should also be able to download any books you purchased on your reader directly from the Sony store using the Sony software.
I bough this ereader and it comes with 3 books in French and also the manual is in French all 196 pages 🙁 I have tried to change it to English but no luck any help would be great. Thanks
@Linda Are all the menus in French? If so, it sounds like your language setting is wrong. Read comment 66 above this one for directions on changing the language.
The Sony Touch is all I want in an ereader. Can someone tell me how to access the SD card content. The User Guide doesn’t give much information about it, except that you choose which memory you want before downloading. The Reader screen page, when connected to the PC doesn’t allow for drag and drop from the internal memory to the SC card.
@Frank I’m not sure if you’re talking about the Sony PRS-600 Touch, the Sony PRS-650 Touch, or the Sony PRS-T1 WiFi in this review. With the PRS-T1, you can just drag and drop files onto the SD card when you have the reader connected to your computer via USB. With the computer’s reader software (version 1.1.04.11231 that I have installed on my Mac), you connect the reader, put it into data transfer mode, and then you’ll see two new tabs at the top: Reader and SD Card. When you see those showing, you can just go into the My Library Tab and highlight the books you want on the card, then go to the bottom of the screen and click More Actions. One of the options is to sync the selected books with the SD card.
Thanks Janet for your help. Will give your advice a try and cut & paste it onto my “cyber help” page (on IPod).
At aged 75 I’m beginning to need it. It’s all keeping me alert!!
@Frank Hope it helps. I agree that the manual leaves a lot to be desired.
If I want to use the browser to look up a map, phone #, to use Google, etc., would I be able to do it on this model?
@Judy N Yes, you can do all those things IF you have a WiFi connecton. The Sony PRS-T1 doesn’t have 3G, so you’ll have to stop at a coffee shop with free WiFi if you’re traveling or you’ll need a wireless network you can connect to at home. If you look at the pictures in the review, you’ll see a picture of The Gadgeteer displayed in the web browser. It’s slow, but it works.
Thank you Janet. I will enlighten the salespeople at the store where I was told that the browser was only capable of going to libraries and to the Sony book store. I almost chose another brand, but am back on track thanks to you. Sony should appreciate you!
@Judy N I’m happy I could help. :o) I’ve been writing reviews of my beloved Sony readers for as long as I’ve been writing for The Gadgeteer. I’m always happy to steer people to the PRS readers; the more people who buy them, the longer Sony will keep producing them!
thank you for the very informative review.
i have some questions if you kindly take time to answer:
1. since i have to read many articles from jstor i need to know whether it is possible to read footnotes in sony e-reader (T1) or not?
2. i need to know whether you can copy texts from a pdf/epub file and paste it somewhere (i would like to save myself from writing note cards for my research) or I have to type the text in another application (e.g. word)?
3. how compatible is the e-reader with pdf files regarding navigation, font size, page orientation, and readingin landscape mode?
i really appreciate your kindness for reading my questions and sharing the info
thanks in advance
@ebi I’m sorry, but I only read for leisure. I don’t read technical documents or textbooks, and I don’t take notes. I don’t have any documents like with footnotes to check to answer your questions. Try the forums at MobileRead. There are a lot of friendly, helpful folk there, some of whom can probably answer your questions.
thank you for a very informative review! I noticed that you took notes inside the ebook reader and in the picture one of them was “excerpt from …” Does this mean you can copy passages from within ebooks and paste it to the notes on the reader? Thank you for your help!
@Silka You don’t need to paste things into the notes on the reader because you can search for notes within the books on the reader and have them listed, as I recall.
Thank you for your very informative review. I have one question that I don’t think you touched on. Are you able to download ebooks from other book sites (eg. kobo) other than sony and the local library? I have an older sony ereader and you are able to, however I heard that this isn’t possible with the newest model. Looking forward to your response. Thank you!
@Linda I believe this question was addressed somewhere in the first 100 comments for this review. 🙂 You can buy books from other sites, so long as they are epubs and are either DRM-free or use Adobe DRM. If you can’t purchase and download the books to the PRS-T1 directly, you can still purchase them with the method you’re using now with your older Sony reader and then use the Sony desktop software to copy them over to the PRS-T1.
thanks for your detailed review. i made up my mind. i m going to buy sony prs t1.
@pleurat I hope it works well for you! What color did you get? I’m wishing I had gotten the red one, but otherwise I still love my reader and use it almost every day.
Just grabbed a T1 in white from Fry’s Electronics for only $79! I’ve been wanting an e-ink reader since the first Sony, but the price was always beyond reasonable. I used to use a Palm TI as my e-book reader and could not see myself spending MORE for a a one trick pony from Sony.
In between the Palm and the Sony came the iPad, which I wholeheartedly purchase and LOVE. Even for books. But the Sony PRS-T1 is so light and comfortable, and easy on the eyes compared to an LCD screen. I just love it. It’s a welcome addition, and far superior to the closed system of the Amazon Kindle.
ALL of my .txt books from my Palm copied right over, and all of my .epub from my iPad too!!
Of course Amazon is making their system even MORE CLOSED with the new topaz DRM. Pushing me further away from Amazon.
Thank You Sony!
I’m considering getting the Sony PRS-T1 but have a couple of questions I’m hoping you may answer. 1) is the screen in color? 2) can you download and play games on it? I’m thinking of this for my 7 yr. old granddaughter. Your help is greatly appreciated as I couldn’t find answers on any forum.
@Joyce The screen isn’t in color. The Sony PRS-T1, like most ebook readers on the market, use what’s called an eInk screen. It’s gray with darker gray letters on it. It’s also not lighted like computer screens are, so you can only use it in a lighted room or with a small booklight. It’s designed mostly to read on, although you can do a couple other things with it.
There are no games that I’m aware of for the Sony PRS-T1, and I don’t think that these eInk screens can really refresh quickly enough to work to play games.
If you are looking for a color screen and games for your granddaughter, I think you’d be better off looking at some of the cheaper tablets. The Kindle Fire is $200 (or $170 if you buy a refurbished unit), and it has a color screen. The Amazon store lets you buy books, get music and movies, and games and other applications for the Fire. You’ll only be able to purchase content from Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Amazon-Tablet/dp/B0051VVOB2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335197094&sr=8-1
The Nook tablet is also $200, and it offers a lot of the same features as the Kindle Fire. It also has games, applications, movies, magazines, and books, but you will use the Barnes and Noble store for content. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/nook-tablet-barnes-noble/1104687969
There are a lot of other tablets on the market, but these two may be easier to use because of their dedicated stores. Of course, I think the iPad is the absolute best, but the cheapest iPad is $500 and may be too expensive for a younger child.
I hope this information helps.
We recently purchased an Android based tablet (what all non-iPad tablets run) and I was surprised how clunky and hard to use it is compared to the iPad’s iOS. This is one of the things they just don’t mention in commercials.
The apps are also not as nice or easy to use as the iPad.
You can buy the older but still new iPad 2 for $399. It’s hard for me to recommend a $400 tablet for a 7 year old, but that all depends on grandma’s financial situation. 😉
Low quality product.
This is my story. Purchased the e-reader on beginning of 2011. One year not passed the e-reader started to malfunction. It goes to sleep mode suddenly, or shuts down completely, or starts endless cycle of reboots. I complained to sonny and they repaired it free of charge. Then after four months the same problem reappears. That time they want 100$ for repair…. I’ll better buy another reader for that money (not sonny for sure). Bottom line, after little bit more than one year 250$ worth fancy reader is completely useless. I stay away from sonny for next few good years … Advice you to do the same …
@ilia If you bought a reader at the beginning of 2011, you do not have this reader. The Sony PRS-T1 was released shortly before I wrote this review in October 2011.
many thanks for your review! Sony ereaders attract my attention for few months already.
I wonder if you can do these 2 things with PRS-T1 (or any other reader you know):
1. open JPEG image and draw on it with stylus. (then save this modified image).
2. open PDF document with some images and draw on them with stylus (then save everything till the next opening of this file).
@Eduardas You cannot edit JPEGs on the Sony reader. You can make notes in ebooks, but you cannot edit images in them. I don’t know of any eInk ebook reader that will let you do that. Sorry.
Thank you, Janet, for the promt reply!
And when you add a freehand note (not related to any book – like your signature):
1. can you open it and add anything (say your phone no.)
2. if you transfer this saved note to your PC – what file type is it?
(perhaps this could be the workaround to what I would like to do with stylus on ereader).
@Eduardas I was able to open up a freehand note and add to it. As a matter of fact, I created a note with my signature and my phone number, saved it as an image file, and I use it as my screen saver, as I mentioned in the review.
Apparently, Sony saves notes as RTF files.
hi! nice review…
I just want to ask (and this may be a dumb question but i just want to make sure) if i can copy my pdf files in here? the ones i already have on my computer? because ill be using it for school and although most of my wbooks are for leisure (novels and stuff) ill be using this one for academic purposes and it would suck if the book my professor requires isnt in the store… Thank you!
Hi again, Janet, and thanks for your reply
is it OK to send you RTF file containing an image and check if you can open it as a note, draw several lines on it and save as a note?
(my part time job is a teacher and I’m looking for a way to “digitize” some of my daily routines).
@Kahyehm Yes, you can use PDFs on the Sony.
thanks for answering again nice review 🙂
check out my blog please
Thanks for the great review. Can notes be added to pdf docs, or is only for epub docs ?
I have some doubts
1.Did the screen go black while turning pages, is page turning slow.
2.I have some pdfs that i haven’t buyed can i read them also, i have them on my PC.
3Does the reader work without internet, as i live in a remote place in India where internet facility is not available.
4.Do the reader have a landscape mode for reading.(horizontal)
5.If i am reading pg 5 of a novel and i want to go to pg 96 directly without turning so many pages in between can i do so(dont tell me that i can bookmark or reader rembers the last pg u have read).
some how I have my e reader on landscape can’t getthe page upright help me please
Is there any Ebook reader that allows the reader to switch seamlessly between the text & the end notes that are/should be linked to them? It’s simple with html but I’m beginning to realize that it’s not so simple when you’re dealing with kindle for pc etc.
Is there a way to tell how much battery time is left before needing to recharge it? Can’t seem to find it.
Bought the red one for my Mom, she freaked! Loves it! I loaded it up with a ton of books, but I wondered about using the MicroSD in future — can I copy from the SD card to the reader and then eject the SD card and have the books remain on the reader??
Any info appreciated!
PS to someone who asked if it works without WiFi – YES! Mom lives in the boonies with no internet (or computer?!) and it works fine!
Tracey as long the Reader has enough space you should be allow to copy from the card to the Reader.
I’m interested on purchase this sony reader, but i’m not sure if is a good idea, bec usually when i buy books, my and my sister read together. So, i was wondering.. is it possible to have the same account on 2 readers? Because my sister and i will buy the sony reader, but i wanted to know if is possible to use the account same account, on 2readers. Can u help me abt tht, please? ^^
@Ligia Yes, you can have multiple readers sharing the same account.
Thank you so much for ur reply, Janet! I was so worried abt tht! ^_^ Best regards!
Thank you for a complete review of the Sony PRS-T1 e-reader. I just received mine and noted on the Home page was a title of a book and it said (over the book) “Continue reading” and I saw the “last read” date was in Jan. 2011.
It is June 28, 2012 the date I received mine and haven’t fully charged my battery never mind read anything. Could this be a book that perhaps a tester used before sending it to market, or do you think I have purchased a used e-reader when it was supposed to be new?
@Con The Sony readers do ship with some sample books. They’re excerpts, not complete books. I guess that book could be one of the samples. I don’t remember how mine was when I first opened the reader up. Sorry, but I don’t know any way you can tell if used unless it has several full books, perhaps.
Thank you Janet.
Yes, there were 3 “new” books on the front home page which were excerpts. These were in the middle section of the home screen called ” Recently Added”, but on the top section of the home screen is a section entitled: “Continue Reading” which appears someone had loaded it and began reading. I believe it had 189 pages which is a lot more than the excerpts here at 47 pages.
I also found in the “Books” section another book that was not labeled excerpt and that also has 122 pages.
I have found that my Sony e-reader is weak, it was first unable to identify my wireless router, but showed neighbors. When we try to use it to browse the text jumps and jitters.
This looks like a good reader but and extremely poor web browser…in which case Sony should not sell it for it browser capabilities and lower their price.
What do you think?
@Con Sony markets the PRS-T1 as an ebook reader. They don’t promote it’s web-browsing abilities, because this device isn’t a tablet. The WiFi capabilities were added so you’d be able to access their ebook store from anywhere without first connecting to a computer. They added the browser so you could check your email or do a quick search for something, since you’d be connected to the internet anyway. I think the price is pretty reasonable, considering the quality of the reader. The first reader I bought, which was the very first Sony PRS-500, was on sale at $300 – marked down from $350. I was thrilled with it and thought it was worth the price then. Even though I spend most of my time reading on my iPad now, I still think the Sony PRS-T1 is great for slipping in my purse and taking along anywhere.
I have a prs-950 and love it to death but am kicking around about getting a secondary system in the form of the t1 reader to haul around so that my 950 last a little longer in the world of electronic that do not like to be jarred, shaken, rattled or rolled. Like you the wi-fi is not a plus, I like getting the books threw my mainframe ie. desktop computer. Then moving them to my reader via calibra of all programs.
I only use the software reader library for down loading from the sony store then move it threw calibra for better metadata tied to the book into the ereader and Reader for PC that I read on when using desktop and the laptop. If I where to get the t1 could I use the reader library already on my system and not have to put the new sony software on due to the fact am running very older edition of XP home edition service pack 2. And I heard the new software is kind of screwy and not liking to play with older programs. I would like to not put a new software that may not want to play nice with the other already happily integrated programs on if do not have to. So do you think I can get away with just using the older reader library already on with the t1 or will it try to mandetoryly put it on because that is the only way it will work. My computer is too old really to try to update the os system and I’m about a year away from affording a new system still. Thanks much if you could help with this question I have searched all over the internet looking for answer but no one is asking this one question.
@Helen According to Sony support, the PRS-T1 will not work with earlier versions of the reader library software. http://www.kb.sony.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&externalId=C1024906&fes=true&mdl=PRST1RC
Very interesting review. I just bought the T2 for my daughter. I thought I had read somewhere that it had audio built in for MP3. My daughter says that it doesn’t have audio. Could you explain the ‘unsecured audio’ mentioned in the specifications of your review.
This is a review of the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) eBook and not the newer PRS-T2 which doesn’t have audio at all, none nada… Why I do not know…
@Beryl Bob is correct. This review is for last year’s model, the PRS-T1. It did allow you to play unsecured audio files, meaning they did not have special protections placed on them that prohibited you from playing them on other companies’ players. I haven’t reviewed the newest model from Sony, but it does appear that Sony finally dropped the audio player from their readers.
I really like this ereadr by sony. only problem i had was the 32 gig sd card. I bought one thinking it will work as it says it support up to 32 gigs but I was unable to get the reader to read the sd content. Just thought I share this.
I have a PRS-T1 – with wifi and MP3 player capability. Can I purchase audiobooks and will they work?
Hi Janet et al,
I purchased the Sony PRS T1 because I like to listen to audiobooks and read books everywhere I go. I use the public library system a lot. You can download MP3s through your computer not over WIFI. I discovered much to my chagrin that the audio does not keep your place in the book and does not have any of the great features the e reader does for searching etc. I go between books frequently. For instance I will be reading a book during the day but at night will listen to a different book. Not having light makes it easier to fall asleep.
I am hoping you you will tell me I am wrong. If you can save your place please tell me where the directions are. You can’t even see the full description of the chapter titles and there aren’t any page numbers to figure out where you are in the audiobook. I love this e reader except for this and purchased based on the assumption it would work like an ipod or iphone when it came to audio books.
Is there any ereader that is truely designed for both and allows direct downloads from the library? If so I will purchase it.
Thanks for your help,
@Canastagirl and Lyla The Sony PRS-T1 was never intended for audiobooks. This is an ebook reader for ePub files, and Sony for some reason decided to put audio players in their ebook readers up to and including this model. The audio players would play music files, but they never had capabilities to treat audiobook files as anything other than just a music file.
Some older Kindles can access audio books from Audible, but the newest Kindle Paperwhite apparently cannot. I’m sure there are many tablets that can use both text ebooks and audiobooks. My iPad mini can let me access ebooks from the Sony, Amazon, and iBookstore using various apps, and I can listen to audiobooks in the Music app. I think there are smartphones that also can access both formats, and the iPod touch should also work for both types of files.
The battery of my T1 is already mallfunctioning after less than 2 years!!
70 € for a battery!
do not buy