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REVIEW: Sony Reader PRS-T1BC WiFi Touch Edition

Sony-Reader-WiFi PRS T1BC

The Sony Reader WiFi Touch Edition (Model PRS-T1BC) has a different look and feel than past Sony Readers. In the past, the Sony devices have had all metal chassis. This made the device a little heavier but solid in feel. Because of the price point and the metal chassis, it was easy to label the Sony devices as a luxury form of a reader.   This new model is $149, a much lower price that it’s 6″ Sony Touch predecessor.

This is no longer the case. The front of the Sony Reader is metal but the back is rubberized. The weight is reduced. The previous 6″ Sony Touch weighed in at 7.58 oz and this device is 5.9 oz.  Note to manufacturers: they do not need to be any lighter.

Whether this is an improvement is up to the reader. I kind of miss the heft of the old device, but I do appreciate the rubberized backing.

Hardware:

  • 6″ E Ink Pearl™ with Clear Touch Infrared Technology, 16 level gray scale
  • Memory is 1.3 GB after initial setting with an external Micro SD slot which accepts cards up to 32GB.
  • Battery life with wifi on is about 3 weeks based on a half hour reading a day. (Half hour a day?)
  • 6 7/8 x 4 3/8 x 3/8  inches
  • Three colors: Grey, Black and Red

On the bottom:
Reset, Micro USB, Headphone, Power/Wake/Sleep

Sony Reader PRS-T1BC bottom  inputs

On the left side: microSD slot

Sony PRS-T1BC Micro SD Slot

Formats:
  • 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
  • NOT COMPATIBLE WITH NOOK BOOKS
  • Seven different fonts at eight font sizes

Touchscreen:

The touchscreen is very responsive. An on board keyboard appears at the appropriate times, when you need to enter information whether it is notes or a password on the webpage.

Sony PRS-T1BC stylus

The Reader also comes with a very cheap plastic stylus that has a loop on the end for hooking it to something but I don’t know on what you are suppose to affix the stylus as it is not big enough to slip over the Reader itself.  The stylus design is somewhat of a mystery to me. However, you can use the stylus to write notes on the screen and it is very responsive.

It should be noted that the Sony Reader refreshes (or flashes white/black) on every page turn whereas the new Kindles, Kobo, and Nook einks cache a few pages so that the flash occurs only every 4-5 pages.

Home Screens:

There are two main pages for content on the Sony Reader. The first home screen shows the current book you are reading, recenntly added and then a choice between: Books, Reader Store, Periodicals and Collections.

It is very easy to create and add to Collections. You select Collections and then a series of thumbnails of the books are displayed with a checkmark box Check each book that belongs in the collection.

The second home screen has your network connections: Public Library, Google Books (public domain only), Browser, and a list of purchased content.

Navigation:

Getting around the Sony is fairly easy.  It has a touchscreen so immediate interaction is usually done on the screen itself.  Make a bookmark by tapping in the corner.  Highlighting is done by pressing your fingertip on the area which you would like to highlight and then dragging your finger down or use the “handles” at the beginning and end of the highlight text to expand or contract the highlighted area.  Once highlighted, you can add a Note, or search for a term, access Wikipedia or Google.

Notes can be added via keyboard or using your stylus to write notes.

You can go forward or backward using the two buttons on the lower left hand side or by swiping to the left or right.You cannot tap to turn (which I find to be a bit irritating but it allows you to rest your fingers on the device screen without turning the page.

The other buttons on the Reader include a home button, a back button, and a context button.  The home button returns you to the first home screen.  The back button takes you to the previous screen (not a previous page).   The context button changes given what is showing on the screen at any given moment.  While inside a book, the context menu will help you navigate between pages, access the notes, change the font, or more. On the home screen, the context menu will toggle the top black bar to show the time.

Browser:

From the browser, you can access most all sites. I was able to access my Kobo account and download encrypted pubs to be read on the Sony Reader. From Feedbooks, I could download public domain books. From Dropbox, I could download and access encrypted epubs and non encrypted epubs. IMPORTANT: BN.com Nook books cannot be accessed via the Sony Reader as BN uses a different type of DRM.

I was not able to download nook books or books from Gogole bookstore. I could also not access my account at the BooksonBoard site. The browser crashed frequently when trying to access the BN.com site.

It was far easier to use the Sony web browser than the Kindle browser but eink browsing is recommended in only the direst of circumstances.

From the Settings pages, you can access the browser settings and designate a different home page like your email account or twitter or even dropbox.  You can also control whether you download images or how the page will load.

Adding Content:

There are three basic ways to add content to your Sony device. The first and easiest is to use the Sony Reader eBookstore that is accessed via the device.  Content purchased through a laptop or smartphone can be downloaded directly onto the device without a cord.

You can also download content directly from Kobo or sites that offer DRM free ePubs such as Carina Press or All Romance eBooks or content you have stored in the cloud such as Apple, Amazon or Dropbox cloud storage.

You can also sideload content by hooking your device up directly to your computer via the included USB cord.  Simply plug in the device and swipe on the screen of the Reader when prompted.  Your device should show up as external storage.  Click through until you get to the “docs” folder and drag and drop your epub or pdf files into that folder.  So long as they are not Nook books, you should be able to access your DRM encrypted ePubs.

 

The Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Ability to write on the screen
  • Download books via wifi either from Sony store or other stores
  • Download books via wifi from Dropbox or other cloud storage
  • USB mountable harddrive to drag and drop files
  • Integrated library lending direct from the device via Overdrive
  • International usage.
The Cons:
  • The Sony Reader eBookstore. Content is slower to arrive at the Sony eBookstore site and is often more expensive.  There are fewer choices.  Many sale prices don’t show up that are available elsewhere
  • It feels a bit flimsy.
  • Can’t tap to advance.
  • Cost.  The Kindle Touch WiFI is $99 with ads and $139 for no ads. The Kobo Touch WiFi is $129. The nook touch WiFi is $139.  The Sony is $149.
  • Customer Service.  I was over at the Sony Reader page celebrating Sarah Wendell’s latest release “Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels” and many of the entries there were user complaints.
comparison between Kindle 3G Sony PRS wifi touch nook touch
I’ll be giving this Sony Reader away for the month of October as a thank you to the DA readership for using the Amazon Affiliate link.  (You can access that via the sidebar link).  I’m going to use the same system that I used last month and that is to reward a commenter.  The more you comment in the month of October, the greater the number your entries.  International readers are welcome.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

68 Comments

  1. blodeuedd
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 05:12:44

    Am I missing what the cost is? Must be tired ;)

    ReplyReply

  2. Danielle D
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 06:40:34

    I didn’t think that Sony’s readers could ever read Nook books?

    ReplyReply

  3. Estara
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 07:17:30

    Jane, a question – I notice here and on the specs page by Sony that this new reader no longer supports .lrf and .lrx files – which used to be their own format BeBB or whatever it was called.

    Did they just forget to add that to the file formats or can you actually no longer read those files unless you reformat them – and in the case of .lrx break the DRM, too?

    My PRS-650 has no problems with those two formats yet.

    ReplyReply

  4. Estara
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 07:20:15

    @Danielle D: Wouldn’t that depend on whether they are DRM enabled? No other reader than a NOOK can read a DRM-enabled .epub from the B&N store because they have a specially customised ADOBE DRM – but the nooks can read the usual ADE DRM and non-drm.

    I would think that a non-drm .epub file from the B&N store would be readable on all readers that support the .epub standard.

    However I’ve never owned a Nook or shopped at that site myself.

    ReplyReply

  5. Nadia Lee
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 07:24:59

    How much is Sony? I don’t see the price.

    And how does its touch screen compare to non-touch screens from other manufacturers? Just as crisp and nice?

    Also do fingerprints, etc. show up on the screen? Is it easy to wipe off fingerprints and so on?

    ReplyReply

  6. Vidhya
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 07:43:55

    @Nadia Lee: It costs USD 149. $10 more than Kindle.

    @Estara: I believe they dropped the two formats with this iteration. I know somebody at MobileRead tried and confirmed this.

    As far I know, B&N epubs are read only by Nook since they customize with username/credit card or whatever.

    Jane, how is the contrast? I saw some reviews where they mention the contrast is better PRS-650 and also the contrast can be customized. How is it? How is the gloss? Does it glare much (even though I know it’s subjective)

    I’m one click away from buying the PRS-T1. I know that calibre as of now offers only barebone driver for T1 but a specialized driver is in works now. Yay for collections support.

    ReplyReply

  7. REVIEW: Sony Reader PRS-T1BC WiFi Touch Edition – Dear Author | Wireless Fans
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 07:46:17

    [...] Review of the features of the Sony Reader PRS-T1BC WiFi Touch Edition eInk Reader. Other reviews of eink devices can be viewed at Dear Author. Follow this link: REVIEW: Sony Reader PRS-T1BC WiFi Touch Edition – Dear Author [...]

  8. Lisa J
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 08:17:52

    I’m really tempted to buy one. I love my PRS-600 except for the glare on the screen. Is it true there is less issue with glare on the new ones? Also, I have quite a few books in BBEB format and would also like to know if it supports this format?

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  9. Christine M.
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 08:30:38

    So, so pretty. And a $10 difference betwen the Kobo and the Sony isn’t bad at all. I know of a few Canadians who actually bought the Kindle, but I don’t think it’s worth it–we don’t even have a dedicated Kindle store, or access to the freebies. 99 cents books costs us $2.10 at least. So for me, it’s between the Kobo and the Sony. But it’d prolly be a Sony anyway since I already love my PRS-600, I’m sure I could only love the T1BC *more*.

    Ah, decisions, decision.

    ReplyReply

  10. helen
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:43:18

    I know you said it does not support Nook books but is there a way to read them at all on this ereader?

    ReplyReply

  11. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:49:50

    @helen Only if you strip the DRM from the nook books. Then you can sideload them or download the stripped DRM nook books from a cloud source.

    ReplyReply

  12. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:51:17

    @Lisa J There is absolutely no glare. In the past, Sony used an overlay to achieve the touchscreen and that overlay added the glare. This uses infrared sensors that cover the top of the eink screen and detect your finger’s intersection with the sensors. It’s perfectly clear.

    It did not identify BBEB format as one that is accepted. I think you can redownload those as ePUbs from Sony, though.

    ReplyReply

  13. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:52:48

    @Vidhya There is no glare that I can see. It looks great outside in the sun. I find it very clear. I’ll take a couple of comparison pictures between the Kindle and the nook color and the Sony device.

    You can customize the contrast: Orginal, Saturated, Details, Brighter, Darker, and Custom.

    ReplyReply

  14. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:53:48

    @Nadia Lee Sorry, it is $149. I can’t believe I didn’t put the price in the review. It’s just as nice as the other non touch screen from Kindle. Fingerprints will always show up but not as bad on an eink screen as on a glass LCD screen. Easy to wipe off.

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  15. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 09:54:20

    @Estara I don’t have any lrf/lrx files myself but it is not listed on the product page.

    ReplyReply

  16. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:19:31

    I added a pic I just took outside of the screens. Full sun. Click to enlarge.

    ReplyReply

  17. Lisa J
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:20:14

    @Jane: Unfortunately, I didn’t buy the books at Sony. Oh well, I’ll have to start converting them with Calibre to get ready for when I get the new reader.

    ReplyReply

  18. Lisa J
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:21:57

    Thanks for adding the picture. Now I really want a new one. The screen is so clear.

    ReplyReply

  19. Jane
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:26:55

    Just as another note, the plastic does come off of the Reader but as I am giving this away, I wanted to keep it in as new condition as possible.

    ReplyReply

  20. jayhjay
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 10:36:15

    I like the look of it. I am always a fewer buttons the better person. It seems to be an improvement over their past generation of models.

    ReplyReply

  21. LG
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 11:15:13

    @Estara: I’ve only downloaded free e-books from B&N, and I don’t even have much experience with that, so take this with a grain of salt. When I was borrowing someone else’s Nook to try it out, I just happened to sideload a free Nook Book that didn’t have B&N’s DRM. As far as I could tell, there was no way to tell on B&N’s product page that it didn’t have their DRM. When I tried to get another free e-book, that one DID happen to have their DRM, and so I had trouble opening it on my friend’s Nook. When I emailed B&N to ask if there was a way to tell which of their e-books had their DRM, I got an email back saying that publishers required them to put their DRM on all their e-books, which wasn’t really a good answer. The e-book I downloaded that didn’t have their DRM was self-published, so maybe only the self-published stuff on the B&N site doesn’t have their DRM.

    (Trying to remember the point of my comment…. Ah, yes) So, I don’t know that it’s possible to tell from the B&N product pages which books have DRM and which don’t, and B&N wouldn’t tell me (or, more accurately, told me that they should all have DRM). I’d say it’s probably not safe for anyone who doesn’t plan to strip the DRM or doesn’t know how to buy Nook Books if they don’t have a Nook.

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  22. Erica H
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 12:04:12

    I am glad it is lighter. One of the reasons I did not opt for the Sony was that I felt it was too heavy!

    ReplyReply

  23. Brian
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 13:23:10

    @Estara

    No other reader than a NOOK can read a DRM-enabled .epub from the B&N store because they have a specially customised ADOBE DRM

    This is true in a sense, but the Adobe software these manufacturers are using (Sony, Kobo, etc.) does support the password style Adobe DRM that B&N employs (the android app devs use the same RMSDK and both Aldiko & Mantano work with both DRM styles), Sony and others have just chosen not to allow it to work on their devices (unless Sony is still using a really old RMSDK for their software).

    @Jane

    I don’t have any lrf/lrx files myself but it is not listed on the product page.

    It doesn’t support them. They also dropped RTF support.

    I too like a slightly heavier device, but that will be different from user to user. I wish you could tap to turn pages, the need to swipe or use a somewhat awkwardly placed button was something I didn’t like in Sony’s last generation of readers.

    ReplyReply

  24. Kim
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 13:31:16

    Thanks for the review. I haven’t purchased an ereader yet, so I find these posts quite informative.

    ReplyReply

  25. KMont
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 14:01:02

    Thank you for confirming what I had begun to suspect about the availability and price of the Sony e-bookstore’s content. That’s the main reason I’ve given up on them and their devices.Just about every time I’d go to their e-bookstore, they’d either not have what I wanted or it would be a ridiculous price. Prices I understand are sometimes out of their control, but it’s still a valid reason not to shop there. I’m hoping to have a better experience with the Kindle Fire. We shall see.

    ReplyReply

  26. Susan Laura
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 14:42:39

    I have a 3 or 4 (or more?!) year old Sony PRS 505 and still like it a lot. I will have to look for this model in the stores because I have to hold each device to really form an opinion about it. Thanks for the review!

    ReplyReply

  27. library addict
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 15:45:05

    I think I will stick with my Sony 650. I love the touch screen, ability to take notes, the built in stylus, etc and have no real need for wifi.

    I think the screen may refresh every page turn on the 650 as well, but it turns pages quickly so I don’t even notice.

    I only buy agency priced books from Sony. The ability to shop for books at multiple places was one of the reasons I went with Sony. The only time I use the Sony software is to buy books. Then I load them in Calibre and use Calibre to add books to my actual device. So I have never found shopping at the Sony store to be a problem. But they often do not have the same sales as Amazon and B&N so that is a drawback.

    ReplyReply

  28. Ridley
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 18:10:55

    @Lisa J: I just upgraded from a 600 to the T1 and I love that 1. it weighs half as much 2. registers fingertips and fingernails 3. has no glare 4. is 2x clearer and 5. refreshes pages lightning fast. You can go from book to menu lickety-split in a way you never could on the 600.

    I can’t comment on the Sony bookstore, since I don’t use it. I buy from whoever has the lowest price, scrub DRM off and sideload. Since I’m going to do all this, wifi < superior collection management on the device.

    The stylus is a head-scratcher though, I agree. I clip it on the spine of the case cover.

    Oh, don't buy the a/c adapter if you have a cell phone with a micro USB charger. The charger from my Droid Incredible fits my reader just fine.

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  29. Lisa J
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 18:38:29

    @Ridley: Thanks so much for letting me know. I am definitely going to upgrade to T1. Like you, I don’t care about the wifi. I’m comfortable with sideloading and like being able to shop for the best price (since I don’t buy agency books). Also, I appreciate the heads up on the adapter, my cell phone charger should work.

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  30. Ridley
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 19:06:14

    @Lisa J: I’m waiting on the fine folks at Calibre to write a driver for it that supports collections to play with that feature. I only have a few books on it for the time being, but it looks like they made the tagging/collections system even spiffier.

    ReplyReply

  31. Dee
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 23:10:13

    Ooo, a new reader! I love the flexibility of the Sony. This is exciting and I may need to put it in my holiday wishlist

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  32. jeayci
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 00:47:42

    @Ridley: thanks, that’s really helpful, especially since I have an Incredible 2 and it seems we have similar buying styles. I have a Pocketbook 360 that I dearly love, but I’ve been curious and tempted by this new Sony. I’m kinda waiting to see what people have to say about the Kindle Touch (and Christmas!), but I’ll probably end up getting the Sony. :)

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  33. Nadia Lee
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 02:04:57

    Jane,

    Thanks for the clarification and info about cleaning up the screen.

    Will you review Kindle Touch when it comes out? I want to know how it compares to Sony T1.

    ReplyReply

  34. Nappa
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 02:10:28

    Hi.

    I wanted to buy the new Kindle but there are just so many complaints about its screen being worse than its predecessor that I haven’t ordered it yet.
    I also see many say there can not be any difference because these e-readers use the same e-ink Pearl display.
    But looking at a lot of pictures of the Sony PRS T1, it seems to me this has the best screen.

    I am a bit confused… So I want to ask this.
    Do you see any difference between the screens on the Kindle and the T1 or others which use the Pearl e-ink?
    I know it is really difficult to judge objectively but I want an e-reader with the best possible screen.
    And since I live outside the US, I don’t want to go though all the trouble of returning, in the case I can not be satisfied with an e-reader I got.

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  35. Laine
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 06:53:06

    I have a Kindle 3 and a Sony PRS650 and I find the Kindle font clearer and easier to read than the 650. My friend just got a Sony T1 and I now have to get one. You can change fonts like on my old fashioned Pocket PC. It is by far and away the best and easiest to read.

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  36. Cindy W
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 06:59:50

    Great Review!!!

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  37. BethanyA
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 08:00:41

    Sony can read library e books, and they were one of the firsts, so I’d consider this. I don’t buy books too often, I’m a library girl, so this is important.

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  38. Ana C. Nunes
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 08:18:01

    It sounds like a good ereader, maybe especially for international users, but really the price isn’t as appealing as other similar devices.
    Still it’s an alternative, and a viable one from the looks of it. I’m wondering if the metal front part is good for holding.

    By the way, thank you for opening the giveway to international users.

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  39. Jane
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 08:20:03

    @Nappa: The T1 might be a little clearer. I don’t have one of the newer Kindle Touches so I can’t compare those screens.

    @Nadia Lee: Yes, I will review the Kindle Touch and if the Kobo Touch ever finds its way into the local retailers, I will buy and review one of those.

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  40. GrowlyCub
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 10:05:20

    Waaah. They dropped .rtf support? Why??? I loved my 505, which died this year after 3 years of faithful service and I’ve been waiting for the new readers from Sony. That’s a serious con in my book because I converted .lit to .rtf files and I have a million of them… sigh. Otherwise, the T1 sounds fab.

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  41. Susan Reader
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 11:15:54

    I don’t understand why they dropped support for some formats, especially their own .lrf format. Why?? indeed.

    I’m not crazy about the home screen, which I think looks cluttered, and the menus have taken a step backwards when it comes to ease-of-use.

    I believe the entire case is plastic, except for the little strip at the bottom of the screen that says SONY. Definitely not as sturdy as their earlier readers (but how much abuse will it have to take, really?)

    On the other hand, it’s one of the best-looking ereaders these days, and the buttons are perfectly placed for me–very easy to use.

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  42. Jane
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 11:17:17

    @Susan Reader: The entire front is metal. The reason it felt flimsy to me is because it is thinner than Nook touch and it just has a certain lack of rigidity. That might be a good thing.

    ReplyReply

  43. Shel
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 17:37:07

    Thanks for the review, Jane.

    ReplyReply

  44. Louise D
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 17:52:41

    It’s always interesting to see what changes with each new version

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  45. wd
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 18:23:35

    I have the new Sony Reader Wi-Fi and love it. It is not flimsy at all. I definitely do not want any ads on reader to get a cheaper price and I will pay 10 bucks more for a better product. You get what you pay for! I have 2 other Sony readers and had to get this one. It is so easy to use and so great. I got the black one and it does look good but there is no glare from the casing or the screen. The screen pages turn with such ease it is amazing. I even put a screen protector I bought on it because I do that with all my electronics and it did not effect the touch at all. I love the direct link to the public library. I saved my specific library, log in and pswd so its so quick. I love all the free ebooks I get at my public library. The books download in like 2 seconds from the public library. I love how you just tap the corner for bookmarking, and tap and hold a few seconds a word and the dictionary pops up below and the choices to add notes, highlight etc. For the books, just tap and hold a few seconds and you can delete, orientation or settings. Just tap the bottom and the table of contents, enter page you want, or use the slider. I love the font choices, the pinch and expand, and so much more. I got the standard cover and its very high quality. It has a plastic casing inside so the reader snaps into it and is very secure. It is just so easy to use. I always go with Sony because I think they make quality products and do not just put anything out there and put thought into their functions and style. I also never have any anything but great customer service from them including a 30 dollar refund because they thought my case was going to be delayed but it was only 1 day. I highly recommend the product and will continue to purchase Sony as I have had nothing but great experience with them.

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  46. jeayci
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 18:47:44

    One of the things I love most about my Pocketbook 360 is how easily I can read with one hand, and switch between hands. I went to Best Buy earlier and played around with the Sony. With the security cords and whatnot, it’s hard to be certain, but it looks like one-handed reading should be fairly do-able with either hand, too. Has anyone who actually has one found this to be true?

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  47. Vidhya
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 20:50:53

    @jeayci: I have a PRS-650 with me which is *almost* similar to the PRS-T1 and I can confirm that one-handed reading with either hand can be done. I usually change hands when I’m lying on my sofa to do so.

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  48. jeayci
    Oct 10, 2011 @ 20:59:36

    @Vidhya: Thanks, I appreciate that! That’s exactly what I wanted to know.

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  49. Nappa
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 08:47:36

    @Jane: Thank you for the reply. I guess there is a bit quality difference even among the Pearl displays.
    I really want Amazon to clarify this issue because some people are really upset about it. And I also want Amazon to announce exactly when the Kindle touch is available for order internationally…

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  50. Kristi
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 09:24:13

    I have an older Sony touch (with no wi-fi) and it is really nice. It’s strange that they didn’t include a slot for the stylus, but that is one feature that really makes it worthwhile. Sometimes, an on-screen keyboard just can’t convey what a few circles or squiggles can.

    I’ve been drooling over the new models of the Nook, Kindle, and now the Sony with the built-in wifi to make the whole book-loading process faster, and considering whether its time to get one for my daughter (her physical bookshelves are just as overpopulated as mine are).

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  51. MarnieColette
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 15:46:46

    my very first reader was a psr -5 something — I loved it but then got an ipad. This one is tempting even though I pre-ordered a Kindle Fire.

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  52. meoskop
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 23:15:33

    You’re right about the CS. Until Sony ticked me off last week I was going to order two of these. Now I’m back on the deciding lines.

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  53. Na
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 16:04:37

    One thing I like about the Sony reader is that it seems to be much more ebook friendly compared to the Kindle and Nook. However, the Kindle remains as my top choice for a dedicated ereader. Still thinking, still thinking.

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  54. Alice
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 15:54:25

    I love my sony reader 650. I tried my friends Nook it certainly wasn’t user friendly. She tried mine and was going to return hers and get a Sony.

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  55. Frankie Skinner
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 16:04:21

    How many ereaders are too many? I love my DailyEdition and have 2 older ereaders…but I REALLY want this new one. Please draw my name so I can have it.

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  56. Lisa J
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 09:16:37

    @Frankie Skinner: When I buy this one it will be my third e-reader. I gave the first one to my sister and I’m using the second, so now I have to figure a way to justify buying this one. I already gave my dad, mom, and nephews e-readers (Sony for my dad and Kobo’s for the rest – the Borders closing made them too affordable to pass up). Maybe my BIL, hope he won’t mind that it’s red :)

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  57. Henrietta
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 00:56:16

    How does this compare to Sony’s previous touch pocket reader (the PRS-350)? I was really tempted to buy that one (I have a PRS-300 right now) but since all the companies started putting out touchscreen pocket readers I decided to wait on Sony to see what they did. This looks good so far but I wonder if its as good as its predecessor? I played with the 350 in the stores and loved it and I was just wondering if the T1BC is as good? What I like about Sony readers is that they feel solid but this new one isn’t all metal like the previous ones which is a bit of a disappointment for me…

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  58. Linda
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 18:16:53

    I have a PSR650 and love it! I have been waiting and waiting for the new model to come out so I can buy hubby one as he keeps borrowing mine.

    Good review and very helpful as was keen to know if there was much difference between the two. I had also wondered about the lower price compared to the PSR650 and was interested to know what sacrifices had been made to accommodate this. I think I can live with the differences :).

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  59. Stephen Hart
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:25:27

    I have a 1 yr old 6″ Sony touch that I like. Can the kindle touch let you tap on items on the table of contents or index of a pdf file and let you go there directly?

    Does the wifi Sony reader let you access mp3 files on your computer? pdf files?

    Does the kindle let you tap on a word and get the dictionary definition in a pdf file?

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  60. Jane
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:29:11

    @Stephen Hart: You can sideload mp3s and pdfs. The current Kindles don’t have touchscreens but Amazon is selling a Kindle Touch to be released next month.

    I don’t know whether the Kindle touch will allow you to tap on the index of a PDF file but my guess is no.

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  61. Stephen Hart
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 15:50:27

    That’s too bad the wifi won’t let you get files :(
    My ideal reader would let you browse the whole computer for pdfs, text files, and mp3s over wifi.

    I was reading the guide for the kobo touch and it just treats pdfs as a sequence of pictures.

    I need to look things up in various 900 page technical pdf books and the Sony Touch is great because I can use the table of contents and index and go there directly.

    I also love how you can turn on a French-English dictionary and click on a french word and get the translation.

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  62. Diana
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 02:30:27

    I have an older generation Sony eReader (a sony Touch edition) and I’m very happy with it. ePubs and PDFs are what I usually use as I use it for school documents more than books most of the time. I am so jealous that this newer model finally has WiFi and library access integrated in the system. I’ve been thinking about upgrading, though I would definitely miss having a stylus that slips into the body of the eReader. I definitely like that and the stylus was one of the key reasons I eventually chose to go with Sony.

    I can’t really figure out why they would make the front of the reader glossy vs. the matte finish, either, but I suppose it would be worth giving up for WiFi and library integration!

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  63. Richard K. Wavrik
    Oct 28, 2011 @ 05:20:05

    The Sony Pocket Reader is the perfect e-reader for people who want a small compact unit. Overall this unit is a little bit bigger then a paperback book so it does fit in the hands nicely.

    Pro’s

    Sony Reader Library software 3.1 works great on a Mac.
    Ability to check-out e-books from the local library
    Ability to download .epub, pdf, and .txt to the e-reader. Not all readers will support these formats so you not be able to download various free books.
    Ability to save books on my Mac’s desktop for backup purposes.
    Battery life
    Simple to use book navigation buttons.
    Not a touch screen (this is both a pro and a con)
    Small compact size (actually fits nicely in my inside coat pocket)
    You can import you own writing if you have them saved as pdf, txt, or epub format.
    Number of free e-book sites available on the internet (Google Books, World Public Library, Project Gutenberg, etc…)

    Con’s

    No built in wi-fi so you have to order any books using your Mac or PC. For some people like me the lack of wi-fi is not important.
    Not a touch screen (this is both a pro and a con)
    Zoom controls only have a choice of 3 of small, medium, and large. Other Sony models have a 5 zoom choice..
    Non-user replaceable battery so future replacements will need to be performed by Sony.
    E-ink screen does not do graphics and picture detail as nice as a paper book.

    The Pocket Reader is the perfect reader for anyone that is looking for an easy to use reader that has access to over 1,000,000 free books.

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  64. Jaylia3
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 16:00:29

    I never thought I would want an e-reader, but after I got an Android phone I tried several reading apps and discovered there are thousands of out-of-copyright books I could download for free. Just using my phone I read all 900 pages of Fanny Burney’s novel Cecelia and then I started borrowing e-books from my library. I was hooked.

    After doing a lot of research online and then going to stores to compare it with the Nook and Kindle I chose this e-reader and have been extremely happy with it. It’s small and light weight, and it feels beautiful with its almost satiny metal finish. The screen is amazingly clear, so bright I took it into a dark room to make sure it wasn’t actually back-lit, and considering the dimensions of the reader the screen is quite generous in size–the navigation buttons are small but easy to use and the the only keyboard is virtual so it doesn’t waste space that could otherwise be part of the display. I take a lot of notes when I read and the on-screen keyboard works fine. There is a stylus that slips securely into the side of the reader which is very useful for typing and even navigating, though most of the time I just use my fingers.

    Like all e-readers, the 350 holds hundreds of books. To keep track of them you can order the books into collections, which are like computer folders. Since I am usually reading several books at once I created a “Currently Reading” collection to make it easier to find them. One of the features I like best about the 350 is how simple it is to look up words with the built in dictionaries–you just tap them twice. You can also take notes, highlight passages and bookmark pages. There are 6 font sizes to chose from so any book could be a Large Print edition if you want it to be. It does not have WiFi and I know that will be a negative for some people. For me it is almost an advantage. With no internet distraction it’s easier to to have that lost-in-a-book experience that I thought might be missing with an e-reader. I believe not having WiFi also helps the battery charge last longer.

    There is now a Sony Reader app for Android so any book you buy for your reader can also be downloaded to your phone. It’s still a rudimentary app at this point. There are no page numbers which is a problem since the 350 does not have WiFi so it’s not possible to sync pages. To start reading on your phone where you left off on your 350 is not as easy as it would be if you had a Kindle or Nook. I haven’t minded that because the 350 is small enough that I just about always carry it around in my purse. I bought a case–the Sony Reader Touch Edition PRSA-CP65–to protect it.

    I chose the 350 instead of the Kindle because so far it is not possible to borrow library books with the Kindle. I have bought a few books from the Sony store, but most of what I read comes from Project Gutenberg, Many Books, Google Books or the library. With the Nook it is possible to borrow library books, and it does have WiFi, but though the reading part of its screen isn’t that much bigger than the 350 the Nook felt over-sized and clumsy to me.

    UPDATE/CORRECTION about the Sony Reader App for Android: It turns out there are page numbers you can access when reading Sony books on your Android. Tap the bottom of the page to display them. Use a quick tap because a longer press activates the highlighting feature. Page numbers are displayed with a bar you can swipe to navigate forward or backward in the book. The bar and page number cover up the last few lines of text on the page so you wouldn’t want to keep them there–tap the top of the page to get rid of them–but the Android page numbers coordinate with the ones in the 350 so at least it’s possible to continue reading where you left off.

    Currently Apple has not approved the Sony Reader App for its devices.

    FURTHER CLARIFICATION: If you buy the Sony 350 you cannot buy your e-books from Amazon–the Kindle format is incompatible with any other brand of e-reader. The easiest place to buy books for the 350 is the Sony Reader Store and from what I’ve seen so far its selections and prices are similar to Amazon. Buying from the Sony Reader Store is a one step process because it puts the books directly into the 350′s reader library on your computer. From there you move them onto your 350 via the included USB cable. There is only one extra step if you want to buy from Google’s new book store, or from Kobo, Borders or, I believe, Barnes and Noble. When you get books from those online stores you first download them to your computer, and then import them to the reader library. After that it’s the same process of moving them onto your 350 with a USB cable.

    I was used to buying my books on Amazon, and if they also offered the ePub format the other e-readers use I probably still would. It will be interesting to see if Amazon moves into that market as non-Kindle e-readers become more popular.

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  65. Paul
    Nov 13, 2011 @ 17:18:43

    Many thanks Jane. I was unsure which ereader to get… Kindle, Kobo, Nook? I was even considering maybe buying a Sony 650 second hand off eBay. Then I found your review…very well done. You have explained the t1′s features so well, that even as someone who has never owned an ebook, I completely understood and I think I could “drive” one right away. The clarity of the Sony’s screen compared to the other two in your pic was my deciding factor. I am definitely saving up for a T1!

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  66. Todd
    Nov 30, 2011 @ 23:25:21

    I just lost all of my paper books due to my home burning down on the 4th of the month. So I am looking to buy one of these ereaders and I am very happy to have found your review and I think that this is the one I am going to get. Gonna take a long time to replace my library but I think that most titles should be available electronically. Thanks again for the recommendation.

    God Bless You ad Yours

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  67. Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When to Wait | Dear Author
    Dec 25, 2011 @ 15:17:02

    [...] Review: Link [...]

  68. Ebook Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy an eReader and When to Wait
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