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Bought it while I was living in Spain, back in 2012. I decided to sort of go back to school again, but I wanted to avoid at all cost the hassle of buying tons of books, and then not being able to carry them around with me around Europe, so I instantly thought of getting one of these wee electronic readers. Should it be a Kindle or should it be something else, like a Kobo or a Sony? After careful consideration I ended up choosing the Sony PRS-T1 and to this day I think it was one of my best decisions and purchases.
The 6" screen eReader comes in a very thin box, about half as thin as the new Kindle packaging. Nothing fancy. A square box, the reader, a software CD, the USB connection lead and an awkwardly big all-plastic stylus. Except the piano-gloss black finish on the front side, the design, while for my taste a bit "not quite there", it still is acceptable. Easy and light to hold for a prolonged time. It is a touch eReader, which is why the PRS-T1 becomes a smart reader providing a quite nice on-line browsing experience, notepad capabilities, easy access to dictionary and note-taking. It is very much an all-in-one device that you can use for reading, writing, browsing and listening to music as well. All that, combined with amazing battery life gives you what's still one of the best eReaders on the market. After about 2 hours of charging time, you'll turn it on and will probably discover the following:
- touch enabled: quite accurate even when taking notes, regardless of the infra-red grid technology
- 2 gigs of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot for up to 32 gigs of additional storage
- easy to navigate, quite self-explanatory operating system and menus, since it's a version of dumbed-down Android
- touch gestures work well
- listen to music while reading, browsing or taking notes
- text is sharp and clear
- loads of settings available
- can copy paste directly books and music to the internal or external memory; software while available on the CD, it is not needed
- battery-life: it easily lasts 2-3 weeks even with heavy usage
- quite easy to browse the internet
- the glossy front finish reflects light and can become a nuisance, also a finger-print magnet
- the stylus does not fit anywhere, it's in the way and seems like it was not designed for the eReader
- extremely slow on rendering big sized PDF file pages
- no built-in speaker, audio works only via headphones
- booting time, which is between 30 - 90 seconds, could be faster
- based on personal experience Epub and reduced in size PDFs work the best. Do not expect it to render or even recognize Kindle books, because it won't.
- it does NOT feature a capacitive touch-screen. The touch-screen technology works the following way: it's a regular e-ink screen that refreshes after every page-turn, that has on top a layer of infra-red grid, which when it gets disrupted by any object (not just your finger or the stylus), will translate that into a position on the screen. This does not stop you from being able to zoom in and out using the 2 finger, or long-touch gesture for additional menu items we're all so used to.
Since the release of the first E-Reader, I have been adamant that I will not jump on the band wagon and dispose of my trusty paperbacks! But, after come careful consideration, I decided it might be time to ditch the books and do it all electronically!
I purchased the Sony PRS T1, which cost me around £150 from Littlewoods, and eagerly awaited its arrival!
When it arrived, I charged it for the 2 hours that the instruction manual recommended and then had a play. The E-Reader came preloaded with a couple of 'classics' (I think Treasure Island was one of them) that I wasn't particularly interested in so I went online to purchase a few books to download onto it. This was when I realised my first mistake, the books for E-Readers are quite pricey, considering you don't even get them in paper! But, after a little searching, I found that you can download them for free from some places.
I loaded up my E-Reader with a couple of hundred books that I knew I would love and away I went!
The first thing I noticed about my new book was that it was not in colour, I had assumed that they all come with colour screens now but apparently this isn't so. But when you think about it, what do you need a colour screen for when all you're doing is reading? Plus, the fact that it does not have a colour screen and it not backlit gives you the feeling that you are actually reading a book, not a book on a computer screen. The 'pages' of the book do look like actual pages!
Also, as the Sony reader is touch screen, I found it really easy to skip through the list of books I had available to me and find the one that I wanted. The touch screen also makes it easier to flip the page when reading a book and to hold the book in one hand comfortable to read.
Since buying the E-Reader, I have read atleast twice as many books as I normally would. I think this is because it is so small and lightweight, it is easy to throw it in any handbag and carry everywhere with me.
Aswell as being able to read on the Sony PRS T1, you can browse the internet via Wi-Fi. Although this is a great feature, it does drain the battery life. However, if you do need the internet, it is a handy feature. (We recently went on holiday and used it to send our family a facebook message when we arrived).
The battery life it is brilliant. When you originally charge the reader, the instruction leaflet tells you to charge for 2 hours to full battery life. Once you have done this, the battery usually lasts 4 weeks (if you have only used it to read books) and then only needs another 2 hours charge to bring it back to full battery. This is great for holidays or when you just have the reader thrown in your bag, as you don't tend to get any nasty surprises and a dead battery at the most inconvenient time!
Overall, I am now a full convert to the electronic book! Although the price of most books is quite expensive, if you know where to look you can find many great reads for free! Also, the actual Sony Reader store seems more expensive than the other sites, which has put me off even browsing there for books!
If you read alot but find it a bit of a pain carrying around heavy books in your bag, this is definately the way forward! I will never go back to paper books now!
Like many people I flat out refused to get an E-Reader when they first came out. I branded kindles as pure evil and holed up with my stack of paperbacks, judging anyone who dared come near me with that damned electronic ink.
My mind was soon changed when I received one of these E-Readers as a gift from my grandparents. I'm ashamed to say I was initially ungrateful and didn't even turn it on for a good day or so when I downloaded one of the free e-books I got with the device. I was immediately hooked.
Granted, compared to some of the other brands of E-Reader the Sony is quite laggy but for what it's used for I genuinely don't think all of the gimmicks such as the ability to play video are necessary. It's incredibly simple to use and what I liked the best of all when compared
To an Amazon Kindle was when its plugged into a computer there is software that you can use to sort out your e-book library. I found this extremely useful especially as when I was trying to sort my mums kindle books out I got so frustrated at the system I had to walk away from it.
I have the red version of this and it's shallow to say but I love how pretty it is.
If any one is looking for an easy to use e-book with very paperback looking pages I would definitely recommend this.
I'm one of these people who have resisted Kindles and E-book readers for as long as I could. I love books. I love holding and turning the pages of a book, I love the smell of a book, I like seeing how far into a book I am by where the bookmark is positioned. I just don't "get" electronic books or E-readers.
Slowly but surely, I made my way to a Kindle. Ok, so I liked it. but I've yet to own my own, my lovely friends let me borrow theirs from time to time, as they're keen to convert me.
The only e-Reader I've tried to date is a Kindle and this, the Sony PRS-T1. I've tried reading books on my iPhone and iPad but I wasn't a fan. I've never tried the Kobo to compare, so really I only have one decent e-reader that I've experienced to draw comparison, and that is the Kindle.
My friend let me borrow their Sony PRS T1 to review - luckily it came with a book already loaded. My first impression was that it look quite cheap compared to a Kindle. The casing is made of black plastic, and it doesn't have that sophisticated je-ne-sais-quoi that I like my tech to have. It's quite light in weight, so felt comfortable to hold and read (another reason why I don't like reading on the iPad - it's too heavy on the arms to keep held up).
The thing I like about the Sony PRS-T1 (especially compared to iProducts) is the display. It uses E-ink. What this is, is the display is lit in such a way that it creates the look of paper. It's like Magic. There's no glare on the screen, thanks to the matt instead of glossy look. The screen display is much better on the eye, and apparently reduces eyestrain (although I get eyestrain from reading real books, but hey). Some products that say they can also be E-Readers (like the iPhone or the iPad) have more of an LCD screen, which isn't conducive to a positive reading experience - especially the die-hard real books fans.
The device uses touch screen technology, much like the iPhone or iPad. So the interaction between you and it, is relatively harmonious - providing you know what all the menus do. The screen has an 800x600 pixel resolution, and 6inch display. Not bad. It can also display up to 16 different shades of grey. So, it's all black and white, no colour - which isn't really a show stopper for me, if I'm honest. You can also change the text display with 8 different fonts to choose from - this didn't really make much difference for me, but if you have to read your text in Times New Roman only, then never fear!
Now onto the bad stuff... I was able to add my own document to it, to see what the software side of things was like. I transferred a PDF onto the device, which took a while, but got there eventually (lots of clicking and menu searching, then waiting, then clicking and more waiting) - it wasn't as intuitive or friendly to use as the apple or amazon software, it was quite cumbersome to work my way around. But when uploaded, the PDF file did look fine. Shame it wasn't as straight forward to get it there though.
The device supports .epub, .txt. and .pdf files - so it wouldn't fare well trying to read your Kindle books. The whole package just feels a bit dinosaur. The software is clumsy and slow. It doesn't feel as slick as a kindle - the page turning can also be sluggish. Sad to report that it also crashed on me a couple of times, and I had to restart - boo!
An interesting thing about the e-reader, is that you can play music on it, using MP3 files. Admittedly, I've not tried this - why would I, I have an iPhone, I listen to music there, if anywhere. It does sound odd thought doesn't it, a book that will also play music...I can't read and listen to music, but some people probably can. You can also draw pictures (it's limited though, no colour), although, why would you be drawing if you're reading. Is this an E-reader, or a general Tablet? To access the Sony bookstore, you need WiFi, when this is hooked up, you can also browse the web, but it's not ideal. It's slow, dull, and the interface looks really old fashioned, like the very first computer to access cyberspace...and of course, there's no colour.
The battery lasts up to month, providing you only use it as an E-reader. As I've mentioned, you can also use for music, so obviously the battery would not last so long, if you listened to a lot of music.
Technically speaking, this is a very good product - but something doesn't work for me. It just doesn't look as great as I would like. It doesn't feel like a nice bit of kit. It doesn't have that beautiful flair or engineering and innovation that I always get impressed by with Apple products. It doesn't match up to a Kindle in my opinion, and I'd much rather get one of those. They look better, and do as much of decent a job.
Not recommended, get a Kindle.
© MarcoG 2012
**Written for the Relay-ables dooyoo relay team**