Has the Sony Reader Wi-Fi Actually Got a Shot?

Illustration for article titled Has the Sony Reader Wi-Fi Actually Got a Shot?

Sony may have been the first major electronics manufacturer to bring ebook readers to the US, but a series of unfortunate products saw them cede the race to Kindle and Nook. The PRS-T1, though, could be Sony's comeback kid.

The six-inch E-ink ebook reader is the world's lightest at that size, and its touchscreen display means you can annotate pages on the screen using either your finger or included stylus (the finger may be clumsier, but it feels more magical). The 2GB internal memory is good for 1,200 ebooks, while a microSD slot allows for expansion up to 32GB. Battery life: a month, if you read a half hour every day. But most importantly? Sony finally put Wi-Fi in an ebook reader. No, really. They hadn't yet.

Those are features you can find by varying degrees in the Nook Simple Touch, yes, or the latest Kindle. But at least it competes! And looks a little, well, angular and maybe cold but hey some people are into that. That is, after all, how books look.

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So maybe we think of the Reader Wi-Fi as a third party candidate, the Ralph Nader or Ross Perot of the ebook reading world. It's even got a niche platform: there's a limited edition version of the Reader Wi-Fi that includes a voucher that lets you download a book from Pottermore, JK Rowling's profoundly weird walled wizard garden. Enough, on its own, to make you jump ship from Amazon to the Reader Store? Probably (hopefully) not. But the device itself is different enough, capable-seeming enough, to make Sony part of the ebook reader conversation again. And that's a start. We'll find out just how much of one when it launches in October, for a surprisingly reasonable $150. [Sony via TechCrunch]

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DISCUSSION

warriorscot
warriorscot

Ive had a Sony touch screen 650 for a couple of years now and still use it a lot even with a tablet. The big question to me is why a reader needs wifi in the first place. Sure its occasionally convenient but at the end of the day you will have it turned off 98% of the time and really is it so hard to plug the reader or just remove the sd card to add new books now and then. I have a phone and a tablet for browsing the net my book is the last place I want the net.

The thing about the Sony readers you can have all your books with you all the time. Its generous with the memory capacity and expandable so you don't need to constantly make space on it for new books.

The other thing about the sony readers is they have better build quality than the other readers. I have friends with the others and mine is still the one that feels best in the hand and most natural to read. Its also had two years of hard use now I have had it up mountains, trawled through bogs, on the beach by the pool and a constant bedside companion the whole time and it still works.

The best thing is its not tied to any stores or formats, it has its own lrf format but epub and pdf both work great. And frankly amazon store is a rip off half the time I much prefer shopping around and getting my books for the best value. Seriously considering this as a possible replacement for my 650 if it dies and would reccomend it if its as good as the other sony readers.