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Preview: Sony PRS-T2 Reader

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Preview: Sony PRS-T2 Reader

Sony's PRS-T2 Reader.

Image © Sony

With August winding down, it looks like Sony's gunning for a summer blockbuster with its release of the T2. No, it doesn't refer to a remake of the second Terminator movie. Instead, the moniker applies to the tech company's PRS-T2 Reader, the latest in Sony's line of e-book devices.

Now, we've covered Sony's Readers in the past before, including the PRS 300, PRS 600, PRS 350 and PRS 650. For its latest entry in the reader space, the company continues to serve up a sleek device with that Sony look — which means an elegant industrial design with clean, sharp lines.

Display-wise, the PRS-T2 features a 6-inch E Ink Pearl display with Clear Touch Infrared Technology. I'm not exactly sure what the latter fancy-sounding technology entails but Sony is basically channeling its inner Borat and claiming that "it'sa' very, very nice" screen. Resolution is 600 x 800 pixels with 16 levels of grayscale and an antiglare screen for better readability in direct sunlight. The display is touch enabled as well.

Internal memory appears to be on the lighter side at about 1.3GB following the initial setup. Memory hogs can use the external memory slot, which can accommodate an microSD card with up to 32GB capacity. Media supported by the device is comprised of the usual list of suspects. In addition to protected ePUB and PDF, the reader also supports open ePUB, PDF, TXT, JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP files.

Battery life appears pretty impressive on paper with Sony claiming six weeks of operation with wireless functionality on and about two months when wireless is turned off. Charging time is two hours when using the included adapter and and 2.5 hours when charging via a computer’s USB slot.

For library bugs, the PRS-T2 works with libraries that lend e-books. Users can access the feature by tapping on the “Public Library” icon to browse available e-book selections from participating local libraries. Digital copies of books, magazines and newspapers can be downloaded from Sony’s Reader Store as well. The device features a built-in dictionary in English and 10 other languages. The dictionary can be accessed by tapping and holding any word on the screen. The PRS-T2 also has a notes feature for highlighting text and physically writing actual notes via one’s fingers or the device’s stylus.

Socially connected users will be able to use the PRS-T2 with both Facebook and Evernote. This includes posting an e-book’s cover or quoting a passage to share on one’s Facebook page. Early adopters who get the $129.99 reader at launch also receive a voucher for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Overall, the PRS-T2 appears to build on Sony’s previous readers, which have actually been offering features such as library lending before. The question, as always, is whether the latest entry in Sony’s reader line gets enough traction to grab significant market share from e-reader market leader Amazon and its Kindle as well as fellow rival Barnes & Noble and its Nook line.

SONY READER PRS-T2
  • Height: 6 ⅞ inches (174.6mm)
  • Width: 4 ⅜ inches (111mm)
  • Thickness: ⅜ inch (9.5mm)
  • Weight: 5.9 ounces (167.3 grams)
  • Display: E Ink Pear with anti-glare and Clear Touch Infrared Technology
  • Screen size: 6 inches
  • Resolution: 600 x 800 pixels
  • Grayscale: 16 levels
  • Interface: Touchscreen
  • Supported media: ePUB, PDF, TXT, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
  • Power source: Rechargeable battery
  • Battery life: 6 weeks with wireless on; 2 months with wireless off
  • Charging time: 2 hours via adapter; 2.5 hours via USB connection to computer
  • Storage: 1.3GB internal after initial setup; up to 32GB MicroSD card
  • Cost: $129.99
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