Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch (PRS-T1) eBook reader

Sony’s new eBook reader is a definite Kindle competitor

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Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch (PRS-T1)
  • Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch (PRS-T1)
  • Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch (PRS-T1)
  • Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch (PRS-T1)
  • Expert Rating

    3.75 / 5

Pros

  • High quality screen
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Complicated interface
  • No built-in Google Books store

Bottom Line

Sony's touch-sensitive, Wi-Fi enabled eBook reader is a solid product, although you'll need to want the extra features afforded by the touchscreen for it to be worth buying over the cheaper and more intuitive Amazon Kindle.

Would you buy this?

When reading, the default settings of the Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch’s text is smaller than the Kindle’s but equally readable. We did find that the default text size had to be bumped up in one of the books we looked through (Campaign Ruby by Jessica Rudd) where it was easily legible in another (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson). As you’d expect there are plenty of options for changing the page size, orientation, font and text size, so it’s not a difficult or impossible process to adjust the screen to suit your preferences.

The speed of the Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch is OK, but not great. We found that the Amazon Kindle refreshed pages slightly faster but the difference between the two is minimal. The times you’ll wait are when loading a book (around four seconds), and when entering and browsing your saved book list (three seconds to load).

Battery life is excellent on the Reader Wi-Fi Touch, with Sony claiming over one month (we’ve read reports of five weeks) of life with Wi-Fi disabled — better than the Kindle’s month-long rating. Charging is done via the micro-USB port on the Reader’s lower bezel.

The main menu of the Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch has links to both the Sony Reader Store and to Google Books, but both displayed a stark ‘coming soon’ message on our test unit. We’re told the Reader Store has 2 million books compared to the Kindle’s sub-1 million, so prospective book buyers should have no problems finding whatever they need. We searched for a dozen popular and niche books and found them all on the online Reader Store, albeit having to do this via our computer rather than on the device itself. We anticipate that having the Reader Store on the Reader Wi-Fi Touch itself would make the eBook reader just as capable and PC-free as using a Kindle.

Sony Reader Wi-Fi Touch: Conclusion

Sony’s Reader Wi-Fi Touch handles the important job of displaying eBooks well — that’s the main thing that you’d hope for from an eBook reader. Its touchscreen adds a layer of versatility and isn’t a huge impediment in usability or additional price. If you can see the value in using a touchscreen over a five-way controller, Sony’s Reader Wi-Fi Touch is a worthwhile product.

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