eBook Sony PRS T1

My latest gadget is an e-book, the Sony PRS T1, bought the 29th December 2011

I already have an e-book, a Sony PRS 500 that I bought at least 4 or 5 years ago, but this model is unable to read epub books which seems to be the standard these days and also is also unable to connect with Windows 7, so it’s now become a paper weight collecting dust on my desk

I bought the Sony PRS T1 as it has a touch screen as well as buttons to turn the pages, the nearest competitor here in France is the Kindle (it can’t read epub books), and the touch screen version hasn’t arrived yet in France yet, the Nook is USA only, there are other models around but I found them of no interest to me.

Unwrapping the PRS T1 finds a nice looking reader, I bought the white one (it comes in white, red or black) I had read a couple of critics concerning the black version showing  up finger marks on the plastic frame,.

The frame as I said is plastic, rather than metal on the old PRS 500 (that I have but no longer use as it can’t read epub), not quite as nice but it’s OK, the ebooks sits nicely in one hand as it’s very light, 168 gms, the screen is very clear and pages are a joy to read, turning the pages are great, just a quick swipe of a thumb or finger on the screen and the pages turns all on its own, or of course you can use the physical buttons.

Its comes with two books installed, these are of little interest as they have fallen into the public domain and you have probably already read them.

I have an account with the Sony reader store because of the PRS 500, so once I found my password I reconnected, updated my account details and was ready to buy and download a book. For info the Sony site in France and other European countries is not up and running yet, they seem to be late in doing this, so I logged to the .com giving them a USA address, as I tend to still read in English this obviously is fine for me, but obviously not for a French person looking to read in his native language.

Using the wi-fi connexion with the T1, is easy and straight forward to set up, though it’s a little slow, but as you not using all the time, this is no big hassle, so I logged on to the reader site, found a book that I was looking for and downloaded it directly to the e-book, this is fast, probably taking about a minute or two in all, you can do this via the PC as well but I wanted to test the wi-fi download speed

The T1 is like the older PRS 500, you read, you turn it off, you come back, it remembers where you were, and if need be to you can mark the page so that you can switch books, come back to the older one and find the book mark, this is simple and works well.

Because of the touch screen you can highlight words that you don’t understand and look up them up in the dictionary, or look them up on Wikipedia, the dictionary works well, and there are many to choose from, English , American etc. Wikipedia works fine, but anything that is linked to the web is rather slow because  the wi-fi needs to reconnect (to save the  battery this disconnects after a pre-set time) web pages are quite slow in showing, this is of little interest to me so I rarely use it, I’ve read that most ebooks are slow when it concerns using the web, after all it’s not a tablet.

The Sony reader software for the PC works OK, as I have very few ebooks so far I’m unable to test it with many books, but so far so good, it lets you connect to their site to choose and download books via the PC if you prefer, again I haven’t really used it much yet, but the first test and the book that I downloaded worked fine.

There is a lot of talk about a free software called Calibre, I have downloaded it and am trying it, its seems to be very useful as you can use it to look for books and it will find all the sites that sell the ebook that you are looking for and show you the cheapest and also the version of the download, epub, kindle, nook etc, this is useful as certain sites sell the same e-book but double the price, so this is really useful and  I reckon that this can and will replace the Sony PC software in time.

When connecting the PRS T1 to the PC reader software by USB you will get a message tell you if there is a firmware update available, installing it is a piece of cake, just follow the on-screen instructions, the latest at the time of writing this is xxx.11140, which can be downloaded from http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/model-home.pl?mdl=PRST1BC&template_id=1®ion_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab

The firmware update improved the flickering when connection to web sites, though there is still to much of this, but again I don’t use this reader to go online except to buy a e-book, so again I can live with this.

For the moment here are my first thoughts on the T1 reader, I like it, it’s light, easy to use, typically Sony which is sexy and built well, so far so good

Update 22 Febuary 2012

I have now read four books with the PRS T1, so far so good, the battery last for ever, in fact I have only charged it once since I bought it, I have no real gripes with it, except maybe I find that that leaving a page mark, by clicking on the upper right can sometimes turn a page rather than leaving the book mark,and going into menus is a little tiresome but thats about all. The screen is just great, which is to be honest the most important thing, its light and you don’t get tired while reading with. Only problem is maybe my wife, she keeps moaning as I’m reading more and so talking less to her , hehe ….

Update 25 July 2012

Still using the  Sony, it’s great ,went on holiday for a week, just loaded up a couple of books in it and just read on the beach and next to the pool, no weight in my bags (in comparison to having three paperbacks), the battery still lasts forever, the choice of ebooks around is great, and I can nearly always find what I’m looking for, Have read about twenty books now and have another six ready to be read and still loads of space on the Sony for more.

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