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I have been using my new Sony reader for 2 weeks now and now that I am used to the quirks of its interface feel very pleased with it. It is less straightforward to set up than the Kindle, but the ease of that is bought at the cost of being completely dependent on Amazon for sourcing books, something which I object to in principle, much as I recognise the quality of the Kindle and the cheapness of many books.

Since using the Sony I have bought from Waterstones, Google Books and WH Smith at the same price as on Amazon (though many books ARE more expensive on these other sites) and borrowed library books from my local library, all via the wi-fi connection. This latter source is particularly appealing to me as there are many books I want to read but would not dream of spending £5 on, even on the Kindle. As yet the Sony Reader Store is not online (due 1st December) so I will need to amend this review once I have tried that out. (A free programme, 'Calibre' has a function enabling sourcing the cheapest outlet for any book you wish to buy: it searches, displays and then you go to the site of choice.)

This Sony has wi-fi; a touch screen and stylus; built in bilingual dictionaries for 5 languages plus 2 English dictionaries (and no scrolling through using a rocker switch to highlight a word - simply touch and the definition appears from within the chosen main dictionary); touch screen keyboard, far superior to the KKs and even more so to the K4. There are 8 font size options, 6 plus the book's original font style options - serif and non-serif -, on screen real page numbering for all books, landscape/ portrait options and a really useful crop tool which removes the excessive margins on some pages: I find that I often set this for a book when the font size I really want lies between two of the options: the slightly enlarged cropped page often enlarges text just enough to make it perfect. (It DOESN'T have changeable line-spacing, which I have found useful on the Kindle to maximise legibility.) Many free books which were so cumbersome to navigate on the Kindle, are much better formatted for ebook, with contents pages often appearing where they were absent on Kindle formats. Calibre will convert non DRM books easily to the ebook format and contents lists miraculously appear in the new format even though hidden on the Kindle! Storage is about 1.4gb, pretty much the same as the Kindle 4 has available for book storage. Whereas the K has Cloud storage, with the Sony the device has an expansion slot which can take a card up to 32gb! There are options to control contrast and brightness, but I have found it hard to see what these actually do without pushing the selections to extremes and hence unreadability.

Note making and highlighting, features I thought of little interest on the Kindle where actually using them is a bit clunky and too awkward for me, is here a doddle: highlight, opt to type a note and the onscreen keyboard is immediately responsive. The 'page' can also be used to handwrite or sketch using the stylus: I've not used these much yet, but can conceive of them as useful, if minor bonuses. The 'pinch zoom' feature, which works well and flexibly, is very useful for charts, maps, diagrams etc, where the Kindle's crude zoom is not generally helpful. I am learning Italian, and verb tables on Kindle were illegible even with the zoom: on the PRS T1, the zoom is variable and one can move around in the zoomed page! Another feature which is useful is tapping on a word produces a dictionary definition, but also an on screen option to search using that word in Google or Wikipedia, the option of making a note, highlighting and so on. It really is incredibly quick and flexible. Obviously Google/Wiki access is dependent on being in a 'friendly' wi-fi zone. Browser use is a bit flickery at times, but I think it is 100% better than the Amazon 'trial' version.

There have been some comments about freezing of the Sony. This has happened to me once, but a partial refresh put that right in 2 minutes: I had to reset my K3 at least 3 times and k4 twice, so that's just a reminder that nothing is perfect.

The Kindle scores on ease of set up, though the Sony really isn't too problematic with care and a bit of common sense (beware some 1* Kindle complainers), and I write as someone not especially skilled in technical terms. Though I preferred the Sony Touch appearance to the Kindle's, the K4 looks rather better to me than the new Sony, with less intrusive bezel etc. I'm not mad about the super shiny, reflective and finger-print attracting bezel on the Sony, but when reading, the frame pretty much disappears, though a reading light needs more careful positioning. (My much loved OctovoOCTOVO Solis e-reader Led Light for Kindle (Fits the New Kindle & Kindle Keyboard) still fits pretty snuggly, but reflections from the bezel make more careful positioning of reader AND light pretty essential.) Cases are not so easy to buy either as there is very limited choice: the 'official' Sony cases are horrible, expensive plasticky tat which I would not buy at £5 let alone the £30 or £40 for case with light - but that's a matter of taste, though I have seen that a number of sites list options as imminent.

So, having used and really loved my Kindle 3, the new K4 (for me a great advance on 3) and now the Sony PRS t1, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the Sony above the others: 5 stars, not because it's perfect, but because I think it is very, very good, more flexible than any Kindle and suits me perfectly in not being tied to a single powerful retailer AND able to access library catalogues! (And 0nly £130 from Sony Centres, currently!

PS March 2012.
Re Pdfs. I have used the Sony with journals which I have received in pdf format on both K4 and the Prs t1. On the Kindle, the texts were illegible. The device cannot re-arrange text and the zoom still leaves the docs I have tried completely illegible. On the PRS t1, the pdf text is flow enabled and though the result is a bit slow in loading and changing pages, it is acceptable and usable. Diagrams for manuals would probably still not be practicable, but text based pdfs with some photographic content work well. I've been able to put academic material I've produced in pdf format onto the device and OU study materials.
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on 12 December 2011
The Kindle may be the market standard e-reader (in the UK at least), but this latest Sony has some fantastic extra features which gave it the edge as far as my wallet was concerned:

- touchscreen!
- micro SDHC support (want 34gb of space? you got it!)
- pdf reflow (this is a million times more workable than zooming and panning on the Kindle)
- notes (you can scribble all over the page with the stylus, and the notes are saved)
- epub support

If you want to, you can borrow from libraries. The screen contrast is excellent, fully adjustable, and much better than my old PRS-505. You can change font style, size, and saturation.

Some early batches seem to have had bugs that made the reader freeze or skip multiple pages at once, but this is all fixed now - if you have this problem the latest firmware,, has fixed it.

All in all, a revelation, a joy to use, and a fair bit lighter than carrying around several thousand books in your backpack...
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on 18 January 2012
Having read reviews on here re the Sony PRS-T1 I feel I must weigh in with my first product review ever.

The Sony reader in my humble opinion is the best ereader going at this time based on price to features and overall flexibilty. This device marks a serious return to form for Sony, one of the companies that have been making ereaders since the 1990's (1992 Data Discman).
Also if technically minded the device can be modified (does void warranty) as it runs a heavily disguished version of the Google Android operating system (like the Android smart phones and tablets) meaning you can load the Amazon Kindle android application (free) to get access to the Amazon Kindle store like a Kindle but without being locked into Amazon for ebooks. Also you can get other Android apps to turn the PRS T1 into a basic eink Android tablet, just no rapidly screen refreshing apps (its an eink display after all).
Step by step guide (at your own risk)
Scroll down past Kindle section for PRS T1 review
If you want an ebook reader as cheaply as possible without any real set up and are able top cope with downsides then get a Kindle ad supported (non touch screen at under £100). But for £30 more you can get a much better user experience from the Sony PRS T1.
I must confess to being anti Amazon Kindle (all editions). Mainly because they can delete ebooks AFTER you buy them from your device if the publisher decides that they no longer want e-editions of the book.
See (from 2009)

Yes Amazon refund the cost & say they will stop this practise but it bodes badly in my (e)book.

Also the Kindle locks you into the Amazon ebook store, so effectively you can't shop around to get the best price on books witout alot of hassle. No I will not risk the wrath of Amazon by telling you how to get around this but Google "sideloading" and you will find it.

Another reason is that the Kindle (any edition) doesn't currently support external memory cards. Yes the onboard memory is over a 1GB which is like 600 + books but in the event your device dies its nice to have an external memory card to throw in a replacement without the hassle of uploading each book again.

Finally the cheapest Kindle (ad supported - not really that much of an issue) doesn't have a touchscreen or keyboard meaning entering long wifi passwords by selecting one letter at a time with an arrow key is a headache.
Firstly and foremost the Sony PRS T1 is a quality ereader with a great touch screen (even my Mum that struggles with her freeview box loves it), simple menu and importantly the latest Eink pearl display that comes the closest to to reading from paper like experience.

This is not the only product to feature this screen but is the first to incorporate this AND an infra red touch screen (much better than previous types) meaning no issues about touching with gloves or how much pressure required that some touchscreens have. Also the on screen (touch screen) keyboard is really easy and painless to use with my sausage fingers or the stylus that it comes with.

Some users have complained its plasticky compared to previous Sony ereaders or other brands. Yes its made of plastic but it is solid, feels great in your hand, is lightweight and undoubtedly cheaper than it would have been with same tech and aluminum casing.

The killer features is that it allows you e-library book access via Overdrive using the onboard wifi. Free books!

I use Overdrive (Google it for further info) to borrow books via wifi straight onto my ereader without a PC. It does require you to go online and find the login details for your local county library (if they support it). Once these details are established the set up is easy and the books auto expire so no late fines! The selection is limited but for free I can't complain.

Also incorporates a web brower (basic, no video or flash) that works well with text sites (email, news, blogs) and ebook stores like WHSmiths and Waterstones etc for download direct to the device via WIFI without a PC.

Another user complained that its too hard to get books onto. I don't see that and think it was a result of the user expecting a one click solution (possibly like the kindle). The bundled Sony software was not used by me (Sony's track record here is patchy), I used a free programme called Calibe (use Google to find it) this loaded the ebooks I already had without issues.

Failing messing around with software I believe you can dump ebooks onto a micro sd memory card (Kindle will no do this) and then insert into ereader and it should find them. Another way is plug the device into your PC and just it should be seen as an external drive then again dump ebooks onto it and the ereader should find them. Not that hard really is it?

The best feature is its file flexibility in that it deals really well with pdf docs (possibly the best ereader to do so) and amongst other file types reads epub (most common ebook format).
Also via the web browser you can access and download directly onto the Sony PRS T1 from other ebook stores including WHSMiths, Waterstones etc...
Other noteable features include;
Multi language dictionaries (UK edition uses Oxford English plus other English to European Lang and vice versa) this is really helpful as when reading classics some words are beyond me, so I tap on the touchscreen for 2 secs and then a definition will appear.

A drawing tool for scribbling notes or basic pics / maps. More useful than you would believe.

A text pad that via the touchscreen allows you to type basic text documents and save them (very useful indeed).

The battery life seems fine possibly around 2 weeks with intensive daily reading (over 4hrs a day).

The screen lets you change font and text size which I love.
The downsides;
The Sony Reader (UK) ebook store was meant to go live Oct'2011 but as of yet Jan'2012 not up. This is extremely poor from a quality brand like Sony. So when you click on the Reader store after telling the device you are in the UK you get a"coming soon" message.
My work around was in the intial set up tell the device its region was the USA and then you get access to USA reader store (prices in dollars) and Google books (free scanned copies of classic books). Some ebooks from USA store are cheaper (after my rough calc of currency conversion and credit card fee) than UK stores possibly because they don't charge 20% VAT like UK does on ebooks. But as of yet I haven't tried to purchase any ebooks so can't confirm if a UK billing address causes issues. Please comment on any experiences here!
The device come bundle with a stylus, sadly in their wisdom Sony didn't include a slot to stow the stylus on the device (Why?) so you can easily lose the stylus. Its not the end of the world as mentioned above the touchscreen uses infrared so a finger or back of a pen works well. I got around this by using a hard case (from Amazon by Book Armor Case [...] these are pricey but really durable and take a beating) these use a special type of velcro like attachment by 3M called click-lok or command strips I cut a small sliver of one sticky pad and attached it to the flat head of the stylus. Now it sticks to the case without rattling about.
The screen is a nice matt anti reflective type but Sony decided to go with a fashionable glossy bezel that reflects light. Its not a major issue as I have always been able to tilt the device to minimise reflections (even in direct Egyptian sun). I look forward to a cheap stick on matt bezel cover that makes this no longer an issue.
Also on every page turn the screen refreshes showing a black flash, this is to stop ghosting of words and text on the new page. Just other readers do it at 3 pages etc, its not a big issue but does take about 20mins to get used to.
None of these issues are a deal breaker but just could be better.
So in essence buy a SONY PRS T1 they are really good!
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on 22 December 2011
I have been using this device for over a month now and I really love it. No more paper books for me, now I can carry my library of books with me anywhere I go. The Sony ereader is very light, with easy to use and intuitive functions. Battery life lasts more than 3 weeks if the WiFi is turned off. I rarely use the WiFi but, if required, one can use it to surf the web with ease and even read Internet articles.
However, to me, there is one problem and this is why I am not giving it 5 stars. The chassis is made of shiny plastic and often reflects light into your eyes. So, whoever designed this ereader at SONY did not have the person reading it in mind. Perhaps they were trying to win a designer award.
So, SONY, please replace the shiny casing with a matt one in the next version!
Apart from this minor problem, I never leave home without it!
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on 31 March 2012
I found this reader very easy to set up, provided that you read the user manual first (the small one that's in the package). The instructions are really very clear and simple. As for the wifi, the device found it, asked for my password, and has been working ever since. You can turn it on or off in the browser settings. There is a detailed digital user manual inside the reader, hence my previous clarification about "the small one that's in the package".

The reader is friendly to the eyes because of its good display and the ability to magnify the font and pinch-zoom. I like the stylish device, and I think the buttons are enough and not too much. There is a home button for the home page, a front arrow that leads you to the front, a back arrow that leads you to the back etc. It's all rather ridiculously intuitive. The only con is perhaps that the shiny black should have been matt to avoid glare.

I'd like to talk a bit about adobe support. Some (not all) pdfs might be difficult to read comfortably due to the default small font. I have heard that you can rectify that with adobe professional, but I don't have it so I can't express an opinion about that. As I've said, you can magnify (and, by the way, change- for example, from arial to verdana) the font. I usually prefer to zoom in/zoom out. When you magnify the font, two things happen: 1)image scrambling (mild) and 2)lag, which with some documents is considerable. Documents with very small print and complicated images took me forever to turn a page. On the bright side I could turn ppt presentations to pdfs and read them in my sony without any lag or distortion. There is a feature that allows you to change the orientation of a document and I have found it useful for presentations. In general, adobe support is very good. The quality of the display is excellent, especially considering that it's pdf we are talking about. The occasional lag does present a problem. I usually try a combination of things such as magnifying the font, zooming or changing the orientation (or converting the blasted thing into an epub if things get desperate).

OK, now that we're done with pdfs, we can move to more interesting things. Sony has an extension slot which allows you to add some 30000 books if you get bored with your 2000 (I think?) ones in the memory. It supports epub. The browser works faster and better than I expected. It works well enough so I don't have to open my computer to look up terms I come across while I read. You can highlight a word and look it up at google or wikipedia (as well as use a browser in the conventional way). There are also a bunch of dictionaries, from english to english and from english to several other lagnuages. You can also add notes and bookmarks. Something that I found incredibly practical is that you just tap and hold a word or phrase and all the above options come up, as well as the option to search the word in google or wikipedia.

I have uploaded my own documents (drag and drop to the sony reader software), pictures and audio. You can select books from various bookstores and also borrow them from a local library (or so I've heard; I haven't done that last one). I personally don't think that anyone needs an adapter. The battery lasts forever. I say that as a voracious reader and an occasional sony wifi and mp3 user. However, I also use my computer a lot, and my sony is charged whenever I transfer books, so I'm probably not very candid.

The touchscreen is, in fact, paper-like. Well, almost. And behind a glass. The touchscreen is pretty responsive, except when you have to deal with huge pdfs. The only problem was that sometimes, when I used it instead of the buttons to turn the page, it went (for example) backwards when I wanted it to go forwards. However, this could have been due to my mistake, as I have never read the user manual in detail.

The software is somewhat buggy, but you don't need to use it anyway. Personally I'm adding books via Calibre. MyComputer works, too. (I didn't think the software was that bad, but at some point I did have a problem with syncing, and it turned out that I had deleted books from the reader without deleting them from the library.)

Now I take it practically everywhere with me. It has been very useful. This last month I have read more books in it than... um... out of it.

Something else: the first day, it froze. I had the usual reactions of shock, panic, anger, determination to return etc etc but then I did a reset and it has been working flawlessly ever since. However, that's not to say that you shouldn't return if there really is a problem with your device.
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on 12 July 2012
I bought this for my wife's Christmas present. I have a Kindle which is a great product but this Sony E-Reader looked so much cooler and more sophisticated. But the old adage rings true: 'Never Judge a Book By Its Cover!' Never more a true word said about this useless piece of plastic. We have had no end of problems with it not wanting to load books whilst the Kindle was an absolute breeze at this. I got so frustrated - like another reviewer I use Macintosh computers - that I took it back to Sony to get my money back but they refused. They tried to update it and I spent over an hour in their store, but when I got home it still refused to work and download books. I would not recommend this product to anyone unless you wish to spend hours on your computer trying to overcome useless software and never wish to read an actual e-book. My advice, buy a Kindle. They don't look as cool but they are easy to operate and do what they say on the tin. Now a message for Sony: SONY - both this product and your customer service is useless!
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on 15 July 2012
I got my first e reader the other day and I am really enjoying using it. The only problem with it is that if your at home and its a dark and dull day its really hard to see the writing so you need a cover with a LED light which will help improve it they are on amazon for £9.99.

It is kind of complicated to get started up but you have to go onto your computer/laptop to download the software, you download books, put in your USB cable from your e reader to laptop, you click the books you want then they go straight over.

I would DEFINATELY reccommend this to everyone its small, light and fantastic to carry around
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on 20 January 2012
Great e reader, lovely size and nice weight. My PRS T1 measurements are different to the ones posted by amazon so worth checking Sony's dimentions if your worried about the size. Although the screen is supposed to be the same technology as the Kindle, I found the text not as sharp as a Kindle but that is perhaps due to the grey scale used, other than that seeing as Amazon in their wisdom will not provide me with a touch screen Kindle (available to US cutomers) I went with Sony and download books from the libray as well as buy them from waterstones, Kobo and anyone else who supports the publishing industry standard ePUB format - perhaps Amazon will realise they are missing sales and provide an e-format other than their own one day??
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on 11 September 2012
I have just received my Sony PRS-T1 - I bought is specifically for reading journal articles in the sunshine! I have an Acer Iconia Tablet which is wonderful but you can't read in the sun on anything but an e-ink device. I had tried to read PDF - academic journals - on my husband's kindle - which is great for books - but it had two problems - one it couldn't focus in on the page in a way you could read a section - it gave you a square window to zoom but that didn't even hold the width of a line of text so even to read one line of text you had to move the screen bar from right to left each time - I was fed up within 10 lines. On the Sony you have a touch screen so complete moveability and various levels of zooming and I can get a column of a columned PDF journal article just right or a page wide PDF by selecting landscape mode. I still can't open a PDF or Word attachment from an email as it says it is in unsupported format but I think it is that it can't open multiple windows as this is the error message the kindle gives for the same attempted operation. Both the kindle and Sony are dead easy for transferring articles from a datastick (via the computer) to the ereader just by pulling the files with the mouse on windows explorer so that was pleasing. The Sony's touch screen is a big plus and yet I am not particularly a fan of touch screens generally but compared to the kindle it means you can expand the page, reduce it, move around it etc so quickly which is so much more normal in reading to be able to move around the whole document with ease. There are a few changes in habit to make - a double tap means 'instant zoom in' or 'instant zoom out' not 'select' - select is 'touch and hold' - but very nice to use. I love the extra slim device - very light. I bought a second hand one by mistake - but it is fine - I guess a bargain really. Screen wise I would say that the kindle focusses quicker and that there are a few spots on the sony where it looks like the pixels are less but once focussed it's great - I am now going to sit in the sun and read a journal article.
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on 16 August 2012
Wonderful product combined with the coverup leather cover (it has a loop to keep your stylus in and the ereader itself doesn't). I've ordered books from the Sony book store - very easy and simple, you can turn the one click ordering on or off I keep it off so I can confirm my order before paying. I've got books from the local library (had to phone my local library to find their website as it didn't come up on the sony list bbut that is the fault of my library not sony). Got books from waterstones (again easy)and google books (long signing up process). You can download 100 free books from the Sony website when you register, you can review them and chose the ones you want or none. There is a writing and drawing section, I used it to play naughts and crosses, hangman on the plane with my children then we drew pictures of other people on the plane - very funny! I love the way you can bookmark the user guide in 'notes' so it's easy to refer to he bit you need. Being able to turn the page using the buttons at the bottom or swipe when holding the edge is great. The page turns on the kindle are in the wrong place (edge) for where I hold the book and the kindle touch is only touch so again can't swipe if holding the bottom of the book. The kindle is also tooo responsive on the touch screen, I use touch screen all the time but still find with kindle i turned more than 1 page at a time but not with the wonderful Sony. I spend about a year chosing which one to buy an I'm so glad I chose he Sony. I got it from Argos - it's not in the catalogue only online but the coverup cover came from amazon.
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