You can never count Sony out. Just when it looked like the founding member of the big three among ereaders was fading from the market; they come out with a really compelling E Ink ebook reader that's ballpark competitively priced at $149. The Sony Reader PRS-T1 is a 6" E Ink Pearl reader that's compatible with ePUB and PDF files. Sony was the first to come out with an IR-based touch control scheme that doesn't interfere with E Ink's clarity and contrast, and the PRS-T1 is the latest example.
The ereader has WFi 802.11b/g/n, and you can use it to download books from Sony's Reader ebook store, and you can download books from Google and the public library. In fact, using the Webkit web browser, you can download books from other sources too, but Sony has shortcuts to make it particularly easy to visit Google and the library. The Sony Reader PRS-T1 runs Android, though you'd never know it unless you noticed the Android style notifications in the top menu bar, and the same Android web browser settings you'd see on an Android smartphone.
The Kobo Touch, Kindle 4 (not touch) and the Sony Reader T1
The Sony weighs an absurdly light 5.9 ounces and is compact, though it's not quite as small as the little PRS-350 Pocket Edition Sony Reader from 2010. The front bezel is gloss plastic, and we wonder why Sony went with gloss (to match the Sony Tablet S?). The glare isn't too distracting under moderate indoor lighting since the bezel is narrow, but clip-on reading lights do glare (hello gel case). The back has a matte soft touch finish that looks and feels nice, and the sides are curved for comfort.
The Sony Reader has an MP3 player, a stylus for taking notes, an on-screen keyboard and more. Start watching our video to learn about it all, why don't you? There's a lot to cover here, so the video is a long one.
Here's our Sony Reader PRS-T1 video review. The full written review will follow in the coming days.