Sony's next e-book reader has slipped out, courtesy of a Dutch retailer. Bol.com subsequently pulled the page, but not before a MobileRead correspondent cut and pasted it into the forum. Sony Reader PRS-T1 e-book reader The Reader PRS-T1 sports a multitouch 6in, 600 x 800 E Ink Pearl display capable of presenting 16 shades of …
Sounds good but does the software beat the Kindle?
The clincher is the software though. No point moving away from my cheap-as-chips but functional semi-open (with enough hacking/conversion software) Kindle unless a new eReader introduces one or more of the following,
1) PDF page reflow, font-scaling, high quality maths typesetting, tables, diagrams, maps, fixed-width fonts for code
2) supports multiple languages properly with selectable default languages, decent glyphs and fonts, Asian-script support and menu languages
3) supports handwritten/stylus for annotations
4) multi-level collections or folders/directories
5) preferably customizable user interface, including screensavers and optional book cover display.
Color would be nice too, but not required.
@ AC 11:10 gmt
except for point 1) the prs 650, sold in Japan does all that, and has the same display as this unit. It does not have color, but sony also sells a nice cover with LED reading light. It does not have wifi though.
It looks mainly flat, and I can see a hint of rounded corners. What's more it has a screen! I foresee injunctions ahead
The kindle is not so much a ebook reader but a extension of the amazon cloud, in same way that ipods were an extension of iTunes. e-readers do not make much sense unless they have good integration with the reading material. This is where the sony e-readers fail. The hardware maybe nice but accessing the content is more difficult.
I also have doubts about the benefits of the touch interface for ereaders, and the button placement compared to the kindle is very suboptimal. You find with readers that the most common motion is page up/down. The kindle places the buttons where you hold the kindle which makes it very easy. With the Sony you have to move your hands from the devices side to the buttons/screen and back again which is not very ergonomic.(The kindle, with free 3g access is also cheaper)
RE: Not Impressed
Since this is a touch capable e-reader then you don't need to use the buttons (after all I'm assuming that the Kindle has buttons on the side is because it isn't - and hence needs buttons near the hand). The most you would have to move is your thumb out to touch the screen - not exactly a hardship.
Saying that, I do agree that the 3G Kindle is better value (even if it is 6 pounds more expensive (146 versus 152)) for anybody that travels a fair bit (and doesn't already have a tether capable smartphone). Personally I'd get the cheaper Kindle and use my phone or laptop - saving 35 compared to the Sony.
Still not convinced
Having used both interfaces, I can aand you will ssure you that it is an issue. Read a 300 page novel will find yourself irritated by continually having to swipe. Not only that but try swiping while holding on to something like you would if you travelled by tube
When I'm reading a book, there's only two actions I need (apart from power on/off): next page and previous page. For the <1% time I'm not using my Kindle to read a book (usually meaning I'm selecting a new book to read, or re-syncing to Amazon), the buttons work perfectly well, ta very much.
So, what's the point in having a touchscreen? Even if it was better for non-reading use, that takes up such a microcosm of my time compared to actual reading, it's just not worthwhile. And until the screens go colour, it's not going to be worth using for web browsing or anything similar.
An eReader is an eReader, folks. Let's not turn books into media centres, please?
I find it surprisingly useful for navigating the interface and dictionary look-ups. I always miss the touchscreen when I'm using someone's Kindle. It's certainly not *necessary*, but I'm sure it doesn't cost a whole lot to add the touch layer (which is why they dropped the 2nd-gen idea of the bottom-end model not being a touchscreen), so why not?
Hierarchical navigation is a weak point
At least, it is on the PRS-300 and from what I've read, the Kindle's habit of indexing everything makes managing something with several thousand items on problematical to say the least.
Books/Analog/1992/1992-10 is a much neater way to access stuff than Books by Author/TUV/pages 7 through 19... when there is no immediate feedback from the screen that a button has been pressed, it needs a minimum keypress navigation.
Books by collection helps, if you remembered to make a collection when you filled the device, but it's not a real solution if you've got fifty books by the same author as a single collection (and how else would you do it?).
'Scuse me while I kiss this guy...
"It works with fingers and with a stylus, but it's not clear whether the latter will come bundled with the reader...."
I misread that as "...whether the former..." and was going to say that I come bundled with eight fingers, as it happens...
Glad I spotted my mistake before I made a fool of myself. ;)
doesn't seem to improve much on the prs-650 except by taking out the last bits of solid metal construction for the ostensible benefit of weight reduction (probably really to save money). Looks eminently skippable...
Screen size always troubles me.
How are screen sizes for modern ereaders? I mostly would use an ereader to read fiction and all I really need is to know that the on screen page duplicates the in print page in terms of appearance, layout and size. That’s pretty much my only requirement.
most readers have a 6" screen, which is about right for a mass-market paperback, and books usually by default reflect the layout of the paper editions quite closely. I don't think they usually do it _exactly_, though - page numbers may differ, though I haven't checked. Readers are also customizable, so you can change the font size, which obviously impacts the page count. Great for the vision-impaired, though - no need to try and track down a large print edition...
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