Ebooks: Review Sony PRS T-1 Touch E-ink Reader
In my ebook readers quest, or maybe it’s a fetish, I’ve gotten my very first e-ink device. The reason I’m trying one is not because of eye strain but for battery life. I was getting tired of having to keep an eye on the battery and it always getting low mid book.
With this review I just look at things that matter to me with a reader, things that some reviews don’t necessarily go into. If you want a full blown review of this device check out MobileTechReview Sony Reader PRS-T1, they always do a nice review of gadgets and this is no exception.
First Some Positives:
- Big kudos to Sony for not getting rid of the buttons as soon as touch became available. I love the mixture of touch and buttons. I primarily turn the pages with the buttons but when going through my library and choosing a book I use the touch screen, also good for navigating within the book, highlighting and such. It’s just nice to have a choice not like most of the new generation of touch e-ink readers such as the Kindle touch, Nook touch (edit: whoops, Nook Touch does have buttons on the side, so Kudos to them too) and the Kobo touch, all of them have lost their buttons.
- Another big plus for me with this reader is that the collections can be generated with Calibre. I have my books sorted with tags in Calibre and they all come through to my collections in my Sony PRS T-1. By default Calibre sorts collections by tags and series. This can be altered in preferences which I changed mine to tags only. I like to keep Authors grouped together with their series, this can easily be done using only the tags. I have many authors that have multiple series going.
- Another thing I like is the navigate to page. You can choose a page number to go to but it also has a scroll bar that you can use your finger to scroll through the book, I find that very useful. Sometimes I know roughly how far I want to go into a book, using my finger along the scroll bar zips me to that whereabouts without having to guess at numbers. Kind of the equivalent to flipping through a paperback.
- A nice touch I think is the battery saving mode, it shows the book cover of the book you are currently reading or most recently read (if you aren’t in a book at the time of power saving.) This can be changed in the settings to any picture you want shown while in power saving mode. But I’m leaving as is, I like the book cover of the book I’m reading to show.
Calibre is an ebook management program that can be run on PC or MAC. If you’re interested in knowing more about Calibre check out this Calibre link for more info on this incredibly useful program. It’s free but they accept donations.
Now some negatives:
- On to the collections again. The first three cannot be deleted or renamed. I find that a bit rude of Sony as I have no use for collections named “Unread Books”, “Unread Periodicals” and “Purchased Books”.You can delete any of the ones you make up, including ones that Calibre generate, just not those first three. Why Sony force those ones on us is beyond me. It’s just a small thing but still annoying.
- Still with Collections, while I think it’s great that I can sync the Collections with Calibre and not have to input anything manually I would still prefer folders. With folders you can go two or even three deep, folders inside folders, so I could have author/series or even genre/author/series, this could also be synced with Calibre.
- Another negative is when reading there is no status bar, or any way in the settings to have a status bar, once you open an ebook. I would like one either on the top or bottom so I can see the battery indicator and time.
The only way to see battery and time is by going to the home page. By default the battery shows on the right hand side of the status bar which is situated at the top, but if you press the menu button the battery indicator will disappear and the time shows up, (it appears on the left side) only lasts for a few seconds before reverting back to battery indicator. This all interrupts the reading flow and is the one thing I would very much like to see changed.I understand that some people find a status bar distracting while reading which is why a choice to have one should be given in the settings.
- The Sony PRS T-1 is pretty light on for settings as well. There is no way to change line spacing or margins. If you use Calibre you can change it within the ebook before sending it to the reader but that could be painful. It’s strange that Sony don’t have these settings.It does have eight different font sizes, I tend to go for the bigger print, you can set the default size in the settings and change individual books font sizes within the book. There are also seven font choices.
- Another could be annoyance (doesn’t bother me much but some it might) is that it will go into power saving mode after 10 minutes of non use and totally turn itself off after three days of not being used. That’s okay, but there is no way to change this behavior.
All my gripes could be changed with firmware updates, which I wish they would look at. It has been confirmed that the Sony PRS T-1 is using a modified Android version.
I will say it’s lovely to read on, nice and light in the hand buttons easy for turning the pages or you can swipe if you prefer. It’s a good size.
There has been a bug reported that it will flip through pages and then the screen crashes, this has happened to me once when I first got it and was playing around. Just need to reset it, I may not have this trouble as much as I primarily use the buttons to turn pages but anyone thinking of buying this device should be aware of this.
Hopefully Sony will fix this in a firmware update.
UPDATE: Sony have confirmed this bug and a firmware update is scheduled for the end of November, 2011 see: Firmware Update for PRST1 (1.0.03.11140)
I will be getting a Skin for it as soon as DecalGirl.com support this model, hopefully, I hear that will be soon. The plastic around the screen is shiny and glares a bit. I’ll be getting a matte finished Decalgirl skin, just have to decide on a design while waiting for availability. There are so many really nice ones out there.
UPDATE: Here is my Sony PRS-T1 in it’s new DecalGirl Skin, Green Lacquer. Check out the range of designs for this reader at Sony PRS-T1 DecalGirl skins They’re lovely!
So that’s my view on the Sony Prs T-1. I really like it, just a few tweaks and it would be near perfect (for me). I am still using my Nook Color, however, but that has become more of a low light, night time device, I still love it too, see I do have an ebook reader fetish!
Battery life has been wonderful on the Sony PRS-T1 no more worrying over the battery, no offence to the Nook Color but an lcd reader is never going to have the battery life of e-ink and that is the main reason for my getting this reader.
Check it out at Amazon, available in three colors, black, red or white:
I’ve created a lens about my frustration with finding an e-ink reader, I list the latest generation of e-ink readers and give reasons for my passing them over, this page is at: Features of E-Ink Readers
Thanks for reading my romance book review blog.