In the world of all-singing, all-dancing tablets, it’s easy to overlook the somewhat humble ebook reader. It’s no surprise, then, that Sony has thrown a lot at its Reader Wi-Fi, or PRS-T1, bringing with it a couple of innovative twists.
The biggest thing that hits you about the Reader Wi-Fi is the weight. It’s feather-light at 168g, so light that when you pick it up it really takes you by surprise. It’s finished in plastic, rather than some of the metals we’ve seen on the Reader range before, but like the Amazon Kindle, it feels right.
Unlike the Amazon Kindle, however, the Reader Wi-Fi isn’t covered in buttons. This is the third generation of touchscreen Sony Reader devices and like the PRS-650, the screen is sharp and glare free, offering excellent contrast and fast refresh rates.
Enhancing the touchscreen offering, Sony have added pinch to zoom. This might seem like something of an oddity, but it certainly works. You have to remember that this is still an E Ink device, so it doesn’t give you instant resizing, but it does register the command to change the text size, at first the resolution is a little low, but it quickly renders in the nice sharp text you’d expect.
The display has the same resolution as previously, and at 6 inches you get an 800x600 panel, which is big enough for the core purpose of this device, that of reading books. There is 2GB of internal storage and expansion is supported via the microSD card slot, up to 32GB.
Of course the Wi-Fi brings with it more functionality, so you can head online to the Sony Reader Store to buy books, as well as supporting other EPUB books from online stores. The real benefit of Sony Reader devices is that they also support library lending, so if your local public library offers this service (powered by OverDrive), you’ll be able to borrow books for free.
The new Sony Reader Wi-Fi makes the moves we expected and priced at £130, it’s just about competitively priced against the £115 Amazon Kindle.