Thanks to some FCC paperwork we’ve known for about a months now that Sony had a new ereader in the works, but due to the confidentiality requests that was about all I knew.
I’ve just come across a new product listing on the J&R website for the new Sony Reader. From what I can tell the PRS-T2 looks to be almost identical to the current Sony Reader with only a few minor cosmetic differences as well as some tweaks to the software.
Update: The listing page on J&R is down, but someone did grab a screenshot.
The T2 has the same Pearl E-ink screen, Wifi, touchscreen tech, and microSD card slot found on the current model, but the dimensions show it as being slightly smaller and (possibly) slightly thicker. As you can see from the image at right, the T2 swaps out the hard buttons found on the T1 with either smaller buttons or touch-sensitive pads (it’s not clear from the photos). I’d say it’s probably even running Android, just like the T1. And this ereader is also going to come with a pre-loaded copy of a Harry Potter ebook.
As for the software, I don’t see any changes to format support (no Epub3), but there is a mention of Evernote Clearly and Facebook support. I’m not sure how the Facebook integration works, but Evernote Clearly looks to be a way for you to save blog posts and news articles from your browser so you can read them later. This sounds similar to Pocket and Instapaper, so I guess this means you’ll be able to push web content to the PRS-T2.
And of course the new T2 will have support for direct download of library ebooks, just like the T1.
There’s no mention of a release date, but I expect this ereader to hit the market some time in the next couple months. The current retail is listed as $129,but that could change.
All in all this ereader looks to be just a minor improvement on the current model. And that is deeply disappointing. For a couple years now I’ve been annoyed with Sony because in that time their ereaders have been consistently a step behind the competition. They released a cheap Wifi equipped ereader over a year after Amazon and B&N, they released a competitor to the Nook Touch and kobo Touch close to 4 months behind them, and now Sony has basically re-released their current ereader.
The Sony Reader PRS-T2 looks to be effectively the same damn device as the T1. For the past year, Sony stood still while B&N, Amazon, and even frigging Kobo advanced their designs.
So what could Sony have added to the T2? Color E-ink is out; the 6″ panel is not in production. But Sony could have used a higher resolution screen. I was half expecting that the new T2 would have the HD E-ink screen (1024×768) that LG Display announced earlier this year. When you combine the improved resolution with the Sony Reader’s annotation ability, the resulting device would have been droolworthy.
Hell, I’m dumbstruck to figure out why Sony isn’t at least using the high resolution screen that LG Display released last year; that would have been enough to make everyone want this ereader.
Eh. Sony used to be a good company once; clearly that time is past.