New Sony Reader Already Being Abandoned by Hackers

When the new Sony Reader T2 launched a few weeks ago I was deeply disappointed in how little had been changed from the previous model. It had the same screen, touchscreen, general specs, and since it was also missing the audio the T2 was in some ways less capable than the T1. About the only reason I got the T2 was because I was expecting it to be hacked and turned into an Android tablet. Now it looks like I guessed wrong.

I've learned today that I was not alone in my disappointment. It looks like Boroda, the hacker who was largely responsible for the hacks which converted theT1 into an Android tablet, is about as unimpressed with the T2 as I am. At this point he doesn't plan to buy one to hack it; He thinks it is basically the same device, only more expensive, and that it's not worth the money.

I cannot blame him. The T2 is selling for $129 in the US, or the same price as the Kobo Glo. And the Kindle Paperwhite is only $10 more (or $10 less, if you don't mind the ads). True, neither of the better ereaders are available yet, but given the improvements in screen, touchscreen, and frontlight, I think they're worth waiting for.

It's a pity Sony didn't learn from the last ereader and the enthusiasm towards hacking it. I really wish they had released a straight Android device with an E-ink screen instead of a closed ereader.  That would have been worth the disappointing hardware.

About Nate Hoffelder (11479 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

12 Comments on New Sony Reader Already Being Abandoned by Hackers

  1. >>>I really wish they had released a straight Android device with an E-ink screen instead of a closed ereader

    That’s what the hell I’ve been wanting Kobo to do!

    • If any of the big eReader companies actually does this, it would be Kobo. Maybe in a couple of generations, they will offer an open Andriod platform as an incredible spec.

  2. I think Jeff Bezos is wrong to say people want services, not gadgets. That justifies less capable gadgets that serve you less well. The Ipod Touch is so good because of its versatility: it serves in all sorts of ways — even with very good text-to-speech. Provide that kind of versatility in an e-ink device with a couple months of battery life and with access to good book and app collections and people would flock to it.

  3. May Boroda allocate his time to useful hacking exploits.

  4. Which E-ink reader is the best to convert to a tablet? I’m assuming the Nook Simple Touch or Glowlight. However, I’m in Germany and I have read that I need a B&N account to do the root. I assume that I can’t buy a Nook from the US site or register for an account in Germany?

    • If you can find a PRS-T1 it makes a decent “tablet”.
      The Nook is a bit more useful but that won’t matter if you can’t get one.

    • Ingo Lembcke, Hamburg // 15 September, 2012 at 4:29 am // Reply

      You can register at B&N with a German creditcard and buy ebooks there. You might need a VPN, but that can be useful for encrypted Internet-use for all kinds of stuff (but the cheap ones often do not work very good).
      To buy hardware in the US from companies who do not ship to EU/Germany you can use a service like borderlinx. But while I have an B&N account to buy ebooks there, I have not used Borderlinx yet.
      If the Nook is sold in the UK, it might be possible to get it there, shipped to Germany, I have not checked that.
      B&N is trying to get in the German marked, it is just a question of when.

      If you take the trouble to buy a reader in the US, I personally would by one of the new Kindle Paperwhites. While it is not sure, if and when it will be rooted (or even what Linux is running on it), it is currently the best offer for a decent price.

      As for rooting I would try to get a used PRS-T1, ebay or elsewhere.

    • dont forget the B&N are getting at the moment to the UK

  5. The new higher resolution E Ink screens that will be featured on the Paperwhite and Kobo Glo are definitely worth waiting for, provided both Amazon and Kobo have figured out how to eliminate the added glare and decreased text sharpness found on the Nook Glowlight. There are already reviews of the PRS-T2 posted on YouTube that have the PRS-T1 showing darker, bolder font than the new edition. The background is a bit lighter on the T2, but fonts are not as black or pronounced. This PRS-T2 sidegrade is a total waste of money. If Sony took out audio and kept the same old 600 x 800 Pearl screen, the least they could have done would be to price the thing at $99. I also find it funny that one of their new “specs,” the Facebook app, didn’t even work for most users (sign in errors prevented access). They recently released a firmware update to fix this and other stability issues, but nothing to improve the font rendering.

  6. Font rendering on Sony eReaders has always been abysmal. I really like my little Sony PRS-350 but it came stock with one really poor font. Of course, Sony never supplied any updates. I had to install a complex add-on just to be able to get a readable font.

    Sony, as a company, is on the ropes. They used to be a major driver of the tech market with innovative products. Now they just seem like a follower with a lot of random hit or miss products.

    • Sony is a major driver with the Sony RX100 camera, a ground breaking one. One of your random hits but a big one. Canon and Nikon have a lot of work to do with their compact cameras now due to not figuring out how to use a larger sensor in one.

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