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.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

14 Comments

  1. Mike Cane14 September, 2012

    >>>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!

    Reply
    1. Isles15 September, 2012

      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.

      Reply
  2. Dave14 September, 2012

    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.

    Reply
    1. fjtorres14 September, 2012

      What Bezos meant is Amazon customers (and they are legion) want services.
      People who want hardware features can go elsewhere.

      Reply
  3. cookie14 September, 2012

    May Boroda allocate his time to useful hacking exploits.

    Reply
  4. Austin14 September, 2012

    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?

    Reply
    1. fjtorres14 September, 2012

      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.

      Reply
    2. Ingo Lembcke, Hamburg15 September, 2012

      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.

      Reply
    3. Mortis15 September, 2012

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

      Reply
  5. […] a supportare l’ebook reader Sony. Vedremo, nel tempo, se ci saranno novità da segnalare.Via: the-digital-readerTags:android ebook reader hack Sony Sony eReader Sony PRS-T1 Sony PRS-T2 Follow @netbooknewsit No […]

    Reply
  6. Isles15 September, 2012

    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.

    Reply
  7. Binko Barnes15 September, 2012

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andrys15 September, 2012

      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.

      Reply
  8. […] results can drive sales (take the Nook Color and NST for example). Due to the lack of features, The Digital Reader blog reports that, “Boroda,” the developer who hacked the Sony PRS-T1, isn’t […]

    Reply

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