Sony isn’t expected to formally announce the new PRS-T3 for another couple days but it looks like the new Sony Reader is already showing up in stores.
An inquisitive blogger at the Spanish language ebook blog librista.es has somehow managed to get his hands on the new ereader days before it was announced.
His photos confirm that this is the same 6″ ereader that we have seen in the leaked FCC docs and in the product listing that leaked a couple weeks back. It has a 6″ Pearl HD E-ink screen just like the one on the Kobo Glo or the Kindle Paperwhite.
Update: And here is a video:
The PRS-T3 has an IR touchscreen, microSD card slot, and 2GB of storage, just like the Kobo Glo, but it is missing the Kobo Glo’s frontlight.Sony has long been opposed to the idea of adding a frontlight to their ereaders, a policy which probably grew out of the generally unhappy consumer response to the PRS-700, the 3rd Sony Reader.
On the plus side the PRS-T3 does have the attached cover that was hinted at in the product listing, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. According to Stephen, the blogger in question, you have to use the cover with the PRS-T3 because it is permanently attached to the back panel.
If you remove the cover the rear of the ereader goes with it. While this might not be an issue for those who want to use the regular cover or the lighted cover, those who don’t want to use a cover at all will be somewhat annoyed.
Stephen went on to add enough details to convince me that this is for the most part the same ereader as Sony’s last 2 models. Aside from the higher resolution screen, new rectangular shape, and required cover, this might as well be a PRS-T2. The T3 has the same software features as earlier models, and it appears to still be running on Android, though of course we don’t for sure which version of Android is under the hood.
BTW, did you notice that I said that librista.es is a Spanish language blog? Given that Sony doesn’t sell ebooks in Spain (according to Stephen) it is rather curious that a Spanish blogger got their hands on it. But in spite of the lack of an ebookstore, Sony has been selling the Sony Reader in Spain. There are even product pages for the older PRS-T2 on the Sony.es website.