The new Sony Reader PRS-T3 maintains Sony's gold standard of being one step behind the market. It's the only leading ereader without a frontlight, and at the same time it forgoes the brand-new Carta E-ink screen in favor of a Pearl HD E-ink screen.
But on the plus side Sony did take advantage of E-ink's new Regal waveform tech. The new Sony Reader will be able to go longer without a full page refresh (flashing to black, that is). Sony is promising 4 hours of flicker-free page-turning, but I think that is a bit of a stretch.
At this point you're probably thinking that there's absolutely nothing left to report. I beg to differ.
I have a number of unanswered questions about this ereader. I would have gotten answers for these questions but Sony declined to discuss the new ereader before it was announced. Also, their pr rep is apparently busy at IFA-Berlin and hasn't gotten back to me.
So instead I will share them with you.
One question I have has to do with the launch. My competition has noticed that press releases and product pages for the PRS-T3 have been posted on several Sony websites, including Canada, various European websites, and Russia.
But this ereader isn't listed on the US website. That is a curious oversight given that it is expected to ship from the Canadian Sony Style Store in only a couple days. I don't know what that means, but it is rather interesting that the US will be playing tail-end charlie this time around.
My other questions have to do with the technical specs which Sony hasn't shared with us. For example, this ereader very likely runs Android, but which version? Did Sony update to a later version of Android, and if so is it hackable?
Hacking the PRS-T1 made it a much more useful device but not quite as nice as a full up Android tablet. If we're lucky the T3 might be hackable, and if we are very lucky it might even be worth hacking.
And what about Epub3 support? Sony has made a lot of effort to add a certain minimum of Epub3 support to their Android app. Have they added similar support to the Sony Reader PRS-T3?
That could make it worth buying, but I would not get your hopes up. So far as I know Sony hasn't added much more than video and audio, which naturally won't work very well on the T3.
I don't have any answers to these questions, but I do have something new. Here is a hands on video from the German ebook blog lesen.net.
Sony Reader PRS-T3 Specs
- 6" Pearl HD E-ink screen
- 1024 x 758 pixel resolution, 16 levels of grayscale.
- 2GB Flash storage
- microSD card slot
- Battery life: an estimated 6-8 weeks (assuming you read only 30 minutes per day)
- Supported ebook formats: Epub, PDF, FB2, as well as TXT
- Dimensions: 109 x 160 x 11.3 mm.
- Weight: 200 grams including snap cover.
- Colors: the usual Black, White, and Red.