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Sony Reader PRS-T2 Now in my Hands

Sony officially unveiled their new ereader on Thursday, and according to a report from one of my readers it showed up in Sony stores that same day. I couldn’t make time to go get one until Saturday, but I have followed through on my promise to get one and see what changed.

I’ve known the general details on the T2 since it leaked over a week ago, so I won’t repeat them here.

I’ve now been playing with the T2 since yesterday morning. The new ereader has a matte shell, and Sony replaced the buttons with less obvious (but still physical) buttons. And of course the sound option is gone. But aside from those few details this device is functionally identical to the T1.

That’s pretty much what I expected when I got it, but I still have to wonder what the hell Sony was doing for the past year?

Okay, the fact there’s only minor differences should really come as no surprise. For the past several years Sony has been in a holding pattern when it comes to their ereaders, and if you look at the record you’ll see a stagnation which stretches back to 2009. That was the last time that Sony released a device which could even jokingly be called innovative. Since then they’ve been picking one change to make each year (while at the same time the competition has been adding several new hardware and software improvements each year).

In 2009, Sony released a trio of ereaders: a budget model with limited abilities, a mid range model with touchscreen but no connectivity, and a high end model with a touchscreen and a 3G connection which could be used to buy ebooks. In 2010, Sony added better touchscreens – but no new connectivity. And then in 2011 Sony released the T1, which effectively replaced all 3 models with one Android based device that had the same features (it does work better admittedly).

And now in 2012 Sony replaced the T1 with new device that is virtually identical. What the hell, Sony?

Do you want to know how little work Sony put into this? The one feature I like about the T2 is the new support for Evernote (you can back up all your notes). But that’s a software feature, so there’s really nothing stopping Sony from releasing a new update for the the T1 and giving it the new feature as well.

At this point I’m trying to come up with a good reason to suggest that someone buy the T2 over a refurbished T1. I cannot. The devices are so similar that I’d get a T1 simply because it’s cheaper. A refurb has the  same lifespan as a new unit, and unless the user really wants the matte finish or new software features, there’s little reason to spend the extra dough.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the hacks for the T1 don’t work yet on the T2. I didn’t really expect them to, but it would have been nice to have hacked the T2 so quickly.

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Mike Cane August 19, 2012 um 10:00 am

Sony, All Baloney.

Syn August 19, 2012 um 10:06 am

Sony had no intentions of playing the budget game. Seems that is no longer the case, but taking away the sound makes this a no buy. I’m not sure why anyone would buy a unit they crippled.

Waiting for the next Kindle lines myself.. Hopefully Amazon can make it exciting enough with software enhancements to make me want to ditch my Kindle Keyboard. With there being no improvements in e-ink, its left to the OEMs to provide compelling reasons for us to upgrade.
Sony dropped the ball on that aspect.

Nate Hoffelder August 19, 2012 um 10:11 am

I’m still hoping the next Kindles will have the HD E-ink screens.

Void August 19, 2012 um 1:50 pm

I’m still hoping the kindles will let you modify the collections externally and open E-Pub. Both are about as likely.

LCNR August 24, 2012 um 6:34 pm

Actually, to me, the fact that they’ve taken away the sound makes the T2 more appealing because I want a fully dedicated e-book reader and I have no use for either TTS or audio book capability and I never listen to music when reading anyway (that’s why I’m still on a first-generation Bookeen Opus despite the lack of note-taking capability and dictionaries). In fact, I dislike the idea of buying a feature I do not want, especially if that means paying extra.

Oh, wait — the T2 _without_ sound costs more than the T1 _with_ sound… Guess I’ll stick to my Opus a while longer.


Scott_T August 19, 2012 um 10:34 am

too bad, looks like sony is going into the long slow spiral of death from lack of innovation. I like sony for their nice solid hardware but their software is terrible and they refuse to back down on price so I ended up with a kindle.

Isles August 19, 2012 um 11:16 am

I can tell you what they have been doing for the past three years: working on crappy tablets. There is the mediocre and poorly designed Sony Tablet S, and most amusingly, the Tablet P, a Nintendo DS-style tablet that looks like a womens' clutch and has horrible functionality and software support. The Tablet S looks like an ugly wedge. Sony should be getting crushed by losses from these products.

After this release, I won’t buy another reader from them again. Their last great reader was the PRS-950, a device I still use today. I thought Sony might get it together and release an HD reader. Looks like I will have to place my hopes with Amazon for that.

carmen webster buxton August 19, 2012 um 12:40 pm

I had to laugh at the picture! So, is it Photo-Shopped or can you write notes on this Sony?

Nate Hoffelder August 19, 2012 um 1:23 pm

The T2 has the same annotation abilities as the T1, which inherited them from the 950, 900, and 700, in that order.

Mario August 19, 2012 um 1:16 pm

You can write notes, you could do that on older Sony touchscreen models to.

As primeiras reviews ao Sony reader PRS-T2 | eBook Portugal August 19, 2012 um 1:19 pm

[…] quem já tenha em sua posse o Sony Reader PRS-T2. É o caso do pessoal da The Digital Reader que realizou um texto sobre o mesmo e da equipa do que elaborou o vídeo-review que se […]

fjtorres August 19, 2012 um 4:02 pm

Are the chiclet buttons hard plastic or rubber domes?
Just out of curiosity.

Nate Hoffelder August 19, 2012 um 4:46 pm

Hard plastic.

Wozzie29 August 19, 2012 um 9:47 pm

The only reason I have a Sony (600) is because of the note making/taking – I have authors autograph their eBooks 🙂 I’d like to upgrade but while the new Sony eReaders (T1/T2) continue with a rounded bottom, I’ll stick with my old one. The rounded bottom just doesn’t work on a stand which I need to use.

Sweetpea August 20, 2012 um 9:41 am

There’s one thing I don’t get in your piece. First you say they added touchscreens (2009) and then you say they added touchscreens (2010).

And wasn’t Sony the first who used the IR Touchscreen? The big innovation between 2009 and 2010 was the screen itself and the touchscreen tech. I agree that the T1 is nothing innovative, it only combines some stuff they already had in other readers: pearl + touchscreen + wifi… The T2 is simply the T1 Mark 2. And that’s what the name already implies. They listened to their customers and changed some stuff (such as that highly glossy bezel….) I’d never ever buy the T1 simply because of that.

(and I still prefer my 650, I love the quality feel of the aluminium body)

Nate Hoffelder August 20, 2012 um 10:35 am

I edited it to reflect that the 2010 models have better touchscreens. And no, Sony wasn’t the first to use an IR touchscreen; that honor goes to a Taiwanese ereader maker.

Sony eReader PRS-T2 – Erste Testberichte und Einblicke im Libri-Video | eBook-Fieber August 20, 2012 um 11:34 am

[…] gute Meinung vom Sony eReader PRS-T2 hat dagegen Nate von The Digital Reader, vor allem, weil er nur wenige Unterschiede zum PRS-T1 feststellen kann – von den […]

David Taylor August 20, 2012 um 12:27 pm

The thing I loved the best about this review is how it ended in mid-sentence like the reviewer yawned and forgot. Bored at all?

Nate Hoffelder August 20, 2012 um 12:34 pm


WordPress tends to eat posts or parts of posts. I swear I finished the sentence before I proofed the post.

Sony PRS-T2 recensito, è solo un refresh – Netbook News August 27, 2012 um 11:37 am

[…] considerazioni basate sulle recensioni del sito francese eBouquin e del sito americano the-digital-reader. Il primo apprezza comunque le novità software proposte da Sony (Evernote su tutte) e le nuove […]

N August 29, 2012 um 11:06 pm

Just bought my Sony eReader and it looks like a solid eReader to me. Checking the specs:

-still the lightest eReader out there.

-~2 x batt life (pages turned)

-EPD page refreshes every 15 pages instead of every page, they do this without noticable ghosting. the old gen Kindles flashed every page and it could get annoying to many. Also this eReader has what I think all eReaders should have but don’t, and that is the fast page flipping capability. (swipe and hold)

One thing they missed is the front light. To me, it’s not worth it since it distorts the contrast in normal lighting, however normal consumers will possibly see this as a must have.

One thing that they do really well is the handwriting application, of course you can argue if people use it or not.

Next comes the web browsing. The hacks on T1 allowed for switching into fast refresh mode for scrolling, however this one does it automatically with no hack needed. If you have to scroll on web pages, this is a must.

The T2 doesn’t have any glaring new features, it’s more of a polished eReader.

With the above comments on their H/W, I still have to say it still baffles my mind why Sony has never really pushed/advertised their store. How many people that buy the Sony eReader realize that they will be buying books from Sony? Not many. How many people realize that if they buy the Nook or Kindle, they will be buying books from B&N/Amazon? Everyone.


Rebekah September 3, 2012 um 9:54 pm

I would love to see a video review, especially the PRS-T1 side-by-side with the PRS-T2. Some sites are saying that the screen on the T2 is whiter/brighter (less gray) than the T1 and therefore has better contrast. What do you think?

Metin January 18, 2022 um 8:21 pm

Hello, what kind of a stylus does this device have? What is the screen technology of this device? Capacitive?

Nate Hoffelder February 10, 2022 um 8:53 pm

It was just a simple plastic stylus.

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