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Sony Reader PRS-T3 Officially Launched & Leaves Questions Unanswered

3_color_stack_T3_with_English_contentsSo Sony formally launched their newest ereader today, finally confirming what the FCC leak, leaked product listing, and the leaked retail unit had already told us.

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.

This ereader looks like a black, white, or red rectangle, has 2GB of storage, and a microSD card slot. Looking at the software features, it seems that the new model is just as capable as the[1]


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

Sony Reader PRS-T3 Specs

  • 6″ Pearl HD E-ink screen
  • 1024 x 758 pixel resolution, 16 levels of grayscale.
  • Wifi
  • 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.

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Argos September 6, 2013 um 10:00 pm

"The new Sony Reader PRS-T3 maintains Sony’s gold standard of being one step behind the market."

That sums it up quite nicely.
Sony did so well with their .50 line and this is what it has devolved into. Such a shame.
I still am the proud owner of a 7″ PRS-950 Daily Edition. I still think it is the most beautiful e-reader ever made. But last week I switched to Kobo. I bought the Aura HD with very high quality front lighting, a 6.8″ screen and 4Gb of internal memory. I have given up on Sony for now.

Perhaps they will catch up next year. I keep giving them a chance, because they once knew what their customers wanted.
Please Sony, at least give us the option to buy modern front lit Sony readers with 7, or even 8″screens and 4 Gb internal memory.
Just revamp the PRS-950 and I am your man again. You could even fit a high res 8″screen in almost the very same beautiful aluminum chassis. Do it Sony. Make the reader that rules them all, instead of that mediocre stuff.

Thomas September 9, 2013 um 7:57 am

I was about to buy the new Sony PRS-T3, but now, dissapointed, I will buy Pocketbook Touch Lux. Lux! because after my PRS-650 and PRS-T1 I want Frontlight. I was very satiesfied with my old Sony Items, but now I am forced to leave Sony to another Brand.

BACO October 23, 2013 um 9:49 am

They really don’t want to develop the E-Ink technology, this is the whole story. It is too cheap and simple, energy friendly and so on BUT it seems to me that the companies does not make enough profit out of it. And they have to forget LCD and teflon as well. And maybe the pharmacephtical companies like how we are going blind by staing all day in front of the computer. So they make other devices that look like e-readers but with LCDs, they make worst and worst e-ink readers, they does not want to go colourful, does not want to make foldable e-readers and so on. However, the new generation of engineers is here and we will kick your ass you old dirty …..

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