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The Failure: Sony's new PRS-T2
on September 24, 2012
Disappointment. That is the first word I would use to describe how I feel about the new Sony PRS-T2 eReader. Someone at Sony must have forgotten to mention that when companies release an "upgraded device," they are actually supposed to do more than just change the material of the outer casing. If you buy a PRS-T2, you will be spending $130 for a "new" device that could have been released two years ago. Their technology is that dated. It is a total ripoff.
The PRS-T2, Sony's latest offering (if you could call it that), does almost NOTHING to improve on the PRS-T1. They have actually removed a majors features, like the ability to listen to audiobooks and music, and have given us nothing appealing in its place.
This is important: they are still using the same old 600 x 800 E Ink screen they have been putting in their readers for the past three years, while other brands are pushing ahead with beautiful high-definition and glow displays. In an ironic twist, the text actually looks darker and more bold on the PRS-T1! On the PRS-T2 there is no 1024 x 768 HD E Ink screen (as will be featured on the new Kindle and Kobo Glo), and they didn't even try to sharpen the text by releasing a better text rendering firmware update.
Their main ad for the PRS-T2 touts the addition of a Facebook sharing app and Evernote tie-in. They have increased the social reading aspects of the device by tying it in to Facebook, and you can now save blog posts and web articles to an Evernote account and read them on your offline later. But other than that, we are losing more than we are gaining (the Facebook feature didn't even work during the first month of its release!). I don't really see Facebook/Evernote as a positive improvement. There are dozens of ways to save web articles to read on eReaders later, and the Facebook feature is immensely overrated.
On top of all this, they even reduced the number of preloaded dictionaries from twelve to six!
So just to review, we are:
1. losing audio capabilities, no headphone jack
2. getting no advances in fonts, formatting, or text rendering
3. removing half of the dictionaries
4. getting no E Ink HD improvement
5. being charged $129, the same cost as the old PRS-T1 for LESS FEATURES than the PRS-T1 had
When a no-frills upgrade like this comes out, I usually blame the lack of improved features on the price war between all of the big eReader companies. It is hard to offer amazing specs at $80-$100 a reader. But Sony is willing to charge us more. They put a $129 (more like $150 after taxes and shipping) price tag on a "new" eReader that blatantly does nothing extra for the cost. Sony offers us absolutely nothing in the way of technological innovation in exchange.
I have owned four Sony Readers in the past, but I won't be buying this one. Sony used to make incredibly impressive devices with top-of-the-line features, but now it seems they have lost their way. This eReader was obsolete as soon as it hit the shelves. If you want to pay $130 for 2010 technology, go ahead. But there are better reading experiences, and much better deals out there.