Customer Review

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The reader is mostly wonderful; its computer software is frustrating but you don't need it anyway, November 15, 2011
This review is from: Sony PRS-T1 6" Digital E-Ink Pearl eReader with Wi-Fi (Black) (Electronics)
I have the red version of this reader, identical to this except for its color, which I had a rough honeymoon with but have ultimately come to love when I'm using it for its most important purpose, reading. The touch screen is very sensitive, it's beautiful and light weight, there are multiple fonts and text sizes to choose from, and the wifi feature, especially the ability to connect directly with my local libraries to borrow books, is a mostly wonderful option.

Maybe because this reader can do so many things, it's more finicky than my Sony 350 which is a generation older than the PRS-T1. I have never had my 350 freeze, but in the short time that I've had the PRS-T1 I've had to reset it 4 times. Usually it has happened when I'm flicking the "pages", something that works perfectly most of the time, which somehow sets off wild unstoppable page turning ultimately freezing the device.

If you are used to earlier Sony readers, this one requires a tap, tap-hold-for-2-seconds instead of a quick double tap to highlight or call up dictionary definitions, which was a little hard for me to get the hang of at first. The good news is that the new tap, tap-hold-for-2-seconds also calls up a menu with options for text word search, google, wikipedia and note taking--it's very exciting to be able to google or wikipedia right from the reader. The bad news is that if you are used to how a tablet can access the internet, the PRS-T1 will seem slow and clunky. There are multiple negative-to-positive page flashes when navigating down a page or sometimes even when typing, which is distracting and annoying. Also the stylus is much bigger on this model and doesn't slide into the reader the way the 350 stylus does. I'm afraid of losing it so I keep it in a safe place which means I never have it on hand when I'm using the reader so my tapping is all done by fingernail which so far has worked just fine.

Books from your local library and free books from sites like Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks can be downloaded directly onto the reader when there is available wifi, but books bought from Google, Smashwords, or any site other than Sony need to be added via a USB link from a computer. There is new Sony software for the computer to use with this reader, but for me it has been unreliable, buggy and ultimately a nonfunctioning drag. After sort of working some of the time it now crashes every time it opens itself up on my computer--it comes alive automatically whenever the reader is connected to the computer. Fortunately books can be added directly to the reader through My Computer, a method the Sony User Guide describes but doesn't recommend--it's worked perfectly for me, unlike the Sony software.

Another problem with the new Sony computer software is that each time you connect it to your reader it syncs everything, which is time consuming and just gives the software more reasons to choke and stop responding. It's not possible to drag and drop a single book onto the reader they way you could with the older version of the software. Also, if you organize your books into collections on your computer using the Sony software, you cannot then move the books around on your reader, it will only be possible to delete books or move them in or out of collections using the Sony computer software and then re-syncing your entire collection. It seems a strange choice to me, creating new software with less options and less flexibility. I ditched the software and do everything right on the reader, which functions much more smoothly.

Early on I was having so much trouble getting everything set up and working--the biggest problem was trying (and ultimately failing) to get the new Sony computer software to work with my 350 reader--that I spent hours on the phone with Sony help personnel. They meant well, but maybe because the PRS-T1 reader was brand new then they didn't completely know what they were doing and their help caused me to lose the User Guide that came pre-loaded on the PRS-T1 (fortunately I had already read it and it can also be accessed on line) as well as all of the highlighting and notes I'd done on my 350. Even worse, all of the 350's 200-some books were tossed out of their well-organized folders into one mass list--a time consuming mess.

Now that the early problems are in the past I absolutely love this reader. I don't use the Sony computer software, but it's not necessary anyway. The new Kindles also have touch screens and the ability to borrow library books making them a good choice too, with any ereader 600 page books weigh only ounces and a massive collection of reading material can fit in a pocket or purse. For now I prefer the aesthetic of the Sony.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2011 9:00:25 PM PST
Twinszz says:
Hi Jaylia3,

The new reader for PC software is ONLY for the T-1. Use the older reader software for the other Sony readers or just use Calibre.

Turn the device off/on about three times when the page turns/freeze occurs. This will immediately make it start working again. Sony has allegedly put out updated software on their site for this problem and I am waiting on feedback to see if it fixed this problem. If so, then this reader will be the BEST, for me.

Posted on Nov 26, 2011 9:04:05 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Nov 26, 2011 9:07:13 PM PST]
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Jaylia3
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Location: Silver Spring, MD United States

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