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Sony Reader review

A lot of classic books that are in the public domain because their copyrights have expired (as they are supposed to) are available from Project Gutenberg. Long before e-readers were available I downloaded these books in text or HTML format and read them on my PC. This unfortunately was less than ideal. A PC (even a laptop) looses to a book when reading comfort is concerned. In my opinion even tablets are too heavy for compfortable reading.

Recently a local supermarket chain started selling the Sony PRS-T2 at a discount (€99, €30 less than other shops).

Sony PRS-T2 e-reader

It’s slightly smaller than A5 paper, and small enough to hold in one hand.

Since I don’t use Windoze, it was important for me to be able to upload e-books from my FreeBSD machines. As some web searching taught me, this reader has a USB port and is recognized as a USB mass storage device, so uploading books is as easy a mounting the device and transferring the files.

It can read the popular EPUB format, as well as plain text and PDF. Mostly I upload epub format books to this device, since this format allows text to be fitted (“reflowed”) to the device’s screen.

It has an “e-ink pearl” grayscale screen which I find very nice to read. Very close to a printed book. (Note that the distortion of the image below is caused by the camera angle!)

close-up of the PRS-T2's screen

The text in the image above is of my very first ebook, the making of which is covered in another post.

The response time of these kinds of screens is pretty slow, but that isn’t really an issue when you’re reading. Only when you are using the GUI elements on the touchscreen is it really noticable. But it probably has a pretty tame (low-power) CPU, and that could also be a factor.

Turning pages is best done with the buttons under the screen. Swiping the screen also works. The device remembers where you were reading if you change to another book.

All in all I quite like it.


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