In the e-reader world it seems like the Kindle and Nook have taken center stage, so it’s easy to forget that Sony was one of the first companies to jump on the e-reader bandwagon. One of their latest e-readers is the Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1WC. This 6″ e-reader sports a touchscreen display and Wi-Fi, and also claims to be the world’s lightest. Read on for our full review of the PRS-T1WC.
The Sony Reader Wi-Fi PRS-T1WC is a handsome device with classic aesthetics. The reader is available in a choice of white, red or black, which is more color choices than you get from the standard fare of e-readers. The device also has a soft rubber back finish which makes it nice and easy to grip. The fact that it weighs just 5.9 ounces, along with its soft rubber back finish, makes it a pleasure to hold for long periods of time. It’s also super thin, measuring just 3/8 of an inch, so that you can unobtrusively stash it in your bag.
The Reader Wi-Fi houses a 6″ display with a 600 x 800 resolution that uses E Ink Pearl technology with anti glare. The result is a display that we found held up well even under the harsh sunlight of Sedona, Arizona, which was a place where our iPad’s display was unusable during the daytime. So go ahead and take this reader with you on vacation and sit back and relax with it under the sun.
The display is also a touchscreen display which makes the device’s U.I. much more intuitive to operate. For example, you can pinch to zoom in and out, or swipe to the left or right to turn pages. However, at the bottom of the display are five dedicated buttons – a page back, page forward, home, back, and menu button. Speaking of the U.I., the Sony Reader’s U.I. is very straightforward. The home screen offers quick access to what you have been recently reading, the Reader Store is easy to navigate, and the onscreen keyboard is easy to use and pretty responsive
Besides for books, the Reader Wi-Fi can also display magazines, newspapers, and even comics. For reading magazines and comics we would generally prefer a color tablet over a Reader, but it’s nice to have the option available here. When it comes to text, the Sony Reader Wi-Fi is able to display a total of seven font styles and eight font sizes. When it comes to files, it has support for ePub, PDF, TXT, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP picture files, and MP3 and AAC audio files. The device comes with 1.3GB of internal available free memory, which is sufficient to hold about 1,200 ebooks, but fortunately it also comes with a MicroSD card slot so that you expand it with up-to an additional 32GB of storage.
The device also comes with a Dictionary, text memo app, and a handwriting app for taking notes. Speaking of the handwriting app, the Reader even comes with a dedicated stylus! The Reader can also play back audio files via a standard 3.5mm jack, it has a web browser, and built-in access to Public Library content. And although it hardly provides an ideal web browsing experience, the web browser loads up a website surprisingly fast.
Battery life for the Sony Reader Wi-Fi is supposed to be 3-4 weeks with wireless on, or up to 14,000 continuous page turns. Unfortunately we have not tested the Reader Wi-Fi long enough to verify this but it seems pretty accurate so far.
Overall, the Sony Reader Wi-Fi is an excellent top-of-the-line e-reader. It offers all of the “cutting-edge” features that you would want from an e-reader, including a touchscreen, built-in wireless, a web browser, and more. And all of this comes in a very lightweight and pretty stylish body. Unfortunately, the biggest challenge for Sony Reader Wi-Fi is that the Kindle and Nook brands have become household names, making it difficult to compete. But if you’re looking for an e-reader that is as lightweight as possible, yet packs in all the features you could want, there is no reason not to go with the Sony Reader Wi-Fi. The Sony Reader Wi-Fi is reasonably priced at $129.
The Good: As lightweight as it gets, display holds up really well in sunlight, built-in wireless, touchscreen U.I. is easy to use, comes with web browser and note taking apps, three color choices available
The Bad: Google books content no longer available, pages can be slow to refresh – especially with graphics