The PRS-T2 is Sony's follow-up to the PRS-T1. Like the T1, the T2 has a 6-inch Dual Touch touchscreen, 2 GB of memory (1.4 of which are available to hold up to 1,200 books), a microSD slot capable of receiving cards of up to 32 GB and Wi-Fi connectivity for downloading e-books. Ultra-thin and lightweight (164 grammes, 4 g less than the T1), the T2 makes for a good travel buddy.
Design & Handling
Sony has stuck with its choice of a plastic front and soft-touch back. At 11 cm wide, 17 cm long and 9.1 mm thick, it's both elegant and comfortable to hold, and the finishing is of the highest order. The T2 comes in a choice of matte black, white or red and the stylus is included. It's small enough to fit in a handbag or even a large pocket, but don't forget to keep the stylus somewhere where you'll remember it, because there's no slot to store it on the T2. To navigate through the reader you use your fingers and/or the five silver buttons located below the screen. For example, if you prefer using a button to turn pages you can use the left and right arrows instead of swiping.
The 6-inch touchscreen uses the same E-Ink Pearl technology as last time, and thankfully so, because it provides excellent contrast. With 16 levels of grey and 800 x 600 pixel resolution, the contrast makes it a comfortable screen to read, even outside in the sun. The display is better than the Cybook Odyssey's but not quite as good as the Kindle Touch's amazing screen (based on our regular testing procedure, the T2's display rated 4.5 stars, compared to the Touch's 5 stars).
Pages pop open almost instantaneously. On the touchscreen you can pinch, stretch, zoom, scroll and flip pages, but the image doesn't rotate automatically between landscape and portrait mode. To do that you need to go through the settings menu. The capacitive display is highly responsive, making it easy to type on the virtual keyboard, although when typing the same letter twice you really have to separate each tap in order for it to be recognised.
The PRS-T2 comes with a stylus and a USB cable. We recommend buying a protective cover to avoid scratching the screen and to hold the stylus.
ON/OFF button and micro-USB port (note the lack of a headphone jack)
Interface & ResponsivenessNot only do pages turn more smoothly than on the T1, but the interface is also clear and intuitive. When you turn the reader on the first thing you see is a list of books you've recently read, the number of the last page you've read, and the date and time you last read them. And when you select a book it automatically opens the page where you last left off. There's also a link to Bookshelves, which is where you store your e-books. They can be sorted by publication date, title, author, file name or date last read, but still not by series or serial number.
Another touch button takes you straight to Sony's Reader Store, where you can browse and purchase e-books, and a link to Applications. Applications is where you find the biggest innovation since the T1: direct access to Facebook and Evernote. The Facebook feature lets you post passages from your e-book directly on the site. All you do is touch the text for a couple of seconds and then select "Send to Facebook". Same for Evernote, the note-taking app you may already know from various smartphones. In all truth, these "innovations" seem more like marketing than anything and, in our opinion, aren't really a selling point.
In addition to these apps, Sony has also included Browser, which frankly is okay as a backup web browser, but far from offering the ease of use found with any smartphone or tablet browser. But you can use it to download e-books from any online store, which is nice. You can also browse through Notes (sorted by type or date) and Periodicals, and use the multilingual Dictionary (English, German, Spanish, Italian...). The Handwriting app lets you write and draw with the stylus (which is more precise than a finger) on a blank page that you can save and find again using the creation date. In Text Memo you find all the annotations you've made on the keyboard. The bad news is the MP3 player's gone—so no more audio books or text-to-speech for the visually impaired.
At any point while reading a book you can bring up a window to change the font (there are seven), font size (eight), change the display settings and margins, align the text, take notes, and so on. However, unlike the Nook, Odyssey, Kobo and PocketBook, you still can't manage line breaks.
With the Plus option you can search for words in the text, sync the page, choose landscape or portrait mode and publish passages on Facebook.
By touching any word for a few seconds you bring up a list of actions, including highlighting, taking notes by drawing or using the virtual keyboard, and sending the word or passage to Facebook, Evernote, Google or Wikipedia. It's practical to be able to access all the most common activities like these directly from the text.
Supported Formats & Battery LifeThe PRS-T2 supports ePub, BBeB, PDF, TXT, DOC, JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP. We prefer Sony's system of offering universal formats, which gives you access to a wider range of reading material, as opposed to closed systems like Amazon's.
The battery life is announced at five weeks with Wi-Fi turned on and seven weeks with Wi-Fi turned off, which is longer than the T1's one month with the Wi-Fi off.
- Great contrast, no reflections
- Multilingual dictionary
- Direct access to Google and Wikipedia
- Evernote account syncing
- Compatible with both PC & Mac
- ePub support
- No accessories
- No more MP3 player
- Nowhere to store the stylus
- No text-to-speech or headphone jack
The PRS-T2 is lighter and more responsive than the T1. It's gained an integrated bookstore, but lost the MP3 player. The Facebook and Evernote apps are more marketing than anything, and shouldn't convince many buyers to choose it over its cheaper competitors. But kudos to Sony for the open book-buying system, which we much prefer to Amazon's closed model!