Evernote Clearly, Instapaper, and Pocket are all great ways to save the best stories and blog posts on the web and read them in a distraction-free (and often ad-free) environment later on your favorite mobile device. While these services all integrate fabulously on touchscreen phones and tablets, trying to set up Instapaper to deliver to your Kindle is a convoluted process that doesn’t work as seamlessly as you’d expect. Other “read it later” services don’t offer any kind of e-Reader support whatsoever. Thankfully, the latest from Sony, the Reader PRS-T2, is here to change that, with tight Evernote and Facebook integration that make it easier to read what you want, where you want it, and share what you’re reading and your favorite passages with friends, family and colleagues.
While every mobile business professional I know has a laundry list of books in their queue, more often than not we’re struggling even more to keep up with the latest information on the web. I personally struggle with this all the time, leaving tabs open with lengthy articles I want to get back to and read at a later date, or stuffing those articles in Clearly or Instapaper so I can check them out later when I’m on the go. But anyone who’s tried to read a long article or a phone or even a tablet knows how those devices are far from perfect. Notifications of new emails and news stories getting in the way, as well as the ease of multitasking over to a web browser or Angry Birds session means that you’re far from a distraction-free reading environment. The new Sony Reader, the PRS-T2, is here to help.
Articles saved with Evernote Clearly automatically sync with the device, and highlights and annotations you make can automatically be synced back into your Evernote account as well. As someone who depends on Evernote to keep track of everything I’m working on and thinking about, this is a killer feature and moves the new Sony reader to the top of my list.
For those looking to get more social with their readers, the Facebook integration is another way Sony stands out from the crowd with the PRS-T2. The Reader makes it easy to share passages from the books you’re reading to your wall, which for those of us who are both Facebook and reading enthusiasts could be yet another killer feature.
So, you want to know about the tech specs and other features of Sony’s new reader?
While the display on the PRS-T2 is really no different than any other e-Reader (6 inches, 800×600 resolution, e-ink, 16 shades of gray), page turns are much improved over the last model. Not only did pages turn faster than I’ve seen on any other reader (although the NOOK is probably close), the device only had to take an extra second to black out the whole screen every 15 pages. My personal e-Reader, a Kindle Touch with 3G, is the most expensive on the market currently ($149 with ads, $189 without), and refreshes to black every 6 pages in comparison. It’s amazing how far e-ink tech has come in the last year.
Put your own content on your Reader
One feature I’m glad Sony has kept is arguably the second best reason to own one (after Evernote integration, of course) and that’s the MicroSD slot and support for DRM-free books. This means that you can buy your books anywhere you please and load them straight to your device. It also means you have a lot of flexibility to work with other types of documents. Since Sony’s Reader supports ePub, PDF and TXT files, you can quickly and easily load work documents to read while on the go simply by putting them on a MicroSD card. With other e-Readers, you’re generally stuck only with the books in their store and cumbersome methods of sideloading your own content. On my Kindle, for instance, if I want to move a document to my device, I have to e-mail it to myself and wait for Amazon to convert the file. Sony cuts out the middleman and trusts you to be able to fill up your own device responsibly. With around 1.3 GB of internal storage, and support for up to 32 GB of MicroSD storage, this device can comfortably handle even the largest reading libraries.
I really liked the new design of the Sony’s newest e-Reader. The matte black finish especially struck me as a subtle, professional-looking device. The buttons work well, the touchscreen tech was very fast and responsive, and it even includes a stylus to annotate or highlight text quickly and easily. Sony claims up to 6 weeks of battery life when using the device for half an hour each day—that’s probably pretty accurate, as most e-ink based devices have similarly exceptional battery lives.
Overall, I found Sony’s latest e-Reader to be exceptional in every way except for one: price. At $129, it’s significantly more than the entry-level $79 Kindle ($119 without ads) or the $99 NOOK Simple Touch. In fact, it’s only $10 less than the $139 NOOK with GlowLight, an integrated LED lighting system that does away with the need for a $50+ lighted cover. While the social media, sharing, Evernote integration and MicroSD slot make it an amazing e-Reading device, unless you specifically need any of those features you can easily get by with a more modestly priced e-Reader from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.
However, if the price isn’t your primary consideration, take a good long look at the Sony PRS-T2. You’d be hard pressed to find fault with Sony’s latest design.