This article dwells on Kindle vs Sony Reader. Ebook readers are amazing gadgets that entered the technology market a few years ago. While gadget freaks have already lunged forward and bought them, most of us are still unaware of the different types available.
We sure are serious about eliminating the use of paper from our lives and protecting the natural resources around us. With the emergence of e-banking, e-shopping, etc. we now have the ebook reader, which eliminates the necessity to purchase and carry bulky books, not to mention how many trees can be salvaged by this technology.
An ebook reader
An ebook reader is an electronic device that allows you to store and read hundreds of books through it. The ultimate ebook reader would be the one that not only provides a good reading experience to the reader; with good screen and battery life, but also gets you books in the easiest manner possible. Among the best ebook reader brands are Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Nobles’ Nook, Kobo’s and Sony’s ebook readers.
Amazon’s Kindle Vs. Sony Reader
Sony came up with their first ebook reader in 2006 and only 14 months later, in 2007 did Amazon introduce its Kindle. However, Sony was forced to take the back seat, due to stiff competition from Amazon’s Kindle, as well as Barnes & Nobles’ Nook. Since 2007, Amazon has been constantly launching different models of the Kindle and have captured a major portion of the ebook market.
However, Sony hasn’t given up on the race and since then has been striving, to come up with new improved versions of their ebook reader. They recently launched their sleek and stylish PRS-T2, in August, 2012. Following suit, Amazon also successfully managed to introduce their fifth generation Kindle; Kindle Paperwhite in October, 2012. However, does the PRS-T2 have a cutting edge over the Kindle Paperwhite. Let’s find out!
|Sony PRS-T2||Amazon Kindle Paperwhite|
|August 16, 2012||October 1, 2012|
|Price at Launch|
|E Ink Pearl Display
|E Ink Display
|6.9 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches
Weighs 0.37 pounds
|6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36 inches
Weighs 0.47 pounds
|2 GB, expandable via microSD to 32GB||2 GB, no external storage|
|800 x 600 pixel resolution||1,024 x 768 resolution|
|Wi-Fi and 3G|
|Wi-Fi available. No 3G option||Wi-Fi and 3G options available|
|Colors Available in|
|Black, white and red||Black|
6 built-in dictionaries
Facebook and Evernote features
Five Buttons for navigation
Supports ePub, PDF, and TXT files
One physical button: Power button
Evernote and Facebook Integration
Sony’s PRS-T2 has a Facebook feature, which allows the reader to post a short passage from books he/she reads. However, beyond posting passage, if one wants to browse Facebook, one has to do it through the browser. The Evernote feature on the other hand is more interesting, because once you have signed into the Evernote account, accessing your notebooks is possible. This helps the reader to synchronize all the files read on the reader, and through the Evernote account, it can be read on other devices. The Evernote feature helps send notes and reading material wirelessly to other devices.
Navigation Buttons and Page Turns
Sony’s PRS-T2 features 5 silver buttons below the screen. Their icons make them self-explanatory, also making navigation easier. Page turns are fast, and become easier with buttons. While some find these buttons really helpful, other find them annoying and cheap. The power button is at the bottom, besides the USB port, which may be inconvenient for some, nevertheless, it prevents accidental turn offs. The Kindle on the other hand lacks buttons, which makes page turning quite cumbersome with the touch feature. However, page turns on the Kindle are faster.
One major drawback with the Sony PRS-T2 is the absence of backlight. Sony does offer a cover for the ebook reader, with integrated light at $50. However, text is perfectly visible in direct sunlight. Amazon’s Kindle provides a backlight that illuminates the screen, and doesn’t blast into one’s eyes. The light can be dimmed using onscreen controls. Lighting is more or less evenly distributed, with a small shadow on the screen, which can be annoying to some, however, backlight is better than no backlight.
Wi-Fi and 3G Options
Although Sony offers Wi-Fi, the 3G option is absent. The Kindle Paperwhite, on the other hand, comes in both W-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G version. However, the cost goes up for the 3G version ($179 ad-supported, $199 no ads), while the one with only W-Fi costs $119 ad-supported, $139 no ads.
While both PRS-T2 and Kindle have an internal storage of 2GB, the memory storage in the PRS-T2 is expandable, via microSD and can be expanded to 32GB. Kindle lacks the external storage feature.
The PRS-T2 supports ePub, PDF, and TXT files. There also exists various zooming options, which improve the reading experience. Moreover, another unique feature about Sony’s ebook reader, is the ‘reflow facility’, which enables PDF text to re-flow, without having to scroll to read the text. This feature is absent in the Kindle. Moreover, the Kindle also fails to support the ePub format, which is used by most online.
Sony PRS-T2’s plastic body is sleek, stylish, and light. It’s definitely better looking than the metal finish. Available in pinkish-red, black and white, Sony’s ebook reader is sleek and stylish, with the Sony Xperia glossy-finish look. Its case design is smooth, with metal accents that enhance the entire look. It combines the ebook necessity with fashion accessory. It also features a stylus to make notes, write in margins, underline and mark pages, however, the drawback is there is no storage facility for the stylus. As far as customization options are concerned, it’s not great. The touchscreen is too sensitive and not as user-friendly as in the Kindle. The Kindle Paperwhite’s display is great, with higher resolution and higher contrast. However, it’s available only in black, which is definitely better than the earlier gray.
Being ultra-light, Sony’s PRS-T2 weighs only 0.37 pounds, making it the lightest ebook reader available. This helps one to effortlessly hold it, while reading books. Moreover, it can be easily stored in the jacket pocket. On the other hand, Kindle paperwhite weighs 0.47 pounds, which is quite a bit of weight difference.
The Kindle comes with a time-to-read feature, which assesses the time left to finish a chapter or the book, based on one’s reading speed. This is a good motivator and will help you take the extra mile to read a little more everyday! There also exists the X-ray feature, which allows the reader to see all the passages in a book, wherein fictional characters, historical figures, relevant ideas and even places of interest are mentioned. All this with a single touch on the screen. These features are not present in the Sony PRS-T2.
Why does a person purchase an ebook reader? It’s definitely to read, and the availability of ebooks and convenience is what matters the most. Sony readers have a public library option in the menu, which allow the readers to look for books to borrow, from a collection of over 15,000 in the local library. The built-in Wi-Fi feature, enables reader to connect to the Sony store. Besides the Sony store, readers can also buy ebook books from other ebook stores, except Amazon and other closed system stores.
The Kindle on the other hand, has a collection of over ‘180,000 Kindle exclusive titles’, which are not available anywhere else. Moreover, scores of classics are available for free. Kindle also has an ebook lending feature, which allows readers to lend books to friends on the same platform for a period of about 2 weeks. Amazon may not allow downloading of books from local libraries, however, Amazon houses the biggest selection of books online, which is why readers don’t have to look elsewhere. Amazon, definitely is the more robust ebook store. The books bought from Amazon are stored in one’s library, available on clicking the “cloud” option of the library. Downloading of books is easy in the Kindle, and purchased books are sent across to the kindle in a matter of seconds.
Although the Sony PRS-T2 is the best ebook reader Sony has launched till date, it doesn’t deliver anything that other readers don’t. The absence of backlight, is a major drawback for the PRS-T2, which makes it look like it’s not as technologically advanced, as the other ebook readers. Moreover, the Sony store cannot be compared to the vast collection available at Amazon. Thus, even though Sony’s PRS-T2 is a stylish, efficient ebook reader, the lack of competitive advantage over the Kindle, makes it still a follower in this segment.