Sony Reader (PRS-T3) review: Sony Reader (PRS-T3)

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Typical Price: $149.00
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good CompactExcellent screen contrastCase snaps neatly onOverdrive (library) integrationPDF reflowPage-flipping bug fixed.

The Bad Case-light not as good as back-lightPricy once light case is factored inPage-turning gestures clunky.

The Bottom Line In and of itself, the Sony PRS-T3 is a perfectly serviceable e-reader, but the reading experience doesn't stack up against the competition.

6.5 Overall

Sony's PRS-T3 has landed smaller, lighter and faster than the previous model and, like Kobo and Kindle, has a resolution upgrade.

Design

Sony stands out from the pack in more ways than one, but the most noticeable of these is the design. Unlike the Kobo and the Kindle, the two most popular e-readers on the Australian market, Sony has kept a steadfast hold on its physical buttons in a row down the bottom for turning the pages forward and back, a home button, a back (previous screen) button and a menu button. This serves a purpose of always keeping a set of navigation options available that can be accessed without tapping into another menu, although we can't say we find the lack of buttons in other devices a particular hindrance.

Like the Kobo Aura , the PRS-T3 has opted for smaller and lighter. It comes in at 160x109x11.3 millimetres (including the cover) and weighs 200 grams (also including the cover). That's a fair bit more compact than the PRS-T2, which measured 173x110x9.1 millimetres and 164 grams without a cover — it weighs noticeably more than the PRS-T3 with the cover on.

The PRS-T3 (left) and PRS-T2 (right), both with the official case.
(Credit: Michelle Starr/CNET Australia)

At the bottom edge, it has a power button, micro-USB port for charging and sideloading, and a reset hole. Available in three colours — black, white and red — it's stylish and non-distracting.

The base model of the PRS-T3's cover comes with a cover included. We quite like this — it snaps neatly on to the e-reader's caseback and integrates well with the e-reader's body. If you want a light, though, you need to make an additional purchase — the AU$59 Reader cover with light, which pushes the overall price to AU$208.

Features

The software has seen little change since the PRS-T2, with Facebook and Evernote support, library borrowing via the Public Library app (a valid library card is required), an included dictionary and note taking. The last seems an odd thing to have kept since Sony has done away with the stylus. For most applications, this doesn't matter, but for hand-writing notes, it's clumsy. That said, there is an option to type notes, and we didn't find ourselves really making much use of the feature anyway.

For an overview of the software features in the PRS-T3, you may as well check the PRS-T2 review ; it's pretty much the same, with one notable exception: whatever was making image-heavy PDFs refuse to work has been fixed, although users have been reporting an entirely different reflow bug. It's also worth noting that large PDFs are a little slow to turn pages at times.

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