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Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi vs Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) e-reader head-to-head review

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Sony has been losing the e-book reader battle to Amazon's Kindle, which has been a runaway success despite arguably being an inferior product.

In an attempt to challenge the Kindle, Sony has tweaked the design to introduce Wi-Fi functionality and, perhaps more crucially, has lowered the price. V3 took a look at the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) and put it head-to-head against the Kindle to see whether it can attract consumers away from the market leader.

Design - Sony lays down the gaunlet with revamp
The build quality of the Sony Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1) feels premium compared to the plastic coating on the Kindle. Both devices are pleasing on the eye, but the lovely gloss finish on the Sony outdoes the drab grey of the Kindle.

Size-wise there is little to separate the two as both come with a 6in screen. They are comfortable to hold and, although the Sony is slightly smaller at 173x110x8.9mm, it is not as thin as the Kindle at 190x123x8.5mm.

 Sony Reader Wi-Fi vs Amazon Kindle

Sony claims that the Reader Wi-Fi is the lightest 6in device on the market. At 168g, we're in smartphone territory and the Reader is an impressive 73g lighter than the current Kindle at 241g. The Sony Reader is also more likely to fit into a jacket pocket owing to its squarer design and compactness.
Winner - Sony Reader Wi-Fi


Display and input - touchscreen > buttons
Both devices use an E-Ink display with a resolution of 600x800 pixels, so they are evenly matched when it comes to reading.

However, the Sony incorporates a touch screen, something that Amazon has yet to build into the Kindle. This makes navigating menus extremely intuitive as you can click on icons, scroll using a finger and change the page with a quick swipe.

Sony Reader Wi-Fi vs Amazon Kindle navigation

Sony also ships the Reader Wi-Fi with a stylus to make annotations on pages or highlight passages for reference. In contrast, the Kindle is equipped with a small physical Qwerty keyboard and navigating pages and menus means using the buttons on the bezel.

It is possible to annotate on the Kindle and look up words, but using the keyboard and arrow keys can be slow and fiddly at times. The device could definitely do with touch-screen input, which has been left out as a cost-cutting measure no doubt.
Winner - Sony Reader Wi-Fi

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Khidr Suleman
About

Khidr Suleman is a reporter at V3.co.uk, a role he has fulfilled since June 2010. He covers business hardware news and reviews, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, projectors and printers, as well as online applications.

Prior to joining V3.co.uk, Khidr worked as a freelance technology journalist. He studied law at the University of Reading and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism and Online Writing at PMA Training.

 

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