At £119, the Sony Reader PRS-T2 is £12 cheaper than the T1, but it's expensive compared to the competition, especially as it doesn't have a built-in light. The Kindle Paperwhite is £10 cheaper, while the Kobo Glo is £20 less. See all eReader reviews.
The PRS-T2 looks a lot like the T1, but the difference lies in the buttons on the front of the devices, which are much more aesthetically pleasing and easier to identify (if you’re the sort of person who responds best to pictogram-style symbols). The T1 and other previous Sony eReaders all had rectangular buttons.
The buttons are a bit sharp but thankfully most of the navigation is done on the touchscreen itself. There are no physical page-turning buttons to the left and the right of the screen, just 2 arrows under the screen. However, if you don’t want to use them, the handy swipe function turns the page just as easily – in fact, to someone who sometimes gets confused with the page-turning button directions, I found the swipe function much simpler to use.
As for colours, the Sony Reader PRS-T2 comes in the same three colours as before: black, red and white. The difference is that the black model comes with a smooth matte finish. While some users might prefer this, I personally quite like the shinier 'piano' finish to the plastic bezel casing on the red version that I reviewed, despite the finger print smudges, specifically because I’m bored of the matte finishes on other eReaders.
The PRS-T2 uses the 'industry standard' 6in Pearl E Ink display with a 600x800 resolution, the same you get on the £69 Amazon Kindle. At 164 grams, it's pretty much the same weight too. The pointed ends of the Reader are slightly uncomfortable if you prefer to cradle the device in just one hand, but this wasn’t a big issue for me. Take a look at Amazon Kindle 5 (2012) review.
Sony Reader PRS-T2: Performance
I was quite impressed by the speed of the page turning on this eReader, although as with all E Ink screens, there's an appreciable delay compared with an LCD screen.
Text was easy to read but not as clear as it appears on the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Glo, both of which have the higher 768x1024 resolution. While the two-point touch display allows you to increase the text size with the “pinch to zoom” function, I found this to be rather awkward and this method meant a lot of screen flickering, so I changed the font size through the menus instead, which was fairly simple.
As mentioned before, the page swiping function was very useful to me, but I missed the lack of progress bar at the bottom of the screen. If you want to jump to a particular chapter, you have to click the Menu button and access the 'Navigate Page' function to bring up the progress bar and Table of Contents.
Images are quite well rendered on the PRS-T2, but I did notice that there is quite a bit of text ghosting (i.e. still being able to see text from the previous page you were on, displayed beneath the current text or image), despite not being on the previous page for long. This sometimes happened particularly if I went from a page of the book to the Home page, or from the Home page to the Sleep mode, which displays the book cover. I like that the cover of the book I’m reading is displayed on the screen when the Reader is in sleep mode.
As with its predecessor, the PRS-T2 comes with ten translation dictionaries and two English dictionaries, but my favourite new feature was the Evernote and Facebook integration, which is very useful for taking notes by simply using your finger (or the included stylus) to press and highlight a paragraph, after which a menu pops up allowing you to send the lines to either Evernote or Facebook.
Overall the extra apps weren't bad – the browser was legible and quite quick, if you can get over the slow page updates. Plus the ability to scrawl notes and annotations was fun and the results can be uploaded to the Evernote.
Sony Reader PRS-T2: Store integration
It doesn't make up for the high price, but a bonus is the tie-in with Harry Potter author JK Rowling’s new eReading platform Pottermore (which Sony is a part of). As such, the PRS-T2 comes with a voucher for a free eBook: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
While I found purchasing books from the Sony Reader Store fairly straightforward, claiming the free eBook was quite complicated by comparison, as you needed to register for a separate Pottermore Shop account and then link that account with your regular Reader Store account.
While the Pottermore Shop offered instructions on how to do this, the link to download the Reader Store software for your PC didn’t work and it took quite a while to figure out how to do this, especially as you weren’t allowed to access the Pottermore Shop from the eReader device and download it directly, you have to use the PC to download the book and then transfer it over.
Buying eBooks from the regular Reader Store was slightly easier, but I still found the navigation of the Reader Store and the ability of the Reader Store software to pick up that I had connected the Reader to the PC a bit fiddly (this was tested on two different PCs). Also, I was disappointed by the slightly limited range of books compared to Amazon.
See also Group test: what's the best eReader?