Archive for sony
Sony has been quietly developing a 13.3 inch e-Reader that is specialized for reading and editing PDF Files via a Stylus. The company has announced today on their Japanese website that they intend on commercially releasing it in Japan this December for $1100 US. The move to sell it in Japan first is due to a trial that five Universities engaged in to test the feasibility of the product in an academic setting.
The first time Sony had displayed this product publically was at the e Ink booth at SID Display Week in Vancouver. Not only is this the first 13.3 inch e-reader in the world, but the screen technology was developed by Sony, called Mobius. This is a flexible high resolution e-paper display screen that makes it lighter and more durable. e Ink told us that the major benefit of Mobius is that the tech allows them to cut it to any size they want, and still retain all of the benefits.
The new Sony e-Reader 13.3 will be known as the Digital paper “DPT-S1.” The PDF experience is the main attraction of this device, obviously you can take notes and make annotations by either writing with the stylus or the full virtual keyboard. If you make a note, you can save that page as an independent file. If you have a big PDF document and make all sorts of edits, you can save it as a “Workspace” into its own PDF document. This insures you have your virgin file, with no edits and then your changed document with all of your notes.
If you have a large document with many notes, you can actually initiate a new feature that will allow you to look up all of the notes or changes you made on the document. A search feature will bring up a list on the right hand side, listing every single change you have ever made. If you tap on any of them, the page will open.
When we reviewed the e-Reader at SID Display Week it did not have support for EPUB books, just PDF Files. Sony has confirmed today that the e-reader will ONLY support PDF files, so you won’t be able to read your normal eBooks on it, unless you use a 3rd party program to convert your books from one format to another.
Finally, Sony intends to launch this in Japan first, but plans on doing an international rollout in April 2014 to Canada and Europe. They are trying to market it to schools and businesses that can push out documents from a centralized server right to the e-readers via WIFI.
The new Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader may be a bit underwhelming but the one device that everyone wants, is not commercially available. The Sony 13.3 e-Reader was unveiled at the SID Display Week conference in Vancouver, BC and we had comprehensive hands on with the next generation e-Reader. There has been zero news regarding this device for the last four months but we now have confirmation that it is being tested at three Japanese Universities.
The Three Universities are Waseda, Ritsumeikan, Housei and are scheduled to start pilot tests for the commercialization of the product. These schools will all be getting free devices direct from Sony to beta test the devices and to see if they will be the right fit for academia.
The 13.3 inch screen is beguiling to behold and you would figure from looking at it that it would weigh significantly more than the Kindle DX. In truth it weighs only 12.6 oz, compared to the Kindle DX, which weighs a hefty 18.9 oz.
The screen itself is quite respectable in terms of resolution and pixel density. The resolution on the display is 1200×1600 with 150 PPI. It is dubbed Mobius by E Ink and the company is actively shopping it around to the who’s who list of the e-reader world.
The main attraction is using the active digitizer and interacting with complex PDF documents. You can edit documents by jotting down your own handwritten notes, or even highlight passages to go back to later. The large screen display will simply give you the best PDF experience you have ever had on an e-reader.
I have personally reviewed over 83 different e-readers since launching Good e-Reader in 2009, and this was the first one to give me a quality PDF experience. I have received emails from airline pilots, heads of research divisions, and publishers about what device they should buy to read their PDF Files. I would implore everyone to buy this Sony one when it comes out; it changes the game. I don’t normally gush about things like this, but when it comes to school, work, newspapers, gaming guides, and technical PDF documents, this is solid.
Sony and Amazon have a storied history in e-Reader production and both companies have been in the hardware game for a long time. Amazon started producing e-readers in 2007, while Sony started in 2006. The Kindle Paperwhite 2 and Sony PRS-T3 reflect the very latest generation in e-reader technology and today we look at how both fare head to head.
The Sony PRS-T3 features a six inch e-ink Pearl display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ Freescale processor and 512 MB of RAM. Sony says that the built in memory is 2 GB, but when you take it out of the box for the first time, you only have a paltry 1.2 GB of storage space. If you are a voracious reader, you must invest in an SD Card.
Sony has a number of things going for it that make it stand out in the crowd. It has physical page turn keys and is still able to be interacted with via the touchscreen. It also has Evernote integration to send notes right to your account. If you borrow eBooks from the library, Sony has a Overdrive app that allows you to borrow and read books. Speaking of reading, Sony has always offered amazing PDF support, and this model allows you to reflow the text or pinch and zoom. There is also a bookstore you can tap into via the built in WIFI. The Reader Store has undergone a facelift over the course of the last year and now has an excellent eBook rating system thanks to iDreambooks.
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 features a six inch e-Ink display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. Unlike the Sony, this model has a built in front-lit display that allows you to read in the dark. Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ processor and 256 MB of RAM. There is 2 GB of internal storage and the majority of your content will be held in the cloud.
Amazon has a number of things going for it, such as one of the best bookstores in the world with over 2.1 million titles. It has also Flashcards and translation support to assist in discovering new words and learning a new language. One of the things I like is the new way it handles what page you are on and how far you are in a book. X-Ray continues to have a wide appeal, with being able to come back to a book weeks later and check out the people, places and things. You can get a sense on who the main characters are and whats happened in the book.
Over the course of this video tutorial we look at the GUI and what users can expect their home screens to look like. We also dive into the eBook experience with books purchased from their bookstores and also side loaded PDF’s.
Sony unveiled their new PRS-T3 e-Reader a few weeks ago and is a fairly solid device. One point of contention has been the built in case with sleep cover. You definitely need the case on at all times because of the way it was designed. Most people don’t like cases on their e-Readers and just want to hold it, without things poking them. Sony has just revealed that they are releasing the PRST3BC model October 15th in Canada and will solve this problem.
The PRST3BC model will basically not need the sleep cover and will feature the rear housing consistent with Sony’s previous releases. When Sony initially filed their application for FCC certification, many people noticed the rear of the unit looked very different from the commercially released version. This was due to it being a completely different model.
We have confirmation that they PRST3BC will be available to ship out October 15th, and likely retail stores will have it the week after that. There is no pricing available yet, but I would assume it would be in the $99 to $119 range, due to the elimination of the sleep cover.
There was a time when Sony was the undisputed King of the PDF experience on their entire line of electronic readers. During this era the majority of readers did not feature a touchscreen display to pinch and zoom, so we had to make due to advanced settings. Kobo has slowly been making inroads in usurping the crown away from Sony with their PDF rendering technology.
Today Good e-Reader compares the new Kobo Aura and the Sony PRS-T3 and looks comprehensively at the overall PDF experience. Both of these devices allow you to pinch and zoom, and they handle this in completely different ways. Kobo has moved into more of a tectonic gesture based control scheme, while Sony still puts a heavy emphasis on reflow and zooming.
The video below shows you two different PDF books to check out exactly how these two readers stack up. We have a very small Biology book, that is under 2 MB and the very complex D&D Monsters Manual.
Sony has released a new version of their seminal Reader App for iOS in Japan today. It brings a number of enhancements, including support for EPUB3, which appeals to people who read manga, graphic novels and eBooks with Japanese characters.
Currently there are over 20,000 comics, graphic novels, and manga comics in the Sony Reader Store. This new app was exclusively designed to take advantage of all of this content and appeal to the literary sensibilities of their core Japanese customer base.
Right now there is no way to buy eBooks within the app, as Sony is encouraging their customers to buy all of the content on the web version of their Japanese site and then have everything that is purchased synced to the app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Sony has confirmed that they don’t have any intention of selling their new PRS-T3 e-Reader in the United States. The company simply cannot compete against Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo with their online bookstore and price. The USA market is rife with constant price slashing in a bid to curry consumer favor. It is basically unprofitable to focus on the US, and Sony instead will focus their efforts on Canada, Europe, and Japan.
In a statement of confirmation, the Sony PR Department mentioned, “Sony will not be offering the Reader PRS-T3 in the United States. In response to the region’s market changes, Sony will be focusing instead on mobile and tablet devices, including the Xperia Tablet Z and Xperia Z smartphone. Digital reading and eBooks remain an important priority for Sony. Reader Store will still help book lovers find and read their next story, anytime and anywhere, and customers can continue to expect new and exciting features and discovery tools. Reader Store will continue to support previous Readers as well as other compatible devices via the free Reader apps for PC, Mac, Android and iOS.”
In recent years, Sony has divested themselves out of focusing on e-Readers. The last few models have largely been the same device, with marginal hardware and software enhancements. Consumers who live in the US can still buy the Sony PRS-T3 exclusively from Shop e-Readers.
There used to be a time not too long ago, where Sony would release three different e-Reader models a year. The Japanese company has shifted their priorities to tablets and now only does one e-ink release a year. Last week Sony released their 3rd generation T3 reader and we compare it against last years model. How exactly do the two stack up against each other in a side by side comparison?
Both of these devices are very much the same, in terms of hardware. The CPU speed is 1 GHZ, while RAM sits at 512 MB. You have 1.2 GB of internal memory available and can easily expand it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD. The main difference is the resolution, with 1024×758 on the T3 vs the 800×600 on the T2. They also give you around two months of battery life and have the exact same firmware, so you will have a similar experience on the newer model.
The main difference between the two units is the built in case on the Sony PRS-T3. Sony has taken the gambit of a mandatory carrying case that comes for free with the e-Reader. If you remove it, the back is very jagged and if you get it wet, you could destroy it. If you want to read in the dark, you have to buy a carrying case with a light, that costs around $60.00.
The Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader has officially been released in a number of countries. This new model has a built in case that ships that ships with it and its important to note this unit was designed with the intention of always using the case. If you want to read in the dark, you must purchase the Sony PRS-T3 Case with built in reading light. It retails for around $50.00 and can be purchased from Sony Online or other retailers. Is this case a good investment? Today, we evaluate it in our official review.
The Sony PRS-T3 Case with Reading Light is a bit more bulky than the case that ships with the unit by default. It feels a little bit more unwieldy because there is extra girth to accommodate the reading light and the wires that bind them. The front of the case is a nice leather and the side that faces your e-Reader screen is made of suede. This case is fairly useful because it automatically wakes up the screen from standby mode when you open it up, so you can jump right into the book.
The Reading Light itself is much akin to previous Sony offerings. The LCD light has two LED’s and doesn’t really provide enough illumination to evenly distribute the light across the screen. You will find yourself in the common situation of the top half of the screen looking really good, but the bottom half is cloaked in darkness. The LCD light is not malleable, so you can’t position it the way you want, you are basically just stuck with the default positioning.
In the following video review we do a proper unboxing of the case to show you how it looks and attach it to the e-Reader for the first time. In our full video review we show you how it looks in complete darkness and in low-light conditions. You can get a sense on the real world conditions and if this is the right investment for you.
The Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader has just been released and has the best annotation and note taking functionalities on the market. We recently reviewed this unit and were impressed by the eBook experience and how it handles PDF files. Some people also really like physical page turn buttons, which is somewhat of a lost art with most devices on the market. Currently this device is not yet available in most countries, such as the US. Shop e-Readers now has all colors in stock and you can have them shipped out to any country in the world.
The Sony PRS-T3 features a six inch e-ink Pearl display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ Freescale processor and 512 MB of RAM. Sony says that the built-in memory is 2 GB, but when you take it out of the box for the first time, you only have a paltry 1.2 GB of storage space. If you are a voracious reader, you must invest in an SD Card.
You can order it today by clicking HERE.
Sony will be officially releasing their new 3rd generation T3 e-Reader next week in the US, Canada and overseas. The overall build quality mirrors the previous iterations of the hardware and most of the differences are software related. With minor tweaks and updates, how does this e-Reader stack up against the competition?
The Sony PRS-T3 features a six inch e-ink Pearl display screen with a resolution of 1024×768. This is not quite as fancy as some of the new devices hitting the market in the next few weeks and seems to be using outdated technology from last year. It also is lacking the front-lit display that allows you to read in the dark. Instead, Sony has covers that have a built in reading light and will retail for $60.00 when they are released at the end of October.
Sony made a very odd design choice with the new sleep covers and other cover accessories. If you device to remove the cover you will have the battery, SD Card and other ribbons poking you from the back. Sony basically has mandated that you must always have a cover on the device. It does not have the same backing as every single e-reader on the market.
Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ Freescale processor and 512 MB of RAM. Sony says that the built in memory is 2 GB, but when you take it out of the box for the first time, you only have a paltry 1.2 GB of storage space. If you are a voracious reader, you must invest in an SD Card.
As e-Readers have processed over the years, most have scrapped physical buttons to go with capacitive touchscreen displays. Tablets also have followed suite and all common functions are accomplished with software. Sony has buckled the trend by sticking with the page turn, home and settings buttons. This allows you to simply hold the device with one hand and are able to turn the pages, quickly and easily.
The hardware basically mirrors the Sony PRS-2 and there are really no differences in the overall aesthetics. If you have had a prior model, you know what you are getting yourself into. The main allure of the T3 is the software.
The Sony PRS-T3 is running on Google Android, which maintains the same theme as their entire modern line of e-readers. Nook is the only only mainstream brand that has their OS, much to the enjoyment of hackers who like to root their devices.
If you like to take notes and make quick annotations the T3 is the right e-reader for you. You can use an official Sony Stylus to augment any type of eBook, whether it is a PDF or EPUB. Any changes you make will be saved to your device, but you cannot export the books with all of your notes. Sony has always had deadly support for handwriting and note taking. The one drawback, is unlike previous models, this does not come with at Stylus. Instead, you must buy one from Sony and they normally cost $20.00.
There are a few key software features that make the T3 stand out from the competition. The first is Evernote, which allows you to connect up your account and sync notes, books and text changes directly to your account. The second main element is an Overdrive shortcut, that takes you to the Sony website with a stripped down version of the digital library lending service. You simply just need a library card and your four digit pin code, and you can select your library. Anything you borrow, you can read directly on your Sony e-Reader, and they are the only company that has a longstanding relationship with Overdrive.
The one thing that made me dig this e-reader was a very small factor, but is very unique. Most e-Readers if you are connected to WIFI have a timeout. This preservers your battery life, but automatically shutting off the internet. Kobo Readers are notorious for doing this and if you need to connect to a website, it often takes a good three minutes for everything to reinitialize. Sony has a cool option to let you disable the timeout.
The PRS-T3 has a dedicated homescreen that lists the four last books you have purchased or open. At the very top is the book you are currently reading and displays the page you are on. The main menu is simply designed and a bit elegant. Kindle e-Readers often have links to books you can buy, directly on your main page, which can be dis concerning to always be prompted to buy something else.
You basically buy this e-Reader for EPUB, PDF and FB2 files, it supports little else. Still, you can buy books from other websites and load them directly on it with Adobe Digital Editions.
The overall reading experience lacks when you stack up the T3 head to head against the Kobo Aura or even the Kindle Paperwhite. Text seems to be a little dim, also there are plenty of advanced options to adjust There are a very options that you change the darkness of the text and background. None seem to really make a huge difference, might may offset the glare from the reading light.
There are nine different font sizes and when you select one, it updates live. This means the text changes in real time and provides the reader with an indication on any changes you make. There is seven different font types, but you would be hard pressed to really know what they do, without trying them out. I mean, when is the last time anyone used “Really No. 2″ or “Frutiger Neue” or even “Univers Next”? I have used over a hundred e-Readers and have never seen such a woeful attempt to not license any official fonts.
There are eight different dictionaries that are loaded on the T3 by default, but will really differ depending on what region you bought it from. The Canadian edition has different versions of French, English and Spanish. If you don’t know what a word is, you can long-press on it and select the dictionary you want to use.
The T3 does not have an accelerometer or gyroscope. Instead, if you want to get out of the standard portrait mode, you can hit a settings button and visit landscape. This may suit different types of media better, such as newspapers, magazines or graphic novels.
The PDF experience allows you to re-flow the text with settings options. You have to really go through a series of trial and error configuring, until you find that sweet spot. You can also pinch and zoom to more quickly find the perfect viewing perspective. When you are in the process of zooming a small notification area appears, that gives you a sense on where you are within the document. It pales in comparison to Kobo’s options that actually lists text and images in in the preview pane, instead the Sony just has white on black. Once you find your ideal prospective you can use the page turn keys to flip a page and maintain your settings. You cannot use touchscreen swiping and gesturing to turn a PDF page, if you are zoomed in.
The Sony PRS-T3 really feels like the company isn’t even trying anymore. They are using hardware internals that e-Readers in early 2012 were using and haven’t really updated it in any significant way. Considering the new Nook, Paperwhite and Kobo Aura are using cutting edge technology, this feels sluggish in comparison.
Sony used to have the BEST PDF support in the business for many years, but have quickly become a distant number three. They haven’t been able to solve the refresh issues with constantly turning pages or zooming in. This is mainly because they failed to use e-Ink Regal technology, which drastically reduces “ghosting” and refreshes.
You should buy this device if you have a panache for using a stylus and taking notes. The T3 really shines when you are drawing or just drawing arrows and diagrams. I can see this being very useful for people who need to augment technical PDF files or for school. This reader is also perfect who just want to read and don’t need a ton of distractions with games, lights and all the other gobbledegook. If its your first e-Reader, it is a solid investment.
If you are a fiendish reader and looking for a hot new item to really use as your main digital book reading device, I would go with something else. Turning it on for the first time and using it for a few hours, just felt like a dated unit. A few days of using it, and I long for the Aura, which is superior in every way.
Solid Stylus Support
Internet Experience is great
Faded text and weird font options
$60 for a lighted case?
If you remove the sleep cover, it back internals jab at your hands
If anyone thought smart watches were just a fad that would fade away soon, analysts are already predicting a multi-billion dollar growth for the segment. Generator Research, the UK-based research group, claims the segment will account for $62 billion by 2018. The research firm is further claiming that the segment will grow to $214 million within the next five years.
The segment is in its nascent stage right now with just a few smartwatch devices launched so far. These include the Samsung Galaxy Gear, Sony Smartwatch 2, the Qualcomm Toq, and the Nismo smartwatch from auto maker Nissan. A few more are waiting in the wings from manufacturers like Nokia, Apple, and others, all of whom are likely to launch their devices soon. In fact, with the device being so closely tied to smartphone devices, every player in the smartphone arena is expected to come up with a smartwatch sooner rather than later.
However, the segment packs in immense potential so that it’s not only the smartphone makers who could be seen leading the charge, something that is exemplified by Nissan coming up with a smartwatch of its own. Rather, every manufacturer that is keen to offer a more personalized experience with their products could be seen developing smartwatches of their own. As such, smartwatches could well be seen replacing remote controls for TVs of the future.
Another area where smartwatches could see massive proliferation is in the workplace where companies could resort to doling out smartwatches to their employees for communicating with them.
Also, with the segment being in the formative stages as of yet, there is a lot to be seen before smartwatches become more petite and stylish than what they are right now. Also, we have seen plenty of bendable display technology from time to time. The smartwatch segment could well offer the perfect scenario for their applicability.
In all, its just the beginning of what is already promising to be a thoroughly exciting journey up ahead.
By now, most consumers should be aware that the humble wristwatch has become pretty smart. There have been smartphones and smart TVs so far, but manufacturers had waited this long for something as intimate as the watch to be given the smart treatment. Thankfully, it has happened, and the 2013 IFA has ample proof.
Here are the smart watches launched so far:
Samsung Galaxy Gear:
Made of stainless steel, this smartwatch offers a comprehensive set of features which even exceeds what many had expected. The device is only compatible with the latest crop of Samsung devices, such as the Galaxy Note 3 and the Galaxy Note 10.1. The company has announced that updates for Note 2, S4, and S3 are coming soon, which will make them compatible with the Galaxy Gear.
The Samsung smartwatch is also among the biggest, with a 1.63 inch Super AMOLED 320 x 320 display which suits its intended purpose well enough. The device can be considered an extension of the Samsung smartphone in that it displays notifications that otherwise can be seen only on the smartphone. This includes a preview of incoming messages, calls, texts, emails, and alerts, with the option for the user to accept or deny them right from the Gear itself. There’s no need to pull out the smartphone for this, but the notifications from the Gear will automatically be transferred to the smartphone via Smart Relay.
What’s more, the Galaxy Gear even includes a built-in auto-focusing camera of 1.9 megapixels which will let users shoot pictures and 720p videos, although they are only 10 seconds long. Interestingly, the camera is included in the wristband which makes for an innovative design feature. The camera is also designed to work in conjugation with the Memographer, which means users will have the option to take quick notes or voice memos. Users can transcribe the voice memos into text when needed. Other tech specs include a 800 mhz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and 4 GB of internal memory, all quite respectable considering the size and intended application of the device. Meanwhile, the Gear also boasts an accelerometer as well as a gyroscope, and can be used to control the music being played by the smartphone.
Samsung has also lined up a few apps specifically for the Gear. Predictably enough, there are fitness apps to begin with, which includes the RunKeeper and MyFitnessPal. Of course, there will be around 70 apps ready to be installed when the Gear goes on sale on September 25th. All of the above comes at a price, which stands at $299 and is higher than many of the entry level tablets out there.
However, price apart, what can be considered as the biggest complaint about the Gear is its dismal battery life. The 315mAh battery will tend to fizzle out by the end of the day under what the company claims as “regular use.”
Sony Smartwatch 2:
Curiously, it’s named Smartwatch 2 even though this marks the company’s third product in the smartwatch segment. Sony’s name is because it claims to be a second screen of your smartphone.
It features a 1.6 inch display that is lit up by 220 x 176 pixels. The display is big enough to house six apps at a time but can be scrolled to bring more on the display. Also, the display has been made sunlight-friendly, thanks to the use of a transflective panel, though it’s more monochrome in bright sunlight compared to a colored display indoors.
Made of aluminum, the Smartwatch 2 has a solid build quality. Also, another inherent advantage of the Sony smartwatch is that it is waterproof (for up to 1 meter and 30 minutes). This can be helpful as users will be saved from fishing out their smartphones every time a new notification has arrived. All of those can be dealt with via the Smartwatch 2 itself.
For apps, Sony has devised what it has named as watch apps that are designed explicitly for the Smartwatch 2. There will be apps specific to the Smartwatch 2 that can be considered as “extensions” of the apps already present on the user’s smartphone. What this means is that users will get to keep a tab on their inbox, Facebook status updates, or Twitter feeds, right from the smartwatch itself.
As for its battery, Sony claims the Smartwatch 2 will be good enough to support 3-4 days of operations. Availability is pegged at around the end of September and is priced at 179 euros.
No one expected Qualcomm to launch a smartwatch, and bearing a name as weird as Toq. The device, though, is quite impressive, even when lacking many of the frills seen on the Galaxy Gear. However, the Toq enjoys many advantages over the Gear in that it is not tied to a single smartphone brand but can be connected to any Android device running version 4.0.3 and above. However, company sources did mention the Toq won’t remain tied to only the Android platform, as the smartwatch will soon be made compliant to the iOS as well.
The Toq comes with the Qualcomm Mirasol color display that is known for being extremely frugal on the battery. This clearly is one of the biggest advantages of the Toq, with its makers claiming a battery life of three to four days at the least. It is easily readable even in bright sunlight and is always on, features that make it more akin to the regular watches that it intends to replace. The Toq can also be charged wirelessly using Qualcomm’s WiPower LE technology.
The Toq will be able to handle phone calls, messages, or reminders, along with other notifications. Qualcomm also stated the device will benefit from regular updates which will make it even smarter from time to time. The device is powered by a 200 Mhz Cortex M3 processor and is slated to reach markets in the 4th quarter, sporting a sticker price tag of $300. Also, a nice feature of the Toq is that it can be connected to wireless stereo headphones via the Bluetooth, but the device lacks a speaker or a microphone of its own.
Worth mentioning here, Seiko too has launched an e-ink based smartwatch. Catch up with the review here.
In the end, while three are just three smartwatches right now, both Apple and Google are slated to launch their own take on wearable computers in the coming months. In fact, with these being so closely tied to smartphones, every manufacturer with a smartphone in their products line up is expected to launch smartwatches sooner or later. What this means is that LG couldn’t be far from launching a smartwatch of its own to accompany the G2, and the same applies to Nokia, not to mention the cheap clones that are expected from Chinese manufacturers soon enough.