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Old 09-12-2013, 01:41 AM   #1
simplyparticular
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Sony PRS-T3 and lighted case impressions

I visited the Sony store in Niagara Falls, Ontario this afternoon and they had the T3 in stock. They also had an open box T1 for $90 with extended warranty, and the T2 on clearance for $80, so I could compare all three. The store associates would not let me take pictures, and I chose not to buy the T3 for various reasons, so this will strictly be a written impression. I spent about 15 minute playing with the T3 and comparing it with its predecessors.

PRS-T3 Reader
The stock T3 with integrated cover felt nice in hand in book mode, but the with the integrated case flipped around to the back (how I usually read), the cover slides around, and made feel like I didn't have a good grip on it. But the back itself is a smooth touch rubbery plastic, similar to the T1/T2.

The bezel felt a bit narrow, but that could also be because I've gotten used to the T2 lighted case cover - it has the battery compartment which makes a nice grip. I did really like the rounded edges being totally exposed by the flap cover - very comfortable in hand compared to the snap in case edge n the T1/T2, but still not as nice as the clip system used by the 3/6/950 series.

The text is sharper than both the T1 and T2, but it's less obvious compared to the T2 because they are both using the same "Original" font, where the T1 used a different one. Brightness of the background was identical to my T1 and the display T2. I was hoping for a lighter background.

Software was basically identical. I knew my way around better than the 2 sales people who tried REALLY hard to sell me a T3. I meant to check out the dictionary options, but forgot.

In both the stock and the lighted cover, the T3 has a very slim profile. I would guess it is about the same size as the 350 in its lighted cover, perhaps a bit slimmer. So definitely very portable, and really light.

The lighted case:
This was a surprise, in both positive and negative ways. The integrated case popped off easily - they both use the same back plastic that snaps into place, and they both have a microfiber lining.

The lighted cover is powered by the T3, and has a super slim light that slides up out of the back.

The lighted cover has big negatives for me:
1. The light level is not adjustable. It was hard to judge in the bright store, but it appeared that the top was overlit and the bottom was underlit.

2. The light only engages when fully extended - so no way to adjust position. It comes straight up and over, and that's it.

3. The lighted case had a difficult time making contact with the power nodules on the back of the T3. Three of us fiddled with two different lighted covers cases and had this problem. So the only way I could get the light to turn on was to squeeze the left side of the device/case to force the case and nodules to make contact. I gave up, since I wasn't so thrilled with the first two problems.

Given the very small space involved in the lighted cover design, it doesn't take much to throw alignment off track - those power nodules are VERY tiny - there are two that are about the size of a ballpoint pen tip. I hope for Sony's sake this isn't a design flaw, just two faulty cases, or maybe an alignment problem with the display model. But I would suggest if you buy a T3 lighted cover - test it with YOUR device in store to make sure everything aligns properly!

So the T3 stayed at the store. I didn't feel the sharper screen was enough to justify moving up for the T2, and the lighted cover (and the fact that you HAVE to use a cover) is a negative for me.

YMMV. Happy shopping for your perfect reader!
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:24 AM   #2
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Thanks, that's most helpful. Now if they'd only get them in Australia...
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review. Thanks for taking the time.
No release date for New Zealand either, yet, that I can find. Has anyone heard about that?
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #4
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Nice write-up, thanks for sharing. That'll be two years in a row now that I have no interest in the Sony reader (and I never cared for the T1, which sits unused on the shelf). So sad. I'll have to stick with my 350.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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Thanks for review it is much appreciated.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:55 AM   #6
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Thank you, this helps! I was wondering about the light thing, sounds like it's not reliable enough for someone like me who is a lemon-magnet. It would be replacing a 350 for me, but I'm in no hurry. Good to know I can safely ignore the lighted case!
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:31 AM   #7
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What a bummer that the light connection is a bit iffy ... and the light is fixed direction, yucko

Golly gosh Sony's wasted their time and effort by making the T3 and not just going on to the next model altogether, eh!!
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:35 PM   #8
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Unhappy Hrd luck Oz ......

[QUOTE=AlexBell;2621344]Thanks, that's most helpful. Now if they'd only get them in Australia...[/QUOTE

You in Oz obviously aren't as lucky as we are here in the UK - we haven't got the T3 yet either ............. BUT .... .............we have got, on our Sony Forum "shop" website, nice pictures of them, in red and black, helpfully with no price and not available.
AND - wait for it now - we do have a glorious colour video showing us how to fit the noo amazin "lighted cover" onto the T3 ............................ ( said cover not actually available either, or even shown on the shop site, alongside the aforesaid T3 ......... )


Hey ho ..........

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Old 09-13-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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I'll be picking up the T3 and lighted cover. I want the increased resolution and I like the minimized "black flash" on page turns.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:23 PM   #10
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I'm glad to know about the fixed position of the light. As much as I have to fiddle with the light on my T1's lighted cover to keep the glare away, I don't know if I could tolerate having no option for positioning.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:30 PM   #11
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Very nice objective review.

I may still buy the T3 and chop of the front of the non lit cover if I don't like the feel. The lighted cover might suit me, but not holding my breath.

Helen
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:40 AM   #12
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Thanks for the review!
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:48 AM   #13
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For people in Australia the T3 is on the Sony website, with a release date of 21 September.

I tried to buy it direct from Sony, but they are not accepting orders yet.
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Old 09-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
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Thank you very much for the review.

I might get one if I know the following info: (i) which fonts does it support? especially unicode font for Vietnamese? (ii) when will it be available in USA? and (iii) is there anyway to set it up to browse books by folder (like PRS+ on my prs650)?

Thanks
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Old 09-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyparticular View Post
3. The lighted case had a difficult time making contact with the power nodules on the back of the T3. Three of us fiddled with two different lighted covers cases and had this problem. So the only way I could get the light to turn on was to squeeze the left side of the device/case to force the case and nodules to make contact. I gave up, since I wasn't so thrilled with the first two problems.

Given the very small space involved in the lighted cover design, it doesn't take much to throw alignment off track - those power nodules are VERY tiny - there are two that are about the size of a ballpoint pen tip. I hope for Sony's sake this isn't a design flaw, just two faulty cases, or maybe an alignment problem with the display model. But I would suggest if you buy a T3 lighted cover - test it with YOUR device in store to make sure everything aligns properly!

I have to disagree with your assessment of the lighted cover. In my opinion, it's user error not a faulty case. I saw the reader in the store as well and played with the lighted cover. Sony will no doubt run into what you described and I witnessed but it's going to be user error not faulty hardware. People are going to B & moan about it ad nauseum.

The rep couldn't get the light to work and had to take it on and off a few times before it did. I do not find the contacts to be too small at all. They're the right size and work just fine IF the user snaps the case fully to the device that is. If not, then the contacts won't touch and the light either won't come on or it'll blink or have to be held down the way you did.

There are two locations to the left and right of the contacts that need to be snapped in in addition to the rest of the ones around the reader. If not all of them are snapped in, the light won't work.

I liked the T3 otherwise. I like not having a lighted device. I have a Paperwhite but I like to read without a light too and I love the look & feel of the Sony's. I didn't buy it because I want to wait for it to drop in price as it traditionally does a couple of months after launch. Then I'll buy it. My black T1 has decided to go wonky on me after only two years. Thankfully my red one is working just fine!
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