Long Live E Ink: Sony Unveils New Reader, Gives Away Harry Potter

As Sony took the wraps off its Reader PRS-T2, the company reinforces its belief that there's still room in the consumer's heart for the basic E-Ink e-reader. The $129 6-inch device comes in white, red, or black, and reportedly sports an enhanced touchscreen that should offer smoother page turns and zooms in and out. The new Reader offers new social features including Facebook and Evernote. Plus, if you buy a black one, you can get a free copy of the first Harry Potter book.

Now, similar to features from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, users can post short passage from Sony Reader Store books as a Facebook status update that includes the book cover, author and title. And for Evernote users, you can save your favorite pages with the Web Clipper. You can also annotate those pages with your notes and save it back to Evernote.

The E-Ink Pearl V220 touchscreen now supports pinch-to-zoom multitouch. Users also can take notes with a finger or with the included stylus. The device should last up to two months on a charge with wireless off. It features 2GB of storage and allows you to download content via Wi-Fi. Sony is also introducing a couple accessories, including a $35 cover and $50 cover with included light

Sony claims the company's books will appear with "an improved default book layout", and you can customize that look with eight font sizes and seven font styles. In addition to giving readers access to thousands of books, magazines and newspapers via the Sony Reader Store, you can also connect your reader to 15,000 participating public libraries to borrow books for free.

But, where content is concerned, Sony’s collaboration with Pottermore and the Pottermore Shop is the icing on the cake. Sony will offer a voucher to black Reader buyers to redeem against the first eBook in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, for free. That's something you won't get on our top pick in this category, the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.

When reviewing its older brother, the Sony Reader Wi-Fi RPS T1-RC, we praised Sony's graphically appealing interface and handwriting functionality. But we were disappointed in the relatively expensive price, lack of embedded social networking and sluggish touchscreen. While we have every reason to believe what we liked about the Reader is still there, and are excited to see the new features, we're still disappointed by the price.