By Patrick Avenell

The good old fashioned stylus is experiencing a renaissance. Commonly thought of as a museum exhibit, made obsolete by amazing improvement in touchscreen technology, this frustratingly easy to lose accessory has returned this week in devices launched by Sony and Samsung.

Samsung’s new Note hybrid tablet/smartphone has the S Pen for drawing doodles and literally writing Tweets. You can read more about that device here.

Sony contribution to this nascent stylus craze is its new Reader WiFi Touch. This e-reader, officially launched in Australia yesterday, includes the Sony Stylus Pen for underlining passages, making notes and facilitating plagiarism as you enjoy your favourite books.

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Features of this Reader include a 6-inch touchscreen, E-Ink Pearl digital printing, 14,000 page turns per charge, 1.3GB of available internal memory (expandable via MicroSD) and the Wi-Fi connectivity hinted at in the e-reader’s name.

Not only can users wirelessly download their favourite books, there’s also a browser on board for general web surfing.

Unlike last year’s Sony Reader release, which was sold though high street book retailers, this year’s release will have a more open distribution.

A Sony spokesperson said the Reader WiFi Touch (PRS-T1) will be available from Sony’s online store, Sony Centres and through “selected retailers nationally”. The Reader is RRP $179.

The new Sony Reader WiFi Touch. For the trainspotters out there, the book on display is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.