Technology

PocketBook 602 pro Review

Overview 

The latest PocketBook device, released Nov. 2010, is a definite effort to outperform its competitors. However, what was intended to challenge or even completely vanquish Sony, Kindle and Nook had a more mixed reception, and there are many reasons why.

This new eReader can display as many as 16 shades of gray thanks to its Linux based operating system. The device has a 600×800 resolution and 166 dpi. It uses a strong Samsung 533 MHZ processor with 2GB internal flash memory. The memory can be expanded as high as 32 GB with a microSD card.

It is equipped with WiFi, so you have the option of ordering your books from Pocketbooks’ online store, or for ordering from anyone else! Having the technology to read many different eBook formats is one of the most valuable qualities of this new model. PDF, ePUB, MOBI, DOX, DOCX and many more are supported.

Positives 

The IQ not only has a built-in Pocketbook reading application, but users can also install third-party apps (such as Kindle, Borders, Kobo), so you can use whichever eReader you like. There’s a resistive touchscreen on the IQ, but the screen is still responsive to taps. The iPad, however, has better swiping and scrolling. PDF reflows images as well as text, something that’s aesthetically pleasing.

Negatives

AVI formats are not supported by the video player, even though it’s listed as supported. Although MP4 videos are supported, they’re slow. Downloading books and websites also tends to be somewhat slow.

Because of the need to insert an SD card, installing apps can be a little puzzling and awkward. There’s also only 50MB or so to install third-party apps. There’s no camera, so you can’t video chat or use applications that require video hardware.

Bottom Line

PocketBook Limited apparently has strove to cram as much into the PocketBook 602 Pro as they possibly can without any reason or logic. No matter how great a devices’ performance is or how many eBook formats it can access or functions it can support, if its web browser performance is rife with glitches, you will not be happy.

As an electronic reader only, the PocketBook 602 Pro would have been great. It should never have been intended to challenge new technologies with its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features because these are severely undermined due to the mediocre software featured on this device.

Design and Ergonomics 

The device is much like earlier models, sleek and minimalistic without many things to interact with. Considering the amount of features and software this device contains, you’d expect there to be more buttons. The PocketBook 602 Pro , though, gets around this quite ingeniously, which we’ll go into detail about later.

This device is just over 8 ounces because of its efficient metal-and-plastic frame, but even though its light, the PocketBook 602 Pro is still durable enough to withstand some wear. Although it has a glass screen, it doesn’t have the same glare issues as, say, the PocketBook 301.

When it comes to hardware, the PocketBook 602 Pro features a Vizplex screen that is simply old-school. It performs well; however, it cannot match Pearl technology when it comes to contrast and sharpness. It’s a noticeable difference, but the reading experience is still pleasant.

There’s 2 GB of memory built in, and a little more than 1 GB is free to use. The PocketBook 602 Pro is also compatible with external memory drives that hold as much as 32 GB. This is enough to accommodate entire libraries.

The life of the battery supports up to one month of reading, or approximately 14,000 pages of clickthroughs. This is plenty for a vacation or voracious bout of reading midseason. Of course, Wi-Fi, music and text-to-speech will drain your battery more quickly, but the PocketBook 602 Pro nevertheless lasts for more than one week under such conditions.

Software & Features 

With the advanced text-to-speech modules, you will find highly customizable controls. Additionally a variety of software is employed. You will enjoy wireless & Bluetooth connectivity, along with the support of sixteen great eBook formats. These are the major facts of how they run the marketing campaign of this device. Did the ereader live up to all of the hype? Yes — well, most expectations, anyway.

The speech synthesis actually sounds human, with 24 language models, female and male, provided on PocketBook Ltd.’s website to be downloaded. The widget-heavy interface is highly customizable — a clock, calendar and dictionary are just a few of the options — but can be cluttered. Obviously, a user can always play with the settings and clear the desktop to remove needless distractions.

And on the subject of glaring flaws and missed opportunities, let’s point out the terrible Web browser. Oddly, the browser application can be found in the “Games” section for some strange reason. Some users say they can’t find it at all. They report having to access the Internet using the built-in Bookland store system of e-book distribution. Furthermore, there’s no sensory keyboard. In fact, there is no keyboard.

Reading Experience 

PocketBook 602 Pro is a wonderful model to use for reading. Everything you need for a good reading experience — different formats supported, customization, PDF and FB2 manipulation opportunities — is there. As far as all that, I have only nice things to speak of.

However, if you try to take it further, Web surfing and apps make it “limp” somewhat. The less than stellar web-surfing and note-taking experience is a constant reminder of the fact that there is no touch screen. Simultaneously, the occasional glitches make it difficult to take this e-reader seriously as competitions with the other state-of-the-art connectivity and innovative technologies available today.