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PocketBook color: 6-inch color e-reader

  • by ereaders

Onyx Boox has just announced its Boox Poke 2 Color, and PocketBook is also coming with a color e-reader, planned for June. With an HD screen and 300 ppi, the PocketBook Color (not “Lux”) seems to be interesting for those looking for color.

HD color e-reader, simplicity and versatility.

The PocketBook Color is offering for the black color an HD screen with a 300ppi resolution! No more need to swap the display precision of black and white e-readers to switch to color.

In addition to this 300 PPI screen, the e-reader will benefit from a color layer, and can therefore display more than 4,000 color combinations. Equipped with an adaptive lighting that allows reading in the dark, the e-reader will of course have access to Wi-Fi networks, as well as Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to listen to audio files or have books read by their “text-to-speech” system.

Nothing new at the software level, so we can refer to the analysis of another PocketBook e-reader, for example the Inkpad 3. To sum up, PocketBook e-readers are equipped with home-made software based on Linux, much lighter than the Boox Poke 2 Android system, allowing to offer a great fluidity on less powerful hardware, and thus a better autonomy. It is possible to open any kind of files, and to easily install a complementary e-reader like Koreader, if needed.

This color e-reader is the second color e-reader produced by PocketBook; the first one was the Color Lux in 2003. But this one, equipped with an eInk Triton screen, had really poor colors and a too low resolution. If we look at the presentation of the Onyx Boox Poke 2 Color, we can fear that the colors on the PocketBook Color are also washed out.

That said, eInk being the only manufacturer for this type of screen at the moment, the e-reader will necessarily have to use their technology. As you can see on their website, the manufacturer offers several color technologies: Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP)- E Ink Gallery Palette and Eink Kaleido. It is probably the second one that will be used on this color e-reader, because if ACeP allows to display bright colors, very distinct from each other, the number of colors is extremely limited. In order to be able to use more colors, the manufacturers have only the choice to turn to a Kaleido screen. This one comes with its strengths linked to the eInk technology (low power consumption, no LED luminosity, possibility to read in full sun) but also with its limitations: obviously it is necessary for the moment to learn to accept little faded colors, closer to an old newspaper than a contemporary comic book, as we can see below.

Is this a problem? Given the relatively low use of color on an e-reader of this type, it seems more than sufficient. For great readers of novels, seeing the few images of a book in color is of little interest, even if one notices the possibility of benefiting from a colored screen saver. For readers of comics and comic books, the screen may be considered too small. So, who is this e-reader for?

A color e-reader, but limited by its 6-inch screen!

A color e-reader is interesting for reading comics or other comic books, but in 6-inch size, you are limited by the screen size. A larger screen would be more interesting for that, but such e-readers should not be released for several months.

Indeed, what would be the ideal use of a color e-reader? One can think of students or researchers working on PDF documents and wishing to highlight passages that could then be highlighted in different colors. We can also think of children, who could read albums, but is it really necessary for them? These devices are fragile and the paper contact, so it seems clearly preferable to visit libraries.

This e-reader doesn’t look bad and given the small price difference announced with the PocketBook Touch HD, the switch to color can be interesting, especially since PocketBook is a recognized brand, that these e-readers can open all types of files, and that PocketBook offers a very good customer support such as long term updates, which is less certain with other competitors, who arrived later on the market. Nevertheless, the deep interest of color on a device of this type raises questions. Why not be satisfied with a black and white e-reader, in view of the limitations inherent in this type of device (image low refresh rate, limited functions …).

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