The Digital Reader

Read More, Tote Less

The Digital Reader header image 1

Pocketbook 302 Review, pt 1 (hands on video)

March 1st, 2010 by · 12 Comments · hardware reviews

I got one of the first PB302 while I was at the O’Reilly conference last week. I’m going to follow my usual pattern of posting my impressions before posting a full review. I’ve covered the Pocketbook 302 before, and I’ve taken several photos (here and here).

It’s a 6″ ereader with touchscreen. The design is sparse, but the buttons are well placed. There is a stylus, microSD card slot on the upper edge, and the headphone jack & 2 USB ports on the bottom edge (it has USB host). The battery is user replaceable (there is a panel on the back). The PB302 also has an accelerometer, Bluetooth, and Wifi, and includes support for WPA and WEP security. The Wifi works rather well.

There are only 5 buttons on the front of the PB302. There are 2 on either side of the screen, and an escape button below the screen. Normally, I’d name all the buttons based on their function, but here’s the first neat feature of the PB302: you can remap the 4 buttons so they perform different actions. They default as page turns, but you’re offered a broad selection of alternatives. I’m frankly surprised at how many different actions there are; I honestly can’t think of one that’s not in the list. You also have the option of mapping functions to the power button. Press and hold will always turn off the 302, but tap and double-tap can be set to any of the options.

Reading software

It’s using Adobe Reader Mobile and FBReader. It appears to have full feature support for FBReader. Screen refresh is slightly faster than the Nook. Since we know the Nook has one of the latest generation Marvell chips (and the 302 doesn’t), I’d say that the PB302 comes out ahead in this comparison. I’m quite happy with it as a reader.

General Impressions

The touchscreen is highly reflective (I’m told they’re working on it). Even so, I’m satisfied with the PB 302 as a reader. It meets my minimum requirements: sleep mode, adequate format support, & one handed operation. I’ve gone though most of its abilities and I can’t find any shortcomings.

Extra Features

With the 302, you have the option of installing your own apps. It comes with about a dozen apps installed: games, dictionary, clock, sketchpad, web browser, RSS feed reader. It was the browser and RSS reader that originally caught my eye. Both of them work rather well.

I wish it had an email client, though.

Video

Tags: ······

12 Comments so far ↓

Leave a Comment