- Better color reproduction
- Many extra functions
- Somewhat slow with purely comic books
- Missing functioning online store (for Swedish consumers)
Pocketbook Inkpad Color is a clear improvement compared to the previous model. The colors are clearer and the functions are top notch. However, the built-in services for purchasing e-books do not work in Sweden, which is a shame for an otherwise well-functioning e-book reader with great compatibility for different file formats.
Big test of e-book readers
Award: About SEK 3,154 at Computersalg
In the vast majority of cases, Pocketbook’s various e-book readers have impressed in one way or another. The compatibility between the file formats has always been good, and the same applies to all the extra functions that have long been standard in the tablet operating systems. And of course the physical buttons. They may not have always had the best image update, but still good enough that we now count Pocketbook as one of the better options for the “ordinary” e-book consumer.
More colorful reading
The new Pocketbook Inkpad Color is an upgraded version of the pad we last tested, the Pocketbook Color. Every now and then we liked how the color palette gave new life to illustrations in books and digital comics. And precisely that characteristic is something that feels even more convincing in the new Inkpad Color. This is because the Pocketbook uses a new version of the Kaleido e-ink format, which provides even richer color reproduction.
To demonstrate this, the reader comes preloaded with various types of illustrations and images. But the real test only happens when we load it with a couple of digital comic books. The colors feel more natural, almost like when we flip through a real comic book. The somewhat matte look is almost completely gone, but is sometimes reminded when we use the front lighting. In normal daylight, however, the result is really good.
One negative aspect, however, is how much more demanding comics are in this format. Normal, text-based pages are great to flip through in no time. A purely comic book can take considerably longer. Exactly how much varies, but we can partially influence this by experimenting with the different settings. But sometimes the loading times just feel too long.
There are, however, other areas of use for the color screen. In addition to providing a more enjoyable overview of your digital library. An example could be fiction with single images. Since most of the book then consists of characters, we don’t mind occasional waiting times for the few images that may be present. Another example could be personal documents in color that you upload yourself, perhaps a pdf brochure you need to go through?
Mostly we have used the different colors to underline words and sentences. This is especially helpful if you are reading a heavy non-fiction book. By default, all your selections are saved and easy to find for later use. A fun detail is that we can also choose to draw freely in the e-books. A fun and somewhat more personal alternative to underlining words. And luckily, this mode doesn’t cause noticeable lag or anything like that.
Still a versatile e-book reader
Another improvement that also comes in time is the change of charging port from micro-usb to usb-c. At this point, we can all agree that the latter is superior. And not just for the faster charging of the built-in battery. At least as important is having a reliable connection that does not wear out or break easily. Usb-c simply feels reliable. Especially if you intend to use the Pocketbook Inkpad Color for many years to come.
Otherwise, we find the same extra functions as in Pocketbook’s other e-book readers. Mini games in the style of chess, sudoku, calculator, calendar, notes and browser. To mention a few. The latter works better than expected nowadays, although still a bit slow for anything other than text-filled web pages.
Furthermore, the audiobook reader, or rather the mp3 player, is back and works exactly the same as last time. A 3.5mm adapter is included for headphones, but it works at least as well to pair any bluetooth-compatible headphones. We can easily transfer the audio books in many different ways, just like the regular e-books. The easiest way is, of course, to email these directly to the e-book reader.
No dedicated business
Historically, the built-in e-book store has been Pocketbook’s major Achilles heel. Swedish consumers have witnessed everything from non-functioning ones, to reasonably well stocked with a small selection of Swedish books. Nowadays, Pocketbook seems to have scrapped its own store in favor of two other services. Services that unfortunately do not work at our latitudes.
Thus, it is the shopping of e-books through the browser that applies, on the competitors’ own platforms. And in that sense, we are back to square one, with an excellent e-book reader that works brilliantly – for those who can, and want, acquire the titles on their own.
Specifications Pocketbook Inkpad Color
Tested: April 2021
Screen: 7.8 inches with e-ink (Kaleido Plus), 1404×1872, 300 ppi (100 for comic books)
Battery life: Up to one month according to Pocketbook
Compatible formats: Acsm, cbr, cbz, chm, djvu, doc, docx, epub, epub(drm), fb2, fb2.zip, htm, html, mobi, pdf, pdf (drm), prc, rtf, txt, mp3, ogg, m4a, a4b, ogg.zip, mp3.zip
Accepts library loans: Yes
Text-to-speech: Yes, Swedish is available as a downloadable option
Memory: 16 GB internal memory, there is an extra slot for an SD card
Size: 195×136.5×8 mm
Weight: 225 g
Other: Support for dictionaries, built-in bluetooth
Award: About SEK 3,154 at Computersalg