PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

Content

  1. Contents of delivery
  2. TECH SPECS
  3. Positioning
  4. Design, dimensions, controls
  5. Display
  6. Battery
  7. Performance
  8. Memory
  9. Connectivity, book sync, cloud
  10. Программное обеспечение — особенности PocketBook
  11. Impressions

Contents of delivery

  • EBook
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Instructions
  • Warranty

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

TECH SPECS

  • Screen 6 inches, eINK Carta, 1072×1448 pixels, touchscreen, automatic brightness control of the backlight, glass, 16 shades of gray or 4096 colors, rotation sensor
  • 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal storage
  • Dual-core processor up to 1 GHz
  • Li-Pol 1900 mAh battery, run time up to 8000 pages without backlight or at least a month
  • Hardware keys
  • microUSB (USB 2.0)
  • 802.11 Wi-Fi b / g / n
  • Lack of audio output and audio support
  • Book formats – PDF, PDF (DRM), EPUB, EPUB (DRM), DJVU, FB2, FB2.ZIP, DOC, DOCX, RTF, PRC, TCR, TXT, CHM, HTM, HTML, MOBI and ACSM
  • Image Formats – JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF
  • Color – silver
  • Plastic housing
  • Dimensions – 108x161x8 mm, weight – 160 grams

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

Positioning

We live in a world where we are surrounded by color everywhere, including in electronic devices. The screen of your smartphone has long ceased to be monochrome, and the picture quality has surpassed reality, the photos of the world around you look brighter and more vivid on your phone than they really are. Televisions ceased to be black and white and also became color, this happened even before many of our readers were born. Therefore, there should be no doubt that the craving for color is in human nature, because we see the world in all colors.

One of the exceptions is books, most of them are black and white, in good editions color is present in illustrations, photographs, which intersperse the text itself. But we are accustomed to the fact that black letters are printed on a white background in books. Exactly the same and electronic readers, which is the norm for them, people who read are conservative. For a moment I imagined the rainbow alphabet, probably it will be possible to perceive it, but the brain will surely boil from this. Black print, print quality on paper, and the paper itself are what counts in books. There are many advantages in e-readers, for example, they are similar to ordinary paper, the ability to work for a long time on a single charge, harmlessness to eyes, as opposed to long reading from the screens of smartphones or tablets. There is a cart and a small cart, each of them is beyond doubt, so e-readers still exist and have not disappeared at all, like many other products, the functions of which were taken over by the same smartphones.

But manufacturers of e-readers have always wanted to try themselves in the market for devices with color screens, many books require the presence of color illustrations, otherwise they are difficult to perceive. The first thing that comes to mind is various study guides, for example, an atlas on anatomy. Different organs are highlighted in color, but in black and white it is almost impossible to see the structure of the body, everything merges into one picture. What about comics? It’s one thing to look at them in color, it’s quite another to look at a black and white picture, the latter is possible, but the pleasure is definitely not the same. And such examples can be cited a lot, each of them says that many people would have come to the courtyard with a reader with a color screen, but not anyhow, but with the fact that it preserves all the positive aspects of eINK.

There is only one manufacturer of eINK screens for mass products in the world, and no matter what eINK reader you buy, you will find eINK screens created in one place inside. Generations of screens differ, their size, cost of the final product, but not the origin of the displays and their main characteristics. Attempts to create color eINK screens have already been made, and we have seen such products on the market, for example, in the PocketBook line in 2013, the Color Lux model came out.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

In that book, the eINK Triton 2 screen was used, it was perceived seven years ago as the first step towards color eINK screens, but, unfortunately, there was no rapid development. The presence of a color screen automatically makes the eINK reader a conditional flagship, since it is a differentiator that catches the eye. But at the same time, a completely fair question arises, is such a screen really needed for reading literature in which only the text is presented?

Sales of Color Lux were not huge, the device turned out to be a niche and was perceived as some kind of test of the pen. And the reviews on it were mixed, expectations from the quality of the color eINK-screen turned out to be noticeably higher than the reality that was offered in eINK. The technology has not received much development, but in 2020 Kaleido screens will enter the market (an abbreviation for the word “kaleidoscope”, here is a direct indication of how the color is implemented in the eINK matrix). Kaleido screens are often referred to as Color eINK, Print Color, but these are old names before the technology was released, don’t be confused by them.

The technology itself looks very simple, the basis is a black and white Carta 1100 screen, on top of this screen is the Color Filter Array (CFA), this layer forms the color image. At the level of image output control, a color is created due to a combination of three points, which turn into one, but colored. The basic eINK screen reflects 16 shades of gray, which is enough to generate up to 4096 colors. The number of colors itself suggests that it will be impossible to compare the quality of their display with any tablet or smartphone, there are 16 million of them, and they are colorful. But keeping in mind the previous experience, we do not expect bright colors here.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

An ordinary 6-inch eINK book has 300 ppi for a black-and-white picture, this allows you to achieve maximum similarity to ordinary paper, the fonts are clear, it is easy to read from the screen. But remember that color is achieved here by a combination of dots, which cannot but affect the density of information on the screen, and it drops to 100 ppi, that is, three times! The main question becomes how comfortable it is and how you can live with it.

В теории, производитель мог добавить два режима работы — черно-белый и цветной. Во втором жертвуем разрешением и качеством текста, но видим цвет. В первом же перед вами обычная книжка. Теоретически, переключение должно быть автоматическим, то есть книжка анализирует картинку и выбирает режим.

От описания технологии вернемся к позиционированию. По стоимости в линейке PocketBook эта книжка самая дорогая среди 6-дюймовых моделей, то есть цвет как технология выводит ее в отдельную категорию. Разница в цене с прообразом в лице PocketBook 632 не так уж велика — две тысячи рублей (если сравнить с версией 632 Plus, то и вовсе тысяча рублей). Книгу будут выбирать как флагман либо осознанно брать те, кому очень важен цвет в иллюстрациях либо, например, интересно смотреть комиксы. Давайте рассмотрим книжку в деталях.

Design, dimensions, controls

Размеры книги небольшие — 108х161х8 мм, вес – 160 грамм. Книга компактная, как и большинство представителей 6-дюймовых ридеров.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book review

The regular version of the book is available in silver color, check the official picture.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

The body material, as in all PocketBook books, is matte plastic. It is pleasant to hold it in your hands, but it is impossible to perceive the book as a flagship. For example, the same Oasis in an all-metal case, and it feels very different.

Scrolling keys are located under the screen, as well as a menu button. And if in the 740th model, due to the size of the case, these buttons were inconvenient, it was better to flip through by touching the screen, then here it is exactly the opposite. The keys are well placed, the fingers rest on them. You hold a book in one hand and flip through the pages.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book review

I got used to the side keys in the Oasis, but I liked the controls here, they are quite comfortable. The buttons can be reassigned, for example, select some functions, I have screenshots.

At the bottom there is a microUSB connector and an on / off button, it is white, and an LED indicator is inscribed in it, it lights up when turned on, and also works when charging. There is also a slot for microSD memory cards, it is possible that someone will find the built-in memory capacity insufficient, although this is doubtful.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

There are no complaints about the build quality, materials, this is a solid product, and this is how the book is perceived. The family has several PocketBook readers, they calmly survive after business trips, trips and rest, including in children’s hands, in which, as you know, everything is on fire.

Display

Технические характеристики экрана следующие — 6 дюймов, eINK Carta Kaleido, 1072х1448 точек, сенсорный, автоматическая регулировка яркости подсветки, стекло, 4096 цветов, датчик поворота.

I’ll start with a simple thing – the book supports both hardware and landscape orientation, which is interesting (the same Oasis shows the picture only vertically).

Now a few words about a more important function – adjusting the brightness of the backlight. Everything here is not as interesting as on Oasis, the book has a more crude algorithm. For example, in my case she adjusted the backlight aggressively, I missed it. I like the Oasis night mode, where the brightness gradually diminishes as you read in bed and your eyes adjust to the dark. This is not enough here.

I compared the book with PocketBook 632 in terms of picture and screen quality, the differences are clearly visible here. To begin with, the screen and its brightness are lower due to the additional color filter. You feel it literally right away. Outside of direct comparison, it will probably be imperceptible. Also, the color filter mesh affects the fonts, it is noticeable and worsens the perception of the picture.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book review

But this is only part of the story, the second thing that you notice right away is the quality of the fonts, it is noticeably worse when displaying color. The picture on PocketBook 633 Color is noticeably worse, the resolution is lower. There is no eINK advantage for which we praise the readers, the resemblance to ordinary paper is lost.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book review

Let’s look at comics, because, in theory, they should be the kind of content that they look at such a book. And here’s what I did.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book reviewPocketBook 633 Color e-book review

Many dialogues are simply not visible, you have to peer, the picture is blurred. This is noticeable everywhere and for me is the main gripe. For the sake of color, eINK’s strongest points had to be sacrificed, which makes the product ambiguous.

In black and white books, the picture is worse than on a similar PocketBook 632, but this is the effect of the filter. It impairs the perception of the picture. In this case, the screen gives out the same 300 ppi as before.

Battery

Battery Li-Pol 1900 mAh (in the 632th 1500 mAh, battery size increase due to color and higher power consumption). The stated working time is up to 8 pages or at least a month. Charging time for a book from a computer is about 000 hours.

There are no complaints about the operating time, the book works on a single charge for a very long time, and this is a big plus. To save energy, Wi-Fi turns off and starts working only when you access the menu items where it is necessary to use it.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

Performance

If you have tried the latest books from PocketBook, then you know the speed of this book as well. Comfortable page scrolling, fast rendering. When navigating through the menu, everything is not so fast, but it is quite tolerable at the level of other readers. Therefore, we can say that this book has no performance problems, it is good for this class of devices.

Memory

The book contains memory cards, as well as 16 GB of internal memory, which will be enough for a long time and for many books. I will note separately that, unlike Kindle, the maximum variety of book formats is supported here – PDF, PDF (DRM), EPUB, EPUB (DRM), DJVU, FB2, FB2.ZIP, DOC, DOCX, RTF, PRC, TCR, TXT , CHM, HTM, HTML, MOBI and ACSM. It is possible that the abundance of memory made the developers take screenshots not in JPEG, but in BMP, which looks somewhat strange.

Connectivity, book sync, cloud

To begin with, the book supports Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, the absence of a second band in the book is not perceived as a drawback, this is not a smartphone or tablet, Wi-Fi is rarely needed here. We use Wi-Fi to download books via mail, this is a service similar to that provided by Amazon. You send the book to a special address, and it appears on your device, that is, you do not need to use cable sync.

But most will most likely download books by cable, it’s simple. Connect and transfer books to your device. They wrote to me in the comments that PocketBook has a problem with connecting to a PC, sometimes it is lost. But for a dozen times that I tried to do this, I did not experience anything like that. It is possible that this happens in some configurations and systems, but I have not seen this.

Your books are stored in the cloud, and if you use the PocketBook application on Android / iOS, then you can continue reading exactly from the place where you left off on your book. Conveniently? Certainly. For myself, I see such an application here, if you like, a scenario: not to take a book on short trips, but to be able, if you wish, to read the text from a tablet or smartphone. This is a definite plus.

All books are not stored in the cloud, but there is enough space to store open books plus everything that you bought in the company’s branded store (these books do not need to be stored, they are already in the cloud, as you understand).

Программное обеспечение — особенности PocketBook

There have always been two approaches in the world, the first is to simplify the capabilities of devices as much as possible when they work as the developer intended, but not the fact that this is right for you. The second approach allows you to customize everything for yourself, but many are lazy to do this. A reader was created in PocketBook, which is closer to the second approach.

Of the minuses, I note that if in Oasis you can pull the screen from above anywhere, then in PocketBook – only the place where the control element is indicated, which is both logical and conservative.

The reader has pre-installed games – chess and solitaire, many will like it. After all, not just the same read.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

There are many settings for every taste, I will not list them, see screenshots.

The browser allows you to view web pages, but it is not really needed, it is more a whim than a real need.


Impressions

Цена PocketBook 633 Color составляет 16 тысяч рублей, прообраз этой книги в лице PocketBook 632 стоит 14 тысяч рублей. Насколько оправданна разница в две тысячи рублей за цвет? На мой взгляд, это резонно, но тут нужно посмотреть на другие аспекты этого устройства — насколько вам нужен цвет и при этом вы готовы пожертвовать качеством экрана при отображении обычных книг, меньшей яркостью. Увы, но чуда не произошло, и эта книга вызывает смешанные впечатления. Кому-то книга придется ко двору и цвет перевесит картинку, что хуже при чтении обычных книг (не кардинально, но это заметно другое качество чтения). Но для большинства имеет смысл обратить внимание на обычный PocketBook 632, отличие только в экране и отсутствии цвета.

A large number of books with color eINK appear on the basis of Kaleido screens; Onyx Boox Poke 2 Color can and should be mentioned as a direct competitor.

PocketBook 633 Color e-book review

This book also contains a 6-inch screen, also 100 ppi in color, but inside Android, and as a result, this solution is more expensive – 19 rubles. The disadvantages are exactly the same and they follow from the Kaleido screen, but the device costs much more.

PS After the video about PocketBook 633 Color was released, the company decided to prepare its answer and post material that describes the pros and cons of the new book and shows how it is perceived by customers. The idea itself is good for me, as you can read two views of the same device. Read below the company’s view of this reader and the answers to my questions.

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