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Old 12-04-2011, 03:40 AM   #1
chuckz
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Pocketbook 301 plus is no more?

After 2 years of reading I got my screen having streaks (suspect the culprit is the airport security screening).
This device seems discontinued and out of stock.

But it is the only one I find useful for my needs : reading all formats, including Adobe (books as scanned images, no OCR), in several languages (English, Russian, Greek, Japanese). Don't want Wi-fi, 3G, music. I don't need stores to buy bestsellers. I have my own library.

The devices on the market seem not satisfactory in format flexibility, or
too big and bulky (301 is 175 gr, 602 is 280 gr)
and have features I don't need, etc.

Could someone suggest where to look? How to replace my Pocketbook 301 plus? (I would also willing to buy a working second-hand)

P.S. Why everything good and simple gets squeezed out of the market?
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Old 12-04-2011, 04:35 AM   #2
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There is the new model called PocketBook 611 Basic. This is supposed to be direct replacement for PB301.

Please notice that the name of the new model says Basic. Other models, PB602, PB603. PB612, PB902, PB903. PB912 bear name Pro.

PB611 Basic is already being sold in Europe.
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Old 12-04-2011, 06:31 AM   #3
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Pocketbook Germany (www.pocketbook.de or a PM to member Forkosigan here) still has them in black, grey and pink.

If they are totally out once: it is a Netronix EB600 that has been sold under many different brandings and firmwares, e.g. CoolerReader or Italica. You may want to investigate our Netronix subforum here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=125), if I remember right it is possible to flash a CoolerReader with the Pocketbook firmware. As they have user replacable batteries it is always an option to buy second hand.

(I have a Cybook Gen3, that is the same device, and I also love the form factor very much.)

Last edited by Billi; 12-04-2011 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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Sorry your PB is hurting.
But alas, the airport screeners are innocent; the only risk to ereaders from them is physical damage. The recent reports in the media about xray screening hurting eink screen is flawed in dozens of ways and meaningless.
And your reader's sympthoms are the same aflicting my mother's K2, which has *never* gone through an airport or taken a physical hit. She does read at large print sizes and read a *lot* so the reader has gone through way more page turns than your typical reader.
It sounds like you're a heavy reader, too, so both readers may simply be showing signs of usage-based screen deterioration. Surprisingly early, compared to other screen technologies, but it *is* a new-ish tech still.

Might be worth a GENERAL DISCUSSION post to see if other heavily-used early eink readers are developing the streaks.

Hope you find something you like. The PB611 is (unoficially) rated at 175g and the PB360+ (180g) are about as close as you'll get to the PB301 weight-class these days.

I would suggest you take a look (if you haven't yet) at the Nook STR (212g) and Sony PRS-T1 (168g). They are both fairly light, compact, and android-based. And they bear the latest "Pearl" eink screens. Being Android-based, both can be easily hacked to open them up to the installation of generic Android tablet apps, including a bunch of reader apps like FBreader and Coolreader that renders them comparable to the Pocketbook line. You don't get *all* the benefits of a Pocketbook reader but you *do* get an eink reader that can access ebooks in pretty much any format supported by the PB.

Last edited by fjtorres; 12-04-2011 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:59 AM   #5
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Thank you all for your suggestions.

I might wait for the PB 611 that seems similar to PB 301 (no music which I don't need + WiFi which sounds attractive).

My concern is the software, since honestly I don't want to explore new systems - just to turn pages again. The Pocketbook firmware-software combination has suited me well.

All I do is prepare a book on PC (from scan or Internet - using Calibre to try and get the best format for a specific book in HTML, if it's a PDF - cutting the pages in half with A-PDFcut) and put it on the SD card through USB.

And the dictionaries (some self-made) - would they still be usable?

They still sell 301 on the German site (The Germans probably are as conservative as I am). But there is not delivery option for US.

I would take a look at Android-based readers, only all the PDF readers on my cellphone take forever to load pages.

On PB 301 it works much better, even in a large document. The font size is also adjustable. I am afraid they might have simplified all that in a new PB Basic as it often happens with streamlined models.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckz View Post
I am afraid they might have simplified all that in a new PB Basic as it often happens with streamlined models.
PB611 software is supposed to be direct descendant of the PB301 software. This week I had chance to play with PB612 Pro and even that software isn't far from what you have on your PB301

See this thread
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=155376
and contact Yaroslav - Yar-PocketBooker. He is PocketBook distributor in USA.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=kacir;This week I had chance to play with PB612 Pro [/QUOTE]

What is PB 612 Pro? Touchscreen?
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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Wacom digitizer pen input. Not touch. Plus WiFi.
Sounds like the 611 will suit you.
Note that newer readers will have significantly faster CPUs so PDF rendering in particular should be faster. (Along with most everything else.)
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:49 PM   #9
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Hopefully, also screen durability - I thought I've had the device for about 2 years, but it's only since August 2010.

Got attached to it very much. Good news is that they are getting cheaper - although at the expense of quality and features, sometimes.

The trend is, unfortunately, to stuff everything into a single box: books, music, communications. While each separate part tends to become too streamlined, and the whole too complicated (and too expensive) for comfortable use.

Of course, it's a style-of-life preference.

As for the screen streaks - some say it could be a damage to adhesive over the wiring? I've just come back from a Caribbean vacation - maybe the heat was a factor?
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:45 PM   #10
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What is PB 612 Pro? Touchscreen?
Sorry. That was supposed to be PB602.
The one without touch.

The touch models 603, 903 have wacom touch system. That means they only work with special stylus, not with finger.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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So the PB 611 would not be launched in USA this year (no more information)
The cost of screen repair is $125 - ha-ha!
The service rep said he's never heard about airport security damage to the screen.

That makes it even worse - poor quality of the build, since it failed for no reason (no dropping or hitting) after 1 year, 3 months, a way too soon!

As much as I like the PB devices, they are pushing me toward competitors - good news is that competition is thriving.

PB 301+ would join other devices in my basement, with the difference that most of them got there because outdated but physically sound.

Before I buy another Pocketbook model I would like to hear their statistics and what steps are being done to improve it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:01 PM   #12
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Since I've already done the research I might as well share the results:

This topic on the Russian forum is dedicated to screen attachment details in various devices and lists the best and worst: PB 301 has the most frequent returns due to screen problems, Sony and Kindle - the least frequent (the author is a service person).

http://www.the-ebook.org/forum/viewt...tak+pocketbook

PB 301 at that time (last year) had the flimsiest design - maybe that's why it has been discontinued.
PB 602 was a better design, in opinion of the topic's author.

Beiing attached to the PB system, I decided to play once more the Russian (or, in this case, Ukrainian) roulette - let's get the PB 602 even if it's heavier and more expensive.
But clicking on corresponding shopping buttons I got again "not available", "out of stock".

Nothing is being offered but the IQ tablet and 9-inch devices for the US market.

Would be nice to know what's going on - redesigning or going down, should we be patient or forget about it?
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:21 PM   #13
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you did write 602, but did you mean 612? Because the 602 has been on sale in the US for a while, e.g. Dulin still sells it. Yaroslav sells it, too (he's also got the 301+) and here.
If you are after the 612 or the 611, in your place I'd PM one of these sellers.
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:14 AM   #14
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Thanks Paola - but they all say "unavailable".

Anyway, I am now aware how fragile the early PB models are due to flimsy glass attachment (see the pictures on the Russian site).
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Old 12-06-2011, 04:52 AM   #15
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sorry, I had not noticed: this really is bizarre, I wonder whether it is because they are waiting for the 612? I have a 903, and it is definitely not flimsy (I'd love it more if it had a Pearl screen, but with the new firmware it is now doing almost all I wanted it to do - still no free hand annotation of djvu files. Can work around it, but it is a matter of principle). If you are interested in the 602, I'd check trustworthy info from the horse's mounth - all of the guys I mentioned are on this forum, and though I've never used them because I am in the UK, I cannot remember a single complaint about them on this forum, actually only good reports. Good luck!
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