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Old 02-25-2014, 01:48 AM   #1
kgn
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Received new PB623 today

I have used a Pocketbook 302 for years and loved it. But it is failing, so I thought I would buy the (hopefully) much improved latest model from Pocketbook.

I bought the PB 623 Touch Lux. It is ok, and I am happy enough with it, but if this is the direction Pocketbook is heading in, then I think they are making a big mistake. The 302 is a much better designed unit even than the 623.

They have taken all the good features in the PB302 and dropped them. Weird. The big edge the PB had over all the rest (Kindle, Kobo, etc) is that you could customize everything. Not so anymore. It is still better than the Kindle or Kobo, but a lot of the stuff is gone.

No bluetooth (not that I really care).

The physical buttons were great - and located perfectly. So what did they do - move them and basically delete 2 of them.

There are touch zones on the screen - which is good - but you cannot change them.

The status bar (in a book) - still one of the best ones around. But not as good as the one in the 302.

The CPU speed is still not really fast enough. It is ok - but now that we have 2Gig octo-cores - why use an 800MHz single core clunker? Perhaps more RAM is needed also. Bit disappointing.

The touch screen is not as good as the 302. I almost never got a false trigger on the 302. With the 623 you have to be fairly careful how you activate the touch triggers, especially the swipes. I am guessing that this is because of the newer capacitive screen, but the 302 was certainly better.

Price wise we are still looking at one of the most expensive ereaders around. It is certainly dearer (in Australia) than the Kobo Aura HD which I think is the nearest competitor.

Having used both the Kobo Aura and the PB623, I think the PB623 is the better unit. But the point of my little diatribe is that Pocketbook should have built on the PB302 and made a truly brilliant market leader. Unfortunately, they seem to have gone the other direction, trying to compete with mass market readers like the Kindle.

Anyway, the Pocketbooks are a joy to transfer books onto (folder based, yay!). Getting onto that now.
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:43 AM   #2
sadowski
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Can you still use your own dictionaries?
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:50 AM   #3
kgn
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Can you still use your own dictionaries?
It did not look like it. But do not quote me on that. I found the dictionary pretty useless anyway. It kept picking up the wrong word. I have never used it, so am not worried about it.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:09 AM   #4
HarryT
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The CPU speed is still not really fast enough. It is ok - but now that we have 2Gig octo-cores - why use an 800MHz single core clunker?
Power usage. An eInk device with a 2Gig octo-core CPU would have a battery life measured in minutes .
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:33 PM   #5
kgn
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Power usage. An eInk device with a 2Gig octo-core CPU would have a battery life measured in minutes .
I suspect that you might be right. But still.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:37 PM   #6
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Can you still use your own dictionaries?
Yes.
Even the oldest dictionaries still work.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:42 PM   #7
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Actually, I have found a couple of more problems....

1. swiping to change pages does not really work. Technically it does work - but it stuffs up the screen so much it is impractical. Tapping workes just fine. This is a real pain as I am so used to swiping with the PB302 it is hard to change.

2. You cannot mark a folder as a Favorite. ie you cannot mark an Author or Series as favorites (you can on the PB302). Frankly, to me this makes the Favorites almost useless. Quite a pain.
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Old 03-03-2014, 07:32 PM   #8
kgn
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After a week or so of reading....

Not a bad reader. Perhaps not as good as my PB302, but still a good reader. Swiping to change pages does not really work (it is awful). If you swipe, it looks like THREE page updates are carried out. The page actually turns ok, but it takes ages due to the three updates, but the screen flickers very annoyingly all the while. Tapping is good. Be better if the physical buttons were laid out better, but better than nothing. The two Back and Forward buttons should be on the outside, and the Home and Menu buttons should be on the inside. Obviously - who ever designs these things plainly never reads a book.

The CPU is quite fast enough. Can do searches easily. MUCH better than the PB302. Very pleased with speed, in fact.

I love the folder structure. It makes life so easy, especially in Calibre. You can also not display by folder, but by author, genre, series, etc. So you get the best of both worlds. The only small issue here is that it treats the internal memory and the external SD card as separate. So if you have a folder on both, they display as two items. Another small quibble - the 'Marked as Read' is pretty hard to see. I guess that is a skin thing...

The battery life seems awful. A couple of days at best. Still cycling the battery, so it may improve. Much the same as the Kindle, from my experience. This is good enough for my purpose, but I am hoping I get at least a week out of it eventually.

There are a few annoying software glitches. For example, I like the 'small' margin size. But every time I open a new book, the margin size goes back to 'default'. There does not seem anyway to change the default margins. Will investigate this.

All my settings 'reset' the other day. Took me a while to realise it, but everything went back to default. Bit weird.

One thing - there is now really no support for the thing in the USA/Australia. There is a forum in German, but I don't speak it. Even getting a theme now is quite hard (not if you speak German, I guess). For some people this would be a big thing.

So - still the best reader I have investigated so far. Better than the Kobo Aura HD and certainly better than any of the Kindles (they are all I have had experience with).
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