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Old 03-19-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
Hitchcockfan
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PocketBook 360 Questions

Hi,

I'm trying to decide among the PocketBook 360, B&N Nook and Sony PRS-600. It wasn't until just recently that I was even aware of the PocketBook 360 (I'm new to the forums). It's a very appealing e-reader despite having a 5-inch screen. However, I keep coming back to the fact that for the same price (or about the same), I can get a 6-inch e-reader with probably more functionality.

I came up with some questions to help me make a decision about the 360. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
1. How did you justify the purchase of the PocketBook 360 over other models with larger screens and more functions?

2. Does anyone find the 5-inch screen to be too small? When I've seen comparisons between the 360 and an e-reader with a 6-inch screen, there doesn't appear to be a major difference in the amount of text on the page.

3. What are your thoughts on the software? I like that the 360 supports RSS Feeds, but does this function work well on the reader?

4. Is there a development community for the 360 (additional Linux applications)?

Thank you everyone for your time!
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:00 AM   #2
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Well to be honest extra functions on a ebook reader are not necassarily terribly helpful.

I have a Cool-er that has a mp3 player in it, and I never use the mp3 player part. I just want a ereader that displays books. Extra stuff is not terribly important to me, I have a iphone and a regular desktop computer for games, web surfing etc.

Screen size is smaller with the 360 but you can set the margins so that it uses the most of the screen, which is nice.


Never tried to use the RSS feed function on it the reader, so no feedback on it.

FBreader is open source and has a good amount of support from my understanding. Overall the 360 is very stable little device.

I find that I like the buttons on my Pocketbook 360. I have a Cool-er that has a wheel for turning the pages and I prefer the larger buttons on the side of the device that the Pocketbook 360 has.

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Old 03-19-2010, 04:09 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Hitchcockfan View Post
It's a very appealing e-reader despite having a 5-inch screen. However, I keep coming back to the fact that for the same price (or about the same), I can get a 6-inch e-reader with probably more functionality.
If you want all the great features that PocketBook 360 firmware has, plus 6 inch screen plus audio player, you can get PocketBook 301.
The only difference between
PB360 vs. PB301 is
  • Lid vs. "classic book-like" cover (*)
  • 5 inch vs. 6 inch screen
  • no audio vs. mp3 player
  • accelerometer vs. no accelerometer
(*) there are some great looking, high quality handmade leather covers available from PocketBook for PB301

Tell me, what reader has more functionality than PB360? Apart from the ability to listen to mp3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchcockfan View Post
1. How did you justify the purchase of the PocketBook 360 over other models with larger screens and more functions?
  • PB360 has THE most functions that I will need for reading books. Things like folders, on-screen-keyboard, ability to copy or move files ...
  • Hardware looks and feels cool.
  • You can rotate the screen any way you wish - hence the name 360°, so the control elements (buttons) can be on left or right or bottom or even top. When I saw that, I knew that one day I will buy the device.
  • The device has lid that protects the screen without adding bulk to the device
  • The firmware is built on Free software and we can tinker with it
  • The firmware is very, *very*, VERY configurable. You can, for example, change overall look of the GUI, you can remap all keys to your liking.
  • you can view books in any language, even in Arabic, Hebrew, or far east languages. ANY language that can use UTF8 and has font available.
  • PocketBook company actively fosters developement of third party software.
  • THEY EVEN SUPPLY LINUX TERMINAL EMULATOR THAT CAN BE RUN ON DEVICE! So you can tinker with insides of the system disk, you can pull out any configuration file you wish, you can, for example, extract any language translation file from inside the machine, so users here on Mobileread can supply new translations or improve existing ones. It took me some 5 minutes to get the language files and post them to the thread about firmware. Next day there were several new or improved translations supplied by my fellow mobilereaders.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchcockfan View Post
2. Does anyone find the 5-inch screen to be too small? When I've seen comparisons between the 360 and an e-reader with a 6-inch screen, there doesn't appear to be a major difference in the amount of text on the page.
the 5 inch screen has the same number of pixels as 6 inch one. The pixels are just 5/6ths smaller.
I have had 6 inch reader - Sony PRS500 - before and I do not perceive PocketBook 360 as small.
The fact that you can fine tune the appearance of the text on page and that you can use just any font at any size (with a very small step) contribute greatly to the readability.
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3. What are your thoughts on the software? I like that the 360 supports RSS Feeds, but does this function work well on the reader?
In my opinion PocketBook has one of finest firmwares out there. Hardware is not THAT different - apart from the lid that nobody else has. I have never tried to use RSS reader and I have heard that some Czech guy had problem generating RSS feeds in win 1250 codepage.
The software on PocketBook is very, VERY stable, configurable to great extent and, most importantly, is built in such a way that it is easily extend-able, tinker-able and hack-friendly.
To install a third party replacement for internal application, all you need is to drag and drop a file into a directory when you connect the reader to PC.
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4. Is there a development community for the 360 (additional Linux applications)?
Yes there is.
http://pbook.s3.amazonaws.com/fbreader_180e_src.zip
http://code.google.com/p/fbreader-po...downloads/list
http://bookfast.org/category/pocketbook/themes <- you can view that one with translate.google.com
http://pocketbook-free.sourceforge.net/
PocketBook company supplies working Software Developement Kit, organizes programming competitions for development of third-party applications and even supplies prizes for winners.

There is one more address
http://www.the-ebook.org/?page_id=545
This is the Russian forum where the PocketBook company crowd sourced the specification of PocketBook 360° hardware and software. This is the reason it is so well designed. The company listens to the customers.

Oh ...
One more thing ...
if you want all features mentioned above, plus touch screen, plus USB host (to connect a keyboard or USB key), plus WiFi have a look at PocketBook 302 ;-)
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:37 AM   #4
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1) Money was the principal problem for me. I received the PB at an irresistible price, though it was actually still over my planned budget (since I'm a hunger student, the budget was Scrooge-like).

2) With the obvious (but not less sad for an otaku like me) exception for reading comics and manga, the 5'' lets you handle documents very well. The PDF viewer software has improved very noticeably in the last firmware issue, so PDF's are no more a roulette game where if you got the black you couldn't read. Now 99% of normal PDFs should be working properly.

3) The firmware is strong and it allows you to do lots of things (support for free configuration of keys), plus the device has never hung in the month I've been using it (quite intensively and with big files such as manga volumes). The RSS reading ability is decent (though the PC companion provided by Pocketbook is worthless, you'll be better off using Calibre's or Feedbooks' parsers).

4) The FBReader I use is user-made, and there is quite an array of software to be downloaded (aside of the SDK being available for everybody to use).

Last edited by Logseman; 03-19-2010 at 04:41 AM.
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchcockfan View Post
1. How did you justify the purchase of the PocketBook 360 over other models with larger screens and more functions?
I already have larger e-readers, so I needed a different kind of justification As I expected and have found, it's very light and small with a screen that is still of a resonable size. It fits in smaller handbags and (larger) pockets much easier than most of the 6'' devices. It's definitely a "one-handed" device because it's so light. The rotation functionality works very well - better than my ipod Touch. The interface is also very costumizable, which is really nice. I don't think it has less functions than other e-readers, and of the 5'' models, it has the most.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hitchcockfan View Post
2. Does anyone find the 5-inch screen to be too small? When I've seen comparisons between the 360 and an e-reader with a 6-inch screen, there doesn't appear to be a major difference in the amount of text on the page.
Unless you need extra-large font size, I wouldn't say it feels too small. It is smaller than the screen of my Kindle, but doesn't feel too small. Any smaller than this though, would be too small.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:39 PM   #6
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you very much for your feedback and resources!! In terms of functionality of other e-readers, I was referring to things like touchscreens, wifi, etc. However, these aren't "must haves." Also, I should have mentioned that I'd like to stay in the $250 price range. The PocketBook 301 looks very appealing, though.

I have to also keep in mind that the Pocketbook 360 comes with a two-year warranty and a screen cover. For most other e-readers that would set me back another $50-$75.

Thanks again, everyone!
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Old 03-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #7
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I have a Pocketbook 360 and a PRS-600. The Pocketbook screen is not too small for me. I actually think I enjoy it the most of all my ereaders, because it is the easiest to carry around and read one-handed. But it is also my newest reader, so is my current shiniest toy.

I initially missed the touch screen, but I really don't anymore. Since you can rotate the Pocketbook 360, you can have the controls where ever you want them. I use it "upside-down" because I like using my left hand to turn the pages. The only thing I really miss from the Sony is a decent dictionary. I installed one of the dictionaries I found on their website (Webster 1913) but it is really crappy. The Sony dictionary is far superior.

The Pocketbook is way more customizable than the Sony or the Kindles I had prior. I was able to set FBreader as my default for epubs instead of the crappy ADE. This gives you much more control over how your books appear.

I still love my Sony as well, and I don't think you'd be unhappy with either one. The one thing better on the Sony is the displayed list of books, because you can go to all books beginning with "P" or all authors beginning with "T". This might not seem like a big deal, but I have over 1200 books on my reader, so scrolling through them all with the Pocketbook is a bit of a chore.

Sony's Collections feature is superior too. Pocketbook lets you organize everything in folders, but each copy of a book can only be in 1 folder. If you want it in multiple folders, you have to have multiple copies on the reader. Sony's organizations is based on tags -- you specify tags for a book, as many as you want per book, and each tag puts that one copy of the book into a different collection. So the same copy of a book can be in a collection of Joe Author's books, science fiction books, books of the Cool Series series, etc.

-Marcy
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:15 AM   #8
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Sony's Collections feature is superior too. Pocketbook lets you organize everything in folders, but each copy of a book can only be in 1 folder. If you want it in multiple folders, you have to have multiple copies on the reader.
I hear you can ssh to the Pocket Book. If so.. could you create symbolic links so you can have the same book in more than one folder but only have one copy of it on the device?

BOb
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:32 AM   #9
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I hear you can ssh to the Pocket Book. If so.. could you create symbolic links so you can have the same book in more than one folder but only have one copy of it on the device?

BOb
Possibly, but that's way more work than I'm willing to put in. I keep all my books in Calibre and if Calibre can't do it and keep my backup I'm not doing it. Each link would have to be manually added and if anything ever happened to the data on the book it would have to be done all over again. It's not optimal, but I just have everything sorted into author folders. I really miss the series feature, especially for series like 1632 written by multiple authors, but nothing is perfect.

-Marcy
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Old 03-20-2010, 04:03 AM   #10
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I hear you can ssh to the Pocket Book. If so.. could you create symbolic links so you can have the same book in more than one folder but only have one copy of it on the device?
I do not know about ssh.
I would love to try. Do you have any details?

You can run Linux terminal emulator application directly on the device as a PocketBook application.
The problem is, if you want to see the partition from windows when you connect the USB cable, it should be some kind of fat or perhaps ntfs system. The partition where books are is most probably mounted as fat32 (I guess vfat partition in Linux), but it is not mounted via /etc/fstab so I could not make 100% sure. There is a script somewhere, I just do not have patience to look for it right now.
So. Even in Linux you can not make symlinks (much less hardlinks) on fat32 filesystem.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:02 AM   #11
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Sony 500 owner looks at Pocketbook 360 vs. 301

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy View Post
I have a Pocketbook 360 and a PRS-600. The Pocketbook screen is not too small for me. I actually think I enjoy it the most of all my ereaders, because it is the easiest to carry around and read one-handed. But it is also my newest reader, so is my current shiniest toy.

I initially missed the touch screen, but I really don't anymore. Since you can rotate the Pocketbook 360, you can have the controls where ever you want them. I use it "upside-down" because I like using my left hand to turn the pages. The only thing I really miss from the Sony is a decent dictionary. I installed one of the dictionaries I found on their website (Webster 1913) but it is really crappy. The Sony dictionary is far superior.

The Pocketbook is way more customizable than the Sony or the Kindles I had prior. I was able to set FBreader as my default for epubs instead of the crappy ADE. This gives you much more control over how your books appear.

I still love my Sony as well, and I don't think you'd be unhappy with either one. The one thing better on the Sony is the displayed list of books, because you can go to all books beginning with "P" or all authors beginning with "T". This might not seem like a big deal, but I have over 1200 books on my reader, so scrolling through them all with the Pocketbook is a bit of a chore.

Sony's Collections feature is superior too. Pocketbook lets you organize everything in folders, but each copy of a book can only be in 1 folder. If you want it in multiple folders, you have to have multiple copies on the reader. Sony's organizations is based on tags -- you specify tags for a book, as many as you want per book, and each tag puts that one copy of the book into a different collection. So the same copy of a book can be in a collection of Joe Author's books, science fiction books, books of the Cool Series series, etc.

-Marcy


I have a Sony 500. I like it. I am returning my 2 week old Delstar Openbook to Walgreens because it's not ready for primetime. I don't know why I bought it!

I have decided upon the Pocketbook reader because of readers' positive comments on its features, how well it renders ebooks, the good support the company provides here in Mobileread. I think the updates and SDK for 3rd party developers to add functionality indicate it won't be obsolete quickly.

The only thing I need help on is deciding on the 360 vs 301.
I am not super sensitive to price but the 302 is a bit more than I would like to spend.
I don't think I need super big fonts.
I do anticipate reading some PDFs [does the 6" screen do a better job on those?]
I wear progressive lens glasses [6" vs 5" any impact for glasses users?]
I have read here that the 301 uses older less speedy hardware [Is it meaningful to a typical ebook user?]
Will there LIKELY be a long term advantage to the newer 360?
Is there any way I can see the 360 and the 301 "in person" ? [ I live in Washington DC USA.]
Are there other questions I should have asked?http://www.mobileread.com/forums/ima.../2thumbsup.gif

Forum members- Please guess if a Sony 500 user will be happier with a 301 than with a 360.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vienna01 View Post

The only thing I need help on is deciding on the 360 vs 301.
I am not super sensitive to price but the 302 is a bit more than I would like to spend.
I don't think I need super big fonts.
I do anticipate reading some PDFs [does the 6" screen do a better job on those?]
I wear progressive lens glasses [6" vs 5" any impact for glasses users?]
I have read here that the 301 uses older less speedy hardware [Is it meaningful to a typical ebook user?]
Will there LIKELY be a long term advantage to the newer 360?
-
Are there other questions I should have asked?http://www.mobileread.com/forums/ima.../2thumbsup.gif

Forum members- Please guess if a Sony 500 user will be happier with a 301 than with a 360.
My first ebook reader was a Cybook gen 3 which - AFAIK - uses the same hardware as the PB 301. I was never really happy with the placement of the page turn button, it was awkward to use. Ergonomics would be worth taking into consideration and the PB 360 definitely shines in this respect in comparison.

As for speed, I guess I might find the 301 a little slow, but I've owned seven different e-ink devices and my grounds for comparison is a bit different than yours. If you're upgrading from the old Sony 500 (you don't mean the 505 BTW?) you will probably find it faster anyway

Being mostly used to 6'' screens, I find the screen of the 360 a little on the small side, though not so much I'm unhappy with it. I really like the lightness of it and it's a great size for pockets/handbags - much better than my Kindle. I think the larger e-readers I've had had a bit more 'book-like' feel, probably because of their size. This one still feels a little more like a machine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vienna01 View Post
Is there any way I can see the 360 and the 301 "in person" ? [ I live in Washington DC USA.]
Take a look at this thread: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26574
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:56 PM   #13
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Forum members- Please guess if a Sony 500 user will be happier with a 301 than with a 360.
Re: screen size -- as long as you don't need very big fonts I think you'll be happy with a 5-inch screen. I've only had 6-inch or larger screens previously and I don't mind it at all.

If you can't see a PB360 in person, try going to Walmart or Best Buy and looking at at Sony PRS-300. It will give you an idea if you are okay with a 5 inch screen.

-Marcy
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
I do anticipate reading some PDFs [does the 6" screen do a better job on those?]
In fact the 360 got same resolution as the 301 (600x800), so the screen of the 360 is pretty sharp! Through the Reflowoption (Zoom) you can (as it says) Reflow the PDFs, aslong they are textformatted. Me as person was reading in normal zoom (100%) aslong the pdfs hasnt got to mage white border. I love to have and read the text as it was printed but thats something personally.
Back to topic: The 6" screen is bigger thats a fact but the 5" screen does the job well, too. As long you dont care about big fonts (as you have written) the 5" screen should do it for you.

Quote:
I wear progressive lens glasses [6" vs 5" any impact for glasses users?]
Watch above.

Quote:
I have read here that the 301 uses older less speedy hardware [Is it meaningful to a typical ebook user?]
In reference to the 360 it uses the pretty same Hardware (CPU/RAM).
Anyway little diffrence to the hardware wouldnt be that meaningful to a typical ebook reader (user).

Quote:
Are there other questions I should have asked?
Did you know, that the 301 can playback music, but the 360 cant?

Perhaps this link to the (so called) Reader Matrix can help you too
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #15
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Posts: 123
Karma: 142
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Maryland USA
Device: Sony PRS-500,PocketBook 301, Sony 650
Thanks for Helping Me With Pocketbook 360 vs 301 decision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcy View Post
Re: screen size -- as long as you don't need very big fonts I think you'll be happy with a 5-inch screen. I've only had 6-inch or larger screens previously and I don't mind it at all.

If you can't see a PB360 in person, try going to Walmart or Best Buy and looking at at Sony PRS-300. It will give you an idea if you are okay with a 5 inch screen.

-Marcy
I awoke finally: I didn't realize my Sony had a 6" screen until I started looking at second reader purchase. I have a neighbor who has a Sony 300. Yes, I didn't have to look much farther than my own street to help me decide 301 vs 360. I'll let you all know how it works out.

I think I will have to have to put a mask on my avatar so that my embarrassment won't show.

Last edited by Vienna01; 03-23-2010 at 06:34 PM.
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