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PocketBook Pro 602 review

Barry de la Rosa
14 Nov 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
145
inc VAT

The Pro 602 is a feature-packed and powerful device, but it's heavy, its user interface is unintuitive to use, its bookshop is limited and it's far too expensive

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The PocketBook Pro 602 has support for multiple file formats, multiple languages (with dictionaries and text-to-speech to match) and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. With a powerful Linux-based operating system, it includes a web browser, music player, image viewer and applications, including games and an RSS feed reader.

As with most non-Amazon devices, the Pro 602 uses Adobe's technology to handle purchased eBooks, but it also has direct access to a dedicated website at Bookland.net, accessible from the Pro 602's Library. The home page also has a dedicated box marked "eBook store", but this opens a browser window to a German online book shop.

PocketBook Pro 602

When we first switched on the Pro 602 and saw a home page with a list of recent books, a calendar and a dedicated eBook shop, we thought it would be more intuitive to use. However, once you dig deeper into the interface you're soon bogged down by poor controls and a badly-designed interface.

There's no touch interface or stylus, just a four-way control with a back button, plus four other buttons for page navigation, Home and Contents. This limited set of controls might be OK for a simpler device, but trying to use them to control an on-screen mouse pointer in the web browser is incredibly frustrating.

The Library is split into three tabs: the Files tab simply lists the directory structure of the device, while the Library view shows thumbnails with each book's cover, author and title, and you can sort books by genre or format and add favourites. If you're browsing books and want to switch tabs, you have to move the selection box to the left-hand pane and then upwards to choose a tab.

Meanwhile, choosing the BookLand tab unexpectedly opens a browser window. Pressing the Home button while in the browser doesn't take you back to the home page - you have to use the Back button for that. Bookland was disappointing, too; a search for "Banks" resulted in books about financial institutions and trashy romance novels, but none by award-winning novelist Iain M Banks.

PocketBook Pro 602 Back

You can connect to your PC via USB to transfer eBooks using Adobe's Digital Editions software, but we found that the Pro 602 caused Digital Editions to freeze up each time, no matter how many eBooks were on the device.

At least the on-screen keyboard was interesting - it's split into three sections, with the QWERTY layout split into three equal boxes. Pressing the middle button selects the middle letter in the middle box, but pressing left or right moves the selection to the middle letter of the corresponding box, from where it's only one or two clicks to another letter. Once you've got the hang of it, it saves a lot of clicks.

Reading books is far less of a chore than managing them. Page turns are quick, and pressing the middle button brings up a quick menu, with options for searching taking notes, looking up words, rotating the page and activating the text-to-speech function, which is reasonably clear. Our only problem was with the zoom function, which cycles in one direction only.

It's a shame that the Pro 602 has a wealth of features but fails to package them in an easy-to-use interface. If you need support for an odd file format or another language, we'd recommend the much cheaper BeBook Club S (review soon) over the Pro 602. Everyone else who's keen to avoid the Kindle monopoly should go for the Kobo Wireless eReader

Details

Price£145
Detailswww.greenreader.co.uk
Rating**

Hardware

Viewable size6.0in
Native resolution600x800
Touchscreen y/nno
Capacity2,048MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Size132×11x182mmmm
Weight255g
Battery and charge optionsLithium Polymer, USB
eReader Battery life14,000
Wireless networking support802.11g
3G?no
PortsUSB, 3.5mm headphone

Format Support

eReader TXT supportyes
eReader HTML supportyes
eReader RTF supportyes
eReader PDF supportyes
eReader ePub supportyes
eReader MOBI supportyes
eReader Amazon AZW supportno
eReader Microsoft Word supportyes
Audio MP3 playbackYes
Audio WMA playbackNo
Audio WMA-DRM playbackNo
Audio AAC playbackNo
Audio Protected AAC playbackNo
Audio OGG playbackNo
Audio WAV playbackNo
Audio Audible playbackNo
Image BMP supportYes
Image JPEG supportYes
Image TIFF supportYes

Buying Information

Price£145
Warrantytwo years collect and return
Supplierhttp://www.greenreader.co.uk
Detailswww.greenreader.co.uk

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