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$150 Android tablet focuses on e-reader apps

Nov 12, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

PocketBook USA has launched both a $150 color e-reader tablet based on Android 2.0 and a $180, Linux-based monochrome e-reader tablet. The PocketBook IQ is a seven-inch, 800 x 600 tablet with Wi-Fi and 2GB of memory, while the PocketBook Pro 602 is a six-inch E Ink e-reader with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, says the company.

PocketBook USA's new devices join a variety of existing products, all including monochrome e-reader screens from E Ink. The earlier products include a $280, six-inch ARM9-based PocketBook 302, plus a series of unusual-looking five-inch PocketBook 360 e-readers, such as the $160 "Ivory Standard" model shown at right, and a newer, $300, 9.7 inch PocketBook Pro 902 which is listed as being back-ordered.

According to a story in The Digital Reader, which alerted us to the tablets, PocketBook USA has also previously shown off PocketBook 603 and PocketBook 903 e-readers, but the devices have been delayed.

PocketBook IQ

PocketBook IQ

The new PocketBook IQ, pictured above and below, appears to be the company's first Android-based device, and its first color tablet. It only costs $150, but it's a pretty bare bones affair. The tablet runs Android 2.0 on an unnamed 533MHz processor, with 256MB of RAM, 2GB of internal flash memory, and a microSD card that can support up to 32GB, says PocketBook USA.

PocketBook IQ detail

The company does not list the display technology used with the seven-inch, 800 x 600-pixel TFT touchscreen. Considering the price, however, it is likely resistive rather than the more finger-friendly capacitive technology.

The device ships with 802.11b/g wireless networking, as well as a microUSB 2.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, a speaker, and an accelerometer. The PocketBook IQ ships with a 1600mAh battery, the company adds.

Like its monochrome siblings, the tablet has an e-reader focus and offers a custom e-reader stack and thousands of free books, says the company. Supported ebook formats are said to include EPUB DRM, PDF DRM, EPUB, PDF, HTML, DJVU, RTF, TXT, PRC, CHM, DOC, TCR, FB2, and FB2.ZIP.

A web browser is available, as are text-to-speech and multi-lingual features, with up to 26 languages supported, says the company. Android Market access and other Google apps do not appear to be part of the picture.

PocketBook Pro 602

Like the IQ tablet, the PocketBook Pro 602 e-reader is equipped with a 533MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, 2GB of internal flash memory, and a microSD card that can support up to 32GB. Other similar features include 802.11b/g, as well as a micro-USB 2.0 port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a speaker. Unlike the IQ tablet, the Pro 602 (below) offers Bluetooth support and an MP3 player, says the company.

PocketBook Pro 602

The six-inch, 800 x 600 screen appears to be the standard E Ink model, with 16 shades of gray. The 1530mAh battery can last for up to 14,000 page flips on one charge, says the company.

The device runs PocketBook's custom e-reader software on the underlying Linux 2.6.28 distribution. The Pro 602 supports the same ebook types as the IQ, and similarly ships with thousands of free books. It also offers text-to-speech and multi-lingual capability, says the company.


The PocketBook IQ Android tablet and PocketBook Pro 602 e-reader are available for pre-order at PocketBook USA, here. The IQ costs $150, and the PocketBook Pro 602 ranges from $180 to $200.

More on the IQ may be found here, and more on the Pro 602 should be here.

The story in The Digital Reader may be found here.

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