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PocketBook unveils seven-inch Gingerbread tablet

Jan 26, 2012 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

PocketBook International announced a seven-inch tablet that runs Android 2.3.7 on a 1GHz TI OMAP3621 processor. The PocketBook A 7″ is equipped with 512MB of RAM, 2GB of accessible onboard storage, a seven-inch, 1024 x 600 touchscreen, a two-megapixel camera, and Android Market access, according to the company.

PocketBook sells worldwide, but is known for manufacturing some of the top-selling e-readers sold in Russia. The company's new PocketBook A 7" updates the company's seven-inch PocketBook IQ color e-reader tablet, which launched in Nov. 2010 for $150. (Since then, that earlier model has been updated slightly to a PocketBook IQ 701 model that moves up to a faster 800MHz Samsung processor, but still runs the ancient Android 2.0.)

The PocketBook A 7" (pictured) is now marketed as more of a full-fledged media tablet than an e-reader, but it still offers pre-loaded ebooks and hardware paging buttons for reading. It advances to a faster 1GHz, Cortex-A8-based Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP3621 CPU — itself originally launched with an e-reader focus — running Android 2.3.7 ("Gingerbread").

Announced along with four other 45nm, die-shrunk versions of the OMAP34x family back in February of 2009, the OMAP3620 family fits into a small 12 x 12mm, 0.5mm ball pitch package with low power DDR memory support, reducing footprint and power consumption, says TI.

RAM and flash storage on the PocketBook A 7" are doubled compared to the PocketBook IQ 701, with 512MB and 4GB listed, respectively, but only half of the flash memory is available for user storage. A microSD slot is provided, however, for cards of up to 32GB, says PocketBook.

The seven-inch, display moves up to capacitive touch, as well as 1024 x 600 pixels and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This still doesn't match the resolution of the $200 Amazon Kindle Fire and other more expensive high-end Android tablets, however.

Compared to the earlier model, the PocketBook A 7" adds a two-megapixel front-facing camera. Additional features include 802.11n, a micro-USB port, a 3.5mm audio port, plus speakers and a microphone, says PocketBook.

The PocketBook A 7" weighs 14.46 ounces (410 grams) and is rather thick at 0.55 inches (14mm). The casing is strengthened by an aluminum-magnesium stiffening rib that also adds vibration resistance, says the company. The 3300mAh battery is said to last about 6.5 hours under mixed use and six hours with video.

The Gingerbread build is augmented with 100 ebooks, available in a variety of languages, as well as a CoolReader e-reader app with support for a variety of ebook formats. Also supplied is the Dolphin Browser HD  web browser with Flash support, email and IM clients, and Office Suite Pro v.5.

There's even Android Market access, which is still something of a rarity on budget tablets. At least we think this is going to be a budget tablet, based on PocketBook's other products — the company has yet to release pricing or availability information. 

PocketBook A 10"

In September, the company announced a PocketBook A 10" (pictured), but like the IQ 701, the tablet is currently listed as out of stock. Like the PocketBook A 7", the $300 tablet runs Gingerbread on TI's 1GHz OMAP3621 processor, and features the same memory allotments.

The 10-inch capacitive display offers 1024 x 768 resolution, and the tablet is further equipped with a 6600mAh battery, says PocketBook. Most other features appear to be identical, although it swaps out the camera and instead adds Bluetooth 2.1 and optional 3G, says the company.

According to PocketBook, 250,000 of its Linux-based PocketBook e-readers — such as the six-inch E Ink-based PocketBook Pro 602 — have been sold in over 24 countries. PocketBook is the best-selling e-reader in CIS countries (the former Soviet Union) and is one of the five bestsellers in Western Europe, claims the company.


No pricing or availability information was provided for the PocketBook A 7". More information may be found on PocketBook's A 7" announcement page .

Eric Brown can be reached at [email protected].

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