Pocketbook as a name is new to us at PC & Tech Authority, but the Russian firm has a solid range of devices. The 602 has a 6in screen, and it’s stuffed full of features.
There’s Wi-Fi onboard, along with a web browser, a 3.5mm headphone socket for playback of MP3 files, 2GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot for expanding on that should your book collection grow larger than that of the National Library.
There’s also a pair of 0.5W speakers on the bottom, and a text-to-speech option that reads text aloud. This supports 24 languages, but we wouldn’t buy one on the strength of this feature; it works sometimes, but foibles such as pauses after every full stop (including the one after Mr. and Mrs.) soon grate.
Other than that, the 602 is nicely made. It’s a little on the heavy and thick side compared to the best readers, but it feels capable of coping with the rigours of the daily commute. Other nice touches include a preloaded library of 1000 Gutenberg Project EPUB titles, and broad format support – from the usual PDF, EPUB and TXT types, to the more obscure FB2, DJVU and CHM.
For technical documentation it seems ideal, and it’s pretty good with PDFs. As with the larger 902 and the Sony Reader Wi-Fi, the 602 offers several ways of reading complex PDF files, including a follow-the-column mode, zoom to width and full-text reflow. Most other file types rendered without a glitch, but our CHM test file wasn’t displayed cleanly, with hardly any reformatting.
Performance and screen quality was similar to the 902. The 600 x 800 E Ink screen isn’t of the Pearl variety. Our tests showed a contrast ratio of 2.3:1. It’s also slow, with an EPUB page refresh time of 1.7 seconds that’s on the wrong side of snappy.
The PocketBook Pro 602 is a mixed bag. It’s full of features, well made, and file format support is generally good. But at this price, we’d expect better screen quality and faster performance.