Last week we were wondering what would happen with the PocketBook family and with good reason. They have overpriced devices, shipped all the way from Ukraine, trying to make it on an already saturated market in North America. The ereaders are not bad, but the production costs and the shipment are killing PocketBook’s chances in the United States.
Be that as it may, the Ukrainian company has revealed a brand new device, the PocketBook Touch 622. It was officially released this week and it is expected to hit the American market no later than this summer. As we were starting to ask ourselves how we’re going to remember this company, it brings forth a six inch device with an e-ink Pearl display, with a standard resolution of 800×600. Under the hood there’s a solid processor at 800MHz, thus placing the Touch 622 on the same level as Amazon’s, B&N’s and Sony’s devices, currently on the market. Could PocketBook be a threat to the three giants?
The new ereader has 128 MB of RAM and 2 GB of internal memory that can be enhanced to 32 GB via the Micro SD card. Nothing special so far. Furthermore, it’s well known that PocketBooks are not very user friendly. They provide access to their own ecosystem, “Book World”, featuring numerous free books available in 12 languages. However, most of the exemplars are just scanned Project Gutenberg books.
PocketBook scores a huge plus with tech whizzes, as their devices support a ton of formats. The latest model is currently able to read EPUB DRM, EPUB, PDF, DRM, PDF, FB2, FB2.ZIP, TXT, DJVU, HTM, HTML, DOC, DOCX, RTF, CHM and TCR. If you prefer Calibre, then the world is your oyster, since you’ll find hundreds of loadable books online. Further, Adobe Digital Edition allows PDF and ePub books to play nice with the 622.
For an ebook reader, the PocketBook Touch 622 definitely has the necessary features and cool software that would rank it up near the Amazon Kindles or Barnes & Noble’s Nook Touch. The only issue is that being produced overseas, transportation tends to sky rocket its price. Word has it the device will hit the Ukrainian market in March costing somewhere between $200 and $300. This price will fly for a while in Eastern Europe, where the competition is rather weak, but in North America the PocketBook doesn’t seem to have a real chance.
Then there’s the issue of marketing. As PocketBook spends so much money on production and shipping, there’s nothing left for marketing and this is the real disadvantage. The US and Canada are over flooded with ebook readers and tablets, many good, few great, but all strongly advertised. Poor PocketBook Touch 622 has good hardware specs and looks cute too, but compared to the devices on the market from the west coast of the Atlantic, it will seem underperforming, overpriced and a virtual stranger.
Even though it will not do well in USA or Canada, PocketBook will definitely be appreciated on the European market, because it truly has great features, looks nice and provides the basic electronic reading experience. In the end, that’s what you want from your ebook reader.