Review : Pocketbook 301+ & Buyer’s Remorse

by spideyak

Editor’s note: I’m reposting this review from MobileRead Forums because I agree with several of the points made here.

There are a lot of positive reviews out there for the 301+, which is what convinced me to buy the Pocketbook to begin with; however, had I been able to handle the item, I would not have purchased it.

I bought the Pocketbook 301+ from tvpupsik on eBay. The item arrived quickly and as described in the auction. Tatiana communicated well and I have nothing but good to say about my experience with her and the purchase.

In the box
I was excited as I opened the box, given the many positive reviews and due to the fact that I had stopped reading between the time I gave my daughter my Sony PRS-505 and the time I received the Pocketbook 301+.

I was underwhelmed when I opened the box. While the green color on the ereader, itself, is nice, the awful “matching” green color of the protective cover was awful. It might be nice for my 13 year-old daughter, but for me, it was a tad childish.

Other than that, since I did not purchase the Comfort model, there was not much in the box: a USB cable, the ereader, the cover, and that was it.

The Pocketbook 301+: Hardware
The item is flimsy, and I mean, really flimsy. The first time I turned it on and tried to turn a page, the cheap plastic square clicked into place. I looked over the ereader and noticed that it had come apart (or had not been assembled completely) on a couple places around the case, so I gently closed the gaps and they, too, clicked into place.

The placement of the navigation buttons is not intuitive. I have to look every time I want to navigate somewhere. These buttons are small, especially for somebody like me who has bigger fingers, and are located on the two sides of the thin ereader.

The plastic cover over the USB port feels like it will eventually rip out from where it is seated. If I keep this ereader, and I do not plan to, I expect this cover to be gone within the first year. Given that this item is not waterproof, water-resistant, or even dust resistant, I do not see why it was included at all.

The one good thing I have to say about the hardware concerns the screen. It is clear and has no reflection that I’ve noticed. It is easy to read in the sun and with low-light. It refreshes quickly and the fonts come through clearly.

The Pocketbook 301+: Software
I like the way the Pocketbook shows the books. I downloaded and installed the Five theme and use the Easy view setting; it is much easier to navigate my book collection than with the default theme. The fact that I can change the theme to change my reading experience is a major positive in the Pocketbook 301+’s favor.

I have not used the other features, and frankly, do not care to do so. All I wanted was an ereader, not a multi-function device. I like the fact that this ereader is expandable through an SD card slot, and, up to 32 GBs! I also appreciate that there is no Wi-fi, bluetooth or coffee maker attached to this ereader.

One of the biggest problems I have, and I do not know if it is related to hardware or software, is that it sometimes takes two or three tries to turn a page. While this is not a show stopper, it certainly is annoying. This happens across themes. I do not recall it happening with the 14.2 version of the OS, so it may be specific to 15.2.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give this ereader a 4. I cannot imagine ever traveling with this item. Even if I treated it with kid gloves, the people in airports are not so careful, as I have observed from firsthand experience.

Comparing this to my family’s other experiences with ereaders (we have a PRS-505, PRS-300, and a Kindle DX), I have to say that my family members with the Sony models are the most happy with their purchase. They were all excited to see the Pocketbook in person; however, upon handling the ereader, they were all underwhelmed. Not the experience for which I was hoping after spending $275.00 U.S.

Please remember, this is just my opinion and experience. You may have had a better experience or even like your Pocketbook 301+. I, on the other hand, wish I would have found a review like this to completely weigh my options before spending a lot of money. I now am offering this for sale for $100.00 less than what I purchased it for in the flea market (asking $175), which is awful, given that I do not have a lot of money to begin with (and who does in this economy?).

1 Comment

  1. Leon24 October, 2010

    I’ve liked this device, but I appeared to be not reliable, warranty is not comprehensive and repair is not cheap.


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