PocketBook 515 eReader to Launch Next Month, Will Cost $90
Amazon, Icarus, Kobo, and Trekstor aren’t the only companies pursuing the bottom end of the ereader market. PocketBook has just announced a new cheaper and smaller ereader that they plan to launch next month in Russia.
Weighing in at 131 grams, the PocketBook 515 isn’t the lightest ereader but it is close. This ereader is equipped with a 5″ E-ink screen, 4GB Flash storage, and 256MB of RAM. It’s running PocketBook’s own proprietary version of Linux, and is expected to cost 2990 rubles when it hits the market.
The 5″ screen has a resolution of 600×800, just like the screen on the Kobo Mini, but that’s about the only thing these ereader have in common. The PocketBook 515 gave up a lot of hardware in order to hit its price point.
Due to the low price, this ereader doesn’t have a microSD card slot, Wifi, a touchscreen, or audio. It truly as limited as the Trekstor Pyrus Mini, the 4.3″ ereader which coincidentally costs about the same as the PocketBook 515.
But in spite of its hardware limitations, the PocketBook 515 is still moderately capable. It supports a broad selection of ebook and office doc formats including Epub, PDF, FB2, CHM. DJVU, RTF, txt, html, DOC, and Docx. In addition to letting you read ebooks the 515 also includes apps for a calculator, calendar, clock, and a few games (Snake, Sudoku, Chess).
There’s no word yet on whether this ereader will be available in other markets, but even if it does show up in Europe I am not sure I would recommend it.
The Pocketbook 5151 is priced at the equivalent of €69, and I can see that the Kobo Mini is being sold by a number of retails for €59. The Kobo Mini has a touchscreen and Wifi, and based on a simple comparison of the specs it is a much better buy.
On a related note, the Mini is also being sold in the US for $40 and in the UK for £29, making it the cheapest leading ereader anywhere at the moment.
Jason June 26, 2013 um 12:43 pm
Nothing wrong with pursuing the lower end of the market. It’s a cheap way to enter the wonderful world of ereading and will likely create brand loyalty when it comes to upgrading to a newer device down the road.
lol June 26, 2013 um 3:49 pm
Unconvincing. Why would anybody buy this device instead of the Kobo mini?
Allan June 27, 2013 um 12:09 am
Kobo Mini does not read FB2 – most important format for reading books. Most russian ebooks are in FB2 format.
Paola June 27, 2013 um 6:16 am
Allan, are you sure FB2 is not supported? So far all Pocketbook models have been supporting FB2, it would be very surprising if this new model did not.
Paola June 27, 2013 um 6:17 am
oops, ignore previous message, I misread "Mini" – indeed, Mini is very limited in formats it can read.
Paola June 27, 2013 um 4:06 am
well, Pocketbook has a great software – if it is the same that is available on other models, you would be able to read pdf and DJVu files. I have both the Pocketbook 360 and the Kobo Mini, and while the Mini has a great screen, the software for pdf rendering is poor. I am not saying that a 5″ screen is ideal for pdf, but if the text is in columns, it is actually good, while even for normal A4 or letter pages, the pocketbook software makes reading pdf on a 5″ screen very doable. Pity for the lack of sd card though, and also in terms of form factor, this looks larger than the mini. I was very much looking forward to a new 5″ from Pocketbook, but I am not sure this is the one for me – the PB touch seems worth the higher price.
Allan June 30, 2013 um 6:32 pm
I have 9.7″ reader PocketBook Pro 902. It has big enough screen to see pdf files, but to heavy for travel: 570g. For travel and reading on beach I use 5″ reader Astak EZReader Pro (170g). I will buy PocketBook 515 (131g) this October, when I will be the whole month in Ukraine. Software for PocketBooks is developed by Ukrainian programmers, so PocketBooks are sold in Ukraine and Russia. Developers of PocketBook software are very good programmers. They fix bugs and update firmware very fast after receiving customer’s complain. I came to USA from Ukraine 19 years aga, and can tell that we are much better engineers and programmers, than average. Or how you can explain that Soviet Union was first in Space and Weapons? Do not worry about quality of product. My PocketBook Pro 902 works perfect.
Name (required) June 27, 2013 um 4:05 pm
I wanted to buy Kobo Mini when I saw it in a Best Buy when I was visiting USA. I was unable to try it out. It kept begging me to connect it to the Internet and register it before it would allow me to see what the book looks like on it. I didn’t buy it. The software has [according to many threads I follow on Mobileread] lots of … shortcomings and this was the last straw. Being *forced* to register before I am allowed to use *my* device that I paid full price for? NO!
PocketBooks, on the other hand are perhaps the most configurable e-ink readers in the world. They support huge number of formats. I have had my PocketBook 360 for years and I think that it was, in its time, the best e-ink reader in the world.
One very exciting feature that Nate missed is the cover the manufacturer is going to make for this little reader. The cover / lid is one of greatest features on PB360. You just snap it on and you can slip the reader into pocket without worrying about screen. The lid adds very little bulk to the device. Unlike the vast majority of cases and covers for other brands.
LCNR June 26, 2013 um 3:52 pm
Actually, the summer sales period has just begun in France and the Kobo mini can be had for 40 € at the FNAC.
Nate Hoffelder June 26, 2013 um 3:58 pm
I did not see it listed. The Portugal branch had it for that price but not Fnac.com.
Paola June 27, 2013 um 4:07 am
the Mini is being discounted down under too – a lot of people on MR Kobo forum wonder whether a new "Mini glo" is on the offing, explaining while they are getting rid of stocks….
LCNR June 29, 2013 um 7:45 pm
You’re right, the mini is not available at this price on fnac.com (I originally thought they just hadn’t updated the site yet, but it’s now four days on and it’s still listed at 79,90 €), but I can confirm that the deal is on in physical stores: at half-price, I went out and got one on day one (I got the tip from Aldus at .
I do agree with Name (required) though: having to register in order to be able to use the device is a disgrace, but fortunately Kobo’s readers have been hacked and you can circumvent the need to register and even get rid of all the tracking software (see e.g. http://a3nm.net/blog/fnacbook_kobo_hacking.html or just google "hacking kobo mini" or the like).
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