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Pocketbook Touch Lux 3 Launching Soon w\ 6″ Carta E-ink Screen

626plustouchlux3_grey_alice_front7947 The Kobo Glo HD may be the most anticipated ereader to launch this year but it is not the only one to ship in the next few weeks. A leaked product listing has revealed that Pocketbook has a new 6″ ebook reader in the works.

The Touch Lux 3 sports a 6″ Carta E-ink screen. It’s up for pre-order on with a retail price of €111 and an expected ship date of two weeks.

Weighing in at 208 grams, the Touch Lux 3 runs Pocketbook’s software on a 1GHz CPU with 256MB RAM. It has 4GB internal storage, a microSD card slot, Wifi, but no audio. The screen has a resolution of 1024 x 758, and as you could guess from the name this model has both a frontlight and a touchscreen (capacitive).

All in all there’s not much here to surprise us. The Touch Lux 3 looks like a slight update to the existing model, and not the monumental upgrade that the Kindle Voyage was last year, or that I’m hoping the Kobo Glo HD will be this year.

It looks like Pocketbook is playing it much safer this year than last. In 2014, the company released two novel designs: the Inkpad, an 8″ ereader, and the Ultra, a 6″ ereader with a Carta E-ink screen and an 5MP camera. One was great while the other was crap, but both were more interesting than the Touch Lux 3.

Let’s hope Pocketbook’s next device does something new, but if it doesn’t then there is always the CAD Reader, the 13.3″ ereader Pocketbook has been working on since December 2013.

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Hrafn April 15, 2015 um 7:16 am

This appears to be slower, heavier and less versatile than the Boyue T62+. Except for those who really don’t like Android, or really like PB’s proprietary OS, what’s the selling point for this? It might have made sense a year ago, when Carta was less common, and many Android eReaders were struggling with a single core. Now, I’m not really seeing it.

PB really need to find a middle ground between being too far out in left field (the Ultra), and too far behind the technological curve (the TL3), to be competitive.

I’m not saying that it looks to be a bad eReader, just not one that seems to do anything to make you want to buy it over the competitions' offerings.

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2015 um 7:28 am

Well, it probably has an improved frontlight, so it’s not a complete waste.

But yes, this is basically what Pocketbook should have released last spring, not two years after the Paperwhite.

Hrafn April 15, 2015 um 8:32 am

One other thing I noticed is that this is bulkier and significantly heavier than the Ultra, in spite of very similar internal specs (minus the Ultra’s camera). Unless the Ultra had a fairly exotic (and expensive) chassis composition, or its weird back-mounted buttons gave it a significant weight/bulk advantage, I cannot see why that improvement could not have been transferred through to the newer generation mainstream model (rather than simply cloning the TL2’s exterior). Really the TL3 is simply a TL2+.

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2015 um 8:44 am

You raise a good point.

I hadn’t thought about it but Pocketbook also has the Sense, which is basically the Ultra without the camera or Carta screen. Perhaps PB made the TL3 bulky so that it won’t undercut the Sense?

If so, that was a really dumb idea. The TL3 has the better and newer screen.

ncfsoi April 15, 2015 um 10:12 am

From what I’ve read, the Sense will get the same screen update. PocketBook probablz didn’t change any part of the reader besides the screen (well, and the print on the keys has changed back to the one found on the TL1). Therefore, the update should have caused them virtually no development costs.

Hrafn April 15, 2015 um 10:55 am

Yes,but in a market for thinner, lighter, faster, more versatile, higher resolution, etc, just improving the contrast very slightly, a year on, doesn’t really cut it. All electronic manufacturers face an evolutionary , where they "must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate not merely to [be successful], but also simply to survive". The TL3 is least a generation out of date in terms of technology (competing with the PW2, not the Voyage or Glo HD).

Hrafn April 15, 2015 um 10:59 am

[That lengthily-titled link was meant to be titled "Red Queen’s race", with "where they must adapt…" being meant to come after the link.]

ncfsoi April 15, 2015 um 2:46 pm

But the TL3’s intention us to compete with the PW2, isn’t it? And now it can. It will apparently be sold for 99 EUR in Germany, same price as the PW2. The PW2 may still have a faster CPU, but the TL3 has physical page turn buttons and can use additional microSD cards for books. Depending on your needs, the TL3 may be the better choice over the PW2.

PocketBook is probably working on premium devices meant to compete with the other manufacturers' premium devices, but being a pure device manufacturer without an attached content ecosystem for cross-financing, the company won’t be able to compete pricewise.

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2015 um 3:29 pm

Yes, but the TL3 is also going to have to compete against the Kobo Glo HD. That has the 300dpi Carta screen and costs only 129 euros.

ncfsoi April 15, 2015 um 4:59 pm

@Nate Hoffelder: Even against the Glo HD, the TL3’s advantages still stand: physical buttons, microSD card slot, lower price. If the Glo HD inherits the Glo’s CPU, it won’t be faster than the TL3, but that is still unclear, as is the screen quality that the TL3 will achieve. But we’ll know that soon enough, I guess. Speaking of which, is the Glo HD you ordered on its way to you already?

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2015 um 5:47 pm

No it’s not, but today I did get a loaner review unit from Kobo.

I like it.

ncfsoi April 15, 2015 um 6:36 pm

@Nate Hoffelder: Great to read you have a review unit. One thing I’m very interested in, because no reader except the Paperwhite and the InkPad seem to be able to do it, is, whether you can set the minimum brightness low enough to become almost unnoticeable in complete darkness. If that were possible on the Glo HD, that might actually give it an advantage over the TL3, whose predecessor at least could not do that. What Paperwhite brightness level can the Glo HD’s minimum brightness be likened with?

Nate Hoffelder April 15, 2015 um 7:22 pm

The Glo HD has an off setting, and a 1% setting which is fairly dim but still brighter than the minimum setting on my 2013 KPW.

I have to raise the brightness on the KPW by 4 or 5 notches to equal that 1%.

ncfsoi April 15, 2015 um 8:50 pm

Thanks! Alas, that doesn’t appear to be much better than what I expect from the TL3 then. The former TL’s minimum brightness was somewhere around level 5 to 7 on the 2013 KPW brightness scale when I checked it, IIRC. A pity.

Hrafn April 15, 2015 um 11:12 pm

If you want "physical page turn buttons and … microSD cards" then there’s the Boyue T62+, which is faster, lighter and more versatile, for roughly the same price.

The problem with the TL3 is not that it’s a bad eReader, but that it’s hard to find a set of user preferences for which it’s the best eReader, and thus the one that the user in question will actually buy.

ncfsoi April 16, 2015 um 7:50 am

@Hrafn: The Boyue T62+ has indeed better specs on paper. However, in Germany, where I reside, a quick, superficial search couldn’t find me any listing for it. The closest thing was its predecessor T62 for 119 EUR from a Spanish web shop, which in my book is still 20% more than the 99 EUR (including free shipping), for which the TL3 can be ordered from a known German book seller:

Note that the European prices already include around 20% VAT, which you would have to pay extra on devices that you import, and I haven’t seen an overseas offer cheap enough to make the price "roughly the same". Also, German sellers are legally required to give a two-year warranty on things they sell (that is, even if the manufacturer’s warranty period is shorter, it then becomes the seller’s problem), which you might not get from an overseas shop.

You write, that the Boyue reader is lighter, but I couldn’t find corresponding specs. I’ve found 220g for the T62 and 208g for the TL2, so they weigh roughly the same with the TL2 actually beeing slightly lighter. About the Boyue reader being "more versatile", I don’t know. Maybe, if they got the Android software right. However, the button layout looks rather less versatile, since it doesn’t seem to be intended to be used in landscape mode, which the TL’s layout clearly is. As regards specs, I can agree, it has more RAM, more internal storage and a faster CPU (and even audio out, IIRC). As regards the internal storage, you could argue that it doesn’t matter for reader that offers and external SD card slot, and if the TL3 is like the TL2, you could probably even upgrade the internal storage, since the TL2 uses an internal microSD card for that.

However, the strongest point against the Boyue T62+ is clearly, that it is not available for purchase here. Thus, "the user in question", at least in Germany and Austria, certainly won’t buy a T62+ from overseas, if he can get a cheaper model, that can also easily be returned, if he so desires, locally, unless his needs are very special. The Boyue reader’s better specs won’t help here, IMHO. Don’t nail me on the numbers, but I think, I’ve read somewhere, that the number of people here, who buy from overseas, is still in the one-digit percentage, but certainly less than one third.

Hrafn April 16, 2015 um 10:20 am

@ncfsoi: (i) The weight I see repeatedly listed for the T62+ is 173g. Most current generation 6″ eReaders seem to be below 200g, so I hadn’t been questioning that. If somebody can confirm this as inaccurate, I’d be interested to know. (ii) The Boyue T61 has been available in Europe as the Icarus Illumina HD and the T62 as the Energy Sistem PRO. It seems likely that the T62+ will also find its way to Europe (if not necessarily Germany or Austria).

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