While most e-Readers would prefer to stick to the 6 inch or less for their screen sizes, their numbers begin to see a dip as screen size begins to increase. This perhaps has something to do with the common notion that e-Readers with a larger screen are thought to be inapplicable for personal preferences and are mainly targeted towards individuals for educational and business-related purposes. And of course there is the price factor in it as well in support of this argument as perhaps it makes better sense to go for a compact adaptation of an e-reader that costs a few hundred dollars less rather than to buy the Kindle DX with a bigger 9.7-inch sized screen that will set one back by about $500.
However, PocketBook begs to differ and is hopeful at setting the sales chart on fire with the PocketBook 901 e-reader that has a 9.7-inch e-ink display though the price has been fixed at a lucrative $350. But keeping the price low has not been easy for its Ukrainian makers as they had to resort to cutting corners in order to reduce the costs of production. So what you get with the PocketBook 901 is a no frills e-reader that’s devoid of touchscreen or WiFi, both of which is likely to find place in a future model that’s tentatively named the PocketBook 902. But then, on the other hand, the 901 has a 9.7-inch E-Ink screen similar to the Kindle DX and includes USB and SD card slots so that additional information can be added to the device. Its battery, which allows for about 8,000 to 10,000 page turns isn’t bad either. The 901 also lacks the keyboard that is a standard feature in the Kindle DX and is not to the liking of many who feel the physical keyboard lends a dated look to the Kindle.
A unique aspect of the 901 e-reader is its relatively low weight which at 350 grams belies its dimensions. Also, this makes the 901 e-reader lighter than the Amazon Kindle DX by 150 grams though both have the same 9.7-inch screen dimensions. The Hanlin A9 e-reader with a 9.1 inch screen is also heavier than the 901 by 40 grams. PocketBook attributes the low weight characteristics of the 901 to the use of materials like plastic other than glass in the display wafer. The screen uses 16 levels of grayscales and has a display resolution of 825×1200 pixels. It supports a wide variety of file formats which includes BMP, DJVU, EPUB, FB2, HTML, JPG, MP3, PDF, PNG, PRC, and TXT.
The PocketBook 901 eReader purposefully focuses on making its device useful specifically for educational utilization. There are a vertical line of Skittles coloured buttons along the area on the right side that manages the menu, page turns, increase and decrease of the font size, and the enter key. These manages to add a colorful image to the e-reader while most other e-reader continues to be stark white in their appearance or at most, of a single color.
The e-reader allows one to read textbooks and go through photos while there is another application that is deemed useful for students is the calculator. However, its speed should not be dependent upon considering the page is based on E-Ink technology and there is that slight delay for the page to refresh itself. Apart from these, other features that the 901 comes with include built in dictionaries, side notes along with the facility to search or sort books. The 901 also allows for bookmarking and has a hyperlink feature as well.
A trial of the e-reader is said to be carried out in Ukraine and Russia, after which they will soon be distributed elsewhere. And for this, PocketBook has also held discussions with India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia to put the e-reader for sale in these countries.
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