The Verse e-reader is a very affordable, dedicated ebook reader that is great for someone who needs an entry-level device. The major selling points are the physical page-turn buttons and Micro SD card, which come in two different colours. There is a small bookstore with mainly royalty-free titles, but there are lots of paid ones from authors you know. Pocketbook doesn’t lock you into their ecosystem like Amazon or Kobo; instead, you can purchase books from other bookstores and use Adobe Digital Editions to load them in. This is useful if you have a collection of ebooks from Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Books or the public library.
The Pocketbook Verse features an E INK Carta e-paper display with a resolution of 1024×768 with 212 PPI. This model will have lower font clarity than the Verse Pro, which has 300 PPI. It also has a front-lit display to read during the day or night. There are physical page turn buttons on the bottom of the screen, which makes it easy to turn pages in ebooks.
Underneath the hood is a Dual Core 1GHZ processor, 512MB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. This model also has a MicroSD that supports 128GB of additional storage, USB-C, G-sensor, and WIFI and is powered by a 1500 mAh battery. The dimensions are 108 × 156 × 7.6 mm and weighs 182 g.
PocketBook Verse is a compact device that weighs only 182 g and easily fits in your bag or purse. With a perfect blend of mechanical control buttons and a touchscreen, the e-reader offers effortless navigation and an intuitive reading experience. Designed to impress, Verse showcases a sleek and stylish look that complements any style. Its minimalist design and eye-catching Bright Blue and Mist Grey colours add a touch of sophistication to your reading sessions.
The Pocketbook Verse supports 25 book and graphic formats, including ACSM, AZW, CBZ, DJVU, DOC, EPUB, FB2, PDF, TXT, JPEG, and PNG, so there is no need to convert your files anymore. With PocketBook, readers can forget about the problem of file conversion and will save their precious time. Thanks to its Adobe DRM support, it is compatible with online library services. Borrowing books online has never been more accessible!
Users can also enjoy the convenience of 11 preloaded dictionaries and explore an additional 42 language combinations, available for free download. Whether learning a new language or enhancing your language skills, PocketBook Verse is the perfect companion for language enthusiasts.
Pocketbook has always run Linux on all of its e-readers. This is the same OS that the Amazon Kindle and Kobo e-readers employ. This OS helps preserve battery life because no background processes are being run. It is also rock stable and seldom ever crashes. It is super stable, although this prevents users from installing any apps on the device.
The main home screen comprises a widget at the top, showcasing the books you are reading or have downloaded from the store and haven’t started yet. If there are a few books you are in the process of reading, there is a multi-page layout, which you can swipe on to see the following few books on the carousel. Underneath that are some recommended books from the Pocketbook Store; you will see around nine bestselling titles. The main navigation has icons with text underneath them. They provide shortcuts to your library, audiobook player, store, note taking and apps.
Your library is where all of your content is housed, and you can separate it by formats, author, date and sort by list view or cover art view. If some of your books still need to cover art images because you downloaded them online, a metadata system will look at the book’s title and author and fetch metadata for it. You will likely be on this screen because you buy and load hundreds of books. You can also hit switches on a particular book to flag it as finished, making it disappear from the home screen. Since this is a colour e-reader, all cover art will appear in vibrant, full colour.
The Store is something that Pocketbook has been working on for a long time. They have been ironing out deals with publishers to stock bestsellers and books you would like to read, not open-source royalty-free textbooks. When you buy a Pocketbook, some titles are only European, or your price might be in Euros. All you need to do is contact the company and give them your serial number; they can change the region where you are based. We always do this with our review units, so it only shows English books and Canadian dollars. There is a starred rating system, a sample download is available, and you can read the description and standard fare. However, Kindle and Kobo have more comprehensive content selections since they both have self-publishing platforms, such as KDP and KWL. They also stock millions of books, in different markets, all over the world. Pocketbook might have a few thousand, but at least they are working on expanding it. They also introduced an audiobook section, so you don’t have to sideload everything; you can download and listen to them on the audiobook player.
The Apps section mainly comprises all the different Pocketbook apps. Like, Send to Pocketbook, Pocketbook Cloud, Dropbox and a few games like Chess. Pocketbook does have a few apps that take advantage of the colour screen. The first is primarily aimed at kids; it is a colouring book. You have eight primary colours that you can choose from, and then tap on various images, and they fill into the object. There is a sketch app too. Draw, take notes or develop reading or to-do- lists.
There are a few settings and options that I want to draw attention to. System-wide dark mode, inverts the color of your display. The background can be black and all text is white. Want to know how much you are using the light? A new graph shows breaks down the entire day and shows whether you are using the front-lit display or color temperature system. All of the physical buttons such as home, settings and the page-turn buttons can be keympped to do different things.
I like the Pocketbook software. It is straightforward to configure WIFI and add your Adobe Digital Editions account information to sideload in paid files or ebooks you have purchased from other companies, such as Kobo. You can also load library books you downloaded to your PC from Overdrive or Hoopla. Sometimes it feels sluggish, but only if you expect it to work like an iPad or Kindle Fire rather than an e-reader. You must be patient and wait when you click on UI elements or ad the slider bars for brightness levels. E INK is just fundamentally different, but the little wait times, more make up for the benefits, which are easy on the eyes and long battery life.
This e-reader is designed for reading books, and users can access the Pocketbook Store to download thousands of books. However, the real power is sideloading in your content, it supports DRM EPUB and PDF files and books you download online. It has extensive support for ACSM, AZW, AZW3, CBR, CBZ, CHM, DJVU, DOC, DOCX, EPUB(DRM), EPUB, FB2, FB2.ZIP, HTM, HTML, MOBI, PDF (DRM), PDF, PRC, RTF, and TXT.
With DRM EPUB and PDF, users can purchase ebooks from other stores like Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Google. You can also download books from the public library, such as Overdrive. You must copy the book you bought to your computer or MAC and download Adobe Digital Editions. Create an account or log in to an existing one. Select the book you downloaded to the computer, plug in your Pocketbook Color 2 to your PC and transfer the book. You need to use this software because Adobe needs to verify you own the book.
Speaking of the library, Pocketbook has had support for thousands of European and North American public libraries in the apps section. You can enter your local branch or search by country and select the branch you do business with. Enter your library card number, and you can borrow books and read them on your e-reader without needing a PC or MAC. This is a very underrated feature that most reviewers ignore.
The physical page turn buttons are on the bottom of the screen, which is less intuitive than having them on the sides of the screen. With that out of the way, Pocketbook has the best page-turn buttons in the business; they are easy to press down and have good build quality. Accidental miss clicks are rare. If you hold down on the page forward or back, you can rapidly turn pages in any direction. This is similar to the system the Kobo Aura One Limited Edition and Kindle Manga Reader used.
The stock ebook reader is what you will use daily to read ebooks since there are no other options. You can tap or gesture to turn the pages of the book. One of the most excellent new software features is the ability to pinch and zoom to change how big you want the fonts to be instead of going to the ebook settings menu. This makes it more intuitive for new users of e-readers. You can also increase the size of the fonts with a slider bar, and there are around 50 different fonts that are pre-loaded, but you can also install your own. Of course, like any e-reader, you can adjust the margins and fonts.
One of my favourite settings on the Verse is the visual settings. You can change the contrast, saturation and brightness. This is useful if you read a scanned document or the text is too light and want to make it darker. A recent firmware update introduced dark mode. Using Dark mode on your PocketBook can provide more comfort in reading in low-light environments and at nighttime. This feature alters the display settings, presenting white text on a dark background, which does not contrast with the dark surroundings and does not interfere with the eyes. You can also switch the inversion of book illustrations while reading in Dark mode.
Many avid readers have discovered that utilizing Dark mode on their devices helps to ease fatigue in their eyes from looking at a bright screen. Moreover, Dark mode proves highly beneficial for nighttime reading, as it reduces the amount of blue light emitted by the screen, which can contribute to eyestrain and fatigue.
Pocketbook is a rare brand with native support for CBR and CBZ, two of the world’s best manga formats. Finding these online or buying from other stores and loading them on your PB is straightforward. You can treat these two formats as file containers that have a bunch of pictures inside of them. The most accessible reference is to think of a ZIP file full of pictures, but you don’t need to unzip the file to view them. It is straightforward to find these CBR/CBZ formats online.
The Verse is tricky because the verse Pro is priced so closely and much better. However, with that, let’s take a look at it. It has a Carta (not 1200) screen and does have an Smart Lighty and SD card support. There’s no system-wide A4 mode, although it does kick itself into a2 mode now and again to help you navigate around. The settings are honestly the most impressive thing, as the Key mapping customizations are endless, and no other manufacturer has gone as far as Pocketbook has in letting you craft your own experience on a non-android e-reader.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.