E-book readers are great, as they let you read electronic versions of paperbacks and hardcovers without the eyestrain that usually come with digital displays. It’s a real paper-like experience. While those same e-book readers have long provided support for digital comic books, the lack of colors and the small screen sizes have made it a less-than-ideal experience. Yeah… nobody wants to read graphic novels on that thing. The PocketBook InkPad Color should go a long way towards changing that.
A 7.8-inch e-paper reader with a 4,096-color display, the device allows you to consume comic books in a way that’s a lot closer to their analog counterparts. That means, you can see larger panels and enjoy some of the original coloring without the eyestrain of LCD displays, albeit in a format that’s still not close to replicating the original experience. Hey… it’s a step towards getting there, at least.
The PocketBook InkPad Color uses E-Ink’s newest e-paper display called Kaleido, which combines a TFT backplane, an e-paper layer, a color filter layer, and a protective sheet, allowing it to deliver paper-like reading with actual colors on the screen. It has a resolution of 1,404 x 1,872 pixels, although this is only available when reading in grayscale. If you want those 4,096 colors to show up on the page, the screen turns down the sharpness to a paltry 468 x 624 pixels, so you end up with a picture quality that’s comparable to VGA monitors from many years ago. According to the outfit, pixel density is 300 dpi in grayscale and 100 dpi in color.
This means, reading digital comic books in color will expose plenty of pixelated sections, which, we’re guessing, isn’t ideal when you can read comic books at much higher resolutions on a regular tablet. Unless, of course, you enjoy the idea of imagining those pixelated edges as a unique art style, in which case, you do you.
The PocketBook InkPad Color supports 19 ebook formats, including comic book formats like CBR and CBZ, so you can, basically, use it with any digital book you can get online other than Amazon’s proprietary AZW format for Kindles (which isn’t an issue, considering the amount of free converters out there). It also supports common image formats (JPEG, BMP, PNG, TIFF) and a variety of audio formats, which you can listen to by connecting headphones either through the USB Type-C slot or wirelessly over Bluetooth, so you can use it for audiobook as well.
It has 16GB of onboard storage, along with a microSD card slot (maximum 32GB), so there’s plenty of room to store all the reading material you want to keep on hand, while a 2900 mAh battery allows you to use it for up to a month between charges. Other features include a front light illumination for reading in low-light settings, text-to-speech support for 16 languages, a few preinstalled games (hey, you can get bored reading), and built-in Wi-Fi for tapping into the outfit’s online store and cloud storage.
The PocketBook InkPad Color is set to hit stores any day now.