Mobileread
Kobo Libra H2O vs Pocketbook Inkpad 3 (PRO?)
#1  b0rsuk 02-02-2021, 07:04 PM
There is a similar thread, but that person has quite different concerns.


My priorities:

good, reasonably big screen
Mostly for reading, not watching cat videos. Battery life and format support is important.
Will be used exclusively for DRM-free books.
No interest "lending" books, online stores, cloud services. I'm a programmer, I can organize my data if you give me a chance.
No phoning home. No tracking.
hackable, and ability to install software

language support a plus
audio support is a plus
Physical keyboard a plus.
SD card support (?)
Bluetooth support (?)

I don't get the point of front light
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First, I most likely won't settle for less than 300 ppi. I want to see what the fuss is about. Not much point buying an e-ink device if it's only a bit better than reading on typical computer monitor. I want bigger than 6 inch because sometimes I like reading full page documents or even research papers. Even if they're stuff like ig nobel winners.

No interest in watching videos or playing real-time games on this device. I greatly enjoy turn-based ones, but I can sacrifice that. Android is optimized for Tiktok, youtube and games, not for reading.

DRM format support is not important at all. I actively avoid using Steam for computer games and mostly buy from stores like GOG or Humble Bundle.

Needs to connect and transfer data with a Linux computer. My computer is my main backup and data hub.

Android is Google system. Google is notorious for tracking, phoning home and stalking. I can enjoy wifi once in a while if it lets me to check some important information online, or find my way around a city, but for most part I won't be using it.

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So here are my findings so far:

All the 3 readers have a 7ish inch screen of high quality 300 ppi. Reasonably small that you can carry it and doesn't cost an arm and leg. The Inkpad 3 Pro model is waterproof, the plain Inkpad is not. Is the Pro model more brittle because it uses glass?

Kobo readers strongly promote an online store and need an online registration to work in the first place. Kobos are popular among people who can't be bothered to manually copy data themselves. Internet connection is spotty here.

As I understand, even the newest Kobos are a lot more hackable and programmable than pocketbooks. You can ssh to a root account. In Pocketbooks, you can access a user account but get no root access. Pocketbook SDK is not as well made and documentation is limited. Older Kobo models used to be able to run a full Linux distribution, but unfortunately all newer ones have a SOLDERED SD card. Which brings me to the question....

How important is an SD card slot? And important for what, beyond the obvious - size? I think earlier Kobos used a card for the whole operating system, so it was easy to tune or replace. Regular Inkpad has a SD card slot, the Pro model has more internal memory instead and no SD card slot. What are the benefits of an SD card slot in the context of eReaders?

There are ways to connect a physical keyboard to a Kobo, can it be done with a Pocketbook?

What are the best uses for Bluetooth? Headphones are not a big deal when you can connect them to a micro-USB slot with a correct adapter.

How important is waterproofing, really? I won't be reading in a bathtub because in this day and age bathtubs are a decadent luxury. Is it mostly peace of mind? Or reading outside?

Many pocketbooks use dual core CPUS. Does it even matter if you don't have proper programming access? Is one CPU core reserved for something, like it is in gaming consoles?

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Truth be told, I'm leaning towards a Pocketbook. Audio(book) support is a nice plus, less hackability/configurability is unpleasant but I can live with it. But an SD card vs waterproofing and stylus? Hmm.
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#2  b0rsuk 02-02-2021, 07:19 PM
My wifi approach is like this: my "smartphone" is nice and sturdy, you can fall on it from a bicycle, but it's so locked you won't install an app on it even if you add an SD card. So I'm essentially missing a mobile device that can be used to quickly go to a website and check address, a map or a phone number. I'm not one to entertain myself with apps on a bus stop or in train, but on rare occasions it does save a lot of time.
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#3  Sirtel 02-02-2021, 09:28 PM
Quote b0rsuk
My wifi approach is like this: my "smartphone" is nice and sturdy, you can fall on it from a bicycle, but it's so locked you won't install an app on it even if you add an SD card. So I'm essentially missing a mobile device that can be used to quickly go to a website and check address, a map or a phone number. I'm not one to entertain myself with apps on a bus stop or in train, but on rare occasions it does save a lot of time.
Quickly checking something on eink? A map? If that's important to you, I'd suggest to get a proper smartphone. Web browsing experience on eink is pretty poor. A map might not even load.
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#4  ottischwenk 02-03-2021, 03:53 AM
Quote b0rsuk
All the 3 readers have a 7ish inch screen of high quality 300 ppi. Reasonably small that you can carry it and doesn't cost an arm and leg. The Inkpad 3 Pro model is waterproof, the plain Inkpad is not. Is the Pro model more brittle because it uses glass?
All devices use glass modules.
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#5  ottischwenk 02-03-2021, 04:00 AM
Quote Sirtel
Quickly checking something on eink? A map? If that's important to you, I'd suggest to get a proper smartphone. Web browsing experience on eink is pretty poor. A map might not even load.
Look here.
Im using on my old Poke Pro Osmand+
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#6  DNSB 02-03-2021, 12:54 PM
Quote ottischwenk
All devices use glass modules.
Ummm... Kobo Forma uses a Mobius plastic substrate screen as do most of the 10.3" and larger devices.
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#7  b0rsuk 02-03-2021, 12:57 PM
Long story short, I ordered Pocketbook InkPad 3 (non-PRO). The brown one, and a gray Origami etui. I don't enjoy reading in the rain anyway, I wouldn't take a paper book to bathtub. No SD card is a downgrade. There are other reasons like wanting to support European industry vs Chinese, and language support. Wired headphones are good enough. My smartphone is missing an audio jack. InkPad can play audiobooks (yes I know it drains battery a lot faster, but I won't be doing that all the time). InkPad is less hackable than Kobos, but it's not bad. There's always M5Paper :-).

Quote Sirtel
I'd suggest to get a proper smartphone.
I can't buy a new smartphone every time I break a collar bone.

Quote
]Web browsing experience on eink is pretty poor. A map might not even load.
It's not poor with the right mindset, and limiting yourself to certain websites. I spend a lot of time reading long articles, and in the worst case I can make a script that extracts text and produces a PDF. Investigative journalism etc. Sites like oko.press

Second, you're thinking of Google Maps, which was built for rich features and not low resource use. I can use a foldable paper map. It doesn't use Javascript, yet somehow it works. It's a proof you can have a simple map on a device like this. Typical use case is I get lost and need to get from point A to B, so I need to find a certain street on map. Even if there's no app like that, it can't be terribly hard to make an electronic equivalent. I typically plan my path before I leave home, and a backup map would be nice but is not essential. Eventually I'm going to sell this one and buy something awesome a few years from now.

If you live in a country where special police forces are used against protesters, sometimes it's better to leave the phone at home. Every cellphone has a secondary OS that is out of reach and manages the radio connection.

Fun fact: a video game I just bought comes with an ePub manual.
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#8  ottischwenk 02-03-2021, 02:24 PM
Quote DNSB
Ummm... Kobo Forma uses a Mobius plastic substrate screen as do most of the 10.3" and larger devices.
It is not 6, or 7 or 7.8 (glass) - it is 8 inch (flexible), the same has tolino Epos 2.
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#9  DNSB 02-03-2021, 03:59 PM
Quote ottischwenk
It is not 6, or 7 or 7.8 (glass) - it is 8 inch (flexible), the same has tolino Epos 2.
Perhaps you should have qualified your earlier statement? (bolding mine):

Quote ottischwenk
All devices use glass modules.
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