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My review of the PocketBook Era E-Reader in (stardust silver, waterproof with SMARTlight) - (2024)

My thoughts on the PocketBook Era E-Reader: screen quality, durability, audio support, some battery life concerns.
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


May 31, 2023


I recently picked up the PocketBook Era. As someone who reads daily, I wanted a dependable e-reader that could enhance my experience without too many complications.


Property Value Property Value
Brand PocketBook Model Name PocketBook Era
Display Technology Electronic Ink Connectivity Technology Bluetooth
Screen Size 7 Inches Memory Storage Capacity 16 GB
Included Components E-reader, USB Type-C cable, USB Type-C audio adapter, quick start guide, warranty obligations le… Color Stardust Silver
Product Dimensions 6.3”L x 5.51”W x 0.39”Th Item Weight 228 Grams


Click on photos to enlarge them:

Pocketbook era e reader 2 Pocketbook era e reader 11 Pocketbook era e reader 13 Pocketbook era e reader 29


Screen Quality and Responsiveness

Pocketbook era e reader 1

The PocketBook Era manages to impress right out of the box when it comes to its screen quality and responsiveness. The 7-inch E-ink Carta 1200 screen is a definite upgrade from previous models, making reading a breezy, enjoyable experience. The 15% increase in image contrast means blacks are deeper, which enhances overall text clarity – starkly apparent when flipping through the latest thriller or a dense technical manual. The text appears crisp and dark, almost mimicking the printed page, which is a relief for my eyes.

On the topic of touchscreen response, the 20% boost is noticeable. Swipes and taps register with a satisfying immediacy, meaning less stress on the fingers and the mind. It’s a subtle enhancement but goes miles in making the reading process feel more natural, almost akin to flipping through a physical book.

However, I’ve noticed some drawbacks related to the screen:

  • Under certain lighting conditions: There’s mention around the web of a slight unevenness in lighting, typically on the side with the page turn buttons. I’ve observed this mostly in low-light scenarios when the smartlight kicks in. Though subtle, it does catch the eye every so often.

  • Sensitive touch area: The nearly edge-to-edge screen can be a double-edged sword. It’s excellent for maximizing reading space, but it leaves little real estate for holding the device without accidental page turns or taps.

Here’s a quick rundown of the key points for the PocketBook Era’s display:


  • High contrast for a clear, book-like reading experience.

  • Fast touchscreen response, making navigation a breeze.

  • Glare-free screen, allowing reading in bright sunlight.


  • Slight unevenness in lighting under specific conditions.

  • Easy to accidentally interact with the touch screen when holding.

In personal use, I’ve leaned heavily towards the pros. The reading experience is overall excellent, with the smartlight feature providing ample adjustability for brightness and color temperature. This means the device transitions smoothly from indoor to outdoor settings, a bonus for those who carry their library everywhere.

While I understand some users’ grievances regarding the responsiveness and lighting, I find these are minor when stacked against the overall performance of the device. The pros far outweigh the cons, especially when considering devices within a similar price range and capabilities. It’s one of those rare moments where tech meets and largely satisfies the demands of an avid reader like myself, bringing the traditional reading experience into the digital age without too much compromise.

Durability and Practicality Features

Pocketbook era e reader 2

Upon reflecting on my time with the PocketBook Era, its durability and practicality features really stand out. I gravitate towards gadgets that can stand the test of time and the daily grind, and the PocketBook does not disappoint.

  • Glare-Free & Eye-Friendly Screen: As someone who often reads outdoors, the glare-free Carta 1200 screen on the Era is a godsend. Bright sunlight has got nothing on this display.

  • Waterproof & Anti-Scratch Protection: The waterproof credentials of the PocketBook Era offer peace of mind. Accidentally leaving it by the pool isn’t the panic-inducing event it would be with other electronics.

  • Super User-Friendly: I love the gamut of file formats this e-reader supports. It’s like a Swiss Army knife for opening files, making it extremely practical for someone with diverse reading habits.

  • Indoor & Outdoor Use: The SMARTlight adaptation feature for adjusting the screen brightness and color temperature makes moving between my couch and a bench in the park seamless and strain-free on the eyes.

Now, let’s not turn a blind eye to the fact that no device is perfect. The PocketBook Era has its quirks, too. The side control buttons are super handy (especially when you’re lying down and reading), but I must admit, they’re not always as intuitive as I’d like, and it took a bit to get used to the feel of them. Also, while IPX8 certification sounds impressive, I am not quite ready to test diving with my e-reader, so the practicality of this for the average user may be somewhat overstated.

On the more positive side of things, the fact that this e-reader is waterproof adds an extra layer of durability, and the sturdiness of the device feels reassuring in my hands. I should also note that, despite the robust build, the PocketBook Era maintains a sleek profile, and I’ve found it to be quite the conversation starter in coffee shops.

Overall, the PocketBook Era strikes a satisfying balance between a well-built device that can endure day-to-day wear and tear and a technologically equipped e-reader that caters to modern needs. Sure, there are some areas wherein the device could improve, but when weighing the pros against the cons, the positives do take the lead. Its compact size and ruggedness make it an e-reader that I’m confident will accompany me on many adventures to come.

Audio Features and User Experience

Pocketbook era e reader 3

The PocketBook Era’s audio features really caught my attention. Being able to use Bluetooth headphones or the built-in speaker to listen to audiobooks is a game changer for me. I often find myself in situations where I can multitask by listening to a book while doing household chores, and the era makes it seamless. The Text-to-Speech function is also a plus, giving me flexibility in consuming content, particularly helpful when my eyes need a rest.

Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on the audio features:

  • Bluetooth Connectivity: It’s simple to pair with headphones, but I did notice the range isn’t great. You need to stay close to the device for the best experience.

  • Built-in Speaker: Surprisingly clear for its size, it’s great for listening without headphones, though I wouldn’t replace a dedicated speaker with it.

  • Text-to-Speech: A valuable addition, especially when you want to rest your eyes. The voice is robotic, but it’s understandable, and the feature supports multiple languages, which is a thoughtful touch.

However, it’s not all smooth sailing. The software can be a bit sluggish, which affects the reader’s overall experience. While navigating through audiobooks and settings, I’ve found that patience is a virtue—it takes a few extra seconds than I’m accustomed to with other readers. Additionally, while there are no detailed guides available on platforms like YouTube yet to help navigate these features, I’ve managed to learn through trial and error.

From my experience, here’s what stood out:

  • User-Friendly Interface: Once you get the hang of it, accessing and playing audiobooks is straightforward.

  • File Format Support: This is outstanding! It saves time and hassle as there’s no need for file conversions.

A small gripe I have is about the initial setup—right out of the box, the language was set to one I didn’t understand. It took some guesswork to switch it to English.

Moreover, I value the email-to-PocketBook feature; sending eBooks wirelessly is fantastic for quickly loading new content. Though I don’t always go for audiobooks, knowing I can listen to my collection with the same device I use for reading is genuinely convenient. Despite the slower software, I appreciate the device’s versatility, expanded format support, and the added bonus of audio playback.

Battery Life and Performance Issues

Pocketbook era e reader 4

After thoroughly using the PocketBook Era for a significant period, I can confidently share my experiences about its battery life and overall performance, key factors for any e-reader. Despite mostly positive impressions, there are some drawbacks that potential buyers should consider.

  • Battery Longevity: On the positive side, I appreciate the longevity after a full charge, allowing for extended periods of reading without the constant need to recharge. This is a definite plus, making it perfect for long commutes or trips where power sources are scarce. However, I’ve experienced a faster battery drain than expected in some instances - more noticeable when extensively using settings or with heavy usage of the backlit screen.

  • Performance Speed: On performance aspects, this device generally delivers a smooth experience with fast page turns—a must for avid readers like me. But there’s a catch; I’ve encountered occasional lag when navigating menus or opening books, which can disrupt the otherwise seamless reading experience. Furthermore, there’s a noticeable slowdown when accessing features like the built-in dictionary or switching between books, leading to moments of frustration.

  • Software Hiccups: The e-reader runs an open and flexible operating system, and I enjoy the vast file format support. However, one can’t overlook the occasional software glitches, which, while minor, can be a nuisance. For instance, some taps sometimes don’t register, or the device unpredictably takes a few seconds to wake up.

Despite these issues, my experience has strongly leaned towards positive, largely owing to the excellent readability and customizability, which far outweighs the inconveniences. I adore being able to carry an entire library’s worth of books in a single compact device.

In summary, while the PocketBook Era isn’t flawless, its advantages make it a standout in its class, offering a gratifying experience outside the dominance of the Amazon ecosystem. The battery and performance concerns, albeit real, don’t significantly dampen the quality already delivered. It’s a good reminder too that with tech, there’s often a balance between capability and efficiency – something the PocketBook Era embodies quite well.

For anyone seeking an e-reader that offers a break from major brand ecosystems without compromising on quality, PocketBook Era is a commendable choice. Just be aware that you may need to show a bit of patience with its quirks, which, from my perspective, are just small blips in an otherwise excellent reading journey.