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My review of the PocketBook InkPad 4 E-Reader with SMARTlight and Bluetooth (2024)

My thoughts on reading with the InkPad 4: screen quality, audio features, build, supported formats.
Sid Metcalfe

Cartesian Mathematics Foundation


December 23, 2023


For quite a while now I have been reading on the PocketBook InkPad 4 e-reader. It has quite a high-quality screen and versatile software capabilities - more on this below.


Property Value Property Value
Brand PocketBook Model Name InkPad 4
Display Technology Electronic Ink Connectivity Technology Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
Screen Size 7.8 Inches Display resolution 1872x1404
Included Components E-reader, USB Type-C cable, quick start guide, documents Color Stardust Silver
Item Weight 265 Grams Supported File Format CBR, PDF, FB2, EPUB, DOC, CBZ, JPEG


Click on photos to enlarge them:

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Reading Experience and Screen Quality

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The reading experience on the PocketBook InkPad 4 has been quite impressive, with a few caveats. Right off the bat, the 7.8 inch E-Ink Carta 1200 screen is a treat to the eyes. The crispness and contrast are noticeable improvements from earlier models, mimicking the comfort of reading on paper. When comparing to other e-readers, here’s how the InkPad 4 stacks up:

  • Pros:

  • Glare-free screen: Perfect for outdoor reading sessions.

image- High-resolution display: “pocketbook-inkpad-4-e-reader-with-smartlight-and-bluetooth-19”

  • SMARTlight feature: Customizable brightness and color temperature are incredibly useful.

  • Cons:

  • Screen may appear dimmer than expected for its price range.

  • The lack of a password protection feature, though this could be updated in the future.

With a resolution of 1872x1404, text on the screen is sharp, making reading for extended periods comfortable and strain-free. The adjustable SMARTlight allows me to tweak the screen’s warmth to reduce blue light exposure, essential for late-night reading.

However, a few users have noted the screen to be dimmer and blurrier than expected, especially when considering the device’s cost. While this isn’t a deal-breaker for me, as the overall quality still surpasses many other e-readers I’ve used, it is something to keep in mind if screen brightness is a top priority for you.

Another feature that stands out is the waterproof and anti-scratch protection. It’s reassuring to know that an accidental spill won’t cost me my library or reading progress. The durability aspect is further complemented by the device’s lightweight, coming in at just 265 grams. Carrying it around feels no different than toting a small paperback.

While the device claims to feature an anti-scratch protection, I’m always a little skeptical about such claims, and I’ve found that it’s best to invest in a nice cover to ensure the device stays pristine over time.

The color options and overall design aesthetic also add to the device’s appeal, with the Stardust Silver looking sleek and modern.

Overall, this e-reader provides a premium reading experience that gives traditional books a run for their money. Despite some users experiencing a less-than-ideal brightness level, I find the eye-friendly touchscreen and adjustable lighting work exceedingly well in various lighting conditions. The lack of an SD card slot is a limitation for those who may prefer physical expandability, but with 32GB of internal storage, I haven’t found myself missing it.

Taking everything into account, my personal reading sessions have gotten longer and more enjoyable with the InkPad 4. It has proficiently bridged the convenience of digital technology with the timeless pleasure of reading.

Audio Features and Text-to-Speech Functionality

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The audio features and text-to-speech (TTS) functionality of the PocketBook InkPad 4 truly stand out for me. As a voracious reader who enjoys both traditional reading and audiobooks, the flexibility of this device has catered excellently to my needs. Here’s a rundown of what I found:

  • The built-in speaker is decent enough, making it convenient to switch to audio when my eyes need a rest.

  • Bluetooth connectivity is a game-changer. I can pair the device with my external speaker or headphones for an enhanced audio experience.

  • The TTS technology turns every text file into an audiobook, which has tremendously sped up my consumption of literature.

  • The audio playback controls are intuitive and easy to navigate, allowing me to pause, play, and skip with ease.

While the speaker volume isn’t exactly room-filling, it’s sufficient for personal use, and the Bluetooth option more than compensates when more volume is desired. However, I noticed the absence of an audio jack—a minor inconvenience since I had to separately purchase a Type-C to 3.5mm adapter.

Now, about the TTS—this nifty feature has changed how I interact with books. I can effortlessly switch between reading and listening without skipping a beat, even during my commutes. The TTS voice is surprisingly natural, and while it’s not perfect, it’s quite effective for most books.

My biggest gripe? The TTS struggles with complex text layouts and non-standard fonts, occasionally leading to mispronunciations. Also, I found the lack of a password protection feature a serious oversight, although I’ve heard it might be addressed in future firmware updates.

Despite these minor issues, the InkPad 4’s audio capabilities have largely impressed me. It handles a variety of file types with ease, and although it doesn’t have an SD card slot for extra storage, the generous onboard 32GB space is ample for a vast library of audiobooks and TTS-enabled reading material.

In wrapping up the audio features, I must say that the InkPad 4 does an admirable job. While the TTS isn’t a stand-in for professionally narrated audiobooks, its convenience is unmatched for those of us who enjoy a good book in any form. The ability to carry around a small library of audiobooks and have TTS at my disposal makes the InkPad 4 a solid companion for any book lover.

Design and Build Durability

Pocketbook inkpad 4 e reader 3

The PocketBook InkPad 4 presents itself with a sturdy and refined design, ticking many boxes for e-reader enthusiasts like myself. The device has a modern feel in hand which I appreciate, and while the Stardust Silver color is attractive, I sometimes wonder if it’s prone to showing smudges or scratches over time. Here’s a rundown of what stood out to me:

  • Waterproof Feature: Knowing that my e-reader can survive accidental spills or the occasional read by the poolside is a huge plus. The IPX rating giving it the ability to withstand submersion up to 2 meters is a testament to its durability. However, personally, I’ve rarely tested this feature.

  • Anti-Scratch Protection: The anti-scratch feature is something I value, especially when I’m quite mobile with my e-reader. The peace of mind that comes from knowing the screen will resist everyday wear is a relief. Yet, the true test will come with time, and I’ll be keeping an eye out for how well it holds up.

  • Build Material: The device’s plastic body feels durable, and I’ve read that it houses an alloy chassis with titanium for rigidity, which sounds impressive. Despite this, I can’t shake off the feeling that metal or premium materials would provide a more high-end experience.

  • Weight and Portability: At just 265 grams, it’s lightweight enough to hold comfortably for extended reading sessions, which is important to me.

Now, while these features are commendable, the design isn’t without its shortcomings. I find the physical page-turn buttons on the InkPad 4 to be a useful, tactile addition that enhances the reading experience. But, they could benefit from being a touch wider for ease of use. Furthermore, while the ergonomic aspect of the build is overall satisfactory, a grippier texture might have added to it.

As much as I think highly of the construction quality, I’ve noted that the PocketBook InkPad 4 lacks a 3.5mm audio jack, which limits the ease of connecting headphones. This might not be a significant issue for users who are comfortable with Bluetooth devices, but it can be an inconvenience if you have a favorite pair of wired headphones.

To wrap up my thoughts on the design and build durability, the PocketBook InkPad 4 clearly shows that a lot of thought has gone into creating a reader that’s not just about the reading experience but also about withstanding the rigors of daily use. While it’s not perfect, with features like waterproofing, anti-scratch protection, and a sturdy build, it’s a device that gives me confidence it can handle most of what I throw at it, figuratively speaking. Now, if only they’d rethink the button size and maybe add a textured back for better grip, it’d inch even closer to my idea of e-reader perfection.

Software Versatility and Format Support

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Software versatility and easy compatibility with a wide range of formats are essential for me when choosing an e-reader. After spending a significant amount of time with the PocketBook InkPad 4, here’s my personal take on its software capabilities:

  • Substantial Format Support: I was pleased to discover the InkPad 4 supports a multitude of formats—25, to be exact. From the common EPUB, PDF, and DOC files to images like JPEG and even comic book formats such as CBR and CBZ, it’s equipped to handle almost anything I throw at it.

  • No Conversion Hassle: There’s no need to spend time converting files. This is a major plus, as the simplicity saves me time and effort, and I can quickly jump into reading.

  • Cloud Services Integration: With PocketBook Cloud, syncing my reading progress across devices is seamless—a feature I’ve found surprisingly useful.

Despite the wide array of supported formats, there are some minor drawbacks. Specific DRM-protected files can be tricky if they’re not compatible with the InkPad 4, and while the workaround is often manageable, it can be a hassle for less tech-savvy users. Additionally, while Linux on the device provides stability and speed, it also means some of the flexibility found in Android-based readers (like installing third-party apps) is lost.

From a practical point of view, the InkPad 4’s user interface is straightforward, if not particularly modern. While I haven’t run into any major issues, I sometimes find myself wishing for a bit quicker response times or more intuitive menu navigation. This is by no means a deal-breaker—just something to keep in mind if you’re looking for the sleekest software experience.

In summary, here are my thoughts:


  • Wide range of supported formats

  • No file conversion required

  • Easy syncing with PocketBook Cloud Cons:

  • Some DRM issues

  • User interface could be snappier

  • Limited by non-Android OS in terms of app flexibility

Comparing the InkPad 4 to other e-readers I’ve used, particularly in terms of software, it holds its own quite well. The ability to carry around a vast digital library and access it on this single device is extremely appealing. Yes, the software may not win any awards for innovation, but it does its job effectively, keeping the focus on reading—which, at the end of the day, is what an e-reader is all about.