Water resistance is one of the main trends in portable electronics today. Many smartphones are not afraid of water. There are tablets that are also indifferent to liquids. Most likely, in the foreseeable future, you will see laptops without «water fear». And there are also electronic readers with protection against H2O. And just for readers, this protection is especially relevant. Who among us has not read at breakfast or at dinner? A lot of people are wrong with this. And where there is breakfast or lunch, there are spilled tea and coffee, porridge and soup. Moreover, some of us read in the bathroom, on the beach, by the pool. In all these cases, water protection will be very useful. Splashes and even an accidental drop of the reader into the water will not lead to unpleasant consequences. No need to buy a new device, no need to repair the old one. In general, a good universal reader (for reading anywhere without restrictions!) Should be protected from water.
Official PocketBook Store
The most secure reader in the world is the hit model PocketBook 641 Aqua 2. It has been on sale since 2017 and is still not outdated. The peculiarity of this reader is that it is protected by the tooling method. And PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 is the only reader on the market with protection using this same tooling. In other words, all parts of the body fit tightly to each other. Inside the case there are rubber gaskets that act as an additional barrier to water. The microUSB port is closed with a plug. The buttons on the front panel are made in the form of a single plate without slots — so that, again, water does not leak. In general, PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 can be compared to a submarine. 100% tightness, reliability, indestructibility.
However, there is another way to create secure readers. It is less fancy, but has its advantages. This method involves treating the inside of the reader with a special water-repellent gel. No stubs, uncomfortable buttons and other things like that! This method (gel protection) makes it possible to get a completely ordinary-looking reader, but with water protection. Yes, swimming with such a reader will not work for hours on end, but it will easily survive a short-term immersion in a bath or pool. Like splashing water, like washing under the faucet. But porridge, soup and other organics are still contraindicated for such readers. Because liquid organic products will flow into the case (for example, through the MicroUSB port) and may begin to bloom and rot there. Which will not kill the reader, but can lead to an unpleasant odor.
In general, why am I? In 2017, I repeat, the PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 model was released. And it is still the only reader in the world with tooling protection. But in 2019, PocketBook decided to take a step in a different direction. The company released the PocketBook 632 Aqua model. And this is also a protected reader. But water protection is no longer implemented with the help of tooling, but with the help of a gel. Therefore, outwardly, nothing in the PocketBook 632 Aqua betrays water protection. Well, maybe just a pretty azure color. Apparently, this is an allusion to the sea wave. Otherwise, PocketBook 632 Aqua is completely similar to the flagship model PocketBook 632. The same dimensions. Same buttons. The same open microUSB port. In general, the design and ergonomics of the PocketBook 632 Aqua are exactly the same as those of unprotected pocketbooks. And this is a fat plus of the new model. The same PocketBook 641 Aqua 2, for all its charm, cannot be called ideal in terms of ergonomics. A plug on the port, rather tight buttons under one plastic plate… But the PocketBook 632 Aqua, on the contrary, is very convenient. But it’s not as secure. On the other hand, the usual «gel» protection will be enough for a lot of people. Those who want a real «submarine» will be able to buy PocketBook 641 Aqua 2. This model remains on the market and will be sold in parallel with PocketBook 632 Aqua.
By the way, about prices. PocketBook 632 Aqua is priced at $120. Its prototype, the PocketBook 632 model without any water protection, is $10 cheaper. That is $120. So you only have to pay $10 for protection. In my opinion, the proposal is more than interesting. And yes, just in case: PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 is priced at $120. How is it — why is a more secure reader cheaper? And everything is very simple. PocketBook 632 Aqua is the flagship with the maximum set of technologies and features. Whereas PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 is still a mid-range model.
In general, let’s see what the PocketBook 632 Aqua is. What can, what can not, what are the advantages of this product and what are its disadvantages.
As I said above, nothing gives out water protection in PocketBook 632 Aqua. This is a light, thin, small 6-inch pocketbook of the latest generation.
In the photos below, PocketBook 632 Aqua and PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 are side by side. See the difference in dimensions? It reaches about 20%. Weight also varies greatly. The PocketBook 632 Aqua weighs 155g and the PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 weighs around 180g.
In short, the new Aqua is noticeably smaller and lighter than the old one. After all, PocketBook 641 Aqua 2, with all its advantages, is still a reader of the previous generation. With wider bezels around the screen. With a wider «beard» under the display. PocketBook did an excellent job of making their readers smaller. By the way, four devices are among the ultra-compact models today: PocketBook 616, 627, 632 and 632 Aqua. They are all small and «cute». PocketBook 632 Aqua can be easily held by clasping your hand behind. It is also convenient to hold it by the corner of the case — after all, the reader is thin and light.
And PocketBook 632 Aqua easily fits in the back pocket of jeans. The same PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 fits into the same pocket much less willingly.
Externally, PocketBook 632 Aqua differs from the usual PocketBook 632 only in color. The new waterproof model is blue. Whereas the usual 632nd without water protection is bronze-black. Both color options have the right to life. The first one is, shall we say, more romantic. The second is brighter and more premium.
Case material PocketBook 632 Aqua — velvety plastic. It is very pleasant to the touch. This is not a hard glossy plastic, but a sprayed plastic. True, it also has disadvantages. You should not take the PocketBook 632 Aqua in your hands, for example, after a greasy sandwich. However, if you do get the reader dirty, you can easily wash it under the tap.
The reader is controlled by the touch screen and buttons below the screen. There are four of them. Two by default are for turning pages. One — to call the context menu, another one — to exit the main work screen. Well, plus everything, the keys can be reconfigured and assign actions to long presses.
I will repeat again. Buttons in PocketBook 632 Aqua are separate. That is, each is made of a separate piece of plastic. The difference between these buttons and the general panel in PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 is significant — PocketBook 632 Aqua is noticeably more convenient.
The screen in PocketBook 632 Aqua is traditionally recessed into the case for PocketBook models. Thus, when falling “face down”, the reader will hit not the screen, but the front panel. It may have scratches or even cracks on it, but the screen will survive. And this is the most important thing.
On the bottom of the case there is a button to turn on the microUSB port. The latter, I draw your attention, does not have a stub. Which is very convenient after PocketBook 641 Aqua 2, where there is a plug. But — I repeat: PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 is 100% sealed, but PocketBook 632 Aqua is simply protected from water. These are different concepts. For sealing, a plug is necessary, but when implementing a “banal” protection against water, you can easily do without a plug.
All the most important things about the water protection of PocketBook 632 Aqua I have already said above. However, let’s recap a bit. PocketBook 632 Aqua is protected with HZO gel. They processed the electronic filling of the reader. PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 also has gel treatment, but there it is only an additional measure of protection (the main measure is tooling — complete sealing of the case). But in PocketBook 632 Aqua, the gel is the main and only measure. So the 632nd «Aqua» is not afraid only of water, but liquids saturated with organic compounds — porridge, juices, soups — are contraindicated for it.
It is worth emphasizing one important point. Water repellent gels are very different. Often some kind of Chinese gels are used in water-protected readers. What they really are, how reliable — God knows. No matter PocketBook 632 Aqua: this reader uses the original gel produced by HZO. What is this company? For example, it is her gel that is poured into the insides of Dell military laptops. Or, say, Nike fitness bracelets. And also Motorola sports headphones. In a word, HZO is the most reliable «brand» gel, and indeed the highest quality of its kind.
I washed the PocketBook 632 Aqua under the tap, dipped it in water, sprinkled it on it — in general, I did a series of practical «light» water tests. Absolutely nothing happened to the reader. It works exactly as well as before bathing.
Yes, and I will add a little artful indexes. PocketBook 632 Aqua complies with the IPX7 security standard. This means that the device is not hermetic, but still able to safely dive to a depth of a meter for a short time. That is, dropped it into the water, got it, read on. But PocketBook 641 Aqua 2, for comparison, complies with the IP57 standard. Seven implies the same dive to a depth of a meter. But the five tells us just that the 641st is almost 100% tight. And he can lie under water for at least an hour. Dust and dirt will not get inside the case either.
Screen and backlight
The PocketBook 632 Aqua has exactly the same screen as the «regular» PocketBook 632. That is, the best possible for 6-inch readers. Why is he the best? Because the resolution is as high as possible — 1448 x 1072 pixels (and the letters, as a result, are as clear as possible). Well, plus the latest display technology — E Ink Carta. So it turns out that the image on the PocketBook 632 Aqua screen is visually exactly the same as the text in a high-quality paper book.
Outwardly, there is no difference, in terms of the effect on the eyes — too. After all, E Ink screens, if anyone does not know, are completely harmless to vision. These are not the displays of smartphones, tablets and laptops, from reading from which you can seriously damage your eyes over time. Pocketbooks are generally for those who read a lot, but want to keep their vision in its original state.
As mentioned above, the PocketBook 632 Aqua has a touch screen. Plus there are keys. So you can control even from the display, even with the help of buttons. Or a combination of these methods. Such versatility is an important advantage of PocketBook readers. Because most often in readers with touch screens there are no hardware control buttons.
With the help of multi-touch PocketBook 632 Aqua allows you to change the scale of the text. We spread our fingers on the screen — and the letters became larger. They brought their fingers together — and the letters decreased. The display sensitivity is excellent, about the same as modern smartphones.
The backlight system stands out. It would seem, who can be surprised by the backlight in the reader in 2019? But no, the backlight in PocketBook 632 Aqua is non-standard. Light can be not only white, but also yellow and even orange. Scientifically, this is called «color temperature adjustment». What is such a function for? Warm shades can actively relax both our nervous system and our eyes. Therefore, before going to bed, it is more correct to read not with white backlight, but with yellow or orange. And PocketBook 632 Aqua (like the regular 632) allows you to do this. And during the day you can read with a white one — after all, during the day we are most often not going to sleep!
For understanding: in most other readers (including the same PocketBook 641 Aqua 2) there is only the usual white backlight. It’s better than nothing. And the eyes do not get tired of the backlight of E Ink displays (unlike the backlight of the screens of smartphones and tablets). But! Yellow and orange shades make the pocketbooks even more comfortable to read. It is a fact. Checked on myself.
Here’s another thing to know and remember. There are readers on the market from other manufacturers with color temperature control. However, in them this function is implemented differently — with the help of inexpensive Chinese technology. What does it give and what does it affect? And for battery life! A reader with a Chinese “multi-colored” backlight works a third less than the same one, but with a white backlight. But in PocketBook models (including 632 Aqua) a proprietary color temperature adjustment system from E Ink is used. The one that produces screens for readers. And everything is fine with the autonomy of the pocketbooks: the PocketBook 632 Aqua does not differ in operating time from the models with the usual white backlight. As you can see, where many other reader manufacturers are trying to replace top-end components with Chinese ones, PocketBook uses “company”. This applies to both the HZO gel (see above) and the illumination system.
It’s worth starting with the fact that PocketBook does not lend itself to the rampant fashion on Android. Pocketbook readers have always used and are using Linux. For the user, purely visually, there is no difference between Android and Linux. At the same time, Linux provides much lower power consumption. Or, in other words, economy. You could say something like this. Thanks to Linux, PocketBook 632 Aqua works offline for up to two months. And if Android was in this reader, then it would work for a maximum of three weeks. Or rather, two.
The interface of the PocketBook 632 Aqua is quite user-friendly. It can be seen that when creating it, the developers were a little inspired by the logic of Android and the same iOS. The reader has a curtain with switches and notifications (for example, info about new firmware appears there). There is a settings section. There is a main menu with a grid of icons — just like on most Android backgrounds.
But the main screen in the poketbook is original. Among other things, it displays the last opened and added books. Quite a logical step: you turn on the reader — and you immediately see what you turned it on for — literary works.
The section for storing books is called «Library». It has a lot of options for sorting files, as well as options for displaying them. From small icons to large pictures.
In books, you can change fonts, turn hyphens on and off, make fonts bold and italic, adjust the style, and so on.
Like all other PocketBook models, the hero of this review is «friendly» with as many as 18 file formats. Namely, PDF, PDF (DRM), EPUB, EPUB(DRM), DJVU, FB2, FB2.ZIP, DOC, DOCX, RTF, PRC, TCR, TXT, CHM, HTM, HTML, MOBI and ACSM. It is especially worth emphasizing the support for FB2 and DJVU. Not all readers know how to work with them. While FB2 is in Russia and the CIS countries with Ukraine that joined them, in general, the most popular e-book format. And in general: 18 formats is a record for any reader of any manufacturer.
In addition, PocketBook 632 Aqua has a gyroscope. The text on the screen can rotate automatically depending on the position of the reader in space.
When reading, you can use dictionaries. There are four of them in the memory of PocketBook 632 Aqua, including English-Russian and German-Russian. We select a word in the text with our finger — and immediately in a separate window we get the translation. A useful feature, especially for those who study foreign languages by reading books by foreign authors in the original.
Moreover, you can add any other dictionaries in DIC format. The Internet is full of such dictionaries, as well as installation instructions.
The PocketBook 632 Aqua has a very advanced, very fast browser by the standards of E Ink readers. The browser is really very fast — especially compared to the previous generation of readers. The main thing in the browser is the ability to save sites as books. We downloaded this or that page with an article at breakfast at home — and then watch it on the subway on the way to work (or in another place where there is no Internet access) like a regular book.
You can download books to PocketBook 632 Aqua in many different ways. The first and most obvious is from a computer via cable. But there are several online methods — they work using Wi-Fi. For example, through the «Books by e-mail» option. Each Wi-Fi enabled pocketbook is given a unique email address. We send a book to it from the computer — and as soon as PocketBook 632 Aqua connects to the Wi-Fi network, the file will be in the reader’s memory. Downloading through the notorious cloud service Dropbox works in a similar way. We copy the file to the Dropbox folder on the computer — and in a couple of seconds the work is already in the reader.
More books can be bought directly from PocketBook 632 Aqua on BookLand.com. It is Russia’s largest online e-book catalog with about 3.5 million titles in 17 languages.
The icing on the cake is the cloud book-sharing service PocketBook Cloud. This option is aimed at people who read not only from the reader, but due to some circumstances also from smartphones, tablets and computers. That is, it is obvious that one should read from pocketbooks with their harmless E Ink screens. But this is not always possible. For example, in some offices they won’t do anything to you for a smartphone, but a fine can be soldered for a reader in your hands. Well, or in line at the supermarket, it is logical to read from a smartphone — it is unlikely that you will take a reader with you on a trip for potatoes and sunflower oil.
So, what does PocketBook Cloud give? It syncs all books and reading positions between reader, smartphone, tablet and PC. For smartphones and tablets, there are PocketBook Reader applications; on a computer, you will have to read through a browser. The logic is like this. We started reading on a pocketbook — continued from where we stopped on a smartphone — then returned to the reader — then switched to a working computer — then back to the reader. The sequence of devices can be anything. The main thing is that you will start reading on each new device from the same place where you finished on the old one. And exactly the same book. You don’t have to download it to all your gadgets — it’s enough to write it to only one. Everything else will be done by PocketBook Cloud. And it will do well — I tested PocketBook Cloud daily for two weeks, and did not notice any glitches / bugs.
In terms of hardware, PocketBook 632 Aqua, again, does not differ from the “basic” PocketBook 632. What do we have “under the hood”? And here’s what: Allwinner B288 processor with two cores and 512 MB of RAM. Don’t wrinkle your nose! For any smartphone or tablet, this, of course, is not enough. But for readers with E Ink screens, and even with Linux, such a set looks very decent. Suffice it to say that the readers of the previous generation (like the same PocketBook 641 Aqua 2) have a processor with one core and 256 MB of RAM. And they, these readers of the previous generation, still work quite quickly for themselves. And PocketBook 632 Aqua is more powerful than them, roughly speaking, twice!
In practice, the increase in the speed of work is manifested in the following. A 150 megabyte PDF file opens in 5 seconds, not 10. Pages turn in half a second, not a second. The reader turns on in 6 seconds, not 15. And so on. In a word, there really is an increase in productivity. And it is very noticeable in practice. Especially if, for example, you use an old pocketbook for a day, and then switch to PocketBook 632 Aqua.
And a few words about the built-in memory. By the standards of readers with E Ink, the PocketBook 632 Aqua has quite a lot of memory — 16 GB instead of the typical 8 GB. Of the 16 GB, about 15.5 GB is available to the user. The rest of the space is occupied by firmware and system files. In these 15.5 GB, you can place just some darkness of darkness of books. 20 thousand will definitely fit — if we talk about FB2 without pictures or with a minimum number of them. Therefore, you probably shouldn’t worry about the lack of a card slot. It is not in the PocketBook 632 Aqua, but it is not needed.
PocketBook 632 Aqua works without recharging for about two months. And this is really a lot: readers of the previous generation in similar conditions worked for no more than a month. What are the conditions? The brightness of the backlight is gained by 30 percent, Wi-Fi is disabled, you read 2-3 hours a day. In this case, yes, it will be two months. Make the backlight brighter — and minus a week, you will use the Internet — roughly speaking, there will be a month and a half. And this is still a lot, since the old readers worked in this mode for a week or two.
Mainly for the increase in autonomy in the case of PocketBook 632 Aqua it is worth thanking just the dual-core processor. It is more economical than those chips that were used in readers before.
The delivery set for PocketBook 632 Aqua is traditional for pocketbooks. There is nothing superfluous and very much special in it. There is only a cable, instructions, a brochure with advice to buy a branded case and a warranty card. It is the latter that is of particular interest, because the guarantee for poketbooks is two years. And if you buy in a branded online store — generally three. For comparison: usually for readers, and in general for any gadgets, the warranty is only one year.
And yes, I’ll add here that pocketbooks are generally long-playing devices. Three, five, or even seven years of work is not the limit for them. These are not smartphones that, after a couple of years, look like complete junk, and begin to work slowly and unstable.
Congratulations to PocketBook. With what? With the fact that PocketBook expanded its product range at minimal cost and received another interesting flagship product. After all, PocketBook 632 Aqua is the same PocketBook 632, but in a romantic blue color and with water protection. We, the buyers, are also to be congratulated. If the new flagship waterproof reader was developed from scratch, then it would cost quite different money. And so the difference between PocketBook 632 Aqua (with protection) and PocketBook 632 (without protection) is only $10. The first model costs 13,900, the second — 12,900. Such a small difference was achieved precisely thanks to the unification of devices.
The advantages of the PocketBook 632 Aqua, in my opinion, are in abundance. The battery lasts as long as two months, a superb screen with adjustable backlight color temperature, high speed thanks to a dual-core chip … Well, plus a number of branded chips from PocketBook: support for as many as 18 book and document formats, friendly interface, cloud service for book-sharing , warranty for 2 or even 3 years. In general, it is gratifying that the new waterproof reader was built on the basis of the flagship product. The PocketBook 632 models, in fact, lacked water protection until complete happiness. Even if in such a “light” version, which can protect against splashes and short-term dives. So that we can say: “Yes, this reader has everything in general that you can think of and want.” And now, in PocketBook 632 Aqua, water protection has appeared. Ideal reader? Quite possible.
Well, for those who just want to have absolutely maximum protection, there is a sealed model PocketBook 641 Aqua 2. It is not so modern, not so small, not so fast — but still more than worthy. And unique in its kind. And it’s also noticeably cheaper: if the PocketBook 632 Aqua costs $120, then the PocketBook 641 Aqua 2 can be taken for 10,900.
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