PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: an old color screen on an improved ereader

2 weeks ago 45

Our biggest contented with the archetypal InkPad Color ereader was its deficiency of saturation. PocketBook has tried to amended connected that successful the InkPad Color 2 by adding a caller filter, but the results are mixed – immoderate hues look better, others not truthful much. However, it gets a amended processor for improved performance, waterproofing that its predecessor missed retired on, and adjustable airy somesthesia arsenic well. While its improvements are commendable, debased contrast, its clunky interface and the deficiency of a due publication store for planetary markets marque it a small hard to urge extracurricular of immoderate European countries.


  • +

    Better processor for faster performance

  • +

    Sleek, waterproof design

  • +

    Dropbox and Google Drive integration


  • -

    Lacks opposition successful grayscale and color

  • -

    Speaker is superfluous

  • -

    User interface could beryllium better

Why you tin spot TechRadar We walk hours investigating each merchandise oregon work we review, truthful you tin beryllium definite you’re buying the best. Find retired much astir however we test.

PocketBook InkPad Color 2: one-minute review

It’s just to accidental that colour ereaders inactive person a mode to spell earlier they go mainstream, but 1 institution looking to marque definite we get determination is PocketBook. The European brand’s InkPad Color 2 ereader takes what worked connected the archetypal model, improves upon it slightly, encases it successful a sleek, caller plan and throws successful waterproofing to marque definite you tin instrumentality it connected your adjacent poolside holiday. 

If you chiefly work comics and graphic novels, past the InkPad Color 2 isn’t a atrocious enactment and I enjoyed utilizing it much than its predecessor. Firstly, I recovered it faster and much responsive than the archetypal – work my PocketBook InkPad Color review to find retired much – acknowledgment to a caller quad-core processor. I besides similar the information that it’s got IPX8 waterproofing (the erstwhile exemplary had none) and adjustable airy somesthesia which strains the eyes little erstwhile you’re speechmaking successful the evening oregon astatine night.

I besides recovered that immoderate colors look marginally amended connected the surface – that’s acknowledgment to a caller filter. But it retains the older-generation E Ink Kaleido Plus show recovered connected the older exemplary erstwhile the latest colour surface to beryllium had is the Kaleido 3. While the colors are inactive not arsenic saturated arsenic I would person liked, immoderate hues bash look richer and they get amended arsenic you summation brightness. Other colors, however, inactive look rather washed-out (muted) and I’d astir apt clasp retired for a colour ereader till idiosyncratic decides to usage E Ink’s Gallery 3 surface technology that promises saturation akin to what we’re utilized to seeing connected our phones. Sadly the surface besides lacks successful opposition erstwhile compared to different akin models.

The InkPad Color 2 features a tiny talker (you tin spot the grille connected 1 borderline of the device), but I deliberation it’s unnecessary – the dependable is decent, but it doesn't get precise large and, with Bluetooth 5.0 support, you’re amended disconnected pairing with a acceptable of headphones to bask audiobooks.

While the improvements look bully connected paper, the idiosyncratic interface is inactive not arsenic streamlined arsenic we’ve seen connected different ereaders and you can’t acquisition contented straight from the device’s publication store if you unrecorded extracurricular of the European Union. 

Still, it’s bully to cognize that you get these improvements – arsenic incremental arsenic they whitethorn beryllium – for the aforesaid motorboat terms arsenic the older InkPad Color ereader.

Library displays publication  covers successful  colour  connected  the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

Some colors connected the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 look richer than before, but not each (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: terms and availability

  • Announced April 2023
  • Available to bargain present for $329 successful the US
  • Available successful UK and Australia arsenic planetary imports via Amazon

Two years aft PocketBook announced the archetypal InkPad Color ereader, it released the second-generation model… and for the aforesaid terms too! Which is bully quality arsenic there’s much bang for your subordinate present than before.

Available to bargain straight from PocketBook oregon from immoderate third-party retailers, the InkPad Color 2 volition acceptable you backmost $329 successful the US. If you hap to beryllium successful the UK oregon Australia, your champion root of picking up the InkPad Color 2 would beryllium Amazon UK and Amazon AU respectively, wherever you tin get the German import for astir £345 and AU$595 respectively.

That’s not a atrocious terms for a 7.8-inch colour ereader, though for a small other wealth ($399 successful the US), you tin get the older Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color that besides has penning capabilities. 

A much up-to-date colour ereader would beryllium the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, with a 7.8-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 screen, an octa-core processor and moving Android 11 for a somewhat smoother idiosyncratic interface and full-featured penning capabilities, costing $450 / £450 / AU$765.

While inactive not cheap, the InkPad Color 2 could good beryllium worthy your portion if you truly privation a color-screen ereader and don’t request to instrumentality notes connected it.

• Value score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 surface  erstwhile   booting up

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is faster to footwear and much responsive compared to the older exemplary (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 specs

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Display type:E Ink Kaleido Plus
Screen size:7.8 inches
Resolution:300ppi (2480x1860) for B&W; 100ppi (468×624) for color
Processor:1.8GHz quad-core
Frontlight:Warm and cold
Storage:32GB (non-expandable)
Water protection:IPX8
Software:Linux based
Connectivity:Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C
File support:22 document, 4 image, 10 audio
Dimensions:134 × 189.5 × 7.95 mm

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Design and display

  • Refreshed plan reminiscent of PocketBook Era
  • Good-sized screen
  • Older-generation show exertion with caller colour filter

All PocketBook ereaders person a signature plan – either rounded oregon cut-off corners. The second came with the PocketBook Era and the InkPad Color 2 inherits a similar, much modern look compared to the rounded corners of the older model. I’m a existent instrumentality of this plan aesthetic – it’s refreshing and the InkPad Color 2 looks adjacent amended acknowledgment to the metallic metallic (what PocketBook calls Moon Silver) trim astir the broadside of the chassis.

That’s not the lone plan facet the InkPad Color 2 inherits from its Era relative – the PocketBook branding is present connected the little near country of the tablet compared to being successful the halfway (as successful the older InkPad Color) and matches the colour of the metallic trim.

Four buttons connected  the bottommost  borderline   of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

There are 4 barely-there buttons connected the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The beforehand bezels and the rear sheet is achromatic integrative that is simply a magnet for oily fingerprints, and fixed the rear is textured, not that casual to hitch disconnected either. 

Barely disposable connected the borderline of the little bezel are 4 power buttons. These are marked but, again, rather faintly. I’m not a instrumentality of their placement – they’re truthful adjacent to the borderline that I find it easier to pat connected the surface to crook pages. I had the aforesaid contented with the PocketBook Era excessively wherever the buttons aren’t rather wherever my thumb sits connected the broadside of the device. While I didn’t rather bask the buttons connected the older InkPad Color either, astatine slightest they were higher up connected the bezel truthful my thumb could remainder connected the 2 mediate ones. 

I inactive basal by my connection that the buttons connected some models of the InkPad Color should beryllium somewhat raised oregon textured otherwise arsenic they’re hard to find by consciousness unsocial and it becomes hard to enactment the instrumentality to slumber if you’re speechmaking successful the acheronian (which I often do).

Where the older colour ereader had a abstracted powerfulness fastener connected the bottommost edge, the fastener connected the close country of the little bezel doubles up arsenic the slumber and powerfulness buttons. You request to spell into the device’s settings pane to acceptable that up though. I customized excavation to enactment arsenic a slumber fastener with a azygous property and a treble to powerfulness down. The near country fastener gets you to the location surface (and tin beryllium customized for different function), portion the mediate 2 are the page-turn buttons.

Speaker connected  the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 gets a mono talker for listening to audiobooks (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The little borderline present conscionable houses the USB-C larboard for charging and record transfer, beside which is simply a tiny indicator airy that glows erstwhile you property a button, erstwhile the surface refreshes oregon portion charging. The close borderline has 2 tiny slits which is the talker grille.

All successful all, it’s a clean, minimalistic look that is present waterproof. An IPX8 standing means the InkPad Color 2 tin past successful 2 meters of h2o for up to 60 minutes.

As before, the main selling constituent present is the colour screen. For me, 7.8 inches is simply a bully size – decent magnitude of surface existent property truthful you don’t person to perpetually support turning pages and, thus, eating into the artillery life, and it’s inactive portable. That said, this surface doesn’t ever show afloat pages of a graphic caller – depending connected however the record has been acceptable up.

What I’m not rather a instrumentality of is the information that a 2023 ereader exemplary is utilizing an older-generation surface technology. PocketBook has stuck with the E Ink Kaleido Plus surface it utilized successful its archetypal colour ereader, but has tried to amended connected it by utilizing a caller colour filter. This filter, PocketBook says, adds much saturation to the colors displayed compared to the older model. While that’s ever truthful somewhat existent for immoderate hues, the wide results are rather mixed. For example, determination are immoderate blues that look a batch richer compared to what I saw connected the InkPad Color, but immoderate reds and browns inactive look washed out.

USB-C larboard  connected  the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is beside a tiny  indicator light

There are nary buttons connected the sides of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2, giving it a cleanable look (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The surface retains a 300ppi solution for grayscale speechmaking (black and achromatic only) and has conscionable 100ppi solution erstwhile viewing successful color. The second is rather low, considering you tin get ereaders with 150ppi colour resolution. This whitethorn not mean a batch to you if you’ve ne'er utilized a colour ereader before, but I recovered a important quality erstwhile comparing the InkPad Color 2 broadside by broadside with the newer Kaleido 3 show connected the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (see the Performance conception for details).

What the InkPad Color 2 does amended than its predecessor is connection adjustable airy temperature. To beryllium capable to alteration the frontlight hue to warmer tones successful the evening oregon nighttime reduces oculus strain and tin assistance support your slumber pattern. One happening to note, however, is that if you are speechmaking successful color, warmer airy volition impact the colors slightly. 

The InkPad Color 2 gets what PocketBooks calls its SmartLight functionality – erstwhile selected, the instrumentality volition automatically set the frontlight somesthesia to suit the clip of day. While that’s bully to have, I recovered that the auto-selection of the lukewarm tones are conscionable excessively lukewarm and the show is conscionable too… jaundiced for my liking.

• Design and show score: 3.5 / 5

Rear sheet  connected  the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The textured rear sheet is simply a magnet for oily fingerprints and not that casual to hitch (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Software and idiosyncratic interface

  • 1GB RAM and 32GB GB interior storage
  • Arguably the champion record format enactment of immoderate ereader brand
  • User interface could bash with immoderate improvements

As I’ve mentioned before, the InkPad Color 2 gets a caller processor – portion nary specifics person been revealed of which precise spot it is, it’s present a 1.8GHz motor compared to 1GHz successful the older model. This is paired with 1GB of strategy representation (or RAM), which mightiness not dependable similar overmuch but is much than capable for a low-power instrumentality similar an ereader.

Where the erstwhile exemplary had 16GB of interior retention alongside a microSD slot that tin enactment an further 32GB, the second-generation colour ereader gets non-expandable 32GB of storage. This is usually a batch if you’re mostly storing a room of ebooks, but if astir of them are comic record formats – they are typically larger than your mean ebook – and audiobooks – which tin beryllium larger inactive – you could devour done that retention space. Even then, it’s a lot!

As with immoderate PocketBook ereader, the operating system is Linux based and I’m inactive not rather a instrumentality of the idiosyncratic interface. It’s not excessively bad, really, but it’s not arsenic creaseless and streamlined arsenic different ereader setups from the much fashionable brands. Even Onyx’s Android-based interface is simply a spot smoother, but the staggering fig of customizations disposable determination tin beryllium a small mind-boggling. 

That said, I similar the information that audiobooks are stored separately from ebooks connected the PocketBook, making them easier to find erstwhile you privation to perceive alternatively than read. Another happening I similar astir the audiobooks connected the InkPad Color 2 is that it continues playing if you spell backmost to the location surface oregon leap into your room to determine what you’d similar to work next. In fact, it volition proceed playing adjacent if you unfastened an ebook and commencement reading… useful if you tin multitask similar that.

Highlight colors connected  the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

You tin item successful 4 antithetic colors connected the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Updates to the idiosyncratic interface since I tested the PocketBook Color person helped marque the UX a small better, but I inactive find it lacking. While the wide layout of the location surface is good, I would similar to beryllium capable to benignant my room retired arsenic I spot fit. On PocketBook ereaders (all of them), your room gets sorted alphabetically by title, but you tin filter by writer name.

Another happening to commend PocketBook connected is the staggering fig of record formats its ereaders tin support. The InkPad Color 2 tin grip a staggering 36 record types, which includes document, images and sound. That’s precise awesome indeed. You whitethorn not adjacent person immoderate of these record formats, but it’s bully to cognize that the enactment is there.

The onboard publication store, portion accessible successful immoderate region, volition show prices successful Euro. You tin acceptable up an relationship if you unrecorded extracurricular of Europe and don’t caput purchasing successful a antithetic currency. That said, the store doesn’t person a batch of titles you’ll spot from the apical publishing companies, truthful your choices volition beryllium rather limited.

• Software score: 4 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 examination  against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) displays immoderate colors well; the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C is connected the close with much opposition (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Performance

  • Improved show implicit InkPad Color and Era models
  • Speaker dependable is good
  • Screen colour solution is disappointing

Giving the InkPad Color 2 an updated processor was a bully call. Issues I noticed successful the PocketBook Era – sluggish refreshes, dilatory loading of leafage numbers – are nary longer a problem. However, I americium a small disappointed with the screen. 

Despite the 300ppi successful grayscale, the surface lacks contrast. A broadside by broadside examination with different monochrome ereaders shows a chiseled deficiency of sharpness to the substance displayed connected the screen. This makes the InkPad Color 2 comparatively harder to work indoors unless you rise the brightness up. During my testing, I recovered that the surface looked champion astatine 90% brightness adjacent erstwhile utilizing it successful a well-lit room. That, however, becomes an contented if you’re speechmaking astatine nighttime with your country lights disconnected arsenic it tin strain the eyes (even if you alteration the airy somesthesia to warmer hues).

The little colour solution is besides an contented – which is evident erstwhile comparing alongside the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, a 7.8-inch colour ereader sporting a Kaleido 3 screen. While immoderate colors look amended connected the InkPad Color 2 compared to its predecessor, I could spot lines and textures that kept distracting maine portion I was speechmaking a measurement of The Sandman graphic novel. Other colors look a batch amended connected the Onyx ereader, with nary texturing evident astatine each and I deliberation I would wage other to person a amended surface experience.

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 substance   examination  against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook Color 2 (left) doesn't person a batch of opposition arsenic compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Aside from the disappointing screen, the caller processor has made leafage turns faster, which was a ailment I had with the InkPad Color 2’s predecessor. The surface is besides much responsive than before. However, the refresh complaint isn’t arsenic bully arsenic what I’ve seen connected different ereaders and ghosting tin beryllium a occupation till a leafage refreshes. For example, if you’ve selected immoderate substance to highlight, you volition spot airy ghosting wrong the highlighter’s circular colour choices. At different times, the screen leafage takes a 2nd oregon 2 to refresh to look its champion successful color.

If you’re a instrumentality of audiobooks, the built-in talker is beauteous good, but I inactive deliberation it’s unnecessary. The dependable doesn’t get arsenic large arsenic I’ve experienced with immoderate Onyx Boox models, and I recovered utilizing Bluetooth headphones an easier acquisition arsenic it gave maine the state to determination astir without the dependable getting excessively faint. Where the dependable prime from immoderate Onyx Boox speakers was tinny, the InkPad Color 2 successful information has amended dependable contempt its mono speaker. Not bad, PocketBook!

Battery beingness is besides rather good. The 2,900mAh battalion wrong volition get you astir 4 weeks betwixt charges, but that volition beryllium connected however you usage the ereader. Just speechmaking astir 30 minutes a time tin get you up to 5 weeks betwixt charges, for example. However, if you work longer oregon perceive to audiobooks much often, you could get little than 4 weeks. The surface brightness mounting tin besides impact the artillery life.

Topping up that artillery tin beryllium a small implicit an hr from 30% to full, depending connected the benignant of USB-C cablegram you use. The 1 packaged with the ereader itself is rather dilatory and took maine 2 hours and 23 minutes to spell from 34% to full. I utilized an USB-C Type 3 cablegram plugged into a 65W GaN partition plug and that took1 hr and 17 minutes to spell from 30% to 99%.

• Performance score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 examination  with the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

Another illustration of the deficiency of opposition connected the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I bargain the PocketBook InkPad Color 2?

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ValueIt’s not severely priced for a colour ereader but you’ll get much worth from different options with amended screens and much features.3.5/5
Design & displayIt’s a refreshing plan but utilizing an older surface exertion is simply a spot of a letdown.3.5/5
Software & idiosyncratic experienceIt’s a smoother UI than what PocketBook has offered successful the past, but it’s inactive a small clunky.4/5
PerformanceIt mightiness beryllium faster but its show show is disappointing.3.5/5

Buy it if...

You privation a basal colour ereader experience

If you’ve ne'er tried a colour ereader earlier and are keen, past the InkPad Color 2 is not a atrocious spot to start.

You’ve got your ain postulation of comics and graphic novels

Reading successful colour is wherefore you’d privation the InkPad Color 2, but considering you can’t root a batch of titles from the PocketBook Store, this ereader is worthwhile if you’ve got your ain postulation that you tin sideload.

You similar listening to audiobooks

Its built-in talker whitethorn not beryllium loud, but its dependable prime is decent. And it keeps playing adjacent if you determination distant from the audiobook screen.

Don't bargain it if...

You’re not overmuch into comics and graphic novels

You’ll prevention immoderate currency by opting for a black-and-white ereader if you don’t work a batch of comics, and you’ll person a batch much instrumentality choices to prime from.

You privation note-taking features

There are colour ereaders successful the aforesaid size class arsenic the InkPad Color 2 that person penning capabilities if you deliberation you’ll request them. They’ll outgo you more, but determination is worth for wealth if you volition usage those features.

You already ain a multimedia tablet

If you similar speechmaking successful color, past the show connected an iPad oregon a Samsung Galaxy Tab mightiness beryllium a amended enactment for you, particularly since the InkPad Color 2’s solution is rather low.

Also consider

If you deliberation the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 isn't for you, instrumentality a look astatine a fewer different alternatives below, with a afloat specs examination to assistance you choose.

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Header Cell - Column 0 PocketBook InkPad Color 2Onyx Boox Tab Mini CApple iPad 10.2 (2021)Kobo Libra 2
Price$329 / £345 / AU$595$449.99 / £449.99 / AU$765$329 / £369 / AU$549$189.99 / £169.99 / AU$299.95
Screen7.8-inch E Ink Kaleido Plus7.8-inch E Ink Kaleido 310.2-inch Retina display7-inch E Ink Carta 1200
Resolution300ppi B&W / 100ppi color300ppi B&W / 150ppi color265ppi300ppi
Operating systemLinix basedAndroid 11iPadOSLinux based
Storage32GB64GB64GB, 256GB32GB
CPU1.8GHz quad-coreQualcomm Advanced octa-coreA13 Bionic1GHz
ConnectivityWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-CWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-CWi-Fi, Bluetooth, Lightning, 4GWi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C
File enactment (including audio and images)3024N/A16
Dimensions134 × 189.5 × 7.95 mm194 x 136.5 x 8.3 mm250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5 mm144.6 x 161.6 x 9 mm
Weight267g310g487g (Wi-Fi) / 498g (LTE)215g


Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

I’m successful the process of investigating this colour ereader – it’s the aforesaid size arsenic the InkPad Color 2, but comes with newer surface tech and a afloat suite of penning capabilities. Color pages render well, though immoderate hues bash look a small muted, and the artillery beingness is excellent. I’ll update this nonfiction arsenic soon arsenic I person my last thoughts connected it ready.


Apple iPad 10.2 (2021)

While not an e-paper tablet, it's worthwhile considering a an iPad if you mostly privation to work successful color. The surface is sharper and brighter, and arsenic agelong arsenic you won’t beryllium speechmaking successful agleam sunlight, you should beryllium fine. And you tin bash a batch much with an iPad than you tin with immoderate ereader.
Read our in-depth Apple iPad 10.2 (2021) review


Kobo Libra 2

If you work mostly word-heavy books, see what is inactive the best ereader connected the market. The Kobo Libra 2 mightiness beryllium basal and aging, but its page-turn buttons and crisp surface marque it an fantabulous enactment if you privation a monochrome ereader.
Read our afloat Kobo Libra 2 review

How I tested the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

  • Used it to work for astir 7 weeks, successful some colour and B&W
  • Used it to perceive to audiobooks
  • Compared it straight to different 7-inch and 7.8-inch ereaders, some colour and grayscale

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 surface  erstwhile   switched off

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I’ve utilized the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 arsenic my main ereader for conscionable nether 2 months now. While it came preloaded with a batch of titles already, respective were successful European languages (German, Polish, etc), truthful I sideloaded a clump of my favourite DRM-free titles that I own. 

As a voracious reader, I utilized the InkPad Color 2 to work a minimum of 2 hours a day, sometimes more. I did browse the onboard store retired of curiosity to spot what was connected offer, but refrained from purchasing anything.

While astir of my speechmaking was word-heavy – truthful ebooks successful grayscale – I work a mates of graphic novels connected it to trial its colour rendering and resolution. I compared however these aforesaid titles were rendered connected the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C to travel to my last people of the InkPad Color 2.

Read much astir however we test

First reviewed September 2023

Sharmishta Sarkar

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves each things photography, thing she discovered portion chasing monkeys successful the wilds of India (she studied to beryllium a primatologist but has since near monkey concern behind). While she's happiest with a camera successful her hand, she's besides an avid scholar and has go a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared connected Singaporean vigor to speech astir the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not investigating camera kits oregon the latest successful e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of astute location gizmos. She's besides the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, portion besides moving connected 2 of Future's photography people magazines Down Under.

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