Kindle Paperwhite 11th Gen Signature Edition vs Pocketbook Era
The Pocketbook Era and the Kindle Paperwhite 5 Signature Edition are two of the best e-readers in the world. They both allow you to download and purchase many books and audiobooks from their online bookstores and allow you to upload your own digital content. Their 300 PPI displays ensure all fonts look sharp and you can read at night via their front-lit displays and warm lighting systems. Which eReader is the best?
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 11th Generation Signature Edition features a 6.8-inch E INK Carta 1200 touchscreen with 1236 x 1648 resolution and 300 PPI. It features 17 white and amber LED lights, giving users the ability to achieve a candlelight effect. This is the first time Amazon has brought the warm light display to the Paperwhite, it was a Kindle Oasis exclusive. This model unlike the basic Paperwhite 5 has an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the brightness of the screen. The screen is flush with the bezel, protected by a layer of glass.
The Pocketbook Era has a 7 inch capacitive touch screen with E INK Carta 1200 e-paper display panel. The resolution of the Era is 1264×1680 with 300 PP. It also has about 25 LED lights, which makes the screen cool or warm. There’s no light sensor on this model, but it can dim or brighten the screen depending on the time of day. The screen is also aligned with the bezel, but it also has physical page turning buttons, which is useful if you don’t want to rely exclusively on the touchscreen to turn pages.
Under the hood of the Kindle Paperwhite 5 Signature Edition is a 1GHZ MT8113 SOC processor, 512MB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. You can connect it to your MAC or PC via USB-C to recharge it or to transfer digital content. Amazon has decided not to provide cellular options for this generation, so there are no LTE/4G variants to buy. However, the Signature Edition has wireless charging. The battery will last about ten weeks, which is very solid for an e-reader. It is powered by a 1700mAh battery and the dimensions are 124.6 x 174.2 x 8.1mm and weighs 205g.
Under the Era’s hood is a 1GHZ dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. There are two different colors to choose from and each has different storage. Sunset Copper with 64 GB of storage and Stardust Silver with 16 GB. You can charge the device and transfer data through the USB-C port. You can listen to music through the single speaker at the bottom of the player or pair headphones or wireless headphones and enjoy Bluetooth 5.1. Another useful feature for those who prefer to listen to books is text-to-speech which turns any text into a natural sounding voice audio track. Just two clicks and the device will read aloud any text file in one of the 26 available languages. It is powered by a 1700mAh battery and the dimensions are 134.3×155.7.8mm and weighs 228G.
I think the era has the slight edge on the hardware level. It has better resolution and the physical page-turning buttons are a welcome addition. Both the speakers and the TTS system are really solid, while the Paperwhite can only stream content via Bluetooth.
The Pocketbook Era and Kindle both have online bookstores that sell audiobooks and eBooks. The Kindle has the advantage of having a better ecosystem that is populated with more titles and more Audible audiobooks. Pocketbook has a few bestsellers, but mostly offers royalty-free audiobooks and eBooks. You’ll find more value with the Kindle if you want to buy things. Era has the advantage of supporting more book formats if you want to download stuff. It supports 12 of them, including DRM EPUB and PDF, which means you can buy books from Google Books, Kobo or Barnes and Noble and use Adobe Digital Editions to load them. The Era also supports manga, CBR and CBZ files.
Ultimately, the Era has better hardware, but the Kindle has a better library. I recommend the Era if you like having more flexibility and freedom to load your own content, whereas the Kindle is best for ease of use.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for twelve years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and The New York Times. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.