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Old 07-25-2010, 01:07 AM   #1
sark666
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Suitable for reading pdfs? Computer manuals

I want a reader primarily for computer manuals that are in pdf. Most having screenshots, charts, side tips etc throughout.

I know some have said that all of these 6' ereaders are just too small, but what if sopdf is used, chopping 1 page into two and then viewing those pages in horizontal mode.

Most say just get an ipad if the main focus is pdf's but they are still fairly pricey. I was thinking on either this or a Aluratek Libre eBook for pdfs, even though a few recommend against it. I thought if I run them through sopdf it might be passable. What would be a deal breaker is if I do chop them with sopdf and yet still have to pan to reach the full line each time.

I was leaning more towards the kobo just because of 1 inch more over the libre and I thought with wanting to read pdfs, any increase in screen size is important.

To get an ipad experience (visually) I was considering getting the aluratek cinpal but it's ebook support is just txt files (Why wouldn't they put a full ebook reader on this?!) so with that I'd have to convert to jpg.

I've seen some say it's a great comic reader and I would think visually that would translate to pdf as well, but again, it would be jpgs and no longer searchable etc.

Anyone have any advice when this is what is desired? Anyone have experience trying to read tech/computer pdf's on a kobo or other similar device? I"m wondering how well this would work, and what is it like operating the device in landscape mode all the time. (Button access, retaining zoom settings on page changes etc.)
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:01 AM   #2
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G'day Sark

I've used a Kobo to read journal paper PDFs (2 column) and tech manual PDFs.... with varying degrees of success. There are 2 main (related) issues: lack of full text search and the PDFs I've tried aren't neatly subindexed e.g. into subsections. Makes it hard to jump to the juicy bit of the document you need. Lack of dynamic reflow mean you get stuck with trying to manage varying zoom levels. Less than ideal :/

Obviously reading an ebook, the Kobo's primary role, is more sequential so I wasn't really shocked with this being an issue

I'll be curious to see what others think too.

Cheers
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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If you can "chop" your pages into two to read horizontally, it sounds like the Kobo might be a suitable reader. Can you ensure that all your documents will format acceptably in this way? With side bars and illustrations it might be tricky.

Have you thought of a net book? About twice the price of a Kobo but (IMO) better suited to the task you describe - no reformatting required.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:19 AM   #4
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Hi yes, a netbook would not be an option as I would need to hold this standing up sometimes during my commute.

If anyone can look at this (or maybe even take a pic with a camera!) on the their kobo it would be greatly appreciated.

It's a small section of a vba book, that has had the pages split and then I chopped out just a few pages of it.

IF anyone could tell me how good (or bad) this is in landscape mode that would be great. Stuff like readability, is panning needed from side to side or does it just fit. sopdf seems to vary in how wide it things a page is sometimes so I'm curious if that throws off going from page to page on a reader and always having to recentre.

I'm thinking on either getting this today, or a libre, or the cinpal pmp and convert all my pdfs to jpgs, or just holding off for a more appropriate device. However, I have a need for this type of device now and might just get one anyway as they are relatively cheap. But if it's a total bust with pdfs, why waste the money.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf pdf vba sample.pdf (493.5 KB, 146 views)
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:41 AM   #5
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I think for your purpose -- devouring computer manuals -- steve_vmwx hit the nial on the head. Kobo, as nice a device as it is, has no search function. That pretty much eliminates it from the running for ANY reference work. It excels at long-form fiction that is properly formatted into chapters.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:49 AM   #6
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Well even though search is normally important, if I can view the attached reasonably well, that will satisfy my needs for now. Btw, why doesn't it have pdf search? Is that typical of the cheaper readers or shortcoming of the kobo?

But as I mentioned, my primary concern is if it's readable (going by the attached) then for the price of the device I'll accept the other shortcomings.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:50 PM   #7
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I have loaded several amateur radio manuals on my Kobo. When printed, they are about 6.5" tall and 5.5" wide. They show up fine on my Kobo in portrait mode.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:04 PM   #8
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Well the attached was chopped with sopdf which I've read others recommend, but my concern is if it is readable and do the irregular page widths (because of sopdf) affect changing page to page or does it autocenter? Or do some pages fit just right and some you have to pan?

I was going to purchase it today but I guess I'll wait till I find out more. Again, if anyone can try with the attached, it would very appreciated.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:28 PM   #9
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I have loaded your file on my Kobo, and had no trouble reading it. If set to view whole page, there was no need to scan, and everything was readable. Though to be able to clearly see the pictures, you do have to zoom, and then you will have to scan. Scanning does seem to be a bit quirky, because if you go too far, it will skip to the next page....But it would be workable.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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The text is absolutely crisp and clear, fitting on one screen. Warning though, most of the screen shots - which are grainy on my computer - are not very legible or illegible on the Kobo.

I took photos but am unable to figure out how to post them. Just as well - the photos are not nearly as crisp as the display is.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:08 PM   #11
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Thank you both for trying. That's actually encouraging considering most people say pdf's like this aren't really usable. Well, I guess without chopping the pdf's. Btw, is it comfortable holding the kobo in landscape for long periods? Are the buttons comfortably accessible that way?

I"d still be curious to see the images. You could post them here if you have time.

http://www.dumpt.com

And off topic from this but I've been googling and seeing what's out there. Not just as an ereader but tablet pc's as well.

I feel there has to be a catch with the prices of some of these:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.39566

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.d...169~r.99975858

Obviously they'll lose out big time in battery life compared to ereaders and the glare might be off-putting from lcd's. But it's nice they are running droid (although older versions) and should have a lot of apps to play with.

Although, again, having droid features like a browser, wifi are nice to haves, but I mainly wanted to read pdf's but avoid the cost right now of an ipad.

So I still might grab the kobo but these droid devices look tempting.
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