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Old 02-25-2009, 09:20 AM   #1
TheDarkTrumpet
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Opinion on workflow (and enhancing it) - research-type workflow

Hello,

I wanted to thank you guys for reading and helping with these recommendations. I've spent some time reading around, but wanted to post as well to see what some thought.

Ok, right now, I own the Sony Reader 505 - I love the device. I've had it for about a year and a quarter or so, pretty much since it came out, and it's been a trusty device for some time. I began reading more about the other ebook readers, and my father (being a semi driver and could use a small footprint) would like mine if I bought a new one. So I started to think more about my workflow...

I mostly read PDF-type books/articles. I traditionally highlight the books I read, take notes in the margins, and all that. For that reason, tech books I avoided getting on the reader because the PDF conversion isn't that fantastic (very large file sizes, all images, no highlighting, no searching, no notes, and bookmarks aren't exactly helpful given each page is an image from the program used). While the PDFs can be *read* I can't annotate like I normally do...so I've been avoiding using the sony reader for that sorta stuff.

I also spend time downloading and reading technical journals as well...

I read around a bit at the various posts, and the reader that seemed recommended the most was that the iRex-type models are really good for this. Apparently they handle PDFs better, support highlighting, and all that. From what I read, the battery life is pretty bad though (something that could pose a problem).

From the people who are more the researcher-type people (e.g. kovidgoyal which I know uses a sony reader), how is your workflow with using the ebook readers? Do you have this sorta divide that I do in what the reader can handle and where one draws the line? From anyone of course, I would appreciate some help in determining the need and all that of a new reader, and with the possible purchase which one is good. Price is a bit of a factor, an 800+ reader is probably a bit much for me

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 02-26-2009, 07:59 PM   #2
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I haven't had experience with any mobile readers as of yet, however I do have the same questions that you do. I am going to grad school soon, and one of the reasons I am hesitant to use mobile readers only for textbooks is because I make notes and highlight and such. Hopefully there will be others who have the same thought and experience with other devices!

The cost is a bit high on the iRex models, but I think that it could be worth it anyway. For me I don't see the battery life posing that much of a problem for what I would want to use it for though.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:58 PM   #3
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the Irex isnt Gonna Die on you when you need it, 16 hours of battery i believe i read. your cell phone gets 3 if your lucky. so you have to charge it when you get home, Just like your cell phone, and your Ipod, and everything else like you have been doing the past 10 years.

ive seen the V2 Iliads go for 300 around here.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:33 PM   #4
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From everything I've read about the iRexes, it sounds like they'd be the only viable e-Ink devices for doing the sort of things you'd want to do. When I tried to search a bit on battery life, it looks like it's less than ten hours.

I'd caution against forcing yourself to adapt too much to accommodate the weaknesses of an eInk device. The Iliad will have screen lag (like any eInk display) and will not have color. To me, those would be some pretty serious weaknesses. You can't really "highlight" with black ink, can you? Strikethrough, sure...or underline, but not highlight.

If a tablet PC is a far superior tool, you might want to consider not fixating too much on eInk. Technology changes so fast, I'd avoid buying tools that are subpar at performing any of your required tasks.

When I read this, I almost held off on buying an eBook reader altogether...
http://www.pixelqi.com/products

The CEO of that company is a pretty well-known screen person with lots of cred (was key on the OLPC project). So this isn't just some penny in the wishing fountain--she has a good chance of delivering.

Then I realized, you know what? Even if they released a Pixel Qi device tomorrow that was amazing, the Sony 505 would still be an excellent, simple eBook reader...because even if some fancy Pixel Qi device came out...if all I wanted to do was read text on a page, I wager it'd look the same. Whereas, if they released a Pixel Qi tablet PC--where it was a tablet PC that could do everything a laptop could do but had a very eye-friendly display--suddenly the Iliad is crappy in comparison with its laggy tablet abilities.

Anyway, that's just my perspective. You'll have to figure out your needs and priorities on your own
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Old 02-27-2009, 09:39 AM   #5
TheDarkTrumpet
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Thanks for the opinions all.

The Iliad does seem like it's really the only viable choice, that's for sure. You're also right that trying to change my workflow too much fo the device will cause problems.

The main reason why I want to do what I do is because I prefer to carry as little weight as possible with me as I'm around campus, coffee shop, or whatever. So really in my bag the only things I currently carry are:
- Ipod
- ebook reader
- laptop (a netbook).
And really that's about it. The ebook reader I use currently on the bus, or when relaxing somewhere - and as you stated, for simple reading it's perfectly fine.

I'll read the sources you provided, and I appreciate it greatly. I doubt any ebook will be 100% for me, but I'm hoping to make it perform for hopefully 70% of what I want/need for sure. The iliad may perform that much for me *shrug*
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Old 02-27-2009, 11:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TheDarkTrumpet View Post
I'll read the sources you provided, and I appreciate it greatly. I doubt any ebook will be 100% for me, but I'm hoping to make it perform for hopefully 70% of what I want/need for sure. The iliad may perform that much for me *shrug*
Yeah, definitely. If something makes you more efficient/effective, that's all that matters. Well, unless you're A-Rod and it's anabolic steroids or something. It's a shame these devices are so hard to find on display, in order to do mess around with them. The fact that I was able to put my hands on a Sony reader was probably the only reason I wound up buying it. The only device I would have considered buying on word-of-mouth alone was the Kindle, simply because of the high visibility and massive amount of stuff written about that device. I don't own one, but feel like I know it personally.

Last edited by sigma8; 02-27-2009 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 12:04 AM   #7
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If you can wait I guess it makes sense to wait for plastic logic to come out with their reader
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:10 AM   #8
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If you can wait I guess it makes sense to wait for plastic logic to come out with their reader
I'm hoping that will be able to be my "sheet of paper" or "printout", whereas my Sony will be my pocket-sized book.

I hadn't heard that it would be (or was at least trying to be) "Kindle-priced"! That's good news, even if it is $400. That's half as much as the iRex, and the PL just looks like it's shaping up to be nicer. Between them and Pixel Qi, I bet there will be some great stuff out next year.
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Old 03-02-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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Yeah, I decided to wait on everything.

Right now, given the economy, plus some rumors here and there are much larger devices in general hitting the market, the time just isn't right. While it'd be nice to have this sorta reader sooner, rather than later, I can potentially save a lot of money + get something better if I wait.

So wait it is

THanks for the opinions everone.
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