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Old 10-11-2010, 12:01 PM   #1
luckycharms
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reader for academic pdf's

Hi Folks,

I'm looking for an e-book reader, and in addition to novels and the like, I need to be able to read academic pdf articles and, to a lesser extent, textbooks. I need to be able to read graphs and the like, embedded in those pdfs. I have two questions I was hoping you could help me out with:

1) What is the best reader for these types of documents on the market now, or likely to come out in the next couple months? Or, is there an older reader that's now cheap, but that will do the job well enough?

2) Even given the best reader, how good *is* pdf reading on these devices? The few videos I've seen online make it look like a real chore hardly worth the effort.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:51 PM   #2
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I haven't really been keeping up with the new readers, but you may be interested in a blog post I wrote on making PDFs easier to read on such devices, written with academics in mind.

I can read almost anything even on my old lackluser (by today's standards) PRS-505, but I'm sure there are devices available now which would cut down on prep time.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:56 PM   #3
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The only device suitable for reading journal papers is the Kindle DX, mainly because of the size of the screen. I read papers perfectly in the 9.7 inches screen. Looks pretty good. The drawback is that you cannot do highlights or annotations in the file. I bought the DX specifically for reading journal papers, since i have to read a LOT of them and printing that much paper seems like a bad idea to me, for all other reading i use the Sony. I also read textbooks in the DX, and it is perfect.

Smaller screens are not suitable for journal papers, if you do not want to reflow text, which is the reality in almost all the cases when reading that kind of document. I have no idea if there is any device with a similar screen size coming up. So i think right now it is the only available option.

Last edited by Salgueiros; 10-11-2010 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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Salgueiros,

I'm looking to buy a DX for similar reasons. Tomes of technical documents in PDF... just have to save up

Paul
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:10 PM   #5
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gotcha: big screen = important. Aside from that, I would think that something with a touch screen that would make it easy to move around a zoomed page might be nice too. Anything like that exist? I think there's a sony coming out with a largish screen, for example. But not sure how well those touch-screen allow you to move around the page (like a photoshop hand tool, for example).

Any idea if amazon is going to make a DX-sized device with a touch screen?

thanks!
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Salgueiros,

I'm looking to buy a DX for similar reasons. Tomes of technical documents in PDF... just have to save up

Paul
I hope you do buy soon. It is really worth it!

I stopped choosing between what to put in my backpack to check in case i needed. I carry all my technical library with me all the time. It is very reassuring. It is my knowledge swiss army knife ehehehe
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by luckycharms View Post
gotcha: big screen = important. Aside from that, I would think that something with a touch screen that would make it easy to move around a zoomed page might be nice too. Anything like that exist? I think there's a sony coming out with a largish screen, for example. But not sure how well those touch-screen allow you to move around the page (like a photoshop hand tool, for example).

Any idea if amazon is going to make a DX-sized device with a touch screen?

thanks!
Have a look at the Pocketbook 903 - it has a touch screen, but I'm not sure when it will be shipping, also the Sony PRS-950 (you can look up it's older brother, the PRS-900 on youtube to get a sense of the size, or the PRS-650 to see what the new Pearl screen looks like). You might try to find one of the older irex models on sale on ebay or craigslist if you aren't adverse to buying a used item, the DR1000 has a 10 inch screen and a wacom touchscreen.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:23 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by luckycharms View Post
gotcha: big screen = important. Aside from that, I would think that something with a touch screen that would make it easy to move around a zoomed page might be nice too. Anything like that exist? I think there's a sony coming out with a largish screen, for example. But not sure how well those touch-screen allow you to move around the page (like a photoshop hand tool, for example).

Any idea if amazon is going to make a DX-sized device with a touch screen?

thanks!
The DX has a little joystick that allows you to move within the zoomed page. It is not as intuitive as moving your fingers in a page, but you get used to it, and in terms of speed it is not slower that the touchscreen in my PRS 350. I think the larger Sony coming is still only 7 inch (so, still very small) plus it has a weird height-to-width ratio that i think will not work well with journal papers.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:50 PM   #9
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ooh, that pocketbook looks sweet. seems to have everything. include a big pricetag! ;-)

The iRex D1000SW seems impossible to find online. I found a couple for sale in sweden and indonesia, but not much other than that! So, sounds like that one's out, unless i find it cheap somewhere.

on the reader matrix (http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix), the kindles seem to be generally lacking in terms of the pdf manipulation options one has, where the sony and pocketbook seem more fully featured. Not sure if that has anything to do with the actual ease one has in reading and marking up the pdf's though.
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Old 10-11-2010, 02:50 PM   #10
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You might also consider an iPad, though it's certainly not the cheapest or lightest alternative. The screen is huge and it's backlit (which some like and some don't).
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:03 PM   #11
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thanks doreen, but no ipad for me. backlit screen is no good for the eyes for really reading stuff (for me, anyway).
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Old 10-11-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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Sounds like the DX is probably your best bet, then.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:18 PM   #13
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ooh, that pocketbook looks sweet. seems to have everything. include a big pricetag! ;-)
The U.S. price should be lower than the European price, if that helps you any. I'm considering getting it, I need a reader for academic PDFs and haven't yet quite decided what to get.
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Old 10-11-2010, 06:31 PM   #14
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gotta say - having just looked at it, pocketbook's website is pretty horrendous. i hope their ebook readers aren't as amateurish...
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Old 10-12-2010, 03:15 PM   #15
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i'm having the same problem. I don't have an e-book reader yet and I need it mainly for reading academic files. Pocketbook seems to be a good option. If anyone has news about it please tell me (when it will be released?)...
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