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Old 11-17-2010, 09:18 PM   #1
guiyoforward
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Reading A4 pdfs: Kindle DX versus Android tablets?

Hi everyone, I need an ereader for academic PDF files, usually A4 or letter in size. I found the KDXG a tad small for that - plus the lack of contrast meant the small fonts from the reduced pages were hard to read many times.
Does anyone know what is the diagonal size of an A4 page? I'm starting to think the only viable solution for my (academic) purposes is something at around 11-12 inches diagonal, and NOT 16:9 - I've tried my netbook on its side and it's a horrible proportion...
Anyone know my magic device? Has anyone tried something like the zenithing vs the KDXG?
Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guiyoforward View Post
Hi everyone, I need an ereader for academic PDF files, usually A4 or letter in size. I found the KDXG a tad small for that - plus the lack of contrast meant the small fonts from the reduced pages were hard to read many times.
Does anyone know what is the diagonal size of an A4 page? I'm starting to think the only viable solution for my (academic) purposes is something at around 11-12 inches diagonal, and NOT 16:9 - I've tried my netbook on its side and it's a horrible proportion...
Anyone know my magic device? Has anyone tried something like the zenithing vs the KDXG?
Thanks!
For me the best reader for PDF files is an iPad with GoodReader. The cropping feature makes PDF files very readable. The dimensions of A4 paper are 8.27 X 11.69 inches.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
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Get a 14 inch sub-notebook with tablet capability. This way you can use it as a notebook with screen facing keyboard, or as a e-reader/tablet with screen facing upward. Will run you about the same as a high end e-reader, perhaps a little more than an Ipad, but less than an Ipad if you are also buying keyboard/case adapter for the Ipad. You'll want to be able to easily pull pdfs and other documents out of web/email and view them/send to other people, and be able to view PPT slides and make/read annotations.

You can get a good 14 in rotating tablet notebook for ~ 600-800$ with i3 processor and 4gb of ram, which is a good 3x more powerful than an ipad, and it will run win7. This is your best option for academic work. It also should have DSUB + HDMI outputs so that you can run powerpoint and do presentations etc.

In the following year, there will be many 10 inch and 14 inch tablets (asus, intel, and many other brands have had prototypes on display this year) in the 400-500$ price range. Most feature 1-2 USB, bluetooth, TFT displays (some are sunlight viewable) and HDMI output. All are touchscreen.

Using E-ink for academic work (annotations, webbrowsing, etc) is simply too slow and inconvenient.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:54 PM   #4
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perhaps if you crop the PDFs it'll help?
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curstpriest View Post
Using E-ink for academic work (annotations, webbrowsing, etc) is simply too slow and inconvenient.
You're right - I use 2x24" monitors in my desktop, but nothing beat e-Ink for battery life and eyes comfort. I think DXG is suitable for PDFs - if you want to be mobile and to read comfortable for your eyes. I am a professor (IT and Engineering) and I read many documents in PDF - on my desktop but I also read 2-3 hours a day my Kindle 2 (not PDFs of course - many titles or so is just text only or drafts - I strip the graphics before transfer/convert to my Kindle). Of course I have a 15.4" laptop with 1680x1050 nonglare screen too - it is suitable for PDFs.

Last edited by enkov; 11-18-2010 at 08:09 AM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:05 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. I'll wait for the tablets though - the convertible notebook will be too heavy...
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #7
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PS plus the notebooks will have the wrong or inconvenient aspect ratio... A4 is 1.41, 16:9 is 1.77...
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:44 PM   #8
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I've read threads like this with interest for a while now and was soooo close to clicking 'buy' for a DX for my academic reading.....until I transferred the PDFs to my K3. Unfortunately some came up with a message that some PDF functions are not enabled etc, and this is with the K3 having a later firmware. I can't take the risk of buying a DX and only have some of my PDFs work. These are standard PDFs, just dual column academic journals.

Looks like I am back to printing them all out
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Old 11-18-2010, 05:59 PM   #9
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Kindle DX works fine for academic PDF's. I have one myself just for that purpose and i am satisfied with it. Never had any problem with them. The annotation and highlighting would be nice but so far it is the best reader for this. I use Mendeley on the side to mark whatever i need to mark.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #10
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Well I'm thinking it is because some of my journals are actual scans from journals and not formatted text like the latter academic journals are.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:09 PM   #11
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Hi there. Just tried an A4 or letter pdf in landscape in my Acer 11.6 in notebook, and the convertible version has been discarded: due to the aspect ratio, the pdf uses only about 60% of the viewable area on the screen. So unless you guys know of a nice convertible notebook with non-16:9 aspect ratio... the ipad+goodreader is looking closer and closer...
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Well I'm thinking it is because some of my journals are actual scans from journals and not formatted text like the latter academic journals are.
If that is the case i think you will have a problem with any reader... so yes, i think maybe you better stick with paper or read them in the computer and add notes using Mendeley. You can't highlight text, but you still can add notes on scanned pages on Mendeley desktop. and the notes retain its placement, sou you can add notes on each paragraph and the program memorizes where in the page you placed it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:35 PM   #13
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sized up - the DX and ipad are still too small for A4 paper:
http://www.sizeasy.com/page/size_com...-vs-KDX-screen
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/att...7&d=1270423050
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:23 PM   #14
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like I said, you can get 2008, or 2010 model tablet PCs with full physical keyboards for 600-800 with i3 processors and 4gb of ram (used/refurb) if you look around, you can rotate them and have landscape/portrait mode. Also you can get full wacom - so you can use a digitizer pen, which is amazing, because the touchscreen on ipad/nook and such is crappy. You can't draw on it. If you touch it with your fingers, it will think it's input. With a proper stylus, it will not take input if your palm hits the screen, and you can flip the pen over and erase when you are drawing. Accuracy is also way, way higher, so your notes will be better and can be converted to text (yes you can write notes in handwriting using stylus).

Anyhow ...
You can pick up older models of tablets from 2005-2008 for 300-400$ on ebay, like the motion computing models (ls800 or so are really cheap, and not terrible, better specs than ipad and full wacom).. or more popular brands like hp/dell for slightly more 600-800 that are core2 duo or i3.. This year's models are probably going to run 1500 or more.

New tablets without wacom - simple touch interface ipad knockoffs are coming out next year in the dozens, so keep your eyes open.

Last edited by curstpriest; 11-18-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:20 AM   #15
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While I also think that they (k3 and iPad) are a little bit too small I've found the size for reading in the iPad adequate for scientific papers this is due to the pich to zoom feature which works really fast. Any graph/photo you want to look closely->zoom-> awesome. And if you want anotations on pdfs... well... I'm sure I saw an app for doing that, but I'm happy with my papers in Stanza.

Although if you want advanced anotation (OneNote). You should thing about a pound weight more and get yourself a tablet pc. ORRRR... wait for the perfect tablet with 10+ h and all the funky ports and parts you want! wait until your bones turn to dust! =P
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