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Old 06-19-2007, 08:56 PM   #1
dreamingreader
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Jumping the Gun or Missing the Train?

So I'm pretty much sold on the e-books concept but I hate reading on my laptop. Not only would it be nice to bring along a huge library of books in one device but since I'm a student I also have a lot of documents that I have to read for research reasons and assignments. From what I've heard, PDFs are pretty much a pain in the neck for most dedicated devices but they would be a major part of my using the device.

So here's my question: should I go with the Sony Reader, the eBookwise device, or wait to see how the Cybook does and buy one later? I mean, I would prefer to get the device now-ish but I realize that the market is still developing and that the Sony could use a few fixes. Those are the three that I'm really considering and the the iLiad is way out of my price range. So, recommendations? Anyone use both the Sony and the eBw?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead dreamingreader. Glad to have you here.

The use of PDFs on any device is mainly a function of the size of the screen. Current e-ink devices are in the 6" to 7.x" range and to display an A4 or letter size PDF on that size screen requires that the fonts be scalled down to the point where they look like squiggles (scientific term for "I can't read it.") The Cybook (as announced) will have a 6" screen just like the Sony so that will not help in reading PDFs.

There is the program PDFrasterfarian that many people say makes the PDFs more readable but I have never tried it. Hopefully someone else can comment on it.

Adobe has announced their new Digital Editions reading software that offers reflowable documents; but there are several problems with that in your case. First, while Sony was included in the original announcement as a company that had agreed to incorporate it in their reading device, there was no time frame given as to when this would happen (there is a small pool in another thread as to when this will occur), no assurances from Sony that it will even be part of a future update for the current Reader (it could even be available on a later model only and never available for the current version), and it is not designed to reflow current PDFs.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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The irex ILiad does do a much better job of displaying letter sized PDF since it has a larger screen and higher resolution. That said, the difference in price is roughly $400-$450 US dollars more then the Sony Reader. If you don't mind PDF being crap, then the reader is really nice. I have one. I don't use PDF because most PDF look way too small and I can't be bothered to try to cut them down to fit.
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Old 06-20-2007, 08:09 PM   #4
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Talking

I just placed my order for the Sony Reader (free book credit and shipping w00t!). Thank you both so much! I can't wait to receive the reader!
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:08 AM   #5
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rasterfarian indeed make PDF more readable, but it takes quite awhile to convert a PDF.
On my workstation with AMD3800+ dual core, 2GB of RAM it takes about 5 seconds for 1 page (if set with 4 threads), after the pages are processed, they still need to run through lrs2lrf which glues them together into LRF format.

This takes quite some time, not really something you want if you want to read some random PDF once in awhile.

So.... all with all, the reader is not for people who wants to read some random PDF.
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Old 06-21-2007, 07:14 AM   #6
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Good choice! Congratulations and welcome here. Though some of us have criticisms of Sony and the Reader, most of us get a lot of pleasure from our devices and do not regret our purchases.
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