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Old 08-31-2007, 06:03 PM   #1
ProHobo
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Help with selection

I am looking for a good ebook reader, however my requirements are not typical.

I subscribe to several online sites that release news, articles, and documents in PDF format. (Example, Economist, Janes, financial white papers, etc.)

I have been downloading them and printing them (in some cases 100+ pages). Then storying them in a file cabinet.

I have been looking for a good ebook reader, in order to read these documents, but I find a common issue, that I am not familar with on how to resolve.

It seems that many (if not all) ebook readers have problem with PDFs.

Questions:

1. Is there one Ebook reader that is better than others that handles PDFs?

2. Is there a simple method for converting PDFs to a format that is easy to view and read on Ebook readers.

3. I heard another generation is coming out. Is it wise to wait or purhcasing one now.

4. The iliad is 8 in, vs the 6 in Sony and Cybook. Is the 8in that much of a difference.

5. How well do these ebooks travel? Are they fragile? Can I toss it into a briefcase with out fear of it breaking (rattling around).

6. Can you read them outside in the sun?

7. I see that you can write on the ilaid with a stylist, can you do that with the Sony or Cybook?

Thanks...I know many of these seem very newbie and I have done some limited research, but if anyone has suggestions, comments, or thoughts - it would be most welcomed.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProHobo View Post

Questions:

1. Is there one Ebook reader that is better than others that handles PDFs?

2. Is there a simple method for converting PDFs to a format that is easy to view and read on Ebook readers.

3. I heard another generation is coming out. Is it wise to wait or purhcasing one now.

7. I see that you can write on the ilaid with a stylist, can you do that with the Sony or Cybook?
1. The Irex Iliad is best at natively handling standard size PDFs. Unfortunately, it cost $700.

2. There is a very good PDF converter that was just released. It's a work in progress, but already it's fantastic.

3. The next Gen device you are refering to is probably the Cybook. Yes, it is worth waiting for.

7. Nope, sorry.
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to MobileRead, ProHobo!

Actually, from what you've said, your needs aren't all that unusual.

I'll take a swing at your questions, but hopefully one of the others who knows a bit more details on some of them will chime in and add to or correct me.


1. As you observe, most of them seem to have a problem with Letter Sized PDFs (which is to say most PDFs), particularly if we're talking (as you seem to be) about the e-ink devices. The consensus seems to be that the iLiad is better at handling them because it's larger screen means that it has to accommodate less shrinking to make the page fit, and in lanscape, half-page mode, it'd reasonably close to full size, a lot closer than the 6" screens are going to be.

2. Take a look at the app PDFLRF, it's only for Sony Reader. For the iLiad, there's a hack that makes it easier to view PDFs, but I'll let someone who actually knows something of it answer further.

3. There's a new gen of display coming out soon, sometime. It's supposed to be a bit faster and a bit brighter, but for now, it's only going to be on the 6" Cybook device. Whether you should wait is something you'll have to decide, but I'll point out that you can wait forever and probably never get the "perfect" device, you have to decide if one is "perfect enough."

4. For viewing Letter Sized PDF documents, yes, I'd say it's a significant difference. Looked at as a surface area question, the 8" is almost twice the surface area of the 6". If you just want to read text in a reflowable (non-fixed layout) file, then I'd say that alone isn't worth the price difference (in my opinion) but there you go.

5. I have a Sony Reader, and I've found it pretty robust. The displays are the tetchy part, in a briefcase the stock cover is probably sufficient, so long as you can put it somewhere that it won't have heavy things knocking into it all the time. There are a number of extremely creative ways to approach that (see http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8654 and here for a few), as well as a fellow around here that's gearing up to build really nice wooden carry boxes again. I routinely use a hollowed out book for my travelling purposes, and it works extremely well for my needs.

6. If we're talking about e-ink, then heck yeah! The more light you get on that display the better it looks. In the sun it's absolutely gorgeous. Add a ziplok bag and you can read at the beach without fear of sand or minor splashes.

7. Presently, the iLiad is the only one that offers a true stylus function. There is one other that's expected out from Jinke/HanLin, but ... they haven't exactly been all that good at meeting schedules (one of their earlier models is ~16 past it's announced release date, and counting).

Don't worry about asking newbie questions, none of us knew anything before we learned it in the first place, and most of that was by asking questions. So you just ask away.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:00 PM   #4
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For reading PDF without any kind of preprocessing, the iLiad is the best with it's larger screen, higher resolution, and better PDF reading software.

As for the Sony vs. the Cybook, the Sony wins hands down due to the newly released PDFLRF program which makes PDFs a lot more readable on the Sony. Nothing like that exists for the Cybook at the moment. So I would go for the Sony based on PDFLRF. I've used it and it's very very good.

The 2nd gen vizplex screen will not make PDF any better then the Sony's current gen screen. It's all due to the software. And since Cybook is being so closed about the Gen3 at the moment, I'd say they may be having issues getting it out to be ready in time.
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Old 09-01-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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As for the Sony vs. the Cybook, the Sony wins hands down due to the newly released PDFLRF program which makes PDFs a lot more readable on the Sony. Nothing like that exists for the Cybook at the moment. So I would go for the Sony based on PDFLRF. I've used it and it's very very good.
PDFLRF is a major advance in PDF rasterization, but, based on its description, there is nothing Sony-specific about it except the final output format. The same technique should work as well on the Cybook, and even better on the iLiad (bigger screen and 16 grey levels).
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