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Old 10-09-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
sharp21
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...just for pdf files?

Hey
Im looking for something to read pdf's on. Perusing the forums here has given me the idea that none of the options are very good...
Should I be waiting for something better to come along, or is there a unit that works well?
I run a mac as well, so windows software wont help either..
Thanks
S.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:02 PM   #2
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Welcome to MobileRead, sharp21!

I'm glad you're doing your research first so you won't get something and be disappointed by it.

The iLiad is the best e-ink device out there, at the moment, for A4/Letter PDFs. Though it only really manages it by virtue of turning the pages sideways and panning/zooming.

There are a number of utilities to slice-n-dice them so that they're more or less readable on a 6" e-ink device, but there is presently no e-ink device that handles A4 PDF files flawlessly.

If you're willing to step out of the e-ink arena, then you have the option of Tablet PCs, but that would also require that you accept an M$ OS of some stripe, which is not acceptable to a lot of folks, particularly MacUsers.

Unfortunately, that about exhausts the options. There are predictions of e-ink devices with large enough displays for A4 PDFs, but they're a few years off yet, and they're just predictions so far.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:19 PM   #3
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If you're willing to step out of the e-ink arena, then you have the option of Tablet PCs, but that would also require that you accept an M$ OS of some stripe...
Well, there is a mac alternative of sorts. There is a company, Axiotron, that mods MacBooks into tablets. They call them ModBooks (http://axiotron.com/), but I don't have any personal experience with them. I will say that they offer a one-year warranty (with an option for two), but when they start at $2300, they better give you some kind of warranty! Caveat emptor.

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Old 10-09-2007, 10:59 PM   #4
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You can take the next step and move beyond OSX

http://tuxmobil.org/tablet_unix.html
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:35 AM   #5
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The iLiad is your best E-Ink option today. There are screen photos in the thread: Technical Document Examples. The only thing these photos don't show is how small the iLiad is. The actual device is about A5 (half of US letter + 0.5" in width), with the screen quite a bit smaller than that.

There will be several devices with 10" diagonal screens (vs the iLiad's 8.1") next year. The one that has been pre-announced is the Hanlin eReader V9, but there will be others. What is unknown is what these will cost - the 10" screen is assumed to be expensive to make. Not everyone believes 10" will be commercially available next year, see E Ink in 2009: Larger, colorful and flexible, says CEO.
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Old 10-10-2007, 06:13 AM   #6
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Hmm, thats too bad...
I dont want to get a tablet, I can just read off my MacBook if it comes to that. Im not trying to get too fancy, I just love to read! Factor in all the great free pdf files online & you have a winner!
The adds I saw for that sony 505 talk about reading pdfs & as it works so well on computers I assumed it would be a top priority to port it over so it was available on these readers...
Guess ill just have to bide my time & wait for a larger one with colour.
S.
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:12 AM   #7
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Okay, here is another question then.
What would be a low cost unit, just to give ebooks a try? Maybe a decent older model.
S.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:14 AM   #8
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There will be several devices with 10" diagonal screens (vs the iLiad's 8.1") next year. The one that has been pre-announced is the Hanlin eReader V9, but there will be others.
I wouldn't put too many eggs in the HanLin basket -- we're still waiting for the V2 which was "announced" for launch in May of '06. They seem to have decided to just pass on it.

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Okay, here is another question then.
What would be a low cost unit, just to give ebooks a try? Maybe a decent older model.
You can read e-books on something like an old Palm or Pocket PC if you want to go that route. If you're thinking more in terms of a dedicated e-book device, however, look for an ebookwise 1XXX series (1100, 1200, 1250), they go by several other names as well REB, GEM ... and one or two others, but the numbers are in the same range. They can usually be had for under $200, and if you go for a club deal you can get an 1150 from Ebookwise.com for ~$140. But look over the terms to make sure you can live with them, of course.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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Okay, here is another question then.
What would be a low cost unit, just to give ebooks a try? Maybe a decent older model.
S.
For older models look for the for sale used books on this web site. Also check ebay for Sony 500 models now that the 505 has come out. The lowest price on a new unit would be the Ebookwise 1150 which is not e-ink but has many nice features. To read pdf on the EB1150 you have to translate it with a free download program called PDF read or save it as text and then translate it. Note that a new eb1150 is likely cheaper than a used Sony model. You can also find eb1150's on ebay, both new and used. For information on different models check my web site. By the way PDA's can also be used to read ebooks which I have documented on my web site. (The biggest problems are that PDA screen sizes are generally small and battery life is shorter than dedicated readers).

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Old 10-10-2007, 03:27 PM   #10
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I did some looking around & the Nokia 770 is looking pretty good! They are selling quite cheap now that the newer one is out (n800).
How would that be for pdf files?
S.
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:10 PM   #11
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I did some looking around & the Nokia 770 is looking pretty good! They are selling quite cheap now that the newer one is out (n800).
How would that be for pdf files?
S.
It's not good enough for heavy pdf use. Get a tablet; there are excellent deals on Ebay for newer versions of Fujitsu's (got an older one for ~250$ when the newer one was selling for 800$ on Ebay, now they sell for 3-400$)
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Old 10-10-2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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I did some looking around & the Nokia 770 is looking pretty good! They are selling quite cheap now that the newer one is out (n800).
How would that be for pdf files?
S.
I agree that a full-sized tablet is better than the Nokia for reading PDFs. For very occasional PDF reading, the Nokia is ok, but otherwise, you'll go blind and crazy in the long run For reflowable ebooks, the Nokia is fine, although sometimes I still want a larger screen.

BTW, if you are considering an Ebookwise 1150, I have one in excellent shape for $60. PM me if interested.
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:20 PM   #13
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The Nokia 770 with FBReader is an excellent e-book reader. Its only downside is that FBReader does not support any DRMed e-books. If it is legal where you live, one option is to buy Secure .lit e-books and convert them to OEB books without DRM using (say) ConvertLIT. However, I have found plenty of ebooks sold without DRM to use with FBReader.

There was an unsupported version of FBReader for OSX, but I'm not sure it is still available. You can try it out under Linux or Windows on your Mac if you run either in a virtual machine (I used to run FBReader using VMware and Linux on my Windows PC before the Windows version became available).
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:44 PM   #14
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Im not sure what DRM is, im pretty new to this...
I dont really want to have to convert all kind of files to get it to work. I was thinking more along the lines of putting them onto an SD, insert & go!
JBenny i see you have the 800. Is it much improved over the 770? I like the whole roaming internet thing, but not sure if its hype or if it really picks up signals all over the place
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Old 10-10-2007, 05:56 PM   #15
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Im not sure what DRM is, im pretty new to this...
DRM is bad ... say it with me DRM is bad.

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. You can think of it as an attempt to keep folks from copying the content, or you can think of it as an attempt to limit how you use the content you pay for. In essence, it's rather a hassle, and tends to keep new folks from coming into e-books in earnest, because they don't want to hassle with it.

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I dont really want to have to convert all kind of files to get it to work. I was thinking more along the lines of putting them onto an SD, insert & go!
That's probably going to limit what you can do pretty sharply -- there isn't a standard e-book format, so you'll have to either do some conversion, or settle for what's available for the format(s) your device supports. Incidentally, if you don't want to convert stuff, don't get an older device such as I recommended earlier -- nobody much sells anything in those older formats, so you won't be able to get much content without converting.

If you really want something that's conversion free, you should look at one of the devices that has a store associated with it, as they'll have a pool of content that you can load without conversion. The caveat there is that you have a chance of losing access to that content if you change devices or the store shuts down because it'll be in that format (and probably DRM-locked, besides) and you'd no longer have a way to access it.

You might also look at the stores and make sure they have titles that you're interested in before you settle on a device. Sony has a store (and Fictionwise.com sells some things in their format as well), and any reader that uses Mobipocket format has several stores that sell that format. Also, you might want to wait a few days and see if Amazon really does launch their, as yet, mythical device.
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