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Old 10-09-2011, 09:57 PM   #1
nonabelian
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E Ink reader for scientific use

Hi,

I am a physics graduate student. I would like to get an e-book reader to combat the accumulation of papers in my office and the eye-strain I suffer from reading things on the computer for a long time. I'd like some advice about what reader is good for me. My criteria are as follows:

1) Should use E Ink. I do not want an iPad or anything else that is backlit in the same way as a typical laptop screen.

2) Should read technical pdf's well. Which means that it should be able to display complex figures, strange symbols, and have zoom feature for multi-column papers with small text. It should be able to handle hyperlinks in pdf files if I want to look at a foot note or annotation. It should have some navigation features for moving quickly between sections of a pdf. Here is the preprint server for my field of physics, which demonstrates a good sampling of the sorts of things that the reader ought to be able to display: http://arxiv.org/list/hep-th/new

3) Should have good organizational tools for my files. I almost pulled the trigger on the Kindle DX until I learned that it just lists all the files on the device in a big, random list with no sorting or organization like folders. This is obviously unscalable if I start to load the device with hundreds (or thousands) of pdf's.

4) Large screen. The larger the better.

5) Battery life. I want something that has battery life that is measured in days or weeks, not hours.

6) Durability. I've heard some horror stories about the Kindle DX breaking under its own weight when being held with one hand. I obviously do not want this to happen.

Obviously these may not all be achievable with current devices, but what is the best compromise? In addition, here are some things that are not relevant to me:

1) Annotations. I write notes in a notebook, not on the paper.

2) Price. I would be willing to pay quite a lot for a reader that fulfills my needs well.

3) Weight and size. I'd be using this mostly in the office.

Thanks so much in advance, and I hope to join the ranks of eBook reader users soon!

Last edited by nonabelian; 10-09-2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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You may want to look into the Onyx Boox m90 and the Pocketbook 903. However, there have IIRC been a lot of complaints about the Onyx m90's software. The Pocketbook 903 is also not available in the US, if that is where you are located, so if you do live in the US, you would have to import it. It also doesn't have a Pearl screen, if that's important to you.

I don't own either reader, but judging from the amount of complaints in the forum, the m90 has a lot of technical problems.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:16 AM   #3
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Unfortunately there is nothing. If you want 9.7 inch e-ink pearl you don't have many options. Kindle DXG doesn't have advanced PDF options (It is ok for non-complicated PDFs though) and the rest of the 9.7 inch pearl e-readers suffer from software/hardware problems.

good luck on your quest, unfortunately ipad or a netbook seems like the best option for you now.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:52 AM   #4
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I have been struggling with the same issue for the last weeks. The papers/pdfs in my academic field (social science) are usually not that technical, but I still want a reader that handles pdfs as good as possible. For me an ereader must fulfill two needs:
1) Reading books
2) Handling pdfs REALLY well
3) It must be eink, as my eyes get sore from all the screen watching, and it interferes with my sleep if I surf on my ipad or iphone just before I go to bed (eink doesn't have the same effect)

For reading books you could choose almost any device on the market (I currently have a kindle 3 but I think the Nook touch might provide the best reading experience of the readers currently available), but for the pdf-thing the options are not abundant.

I have been doing A LOT of research on the web for the last couple of weeks, and this is what I've come down to:
- the Kindle DX can handle pdfs well if you install the alternative, chinese-developed OS, Duokan. But you still have to make notes with the keyboard, as it's not a touch screen. (Duokan: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=105847 )

- another large ereader is the pocketbook 903, with a 9.7 inch screen that is touch sensitive, so you can make notes on it with a stylus. However, from what I've seen users have had mixed experiences with it, and many think the Kindle DX with duokan does a much better job.

- the new sony reader - T1 - is currently the superior reader for handling pdfs, IMO. It can crop margins in pdf files ON the device, zoom, and keep the layout when you turn the page. My impression is that these features are currently unrivalled among other readers. And you can download pdfs directly to the reader from the built in web browser. So I think the t1 will handle technical pdfs better than other large ebook-readers now available, since you can easily zoom in and out.

I had decided to purchase a t1, and was just about to register my order... when I discovered this, which I think it really might be worth waiting for:

- a new reader from the french company Bookeen called Cybook Odyssey, which will be released in approx. two weeks time: http://techcrunch.com/2011/10/07/cyb...eb-navigation/

The new feature this reader boasts is an e-ink screen that can handle much more information and detail without refreshing - which means that you can actually surf web pages more or less like you can on a iPad. I would guess that this also will provide a smoother pdf experience: Easily zoom in and out, etc. However it remains to be seen what specs it will have. And, it will be sold in Europe only, so if you're based in the States you need to find a way to get around that. (but that's possible, I've ordered U.S. only stuff to Norway without much hassle)

Hope this was helpful! Good luck.
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Old 10-10-2011, 10:53 AM   #5
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Use a Kindle DX and a computer sofware called Mendeley for annotating, highlighting and organizing papers. You CAN create folders or lists (collections) on Kindle DX.

Sony T1 is too small to see properly journal papers.

Last edited by Salgueiros; 10-10-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonabelian View Post

6) Durability. I've heard some horror stories about the Kindle DX breaking under its own weight when being held with one hand. I obviously do not want this to happen.

What??? You believe this? This is utter rubish. How could a company like Amazon release something that would be so fragile. You should not believe everything some weirdos tell you and you should not be so gullible about "horror stories". Where is your critical thinking? How could a company consider releasing a product supposed to be used in your hands that 1 - is sooo heavy that it breaks under its own weight and 2 breaks when handled in one hand, which is probably half the times of its intended use... come on, Amazon guys are not that stupid....

Last edited by Salgueiros; 10-10-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salgueiros View Post

Sony T1 is too small to see properly journal papers.
Have you tried one? I initially thought the same thing, but many of those who have bought it seem to think that it actually does an excellent job on journal papers etc. If one considers buying one, however, the best thing is of course to go to a store and actually try it out.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oivavoi View Post
Have you tried one? I initially thought the same thing, but many of those who have bought it seem to think that it actually does an excellent job on journal papers etc. If one considers buying one, however, the best thing is of course to go to a store and actually try it out.
Yes i did try
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:40 PM   #9
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Nonabelian,
here's a thorough review of how the t1 handles pdf files. Think it covers it quite well. You might want to look into it if you're considering the sony. But it also points out the limitations, so after all a kindle DX might be a better choice... up to you!

Update: Forgot to actually provide the link:
http://www.the-ebook-reader.com/reader-wifi.html

I've decided to wait a bit before I buy one, however. On the sony forums many people are reporting that it frequently freezes or crashes. So it might be wise to wait for sony to fix this bug first.

Last edited by oivavoi; 10-12-2011 at 04:33 AM.
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