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Old 10-16-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
code88
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Experience on PDF technical/textbooks with Kindle DXG

I plan to purchase Kindle DXG since I just found a good deal at my local store. I read some reviews on internet, it's good ebook-reader but almost of it mention about ebook in Kindle format.

I always read technical/academic book but its size is somewhat bigger than Kindle DX so I want to know about experience on PDF format on Kindle DXG, please share your pros and cons experience with you Kindle DXG.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:06 AM   #2
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The DX is capable of reading pdf files and the largish display is better than the smaller display devices. However, large pdf files often cause it to "choke", and sometimes to crash and self-reboot. You can't make notes, you can't use the hyperlinked index in pdfs that have them, about all you can do is read.

You can install Duokan, a Chinese hack that offers improved pdf functionality, but large files such a textbooks still can make it choke. Unfortunately you can't predict which files will make it choke and which will be OK under either Duokan or the Kindle OS.

There is no e-book reader on the market that handles pdf files as well as tablets do (they can pan and zoom much faster, show illustrations and photos in color, etc.). The problem with a tablet is the backlit display that leads to eye strain and short battery life.

If some company ever makes an e-ink reader with an A4 or letter size screen the need to pan and zoom will be eliminated. I think that would solve a lot of the problems.
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:34 AM   #3
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Apart from what Mark has highlighted, I'd like to add the following.

I'm using the DXG mainly for reading PDF technical books (especially in I.T. and trading related textbooks.) and I find them highly useful.

Although most of the textbooks pages are larger than the DXG's screen, it has the ability to automatically trim away the blanks surrounding the text which make the text very readable. The downside of this automatic function is that if a page has a smaller print area compared to other pages, then you will find that the fonts of these pages will be larger then the rest since it removes more white blank spaces.

Another problem is that the PDF text does not seem to be as sharp as those in mobi format. For a PDF book to be displayed well in DXG it must be an "original" PDF document. If the PDF is made up of scanned pages, then the result is usually not satisfactory.

Hope the above help!
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by code88 View Post
I always read technical/academic book
I purchased my Kindle DXG over year ago for the same reason so I must warn you: You are going to spend hundreds of dollars for nothing more than equivalent of sheet of paper! If you are going to read your pdf books from cover to the very last page it is enough. But usually one is looking for information about specific topic that might be related to another one located somewhere and you are trapped. Forget about using table of contents, indexes, footnotes and jumping to referenced chapters (not to mention external URLs...) - it does NOT work. Also you will not be able to fan entire 1000 pages long ebook as it will last ages... Duokan is not (or at least it was not) an option because its pdf handling not much improved giving in return poor text rendering and long response time.

It is ridiculous because Kindle firmware is Linux based and any decent pdf reader (FoxIt, for example) has all the features you need. But Amazon did not deliver any feature firmware upgrade so far and I would not expect anything like this in the future.
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:20 AM   #5
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I bought the Kindle DX with the same purpose in mind (read academic papers, math books, etc) about two years ago, and I'm very pleased with it. PDFs work like a charm (fast page turnover, paper-quality image) and a vast majority of all the books I've ever needed are available for download at sites like library.nu. (If the PDF is a scan and is large then reading is noticeably slower at first, but the file can be optimized and also in my experience vector PDFs are often available). My only complaint is that for some reason it doesn't support the table of contents, so what I do is just bookmark it and when I want to use it I go to the bookmared page, type the page number of the chapter I need and use the go-to function. It's a work around but works reasonably well and takes a few seconds. It's also true that you can't annotate or use the built-in dictionary for PDFs, but personally I don't care much for this.

I do think you do need the DX for this. The ability to fit a single PDF page to the screen, thus avoiding any necessary reformatting, is a big plus when reading technical books or papers. On the other hand, the print in some two-column papers is too small, but you can just zoom in to a part of the page or turn the device over to increase the page width.

One last piece of advice: if you need to read DJVU files as well, you are better off installing Duokan for them than converting to PDF (for faster reading). In my case I can dual boot; the default Kindle operating system is launched by default but whenever I want to read a DJVU file I press some key combination that launches Duokan, and I go back to normal Kindle.
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Old 10-20-2011, 09:59 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benong View Post
If the PDF is made up of scanned pages, then the result is usually not satisfactory.
It depends heavily on the quality of the scanned pages.
SK + Adobe CS works wonders.

The problem is rather slow response times (as with all current eInk based devices).
Just my 2¢.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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I agree with everything KecajN says.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eLiNK View Post
It depends heavily on the quality of the scanned pages.
SK + Adobe CS works wonders.

The problem is rather slow response times (as with all current eInk based devices).
Just my 2¢.
what is SK?
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:35 AM   #9
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the DX is great for pdfs. that's what i bought it for and it has delivered exactly what i wanted. as some have said the only big problem is no support for table of contents, but a fairly good workaround is just to bookmark the index page in the document and use the goto page facility to skip around.

my recommendation is that you update the firmware to 3.2.1. this is a safe and well documented modification. it will allow you to highlight passages and use the dictionary. if you don't feel comfortable doing this to be honest the basic firmware is still good enough.

overall i have no problems with stability as others mentioned, i've side loaded pdfs over 50 meg in size and the page tuning is just as quick as small files. no crashes here.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:37 AM   #10
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Quote:
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what is SK?
ScanKromsator
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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Agree more-or-less with everyone here. Great for reading pdfs cover to cover, pretty bad for anything else, because it lacks support for hyperlinks. You can put bookmarks in, however, which can help some. Personally, I still think it's worth it because it cuts down on the number of papers and books I have to carry.

Something that hasn't really been emphasized, though, is that the dx is basically unsupported by Amazon. They won't be rolling out upgrades, either software or hardware. This may be an issue as they are introducing a new ebook format, which is rumored to be better for math equations, that won't be available on the dx. Not to mention any lacking pdf capabilities won't be included with an upgrade.

One thing that I will note, however, is that there is a bug in the pdf viewer for this (and most ereaders) where the letter beta in pdfs compiled with pdflatex (like many journal papers) is written over top of the previous letter. For most people it isn't a big deal, if they even notice it, but I spent some time reading about the QCD beta function and, well, it was an issue for me. :-)
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Old 11-11-2011, 01:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rehorst View Post

If some company ever makes an e-ink reader with an A4 or letter size screen the need to pan and zoom will be eliminated. I think that would solve a lot of the problems.
10" eink device with landscape mode is already a very good variant. Only one pan is needed for the A4 or Letter size book. Some Eink device can do it well, for example with pocketbook 903 joystick. Is that also convenient with Kindle DXG?



eLink: ScanKromsator is really a good software, but hard to use. Perhaps I still need to learn.But thanks for the recommendation

Last edited by taylor3456; 11-11-2011 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:52 PM   #13
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I have one of these DXG in my hands since last week.

It's by far the worst 9,7" pdf e-reader I ever used. What? They did it just for pdf reading, Ah, yes. Then why can't it manage them like Pocketbook 902 or Entourage edge?

It's not even capable of a decent zoom, not any text reflow with pdf. Kindle 3 manages pdf better than this.

Only pro: the readability (sharp types, intense black, light background = good contrast). But you better not pay it more than 200/250 dollars.

For 379 it's a steal. What a shame for Amazon
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