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Old 01-06-2008, 07:14 PM   #1
calvarez
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Question Good device for non-converted PDF eBooks?

So, I have a rather large collection of computer graphics and 3D game development eBooks on PDF format. These PDF files are rather large (10-20MB), letter page size and complex layouts with pictures and diagrams. I am afraid that converting it to a more portable-device-friendly format will detract too much from the reading (unless I convert to JPG, but meh, I would like to avoid that).

Anyways, I'm looking for some portable device (E-ink eReader, smartphone, PDA, web tablet, low cost UMPC) under $400 that will allow me to read them. Hopefully with a large screen and good resolution, although I won't die if I have to do some horizontal scrolling. The thing is: it has to be rock solid and fast at rendering large, complex PDF and CHM files, and it has to allow zooming/scrolling/panning. I don't care about other functionality, features and/or formats supported.

So far, I've looked at the matrix from the sticky in this forum, and after some asking around, it seems like most E-ink devices don't do what I want (don't handle PDF well), other than the iLiad, which is unfortunately out of budget. I've also considered getting an Asus EeePC, a Blackberry Curve, a T-Mobile Wing or Dash, and I entertained the idea of using an Archos 605 for this purpose.

Any ideas? Would a Nokia N800 do it? Maybe some other device I'm missing? Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:55 AM   #2
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BUMP! Please help me out guys!

Would the Cybook Gen3 do PDF the way I want it? What about the Nokia N800 web tablet?
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:59 AM   #3
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The best eink based device for reading PDF is the iRex iLiad. It has a higher resolution and a larger screen and better software for reading PDF available for it.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:02 AM   #4
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I guess my major concern is rendering speed. If I throw a large PDF file (~15MB) with complex layouts and lots of pictures (I'm thinking game development books), will the iLiad take 1+ min to render each page?

What about the Nokia N800? It seems like something within my price range with a nice big screen and good resolution. Will it render PDF fast and robustly enough?
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:04 AM   #5
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I don't know about the Nokia, but the ilIad will display them pretty good.
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calvarez View Post
Would the Cybook Gen3 do PDF the way I want it?
No - the only eInk based device that might be worth looking at would be the iLiad, but the larger screen has a direct inpact on the price tag.

If you require fast displays of complex PDF's, I think you're going to have to be looking at a PC variant of some sort - Maybe the Asus' Eee PC?
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:46 PM   #7
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Hi Calverez, My needs are very similar to yours, but I'm still looking. One of the things putting me off the illiad (well two if you count the price), is the huge startup time - 45 seconds! (although page turning after that is meant to be okay)
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:38 PM   #8
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yes, redbaron101, the iLiad seems ideal but it's way too expensive for me.

I really want to know if the Nokia N800 can render .pdf files fast and reliably (I know it's a hassle to turn pages on it).

Again, I really want to avoid reflowing or converting my PDF files to some other format, as some of the content (especially code snippets) get messed up and become illegible.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #9
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Bump! Any experiences with large, complex PDF files in the N800?
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Old 01-10-2008, 02:53 AM   #10
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How large is the screen of the N800? Is it large enough for your needs?
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Old 01-10-2008, 03:57 AM   #11
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How much your books would have cost as paper versions?
How much would a bookcase cost?
How much would it cost to move all the paper books in a new flat?

Count this and you have a iLiad

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Old 04-16-2008, 04:58 PM   #12
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Hi Calvarez -- have similar requirements like you (have lots of technical papers on A4 pdf format that I would like to have available when mobile). I don't think the Nokia N800 would be the solution for me: although its screen at a resolution of 800x480 in landscape (scrolling is no problem) even beats the Iliad in portret (scrolling is not an option with eInk), the screen with a diagonal of 4.1" is simply too small.

Saw a video on Youtube demonstrating the pdf capabilities of the N810 (same screen size and resolution): click here.

Perhaps wait for the next generation of 9.7" eInk readers?

Last edited by Johannes; 04-16-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-16-2008, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gogolo View Post
Count this and you have a iLiad
Did you factor in the cost of screen crashes?
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johannes View Post
Hi Calvarez -- have similar requirements like you (have lots of technical papers on A4 pdf format that I would like to have available when mobile). I don't think the Nokia N800 would be the solution for me: although its screen at a resolution of 800x480 in landscape (scrolling is no problem) even beats the Iliad in portret (scrolling is not an option with eInk), the screen with a diagonal of 4.1" is simply too small.

Saw a video on Youtube demonstrating the pdf capabilities of the N810 (same screen size and resolution): click here.

Perhaps wait for the next generation of 9.7" eInk readers?
Thanks Johannes. I decided to go for an iPhone as soon as my T-mobile contract expires. I tested its built-in PDF reader and it's quite good. I decided that I just wanted something small enough to carry, and if this device also is a cellphone, the better.

I took a look at the N810, and it seems like a very cool device indeed.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #15
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An IPhone as a PDF reader is a really bad idea. an iPhone as a phone is a really bad idea. Basically, you'll get a device you won't be happy with. You'll want to read more then just PDF and the iPhone is really bad at that. So please save your money and get something decent. An iPhone is not that.
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