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Old 04-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #1
trelokas
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Reader for a grad student

Hey! New guy here.

I'm interested in buying an ebook reader. I've never had a dedicated device for reading ebooks before. I tried to search for it but got really confused.

My main interest is to be able to read scientific papers and textbooks.

I also want it to allow me to write notes on them. Can this happen?

Support for color is optional, it would be a bonus I guess.

I'm not interested if it can connect to the internet or not, I just want it to plug to my pc and feed it with the texts.

I want its screen to be gentle to the eyes. Long hours of reading from a screen is the reason I want this, it hurts my eyes! Maybe some e-ink technology?

I think that's about it. Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:00 AM   #2
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"Scientific papers" generally means PDFs. As is discussed in a thousand other threads here, eInk devices make poor PDF readers for all sorts of reasons. You'd be best off with a tablet such as an iPad, or Android equivalent. An iPad with, for example, the "GoodReader" app is a superb PDF reader.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:50 AM   #3
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I don't want to contradict Harry, but just mention, as this is very important for you, that eink readers are fine to the eyes.
Realistically, you can only use a 10" device. All the other readers are too small as most pdf files are prepared for A4 or letter size. The best and almost only choice is the Onyx Boox M92. You can find a lot of information about it in our Onyx subforum (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=220).
The other great advantage is the much better battery time.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Yes, if you must have an eInk device I agree with Billi - the Onyx M92 is the one to get. But I stand by my recommendation of the iPad .
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:13 AM   #5
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Another factor is the number of columns in academic papers. In my field, most of the papers are formatted in two columns. At least for me, two columned papers are hard to read in my Entourage Edge (EE) which has 9.7 inch 1200*825 resolution Vizplex e-ink screen. Onyx M92 has the same size and resolution screen but with newer screens (Pearl) so it might be easier to read two-columned papers than EE.

If most of the papers in your field are formatted in one column, you will be all right. However, if not, I would recommend trying various PDF papers in your field to find out whether you can comfortably read them before purchase.
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Old 04-28-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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I have Onyx M92 and a tablet. Reading is much better on the Onyx and I don't see how a tablet even compares to it. The tablet is OK for checking e-mail, occasional browsing, YouTube, etc. but not for long hours of reading.

The latest firmware in Onyx (the Booxtor version) also has a multi-column support.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soilwork View Post
Another factor is the number of columns in academic papers. In my field, most of the papers are formatted in two columns. At least for me, two columned papers are hard to read in my Entourage Edge (EE) which has 9.7 inch 1200*825 resolution Vizplex e-ink screen. Onyx M92 has the same size and resolution screen but with newer screens (Pearl) so it might be easier to read two-columned papers than EE.

If most of the papers in your field are formatted in one column, you will be all right. However, if not, I would recommend trying various PDF papers in your field to find out whether you can comfortably read them before purchase.
I think it is other way around, because we can read two or three column A4 pdf's (textual or scanned) even on small e-readers if they have column-split or comic option, while reading no-column A4 pdf is not a great idea because panning on 6" e-ink readers is really bad and letters are to small even if zoomed in landscape mode, so the best option left is reflow in k2pdfopt app beforehand.

My advice to trelokas is to buy used kindle dx and install kindlepdfviewer thereon and for handwriting use tablet or 6" e-ink simultaneously.

Another option is Icarus Excel ( M92) because it uses pen for handwriting and has all necessary zooming options for pdf's already built-in i.e. no need to install aditional software like kindlepdfviewer.

The downside of Icarus is its price, because it is hard to find cheaper used reader, so it will probably cost us as used kindle Dx and iPad put together.

Last edited by markom; 04-28-2013 at 08:40 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:27 AM   #8
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I think it is other way around, because we can read two or three column A4 pdf's (textual or scanned) even on small e-readers if they have column-split or comic option, while reading no-column A4 pdf is not a great idea because panning on 6" e-ink readers is really bad and letters are to small even if zoomed in landscape mode, so the best option left is reflow in k2pdfopt app beforehand.
In some cases, you are right. I forgot that some pdf working papers are horribly formatted with non-existent margin and tiny fonts. Such PDF files are impossible to read without conversion. However, most of the published papers in a single column are formatted with ample margin and they are pleasure to read on 9.7 inch screen once you reduce the margin.

I agree that you can read multi-column papers with reflow feature or by using reformatting tools. I tried this but I gave up on this because I lose positional cue if I don't read the papers as they look on papers. I tend to remember where some sentences and phrases are by their locations on page layout and I cannot do that with reflowed or reformatted document.

If reading reflowed or reformatted document does not affect your reading experience, you will do well with e-ink screen devices. But if you prefer to read papers as they are without any hassle, even 9.7 inch e-ink screen will not be a practical option.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trelokas View Post
My main interest is to be able to read scientific papers and textbooks.

I also want it to allow me to write notes on them. Can this happen?
With an eInk device, no. Though definitely with an iPad.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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With an eInk device, no. Though definitely with an iPad.
There are eInk devices which allow annotation, although I don't know off-hand if any of the 9.7" screen ones do (which is certainly a requirement for PDF).
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Old 04-29-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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@ trelokas
Check these videos and then ask your questions in the Onyx subforum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfr1lHAtl4A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf62LzKCJ2Q
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #12
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I recommend Lenovo Thinkpad Tablet. It's android and it's 10 inch. It has a real stylus. Great for writing, sketching, doing annotations. I'm a student too, and this is a good deal.

For PDF, there is nothing better on android market then ezPDF application. It's around 400¥ (sorry dont know the price in $ ).
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
"Scientific papers" generally means PDFs. As is discussed in a thousand other threads here, eInk devices make poor PDF readers for all sorts of reasons. You'd be best off with a tablet such as an iPad, or Android equivalent. An iPad with, for example, the "GoodReader" app is a superb PDF reader.
I'm a researcher and agree with Harry.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:47 PM   #14
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My main interest is to be able to read scientific papers and textbooks.

I also want it to allow me to write notes on them. Can this happen?

Support for color is optional, it would be a bonus I guess.
Trelokas, did you find a device that satisfied your needs? I'm in the market for the exact same thing. As a grad student it seems necessary to have an e-ink reader for which I could annotate PDFs with a stylus and export in that format to my PC.

anyone have new suggestions?

I want to avoid printing thousands of pages for the rest of my grad career!
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:13 PM   #15
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Trelokas, did you find a device that satisfied your needs? I'm in the market for the exact same thing. As a grad student it seems necessary to have an e-ink reader for which I could annotate PDFs with a stylus and export in that format to my PC.

anyone have new suggestions?

I want to avoid printing thousands of pages for the rest of my grad career!
I don't think there are many eInk devices that work well for PDF annotation. Have you looked at cheap Android tablets? The B&N 9-in tablet or the Google Nexus 10 both have nice screens and are cheap. There's always tons of Android tablets on the market, so you should be able to find something in your price range.
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