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Old 07-24-2013, 04:41 AM   #1
Pismire
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Tablet for A4-sized PDFs - experiences?

I am looking for a (cheap ) solution to my PDF-reading needs. Particularly I am looking for an easy reading experience that requires only a minimum of zooming and panning per page.

What are your experiences with reading PDFs on tablets? Is it a good alternative to printing them or reading on big-screen computers?

I am talking about hundreds of PDFs for University, and would prefer to be mobile while reading them, and not bound to a computer screen.
While I am very curious about the new 13.3" sony eink-reader to come, a tablet might be a better multi-purpose solution, provided it works well for pdfs...
Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 AM   #2
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Nook HD+

It's cheap and has a good screen resolution. Comes with access to google play too.

The experience of reading PDFs on eink devices has always been poor for me. If you have a good enough tablet the experience will be a lot better.
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Old 07-26-2013, 10:01 AM   #3
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I'm a researcher and use an iPad for all my academic reading. I warmly recommend it. It's much more comfortable than reading journal articles on a computer screen, you can easily annotate them using a stylus, you will always have all/most of your literature with you, and you don't need to deal with huge piles of papers. I also use it for commenting on colleagues' work and giving feedback to students.

You could probably get a decent iPad second hand, then install either iAnnotate, GoodReader or PDF Expert to annotate your pdfs.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:29 AM   #4
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What if money is not a factor?
Which reader would you get then, for A4 pdf ?
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:24 AM   #5
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thank you guys for your feedback.

jojoba, do you zoom the publications to fit a single column on your screen? do you read PDFs in landscape mode?
trying to get a feeling for just how easy working on an iPad is. I was honestly hoping to avoid iPads - not usually a fan of apple.

Cheers
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:26 AM   #6
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I'd second the recommendation for the iPad. It makes a superb PDF reader.
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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trying to get a feeling for just how easy working on an iPad is. I was honestly hoping to avoid iPads - not usually a fan of apple.
Same here. I don't really want an iPad. Are Android tablets equally good for PDFs? I never actually had a tablet but I felt a need for BOTH a tablet and an ebook reader so that's what I'm planning to buy.

Need something you can read on outdoors.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:24 PM   #8
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Tablets (or LCD screens) can have problems when reading outside, in the sun. And they have the disadvantage of a significant shorter battery time.

- If you want to have a big eink-reader there is only one device available at the moment, the Onyx M92.
- If you want to go tablet you should have a look at the Samsung Note 10.

What's the problem with your IREX? (I'm asking to find out something more about what is important for you. Please correct me if I'm wrong but you make a little bit the impression as if you're not fully aware of what you're looking for.)
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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What's the problem with your IREX?
It was pretty good. I liked it. Could have done with a little bit bigger though.
Unfortunately it was stolen!

Spent a year in the allegedly crime ridden Eastern Europe, leaving it in full view on the beach and reading it everywhere, like the train. Go figure it gets stolen at Heathrow airport in London!
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:02 PM   #10
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Uuh! That's a pity, I'm really sorry to hear.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:16 PM   #11
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If money's no object I'd get the iPad. If it is then I don't think for price and screen you'd beat the Nook HD +
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:00 PM   #12
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Same here. I don't really want an iPad. Are Android tablets equally good for PDFs? I never actually had a tablet but I felt a need for BOTH a tablet and an ebook reader so that's what I'm planning to buy.
My main gripe when it comes to most Android tablets and letter/A4 PDFs is the aspect ratio.

A4: 8.3"/11.7" = 0.709
Letter: 8.5"/11" = 0.773
iPad: 3/4 = 0.75
Android: 10/16 = 0.625

The iPad works better if you don't like to constantly pan and zoom. I've been looking into Chinese 4:3 retina display Android tablets but it's early stages as of now with most having either atrocious battery life, sub par performance or both.

If money's not an issue (and you don't need the miscellaneous features that Android tablets bring to the table), then I suggest iPad 3rd or 4th generation + GoodReader app.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:20 AM   #13
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Thanks for the replies. As I indicated, money is indeed a major factor. I have had my eye on the Nook HD+, but so far did not find info on how it handles as a dedicated journal-reader.
Even on an iPad, I assume it is impossible to read documents without zooming in?
If zooming is unavoidable in all tablets, I reckon the Nook HD+ would do what I have in mind in landscape mode.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:27 AM   #14
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Even on an iPad, I assume it is impossible to read documents without zooming in?
If you zoom in to the point at which the margins are cut off, and the text fills the screen, it's perfectly readable. You then simply "swipe" through the document using that same fixed zoom setting. I know you say you're not a fan of Apple, but believe me when I say that those of us who are recommending the iPad to you are doing so simply because it really does work so very well.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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Even on an iPad, I assume it is impossible to read documents without zooming in?
Depends on how good your eyesight is. While I've had to zoom in on fine print on an iPad 2 (1024*768), I've never had to with full page (with margins) on the iPad 3/4 (2048*1536) even for my technical books.
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