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Old 10-06-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
Bugs
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Which one should I buy

Hi folks,

I've done some reading through the forums and found a few answers, but lots of what I've found is either very old or contradicted by another post. Perhaps you can help me? At the moment I'm most interested in the Sony Reader PRS-505 or Cybook Gen 3, but feel free to change my mind!

Firstly, I'm in the UK (London) but have friends in the USA and Hong Kong who could probably buy a device locally and post it to me if necessary. I'd prefer one available in the UK though.

My biggest requirement is reading academic papers: Unencypted A4-size .pdf files with a mixture or text and images over typically 4-10 pages. I've read wildly varying reviews of various readers' ability to display large .pdfs: Some say that the Cybook G3 is terrible, others that its vaiable zoom and panning are great for short documents. Some say that the Sony 505 is fine when reflowing or in landscape mode, others not so much. How does your reader cope with this fairly complex file? (Link) Or maybe this one? (Link) Tiny writing is fine provided the font is crisp.

Getting files onto it: I don't have easy access to a Windows-based PC, instead using a mix of Linux and Mac (yes, I'm a big geek). One-time activation of products isn't a problem, but I need a device that I can easily transfer files to without relying on Windows. I see this is fine for the Sony 505; what about others?

DRM: I hate DRM. Of course I'm happy to pay for books, but don't want to sacrifice my whole library if I decide to move to another device. Or when the company just switches off the servers like MSN, Walmart and many others have done before them. Is it possible to legally buy eBooks then strip the DRM so I can view them on my next device after this one? If so, is it easy to buy these ebooks from within the UK?

So in summary:
Available in UK (ideally), Hong Kong, USA
pdf support - how does your device handle the scientific paper above?
Not completely Windows-reliant
...and able to get a wide selection of books, ideally DRM-free.

Things I don't care about:
(wireless) network connection; USB is fine
Annotating files
Touchscreen

I'll be very grateful for any and all advice you can give!
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugs View Post
My biggest requirement is reading academic papers: Unencypted A4-size .pdf files with a mixture or text and images over typically 4-10 pages. I've read wildly varying reviews of various readers' ability to display large .pdfs: Some say that the Cybook G3 is terrible, others that its vaiable zoom and panning are great for short documents.
If this is your biggest requirement then in my opinion you will not be happy with any 6inch device. You should look to an iLiad, DR1000 or wait for the Plastic Login or Astak devices that will have bigger screens.

When I got my Sony I also thought it would "be nice" to be able to read my Dev books on it but it was useless. But, for me this wasn't the "primary" reason I got it.

I'm sure others will have other opinions... the above is just mine. Copyright 2008.

BOb
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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Just tried them on my 505, they're readable, but a bit of a struggle, so I'd suggest going for a bigger than 6" display unfortunately
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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Have to agree that for mainly PDF usage none of the 6'' readers are ideal.

I would suggest considering the Iliad or the Digital reader from iRex, but they to have their limitations. Especially with the reader as it is so new, that there are no reviews of it out yet. Also the Version with wireless is not out till next year.

There are other large readers announced coming from Plastic logic and Astek, but no firm date on delivery, but probably Q1 or Q2 next year.

Or perhaps getting a Tablet PC for this. There are some great deals available if you look around in the UK. The advantage would be that you could easily manipulate everything you need as you would have a full PC. Disadvantage is that you don't get the e-ink screen and much lower battery life.
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Old 10-06-2008, 12:37 PM   #5
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Just wanted you to know that my head exploded from looking at your pdf on my computer monitor (not my Kindle, which I know you don't want or would work for you). Good thing I heal fast.

Welcome to MobileRead Exploder of Heads! Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:43 AM   #6
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Simond - what do you mean by "a bit of a struggle"? Messy formatting, painfully slow, etc? Thanks for taking the time to try them!

I was worried that the papers might be too comlpex for the readers' little CPUs to deal with. Unfortunately most of my reading for the next year or so will be academic papers (very sad I know, but I'm finishing my PhD so it can't be helped!) so it isn't really worth buying a device that can only handle novels.

pilotbob & bbusybookworm: I looked at the Iliad Book Edition in Borders, although I didn't get to try loading any academic papers onto it. It looks almost perfect for what I want, but I don't think I can justify spending £400 -- more than my laptop cost -- on something that I can only use to read papers. A tablet PC is a good idea, but I spend hours reading every day so I really want an eInk screen.

daffy4u: Nah, they're not as bad as they look. They're not that complicated, they just has a lot of information packed into as little space as possible to save publishing costs. Also, one of them is about a protein called "Magic Factor 1", which I think is an awesome name. I just hope I can stick around the forum long enough to set my user title to "Exploder of Heads"!

Does anyone know of any good way to automatically strip the text and images from a .pdf into a format that a 6-inch reader can handle fairly easily? The layout of the papers isn't really important provided that all the information is still there.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugs View Post
Simond

Does anyone know of any good way to automatically strip the text and images from a .pdf into a format that a 6-inch reader can handle fairly easily? The layout of the papers isn't really important provided that all the information is still there.
Well, looking at the PDF' it looks like Mobipocket Creator should be able to handle it. unfortunately it is Windows Only. I'll try to convert one and send you the file.

Edit.
Check you PM

Last edited by bbusybookworm; 10-07-2008 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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I've just tried with the CyBook Gen3. It can display OK, but actually reading it is tricky. If you view at 100% to make it easy to read in terms of type size, it requires scrolling twice to read one line of text - very slow and cumbersome. When the text goes into two columns it's not a lot better, until you go to 80% view, when one column fits the screen width. But then the text is small and a bit broken up (e.g. missing bottom of lower case o).

You can view a whole page, but that's completely illegible.

I've attached some screen shots. The diagrams tend to come out best, because they have bigger text, sometimes legible in full screen.

So it's technically possible, but I think the small screen makes it impractical.

Paul

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How does your reader cope with this fairly complex file? (Link) Or maybe this one? (Link) Tiny writing is fine provided the font is crisp.
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:33 PM   #9
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Is that the CyBook Gen3 with 6" size screen or smaller?
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Old 10-08-2008, 12:40 PM   #10
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The CyBook has the same screen as the Kindle, Sony, BeBook, Hanlin V3, etc - ie a 120x90mm screen.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugs View Post

daffy4u: Nah, they're not as bad as they look. They're not that complicated, they just has a lot of information packed into as little space as possible to save publishing costs. Also, one of them is about a protein called "Magic Factor 1", which I think is an awesome name. I just hope I can stick around the forum long enough to set my user title to "Exploder of Heads"!

I'm sure "Exploder of Heads" is a title that you can use in your everyday life and not just on this forum, so go for it.

Have you notice we're "Bugs and Daffy". I foresee much mayhem around here.
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Old 10-10-2008, 05:31 AM   #12
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My comment was that because it displayed fine but I had to strain to read them due to the small text, zoom would probably help but I admit I didn't think about trying zoom
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