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Old 01-06-2009, 03:01 AM   #1
Rence
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Which eBook Device is best for PDF docs and notes

Hello All,
This is my first post and I am yet to buy a device and are hoping current owners can give me a bit of advice and guidance.
I am a research student and need a device that is best at:
1) Handling, Displaying and Reading PDF documents (As most docs are pdf versions of research papers).
2) Ability and ease of highlighting text, making notes and annotating pdf articles.
3) Ability to organise/list documents under topic headings
4) Save the last page I was reading for multiple documents and not just the last one read.

Any help greatly appreciated

Rennce
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:18 AM   #2
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Hi

For what you state, you need a laptop or a tabletpc.
No eBook reader present in the market does everything you list.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:17 AM   #3
Rence
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I do have a small tablet PC but the Eink on Ebook devices seems so much easier on my eyes and battery life is also much better. Perhaps I should clarify my needs:
Must Have:
1) Handling, Displaying and Reading PDF documents (As most docs are pdf versions of research papers).
2) Ability and ease of highlighting text, making simple notes/annotation on the pdfs. The notes would be a few words at most.
Desirable:
3) Ability to organise/list documents under topic headings
4) Save the last page I was reading for multiple documents and not just the last one read. This forum seems to indicate that most if not all devices only save the page of the last read item.

I know the Sony 700 and the Irex DS1000S does 1&2 so I really want to know which one is better at tasks 1&2?. The desirables are less important to me.

Cheers

Rence
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rence View Post
I
3) Ability to organise/list documents under topic headings
4) Save the last page I was reading for multiple documents and not just the last one read. This forum seems to indicate that most if not all devices only save the page of the last read item.

Rence
The 700 and the all the other PRS models save the last page of anything you read, the problem is that it does not automatically makes a list of those books as the 770 does, so if you want to read an earlier started book, you have to find it on the device, rather than go to a "recent" list as on the 770. The automatic creation of such a recent list is my top #1 wish software improvement for the 700.

I usually deal with this by using bookmarks and then opening books from the notes list rather than chase the books around, though with the touch screen and sort by date/author/title it is easy to find a book, as is with title/author search...

You can make collections on the 700 and put anything in, and then sort on author/date/title

Regarding pdf's, the 700 is very good at them within screen size limitations. The best thing if possible would be to load some pdf's that you intend to use on a sd card and check how they are handled on a display 700
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:23 PM   #5
Rence
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Thanks for your reply - very useful. What is the 770 device?
Cheers
Rence.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:14 PM   #6
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Thanks for your reply - very useful. What is the 770 device?
Cheers
Rence.
The 770 is a (smallish) Nokia Internet tablet, current version is 810 I think. Not that useful for pdf's, but I loved reading (non-pdf) ebooks on it for several years.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:04 PM   #7
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I have an Iliad with 8 inch display which simply is too small for some pdf's, so I'm astonished to hear that the Sony, which has a 6 inch display, "is very good at them within screen size limitations"...

pdf is not a format that is adapted "on the run" to your screen, it doesn't flow (usually)... so if you have a DIN A4 pdf with text which uses a font size that results in let's say 100 characters per line (and that's not even a small font size), there's no way to be able to read that comfortably on a 6 inch screen, even in landscape mode (if there is such a thing with the Sony) and reading it on an 8 inch Iliad is not easy too.

I've heard that with the Sony you can switch between different font sizes, although I doubt that this is possible with pdf's... with the ILiad you definitely can't do it... and it would only make sense to be able to do this if the device at the same time would REFLOW the document, which again the ILiad can't do, and I doubt the Sony can do (IF pdf's are tagged to be able to reflow them at all, which more often then not they aren't)... there is no sense in trying to make a 100 character line more readibly by zooming it without reflow... you would have to scroll all the time, EVERY LINE!

So the gist of all this is that my experience with the 8 inch Iliad tells me that the limit of a device is X characters per line, with pdf's... the bigger the display, the bigger X can be... it's difficult to put a number to X... if X is bigger than your device's screen can display using a zoom that renders the text still visible, the only thing you can do is convert the document, into a format that reflows on the device, or reflowing the converted format yourself into "smaller than X"-characters per line and printing it back into pdf. This destroys layout and can be a lot of work, depending on the type of pdf.

So, it all depends on the type of pdf documents you want to read and if they will reflow on the device (impossible on the ILiad) and if they don't, what their characters per line average is... to be flexible buy the biggest device, which to my knowledge is the Irex Digital Reader 1000 S, which has a 10 inch display which should allow a comfortable read of 100 chars per line pdf's (MUCH longer lines on DIN A4 pdf's are unusual because reading them printed out on a DIN A4 paper would be difficult)...
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:50 AM   #8
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Great reply and thanks for the detail. The majority of my reading will be PDFs of research papers that do have around 100 chars per line and quite a few graphics. Hence, it looks like I will need the bigger display offered by the DR1000S.

Cheers

Rence
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:54 AM   #9
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Hi

After your clarification, I would say the Iliad DR1000s for sure.

It does 1) and 2), and 4).
I think it does not do, easily 3).

The Sony does reflowing PDF text files.
But it’s a hit and miss.
I myself have besides a Cybook and a Sony 505, and I’m amazed how some PDF A4 books look so good after reflowing in the 505 (the 700 does the same, just faster and with zooming of the images if needed), or even many Scientific papers do (besides many other activities, I’m also a researcher, a University teacher and I’m involved with a PhD so I have lots of those too).

But most are miss, and it does not have a conductive line, two equal looking papers, one reflows well the other does not.

Up to now, PDF’s resulting from digitizing and OCR are a disgrace, so zero usability here in reflowing – it reflows but it still brakes the line in the end of every line of text in the original.

So, I would say, today the DR1000s.

Best,
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