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Old 05-24-2009, 01:10 AM   #1
enarchay
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Native PDF support?

I'm trying to decide between the Kindle 2 and the Sony, and one of the big issues I'm having is the Kindle's lack of native PDF support. I've looked at some converted PDFs on the Kindle, and they look alright, but I'm wondering how they look on the Sony by comparison. Do PDF files look as good as I assume they do on the Sony? Please explain (or illustrate).

Basically, if the Sony doesn't display PDFs much better than the Kindle 2 - even if I must convert in the latter case - then I know which product is for me.

Last edited by enarchay; 05-24-2009 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:38 AM   #2
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the sony does have accurate PDF rendering, although you would be viewing a pdf, ussually made for a 8.5x11 sheet. on a screen less than 1/5th the size, so text would be less than 1/5th the size. the screen size of a 6 inch is about 3.5 x 5

You can get to about 1/2 the size. if you rotate the pdf (view only half at a time) and cut out the boarders of the pdf.

here is how you can visualize it, you will be viewing a image (cause that's what pdfs are) that is 93.5 sq inches on a screen that is 17.5 sq inches
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:36 PM   #3
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If you have a Windows PC, you can try the Sony's built in PDF reflow capability for yourself. See Sony's Windows ebook Reader. The latest version emulates the PRS-700 (more font sizes). The actual device also has a landscape mode and (on the PRS-700) a zoom mode which is not generally good for reading because the zoom isn't persistent.
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enarchay View Post
I'm trying to decide between the Kindle 2 and the Sony, and one of the big issues I'm having is the Kindle's lack of native PDF support. I've looked at some converted PDFs on the Kindle, and they look alright, but I'm wondering how they look on the Sony by comparison. Do PDF files look as good as I assume they do on the Sony? Please explain (or illustrate).

Basically, if the Sony doesn't display PDFs much better than the Kindle 2 - even if I must convert in the latter case - then I know which product is for me.
I had the same question recently. I went along with Sony and so far I am quite happy. I am not reading large (format-wise) PDFs though (articles from JSTOR and scanned chapters from books), but even in this case you may have to read in landscape mode - half a page at a time (You can find an example here - http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...=45896&page=2; there are some photos posted). It would have been nice if the screen were at least one inch bigger, or there were a fixed zoom option, but even without these options Sony is very very good. I am also reading PDFs in languages other than English (Russian and Arabic) and they are displayed just fine.
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Old 05-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #5
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I own both a Kindle and a Sony reader. I've put a couple of PDF books -- freebies that the publishers were offering -- directly on the Sony. It was impossible to read them "as is" because the page was simply rendered too small. But, by pressing the font key (+), the Sony reflowed the book in a font size that was reasonable. It wasn't a true reflow in that each print line now was rendered as 1.5 lines, but the excess margins were gone. As I said, it was a reasonable representation and readable. I would *not* want to rely on PDF files for e-Books, however, since it's not a painless experience.

Calibre's conversion to LRF, EPUB, and MOBI was fair. The text reflowed much better, but the conversion didn't ignore the headers and trailers on each of the "printed" PDF pages. Chapter detection was also weak. So, what I might have done is use Calibre to create the EPUB version, then open the EPUB files in a text editor and clean up the conversion. But I didn't have to do that after Amazon offered the free download for the Kindle.

The Kindle is definitely my first choice for reading. I just like the font, the feel, and the ease of buying books at the least expensive price. But, my hubby bought me the lighted cover for the Sony and therefore I try to make sure that if we're traveling at night I have something queued up on the Sony to read. The lightwedge built into the Sony cover is much less distracting to him as he's driving than if I'm reading the Kindle with a traditional book light.

Last edited by Elsi; 05-24-2009 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 05-25-2009, 10:45 AM   #6
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PRS-700 and PDF Version 1.5

This is my first post, though I have been reading the forum for a while.

I note that in the Specs AND in the User's Guide, it is stated that the PRS-700 supports PDF Version 1.4 and earlier.

I also see that the supplied User's Guide "4-124-649-11(1)" is created at PDF version 1.5.

Can anyone verify that the User's Guide reads OK inside the PRS-700. I would just be interested to see if I would be "future proof" if I purchase the PRS-700.

Thanks,
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Old 05-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #7
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I have the 700 and actually uploaded the user guide to the device as unlike the 505 it doesn't come pre-loaded. I can confirm it works extremely well. The PDF file has obviously been created with margins & page size optimized for use on the device.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andybaby View Post
the sony does have accurate PDF rendering, although you would be viewing a pdf, ussually made for a 8.5x11 sheet.inches
Wondering if we could stop the myth that PDFs are usually made for 8.5 x 11 sheet.

Most professionally done PDFs look exactly like they are on books and most books are not 8.5 inches x 11 inches. They are smaller than that.

Let me repeat...they are SMALLER than that :-)
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Old 05-26-2009, 06:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
Wondering if we could stop the myth that PDFs are usually made for 8.5 x 11 sheet.
Only if you're distinguishing between A4 & Letter, but I don't think that's what you meant, was it?

You do seem to be attempting to "move the goalposts" by specifying "professionally done PDFs", but I suspect that you need to try & narrow your criteria even further, as I suppose that I could claim that any PDF document that I produce during the course of my employment, e.g. a software installation & maintainance guide, is a "professionally done PDF"... (Of course, it's A4 size too...)
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Old 05-26-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynevans View Post
Only if you're distinguishing between A4 & Letter, but I don't think that's what you meant, was it?

You do seem to be attempting to "move the goalposts" by specifying "professionally done PDFs", but I suspect that you need to try & narrow your criteria even further, as I suppose that I could claim that any PDF document that I produce during the course of my employment, e.g. a software installation & maintainance guide, is a "professionally done PDF"... (Of course, it's A4 size too...)
I think when he is referring to "professionally done PDF" is those that have a paper book equivalent.

From that stand point he is correct most of the PDF eBooks I buy are smaller than letter/A4. Usually 6x9" or smaller.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:48 PM   #11
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Usually 6x9" or smaller.
And when you remove the white margins, it's even better on Sony.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynevans View Post
Only if you're distinguishing between A4 & Letter, but I don't think that's what you meant, was it?

You do seem to be attempting to "move the goalposts" by specifying "professionally done PDFs", but I suspect that you need to try & narrow your criteria even further, as I suppose that I could claim that any PDF document that I produce during the course of my employment, e.g. a software installation & maintainance guide, is a "professionally done PDF"... (Of course, it's A4 size too...)
You can always specify what paper size you want to print to PDF as. You can make it as big or as small as your program allows. You can print it as 11 inches x 17 inches, or 4 inches by 2 inches etc.

And commercially available digital books in PDF format (which is what I'm referring to) is not usually done in 8.5 x 11 or A4 size because books don't generally appear in that size paper. They're SMALLER than that.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:05 PM   #13
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I think when he is referring to "professionally done PDF" is those that have a paper book equivalent.

From that stand point he is correct most of the PDF eBooks I buy are smaller than letter/A4. Usually 6x9" or smaller.

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That's right. You got my point. :-) That's what I'm saying.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:16 AM   #14
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I got it, I was just trying to suggest that there's a danger in focusing too much on PDF eBooks - for instance, I strongly suspect that the vast majority of colleges & universities producing 'in-house' e-documents for their students will target A4/Letter sizes.

While I might well agree that most professional eBook PDFs are less than A4/Letter, it's when you appear to claim that that is true of all PDFs I have a problem with it.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:10 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern View Post
You can always specify what paper size you want to print to PDF as. You can make it as big or as small as your program allows. You can print it as 11 inches x 17 inches, or 4 inches by 2 inches etc.

And commercially available digital books in PDF format (which is what I'm referring to) is not usually done in 8.5 x 11 or A4 size because books don't generally appear in that size paper. They're SMALLER than that.
most pdfs that I have encountered are 8.5x11 or similar in size, especially things for school, or work, or magazines.

books distibuted in pdf might be slightly different, but the only case I had with it it was 8.5x11 as well

butt I usually avoid them like the plague, ones made for the reader look beautiful though, but reflow was still kinda crappy.

I never said pdfs couldn't be other sizes. but I would say a vast majority are exactly that size.
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