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Old 12-17-2011, 11:11 AM   #1096
mythololylover
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i'm new to this ereader stuff and i was wondering if the sony prst1 is worth it since i hear it has a lot of problems, but i'm looking for an ereader that handels pdf files without any issues
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:57 PM   #1097
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i'm new to this ereader stuff and i was wondering if the sony prst1 is worth it since i hear it has a lot of problems, but i'm looking for an ereader that handels pdf files without any issues
In my opinion, it really depends on the kind of PDFs you're reading.
If it's about pure information, size of the display isn't that important. You can reflow your PDF then and comfortably read it on a 6" display.
But if it's about layout (PDFs typically are prepared for being printed as DIN A4/letter format), the display should have about the same measurements as the original PDF.
Imagine a text book from university. Diagrams, formulas, pictures, ... all perfectly arranged, now suddenly reduced to pure information. Some formulas will be crippled, text won't be aligned to the graphic anymore and so on.

A friend of mine bought his first (and only) dedicated reader, when preparing for his MBA. His idea: Having all his text books with him all the time.
He got rid of his reader within a week. Reflow didn't work, for zoom his 6" reader was too small.
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Old 12-17-2011, 01:57 PM   #1098
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From the specs, Transformer Prime actually seems to be benchmark for now. But, as we all know, this "pole position" probably will last exactly 25 minutes. I've given up a long time ago, to aim for the newest units all the time. It shouldn't be outdated already when buying. But I don't worry about the next gadget around the corner, which will be a bit faster, cheaper and more compact...
I received an email from Tiger Direct, the company I orderd my ASUS Prime from informing me that it was shipped yesterday. USP tracking says I should have it on Tuesday. Since I pre-ordered mine so late I didn't think mine would be in the first batch shipped. Tiger Direct was my third choice to order from but Best Buy and Amazon had stop accepting pre-orders when I tried them. Anyway I can't wait. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas. I'll let you know my impression of it after I fool around with it for a few days.

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Old 12-24-2011, 12:38 PM   #1099
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In my opinion, it really depends on the kind of PDFs you're reading.
If it's about pure information, size of the display isn't that important. You can reflow your PDF then and comfortably read it on a 6" display.
But if it's about layout (PDFs typically are prepared for being printed as DIN A4/letter format), the display should have about the same measurements as the original PDF.
Imagine a text book from university. Diagrams, formulas, pictures, ... all perfectly arranged, now suddenly reduced to pure information. Some formulas will be crippled, text won't be aligned to the graphic anymore and so on.

A friend of mine bought his first (and only) dedicated reader, when preparing for his MBA. His idea: Having all his text books with him all the time.
He got rid of his reader within a week. Reflow didn't work, for zoom his 6" reader was too small.
what about the kindle fire?
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Old 12-27-2011, 06:15 PM   #1100
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what about the kindle fire?
I don't own a Kindle Fire myself.
Given the US-centric content, it probably wouldn't be of much use in Germany.

But I guess, same applies for Kindle Fire as for all 7" tablets:
a.) First of all, in my opinion, tablets are better for PDFs than ePaper readers.
Tablets are faster, you can zoom in and out way more efficiently.
And the touchscreen acts way faster, too.
b.) You can use various apps on tablets. Some may be better for zooming, others for adding comments and others for reflowing and so on.
Most recommend Goodreader for PDFs. I have it on iPad and iPhone. It's not available (yet?) for Android. But you find similar apps on Android without problems.
c.) You can use various (almost all) eBook formats on tablets. There are apps for Kindle (Mobipocket), PDF, ePUB (numerous apps for this), PDB, ...
Yes, you can solve this for dedicated readers by converting from the source format to a format your reader accepts. But often the results are less than stellar and it simply is time consuming.

On the other hand there are some (only few IMHO) downsides to tablets:
a.) Their display consumes way more battery. Dedicated readers easily can go 20+ hours, most tablets only allow for 7+ hours.
b.) There's lots of controversy about display quality, glare and such. Personally, I don't have any problems with it. Yes, ePaper is more pleasant to the eye. But on the other hand, backlit screens have their advantages as well.
c.) Main problem for myself: Tablets are (way) heavier than dedicated readers. I can't hold iPad for example comfortably in my hands for more than maybe 3 hours. Most of the times, that's enough. But sometimes I like to read an entire afternoon and then you feel those 200g (or maybe even up to 400g) difference in weight.

Meaning:
If you have to use PDFs, a tablet might be the better choice (really depends on the source material).
Still, most of the times it's preferable to have a similar display size than your original PDFs. Most of the times, that's >>6". So a 7" tablet still can be somewhat critical. 10" is close enough to DIN A4 format.

I'm very fond of my Kindles and I'm a fan of Amazon in general. Their bookstore is great, so is their customer service.
Given that experience, I guess you can't go wrong with Kindle Fire.

Still: I'd recommend an alternative file format. My personal experience with PDFs isn't that great. Most consider ePUB the "standard" format. Kindle's own AZW (Mobipocket) format delivers better results than PDF as well.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:43 AM   #1101
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Recomandation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgmueller View Post
Meaning:
If you have to use PDFs, a tablet might be the better choice (really depends on the source material).
Still, most of the times it's preferable to have a similar display size than your original PDFs. Most of the times, that's >>6". So a 7" tablet still can be somewhat critical. 10" is close enough to DIN A4 format.
I want to buy my first reading gadget. I need to read mainly PDF's of technical nature, no reflow possible, no other functionality needed. For the rest I can use my smartphone.

What device would you advise me to buy, in terms of performance/price ratio? Are tablets equally fit for the task as an 9,7 inch E-Ink reader? I am troubled mainly by the battery, but also I need to take into account the effects of a prolonged reading session.

Your oppinion is highly appreciated, along with several recommandations.

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Old 01-08-2012, 01:08 PM   #1102
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At this point I would say get a tablet of 10inch size for best results. Although, you might get away with a 7inch being good enough if you have good eyes and don't mind scrolling a lot.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #1103
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I want to buy my first reading gadget. I need to read mainly PDF's of technical nature, no reflow possible, no other functionality needed. For the rest I can use my smartphone.

What device would you advise me to buy, in terms of performance/price ratio? Are tablets equally fit for the task as an 9,7 inch E-Ink reader? I am troubled mainly by the battery, but also I need to take into account the effects of a prolonged reading session.

Your oppinion is highly appreciated, along with several recommandations.
Battery isn't that big an issue anymore, in my opinion. Most tablets easily can make >10 hours. Even on my business trips (typically 2 or 3 days) I normally don't have any problems with battery duration. At some stage I always find a hotel, meeting room or whatever to re-charge the battery. But I easily can make an entire day on a fully charged tablet anyway.

Personally, I don't have any problems at all with reading sessions >5 hours on tablets. But I was reading on PDAs 10 years ago without any complaints as well, so maybe I'm very easy to please in that area.
Actually, a few weeks ago I had a strange experience re. display quality. I hadn't used any dedicated reader for some months and wanted to re-activate one of my favorites. When turning it on for the first time, for a brief moment I was kind of shocked. I had remember the contrast way better than I actually did experience it. And I even have some friends, who find backlit displays more contrast-rich and "natural" to the eye.

Re. your PDFs:
You definitely are right. For the kind of documents you describe, reflow would be a disaster: Formulas get lost, graphs will be out of context and such.
A dedicated reader ca. 10", for example PocketBook 902/903, should manage the task perfectly.
Tablets are faster and scrolling or zooming will be a bit more comfortable on them. But dedicated readers, in my opinion preferably with touchscreen, will do a great job as well.
Personally, I'd go for a tablet anyway, if price is not the issue. If you read technical documents, online researches might come in handy. And such tasks are way more efficient on tablets than on readers.

Tablets are easy to recommend.
Basically, it's Android or iOS.
If you opt for iOS, iPad 2 still is a great choice. iPad 3 of course will be highly interesting, but iPad 2 is far from being dated.
If you tend to Android, differences aren't that big: Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, ...

For dedicated readers I have lost touch (I won't buy another one, but will buy at least 4 to 6 tablets in 2012). I hear great things about PocketBook 902/903, but I have no personal experience with them. I love my Kindle DX Graphite, but I'd never use it for PDFs.

BTW: I find one significant argument for readers against tablets: Weight.
I find iPad 2 extremely heavy for example. Reading for more than 5 hours can be tiresome for your arms, depending on your holding position.

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Old 01-14-2012, 09:09 AM   #1104
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Thank a lot for the rather lengthly and detailed reply.

I am definitely opting for an Android device. What tablet has a combination of a good battery with a good screen for reading? I heard that Asus Transformer Prime is a good candidate for this. I am pondering over this buy versus a Xoom, as Samsung has proprietary cables and UI (TouchWiz), which I don't find very appealing.

What is your opinion on this?
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:23 PM   #1105
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Thank a lot for the rather lengthly and detailed reply.

I am definitely opting for an Android device. What tablet has a combination of a good battery with a good screen for reading? I heard that Asus Transformer Prime is a good candidate for this. I am pondering over this buy versus a Xoom, as Samsung has proprietary cables and UI (TouchWiz), which I don't find very appealing.

What is your opinion on this?
For the moment, Asus Transformer Prime has the best specs. But there already are rumors about similar iPad and Samsung specs. And quite frankly, I've never had problems performance-wise with any of my tablets.
Personally, I won't go for the Prime. I've had the Asus EeePad Transformer and
didn't like it at all. It's probably unfair, as there are lots of quite enthusiastic reviews about both Transformer Prime and EeePad Transformer. Still, my unit simply seemed to be 2 steps behind Samsung and the likes.

Lots of reviews had been negative about Xoom's display quality. And most reviews state, display of Xoom 2 would be identical to the one on the first generation. Personally, I don't have any problems with the display, I find it about even with iPad or Samsung Galaxy Tab. But I consider the display of BlackBerry PlayBook best (of my tablets), so I wouldn't call Xoom "benchmark". That's for Xoom 1. I haven't seen Xoom 2 live yet, but I consider it myself because of my great experience with Xoom 1.

Re. "proprietary cables":
I'd have to think extremely hard, to remember any tablet which has standard ports. But I don't really care, I have to admit.
I prefer, having a Micro SD slot. Nice for adding movies. On the other hand, it can be quite annoying. Samsung units for example, when booting cold, permanently check the expansion cards for changes...
About the cables I don't care at all. Yes, sometimes I have to take 3 adapters and/or cables with me on a trip to charge 3 different tablets. But that's no biggy and I've got backup adapters with me that way. Most people only will buy a single tablet anyway, so it shouldn't really matter.
And I rarely connect any tablet to a PC, so I don't mind about USB-connection.

I don't see much differences in UI on Honeycomb tablets anymore, so I wouldn't make this a criteria. Differences had been way bigger with Gingerbread.

So, what Android tablet to recommend?
Xoom certainly is a great candidate, Xoom 1 still is one of my favorites.
But I wouldn't exclude Samsung. They're getting better and better. Xoom may have some slight advantages because of the close ties between Motorola and Google. But looking at the impressive number of units Samsung has in the pipeline, Motorola probably can't compete over all.
Personally, I'll take a close look at the 7" and 7.7" Samsung tablets. I really like my Samsung Galaxy Note and those 2 tablets seem to have similar display quality.

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Old 01-19-2012, 11:28 PM   #1106
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For dedicated readers I have lost touch (I won't buy another one, but will buy at least 4 to 6 tablets in 2012). I hear great things about PocketBook 902/903, but I have no personal experience with them. I love my Kindle DX Graphite, but I'd never use it for PDFs.
Great thread! Thank you so much for this - your knowledge on this subject is truly encyclopedic! Very interesting reading how this field has evolved over the last 2+ years.
My anticipation grew as I read through this chronology wondering how you would assess the current crop of dedicated eReaders - specifically my new Kobo Vox. But you make it quite clear that these dedicated readers hold no interest for you. That's truly a shame since it appears to my (cheapskate?) self that there is a legitimate market here for devices in this category and at this price point, especially as ebooks are readily available to borrow free from public libraries.
But I did catch your earlier point that for heavy readers that buy their books, the cost of the hardware is not the issue.
Thanks again for a great read!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:42 PM   #1107
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..My anticipation grew as I read through this chronology wondering how you would assess the current crop of dedicated eReaders - specifically my new Kobo Vox. But you make it quite clear that these dedicated readers hold no interest for you. That's truly a shame since it appears to my (cheapskate?) self that there is a legitimate market here for devices in this category and at this price point, especially as ebooks are readily available to borrow free from public libraries.
But I did catch your earlier point that for heavy readers that buy their books, the cost of the hardware is not the issue.
Thanks again for a great read!
You definitely got a point here ("it appears to my (cheapskate?) self that there is a legitimate market here for devices in this category and at this price point"). For quite some time I intensively defended dedicated readers against tablet owners: "Tablets = too heavy, too much battery consumption, not good enough contrast, ...".
But over time, ca. Autumn 2010, I really got fond of my tablets.
I either use these gadgets at home on the sofa, where battery consumption for example is not really an issue, or when traveling. And on the road, those multifunctional devices really are phantastic. On some trips, when traveling light, I didn't even bring a laptop with me anymore.
Now, I typically take my ultra-portable MacBook Air 11" and 2 or 3 tablet-style gadgets with me. For now, it's usually Samsung Galaxy Note 5", which easily fits in my suit's pocket. And often Sony Tablet P. It has some weak spots, mainly the gap between the 2 screens. But it's highly portable and still has a (actually 2) big enough screen(s). And most of the time I take one "real" tablet with me. I've lost interest in iPad 2 maybe 3 months ago. But this obviously will change with iPad 3. For now, I prefer Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9" or Motorola Xoom. And of course my favorite: BlackBerry PlayBook.
But having more than one unit (often up to 5) with me already, I don't have the space or need for a dedicated reader (anymore).
I've briefly tried with iRex 800, one of my former favorites, about 3 months ago. But I simply didn't find any arguments for it respectively against tablets.
In Germany, I have to care 3.2 days per year about reading in direct sunlight, so glare and contrast is not an important argument obviously.
Even on a trip, the 8+ or even 12+ hours battery duration of most tablets are more than enough.
Weight is an argument. I couldn't read on iPad or Xoom for more than 3 hours in a row. But I easily can do so on BlackBerry PlayBook.

Contrast, glare and such arguments about the display quality are highly subjective of course. I was surprised, when checking out iRex 800. Okay, no Pearl display. Kindle DX Graphite for example has a darker font and more contrast. But I find the backlit display of tablets as pleasing to the eye as eInk displays. And I love, having Kindle, Kobo, B&N and other reading apps in parallel. Would there be a Microsoft lit app for my oldest eBooks, I could have my entire library of bought books without need for stripping DRM and converting.

You've already mentioned my argument about follow-up costs: Buying 100 eBooks per year = ca. $ 1.000 = outweighs even the most expensive tablet. And when using your tablet for 2 or 3 years, the initial invest only will add up to about 20% of the total costs.

But I totally agree: If reading is all you want, Kindle for example with its price point of ca. $ 100 can't be beat.
But personally, I'd miss checking my emails, looking up the nearest restaurant or ordering some new gadget from Amazon.

But I honestly have to admit: I'm not reading intensively in the moment. There have been times, when I've read 6 to 8 hours every single day. For now, it's 2 or 3 hours at best and often I don't read at all (*) for 2 or 3 days.

(*) By "reading" I mean actual reading sessions of books. I don't count 15 minutes of checking my emails or reading an online newspaper.

When I'll be reading as intensively again, my demands might change...

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:20 AM   #1108
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But I honestly have to admit: I'm not reading intensively in the moment. There have been times, when I've read 6 to 8 hours every single day. For now, it's 2 or 3 hours at best and often I don't read at all (*) for 2 or 3 days.

(*) By "reading" I mean actual reading sessions of books. I don't count 15 minutes of checking my emails or reading an online newspaper.

When I'll be reading as intensively again, my demands might change...
This is why I still need and want a dedicated ereader. I might not read a lot during weekdays and weekends, but I do read a lot on holiday. Usually, every single free moment is spent reading, especially if we're away from home. So, during breakfast, during dinner (and lunch, if we stay with the tent for the day). And, as we love to go camping, with a simple tent and only a car, I need a device with at least a few days of heavy reading in it...

For my daily use, and workweek use, I prefer the tablet, if only because of the backlit display so I can read it before going to sleep without having to mess around with clipon lights...
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:39 PM   #1109
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Observations on standby

I have been finding that i am reading a lot lot less nowadays, in spite having a few Readers lying around. Not fault of the Readers, but of the reader!!

During this time, i noticed an amazing thing, my ipad has the most resilient battery life, while on standby..and closely followed if not overtaken by my Touchpad.

I can pull both these out of sleep and they have almost the same battery % after a week to 10days. The longevity of the Touchpad still amazes me.

Playbook seems a third losing about 5% each day.
The Streak on full battery lasts about 7-10days before going down. But my old Archos5IT in deep sleep mode seems quite strong too (dont remember its lifetime).

The Adam is definitely the poorest, lasting just a day or 2. I doubt even ICS can cure the disease.
All these with wifi/3g turned off and most apps killed.

I noticed these as i find myself turning the readers on for occasional use and seeing them either with too less charge or in a useable state!
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:43 AM   #1110
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Posts: 3,133
Karma: 12681902
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Augsburg (near Munich), Germany
Device: 26 Readers, 44 Tablets
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhari79 View Post
I have been finding that i am reading a lot lot less nowadays, in spite having a few Readers lying around. Not fault of the Readers, but of the reader!!

During this time, i noticed an amazing thing, my ipad has the most resilient battery life, while on standby..and closely followed if not overtaken by my Touchpad.

I can pull both these out of sleep and they have almost the same battery % after a week to 10days. The longevity of the Touchpad still amazes me.

Playbook seems a third losing about 5% each day.
The Streak on full battery lasts about 7-10days before going down. But my old Archos5IT in deep sleep mode seems quite strong too (dont remember its lifetime).

The Adam is definitely the poorest, lasting just a day or 2. I doubt even ICS can cure the disease.
All these with wifi/3g turned off and most apps killed.

I noticed these as i find myself turning the readers on for occasional use and seeing them either with too less charge or in a useable state!
Same here.
My Samsung tablets for example only last less than a week in standby.
iPad, PlayBook and TouchPad "survive" several weeks, so do my Kindles.

I find this quite annoying. Often I want to go on a trip, just to find half my units out of battery.
For that reason, I turn off most of my units instead of putting them into standby.
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