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Old 03-02-2010, 03:42 PM   #1
Pritch
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Illustrations, Photos & Maps

Hello all,

I have been considering an ereader for some time but have been dissatisfied with most units I've seen. Yesterday I spent some time with teh B&N Nook and I foud it clear and readable. I also liked that it accepts media cards and has a user swapable battery.

One of the uses I envision for an ereader is to be a reference library. For example, I would like to have manuals with diagrams and photos, as well as topographical maps and navigational charts available. (I know that all of these devices are black & white.)

How do these units work with PDFs? If a document is designed with 8.5X11 pages, how does it display? Do the units allow you to zoom in on images? (Specifically, does the Nook allow this?)

So do any of you use your readers for graphic-intensive materials? How do they perform?

Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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Pdf's do not always transfer well to e-readers when they involve diagrams or other "technical" items. Most (not all) will allow some form of zooming or re-flowing. Zooming is generally better as reflowing usually just removes the pictures and diagrams.
5" or 6" readers would struggle a bit with map and topographical details, you'd need to find one that does zooming with multiple levels.

Most e-readers by default would display an A4 or "Letter" document as a page, so imagine reading your document in 6" diagonal window. It can be succesful but a lot depends on the pdf.

At present I'd suggest you would need to look a the larger screen (and unfortunately the more expensive) devices. The irex devices iliad and DR1000 work very well with pdfs and I'm sure there are others, the Kindle DX may suit as it has a larger display, but limited pdf functionality.

There a lot of newer devices coming along so you'd need to have a look at their specs for pdf zooming and compare. I don't think you'd be satisfied with just pdf reflowing.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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If you want a 6" screen, then the most feature rich PDF handling is available in: Onyx Boox 60, PocketBook 302, and Sony Touch Edition. They all include a zoom mode, and all have a touch screen (the PocketBook 301+ may be almost as good without a touch screen, and the Onyx has the clearest touch screen but it requires a Wacom pen). The Sony's zoom is not "sticky" (it resets after each page turn).

If you want a larger screen, I suggest waiting to see how good the iRex DR800SG becomes after its next firmware upgrade and also how good the upcoming 9" devices with a SiPix screen turn out to be.

For more information, see the E-book Reader Matrix, which includes a row on PDF Capabilities.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:06 AM   #4
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Oops! Thanks for your replies. Sorry I took so long to acknowledge them. Perhaps the IPAD will be a more appropriate device for what I envision. (That would of course give me color, and also allow for attaching videos and animations.) Battery life and OS startup are concerns, though. I guess it will be out soon enough to find out.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:21 PM   #5
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pritch View Post
Oops! Thanks for your replies. Sorry I took so long to acknowledge them. Perhaps the IPAD will be a more appropriate device for what I envision. (That would of course give me color, and also allow for attaching videos and animations.) Battery life and OS startup are concerns, though. I guess it will be out soon enough to find out.
If the iPad sounds like a reasonable candidate then you might also like to check out some of the other tablet and slate style devices. There seems to be quite a swag of them in the "coming soon" category. There are also numerous styles and sizes of notebooks/netbooks that are also very versatile in what they can do. Not all are the standard clamshell design and there are already some on the market which have screens that swivel round and fold back onto the keyboard with the display facing up.

Weight is obviously a consideration for some buyers, but I'm used to reading hardback books and haven't found the weight of a netbook to be any kind of problem. I also do like a decent sized screen and the versatility of being able to use a wide range of software rather than just the maker's inbuilt option. If your primary goal is to build a reference library then I'd say that a netbook style device would certainly be worth considering. It would give you a big range of options with regard to readable formats plus general ease of cataloguing. searching, accessing, etc. That's how it seems to me anyway - others may differ.

Good luck with your choice - there's a lot of candidates out there now...
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