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Old 03-11-2009, 05:17 AM   #3
RufusA began at the beginning.
Posts: 18
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Device: none
Originally Posted by bibble View Post
Did you decide which device to go for? And can anyone comment on if the attached file is an accurate represenation of how it might look on the PRS-700?
After much searching I decided there wasn't a perfect device for my purposes. The IRex range whilst offering lots of features were IMHO too expensive compared and had questionable ongoing firmware updates / customer service.

The PRS-700 whilst appearing a good choice would have cost be quite a lot to import in to the UK (after duty, internatial warranty) it wasn't that far off price of an IRex Book Edition.

In the end I found a cheap PRS-505 and decide to just get my feet wet with reader in the hope that 12-18 months from now the market will have matured sufficiently to provide a good solid technical eReader at an affordable price.

The screen is good, clear, the controls simple yet intuitivly usable. Screen glare on the 505 I on occasion find a pain, the worst seems to be overhead spot lights on train corridors (my preferred standing place on a commute)! I imagine the 700 may have been unusable for me on a train!

As for technical books, then on the whole they read well. Most of the technical books I buy are printed at around the B5 size with large margins and reasonable sized fonts. Their digital versions read reasonably comfortably on the reader.

On the 505 I find I can nip around reference books quite quickly. Menu - ToC - Index - Type in page number, read words.

The screen shot you attached is a good representation of what a well formatted PDF would look like on the reader. However the size in reality will be a bit smaller than shows on your computer screen, so you will find reading at that font size a struggle. In this situation I flip to landscape mode in effect increasing the font size by 1/3, and I can read for hours that way.

I haven't yet purchased a eBook bundle from O'Reilly to comment on how well they would work - need to wait until I get paid (and the exchange rate improves a little)!

A few things to note.

1) The 505 processor does sometimes struggle, the faster processor in the 700 would be so much sweeter than watching the spinning formatting sign.
2) Technical books from illegitimate sources are on the whole badly formatted and (apart from being illegal) will not work well on a reader.
3) Grey text I find doesn't read well, some technical books seem to take delight in printing complex terms / reems of code in pale grey.
4) If you can source non-DRMed versions of your books you can use tools to remove white space, tinker with fonts etc. HOWEVER you'll usually lose the Table of Contents and inner-links in the process.
5) Reflowing PDFs again doesn't work well for technical books, so don't expect zooming to cure all ills.
6) Once you get a reader, you'll spend all your life reading downloaded RSS feeds from newspapers, blogs, the onion that you never actually get round to reading the technical books.

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