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Old 06-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #1
momen
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Budget tablet to read scanned PDF

Hi guys,

I am looking for a tablet solely to read books (epub, mobi, PDF).

I used to have a Coby Kyros MID-9742, which was dirt cheap ($100)

http://www.amazon.com/Coby-Kyros-9-7.../dp/B0075W8TEA

It was horribly slow, and crashed after loading a webpage using the stock web browser (so I switched to Opera Mini) but I still managed to use it for reading PDF files (even though it might take 1-30 seconds, depending on how long I read the previous page, to load the next page). However, the table is finally broken two days ago after 8 months serving its purpose.

So I am looking for a new tablet and I raise my budget this time to $100 - $200. Since I read PDF, I think I prefer the screen size of the iPad ~10 inches, 4:3 ratio. What would be the best option for me?

I did a quick search on Amazon and there seemed to be many cheap tablets with decent specs, such as:

http://www.amazon.com/Le-Pan-II-Andr.../dp/B0067XX3AI

http://www.amazon.com/A97-Resolution.../dp/B00GYLC9ZI

http://www.amazon.com/TUVVA-Elementa.../dp/B00DW4LIBQ

I'm not sure if these tablets are sturdy or reliable? I am also considering to buy an used iPad 2. What would be your suggestion?
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:01 PM   #2
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To be honest, those Chinese tabs are pretty bad. I've got a couple of retina display 9.7" Android tablets and they're major crash and lag fests.

Hmm, is it possible to increase your budget by another $100? There's a sale on the Apple certified refurb store right now and the iPad 4 16GB Wi-Fi is $299. The iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi is $249. For your target usage, the retina display really helps quite a lot.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:11 PM   #3
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I will not recommend the tablets in your link.

If you are choosing an Android Tablet, I suggest you to choose a Tablet with 2 GB Ram.
You can also consider Nook HD +. Root it and install cyanogenmod.
(I got it for 100 USD only )

I have fair experience with Chinese gadgets. Few recommended Tablet brands are - Pipo, Ramos, Cube, iFive and Ainol. Keep in mind that you may not receive any firmware updates at all. Choose a Tablet from these brands which is supported by community (i.e. you can root and install a custom firmware)

Apart from these, there are premium chinese brands such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Meizu and Vivo but these brands haven't launched a Tablet yet. Xiaomi has launched one but it is an 8 inch Tablet

Last edited by Feher; 06-10-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momen View Post
Hi guys,

I am looking for a tablet solely to read books (epub, mobi, PDF).

I used to have a Coby Kyros MID-9742, which was dirt cheap ($100)

http://www.amazon.com/Coby-Kyros-9-7.../dp/B0075W8TEA

It was horribly slow, and crashed after loading a webpage using the stock web browser (so I switched to Opera Mini) but I still managed to use it for reading PDF files (even though it might take 1-30 seconds, depending on how long I read the previous page, to load the next page). However, the table is finally broken two days ago after 8 months serving its purpose.

So I am looking for a new tablet and I raise my budget this time to $100 - $200. Since I read PDF, I think I prefer the screen size of the iPad ~10 inches, 4:3 ratio. What would be the best option for me?

I did a quick search on Amazon and there seemed to be many cheap tablets with decent specs, such as:

http://www.amazon.com/Le-Pan-II-Andr.../dp/B0067XX3AI

http://www.amazon.com/A97-Resolution.../dp/B00GYLC9ZI

http://www.amazon.com/TUVVA-Elementa.../dp/B00DW4LIBQ

I'm not sure if these tablets are sturdy or reliable? I am also considering to buy an used iPad 2. What would be your suggestion?
buy an used TF101 or TF201
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovejedd View Post
To be honest, those Chinese tabs are pretty bad. I've got a couple of retina display 9.7" Android tablets and they're major crash and lag fests.

Hmm, is it possible to increase your budget by another $100? There's a sale on the Apple certified refurb store right now and the iPad 4 16GB Wi-Fi is $299. The iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi is $249. For your target usage, the retina display really helps quite a lot.
I agree with this recommendation. I frequently read vintage comics, magazines, catalogs, etc. that have been scanned into PDF or cbz/cbr formats. The iPad makes a great viewer for that media. Not only from a hardware perspective, but from software as well. There is a terrific selection of high quality apps to choose from.
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Old 06-10-2014, 07:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momen View Post
Hi guys,

I am looking for a tablet solely to read books (epub, mobi, PDF).

...

I'm not sure if these tablets are sturdy or reliable? I am also considering to buy an used iPad 2. What would be your suggestion?
You can also buy iPad 1.

I read a lot of scanned pdfs on both iPad 1 and iPad 4, with GreatShield Ultra Anti-Glare (Matte) screen protectors thereon.


Some of the great free iOS pdf and djvu apps that I've been using:

PerfectReader 2 lite (its low brightness level control is great for iPad 1)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/perf...436633759?mt=8
PDf-notes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pdf-...391487223?mt=8
Foxit
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/foxi...507040546?mt=8
Adobe
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adob...469337564?mt=8

Pocketbook
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pock...805488884?mt=8
SoleDjvu (the best one for iPad 1)
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sole...502292719?mt=8
tiReader lite
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tire...688254749?mt=8

For epubs it's Marvin and for mobi it's Kindle app.

In the meantime you can use k2pdfopt app to optimize pdf for your tablet screen size and resolution simultaneously cropping the margins (for Portraite or Landscape view), so that your tablet runs problematic pdf a lot faster.

If there is complex pdf compression involved (asks for powerful processor) then you should use bitmap mode instead of native one (native mode will preserve original compression).

Pdf optimized for bitmap mode will grow in size but will usually be a lot quicker to flip through on underpowered ereaders or tablets.

http://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/

Last edited by markom; 06-10-2014 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:41 PM   #7
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Besides of Ipad 2/4 you can also look at Nook HD+ 9" http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/nook...ble/1110060512
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.

Get a used iPad. You get what you paid for. Better hardware and lot of applications.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:59 AM   #9
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Besides of Ipad 2/4 you can also look at Nook HD+ 9" http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/nook...ble/1110060512
I agree with the recommendation of the 9" Nook HD+, which remains the least expensive, large-screen HD android tablet, particularly if you buy a used or refurb. For example, here are the current offers for the HD+ 32GB in the Amazon marketplace: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...&condition=all

Of the current offers, Ocean Reef Electronics would be my choice. Their price is great ($99 + $12.49 shipping) and they're a reputable seller that I've done business with several times. For the price difference, I definitely recommend the 32GB over the 16GB.
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Old 06-13-2014, 05:42 AM   #10
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buy an used TF101 or TF201
I agree. I have a TF101 and it's perfect in size and performance for pdf files.
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Old 06-13-2014, 11:22 AM   #11
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I've had both the Le Pan II (your first link) and the Nook HD+. Both are good tablets. I wouldn't get a used Android tablet these days. New and refurbished ones aren't much more expensive. I quickly installed CM 11 on my Nook and couldn't be happier. The only thing the HD+ is lacking is a camera. I can't speak to the default software because it was only on there a week.
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Old 06-13-2014, 06:02 PM   #12
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I've had an iPad Mini (non-Retina) for about 6 months. Currently on sale at Target for $200, which is the very top of your price range. I use iBooks for PDF's and Marvin for EPUB's and am 100% satisfied!

And ... it can do MANY things in addition to reading books!
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:14 AM   #13
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I've had an iPad Mini (non-Retina) for about 6 months. Currently on sale at Target for $200, which is the very top of your price range. I use iBooks for PDF's and Marvin for EPUB's and am 100% satisfied!

And ... it can do MANY things in addition to reading books!
Thanks for the suggestion. Is the iPad Mini without the Retina display easy on the eyes, with, for e.g., night reading?
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Old 06-26-2014, 01:39 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestion. Is the iPad Mini without the Retina display easy on the eyes, with, for e.g., night reading?
In my opinion, the eReader software is just as important as the hardware.

Marvin is fully customizable: font type, font size, background color, margin width, line spacing, screen brightness, etc.

After adjusting all the settings Marvin offers, my iPad Mini is a great eReader that is easy on the eyes day and night, with very legible text. The iPad itself is very easy to adjust for a wide variety of lighting conditions.

However, Marvin currently supports only iOS (Apple) devices and EPUB book formats. Noticed that you have a Kindle. Marvin does not support MOBI or AZW/AZW3 Kindle book formats. I have not used the Kindle app for the iPad.

So ... Marvin + iPad Mini (non-retina) = very good eReader, but I really don't know about the iPad Mini running the Kindle app.
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Old 07-07-2014, 04:58 PM   #15
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...

If there is complex pdf compression involved (asks for powerful processor) then you should use bitmap mode instead of native one (native mode will preserve original compression).

Pdf optimized for bitmap mode will grow in size but will usually be a lot quicker to flip through on underpowered ereaders or tablets.

http://www.willus.com/k2pdfopt/

Can k2pdfopt make easier that very complex pdf files?. I have pdf very hard to render when I make a ocr , I dont know why. Thx
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