Ebook Readers

Who here has an eBook Reader? Who has tried a selection and has a favourite out of the available? Been tempted to get a Kindle or similar for some time now, for technical PDFs and copyright free material mostly. In print and easily available stuff I’d much rather read in a real book but I have found myself thinking one would be useful more and more often.

Unfortunately the selection of Kindles available in the UK seems to be very limited compared to their full range. Want something kind on the eyes and low battery use, hence something with eInk like the Kindle (or whatever the other, similar technology is, I’ve forgotten the name) rather than IPS like the iPad and Kindle Fire use. Even if this means I’m restricted to monochrome.

I’ve had 2 kindles (gen 2 and 3), a sony pocket reader and a Kobo. Unfortunately, technical pdf reading has always been e-ink ebook readers’ main downfall. As you can imagine, scaling a page down to a 6in screen makes pages with graphics quite challenging if not impossible to read. Although, most pdfs can be read without too much strain by rotating the display and reading 1/3-1/4 of the page at a time.

eInk is definitely easy on the eyes and and great on battery (I’ve never had an ereader run out of power and am the type that tends to forget to charge my devices till near empty). I don’t understand the current trend in ereaders to go to lcd screens as that completely eliminates the non-backlit, easy on the eyes premise of traditional ereaders. Although, it does make complete sense for those wanting to read textbooks and manuals.

If said pdf reading material can be converted to Epub where the text is seen as text instead of images of text, the eink reader is the best bet and rotating the display is not necessary as the text can easily be scaled. Most technical PDFs can be read in landscape mode without the need to zoom. The problem I sometimes run into (maybe 1 in 20-30 pdfs?) is that the text is too small to be read without zooming. The problem with zooming is that you may be stuck with having to pan right and left all the time if the page’s content can’t all be fit nicely in the confines of the zoom. The nature of e-ink screens is that the display must be updated even with a simple pan to see the entire page.

Luckily there’s the fantastic and free software Calibrethat will help optimize most books for individual ereaders. I’ve used a variety of the ereaders and have been most happy with the Kobo reader. It has the cleanest UI, the best feel physically, and great touch control. It also doesn’t need to do a total screen refresh for something like 6 pages which translates into quicker page turns.

Monochrome Eink displays are very nice for reading in general and are often my first choice over paper books (didn’t think I’d say this before I started using ereaders). I must admit though, I do miss that new book smell. If there was some kind of novelty scent product to spray on ereaders to get that authentic new book smell, I’d invest in some. :lol:

Any questions, feel free to ask. :)

opps. (not sure why this double posted :S)


So you seem to generally rate the Kobo? Have you tried the PocketBook ones? Seem to have one of the better supports for multiple file formats. Although don’t seem quite as easy to track down in the UK… The 9" model with better resolution would probably be better for technical pdfs too.

I’m very happy with my Kobo as a reading device for non pdf files. It does work for them, but it’s not something I’d want to read on for technical documents. For manuals and tutorial books I use my Dell Ultrasharp monitor rotated to a portrait view (also really nice for Renoise as it’s a very vertical program. I’m not too sure why so many renoisers use landscape orientation when tracking :S) I then use a second monitor in standard landscape mode or a big sketch book to take notes on whatever I’m reading. If I’m on the go or away from the computer I use my iPad for technical reading.

I have not tried a PocketBook but that 9" one does look nice and extremely useful for what you have in mind.

Although, the Kindle DX is due for an update soon or atleast a price drop. I’d personally wait for this to happen and scoop one when they do… actually I think I will ^_^

Ya so now that you jogged my memory that big e-ink readers exist, I’d totally discourage buying any reader smaller than 9" for technical reading.

Was never released in the UK, unlikely to ever be and I thought they were discontinuing it in preference to the Kindle Fire (colour tablet rather than true eReader.) Hardly any of the Kindle range seem to actually get released over here :(

The PocketBook range do seem to be a fair bit more expensive though…

You’re probably right about it being discontinued. However, they do ship the Kindle DX to the UK and the 3G works globally.

But you can order any Kindle from amazon.com to practically any country in the world, including the UK.

As for the readers, I have the current Kindle (the cheapest non-touch one) and am very happy with it, but as already said, only for books. PDFs would require a much bigger display, and color. A friend of mine uses the 9" PocketBook for technical stuff, seems to work quite well too.