Perfect e-book reader
December 23, 2011 6:31 AM   Subscribe

Wanted: a large e-book reader with e-ink and PDF support. Does anyone know of such a product or if one is in the works?

The Kindle does not have PDF support, as in you cannot manipulate the PDF and zoom in with say, your fingers like with an iPad. But the iPad is also out of the question because it doesn't have e-ink.

Surely I cant be the only one who wants something like the e-book reader in my description. I think that many academics would probably be interested too.

Does anyone know of anything out there that matches the description or is in the works? Thanks!
posted by pulled_levers to Technology (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A sort-of answer to your question: you might want to check out Calibre. You can use it to organize and tag your documents on your computer, and then if you have a Kindle, it will automatically convert PDF to MOBI and send documents to your Kindle over Wifi. Calibre also supports a ton of other formats and e-book readers. Converted PDFs show up on a Kindle like any other e-book, which means that you can change font sizes and zoom in on images. Calibre is a bit complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it it's incredibly powerful.
posted by fuzz at 6:50 AM on December 23, 2011

The dx is large enough that zoom is often not necessary. That said I prefer the iPad to the DX.
posted by rr at 6:57 AM on December 23, 2011

e-ink is so slow (<1 fps) that is isn't practical to do things like use a pinch-zoom gesture. If that's a big requirement for you, I suggest you deprioritise it because it's not really practical.

I would consider the larger form factor kindle. I've seen that successfully used as a pdf reader for scientific papers and the like.
posted by Jerub at 7:02 AM on December 23, 2011

Man, you just missed out, yesterday the 9.7" Kindle was selling for $200. It's 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi is pretty darn sharp, textbooks are pretty much what it was built for. It's true that zooming from time to time would be nice, though.
posted by wnissen at 7:36 AM on December 23, 2011

The $200.00 DX sale was on Woot. Woot is on Amazon. My guess is that the sale is a signal that Amazon will drop the price on the DX sometime soon or they might discontinue the line. Or it may mean nothing but that Amazon had a bunch of refurbished DX's that they wanted to move.

Calibre is a wonderful but there are limits to what can be done with scanned pdfs. For non-scanned pdfs equations will probably be mangled.
posted by rdr at 8:00 AM on December 23, 2011

s/is on/is owned by/
s/is a wonderful/is a wonderful program/
posted by rdr at 8:01 AM on December 23, 2011

Accurate pinch to zoom in not feasible on an e-ink device because of the slow screen refresh.

The only large e-ink device is the Kindle DX (which supports PDF and regular zoom)
posted by wongcorgi at 9:39 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Actually there are other large screen readers, although I don't know if they do what you want. There are also some small readers that do pinch-to-zoom and so on, though I don't know if they do it well. Ask this question on mobileread, where someone will know!
posted by trig at 10:43 PM on December 23, 2011

I'm not sure what you mean by supporting pdf - but while Kindle does not support pinch to zoom, it does support pdf files - I've been able to email several to my kindle email address and they have all been supported (even those containing images). My sister has the old Kindle, which I think is now the Kindle DX and it is much larger than my newer kindle.
posted by echo0720 at 5:35 PM on December 24, 2011

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