P is for portable
September 22, 2007 4:56 AM   Subscribe

What's the best portable device for reading pdf files?
posted by dhoe to Technology (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You could get Adobe Reader for Pocket PC and install it on something like a used Dell Axim or other Windows Mobile device. But that's a small screen. Depends on what you'll be looking at.
posted by Joleta at 5:43 AM on September 22, 2007

PDFs are quite readable on my Palm TX using PalmPDF. As a bonus, it's open source and free like beer. It's not as good as a 15" screen, but still quite useful.

I haven't found a solution I like for blackberries though.
posted by bonehead at 6:25 AM on September 22, 2007

There is a ebook reader for the PSP that will do PDFs, its relatively decent, and seems alot faster than my palm.
AS long as your willing to softmod your psp (which is very easy now) then you should have no trouble finding the software, pair with a 1-2 gig memory stick, and your in business.
posted by JonnyRotten at 8:13 AM on September 22, 2007

Reading PDFs on my Palm Tungsten T3 was horribly slow. I own a Nokia N770 Internet Tablet now. The device is ok for reading PDFs.
posted by donut at 8:53 AM on September 22, 2007

I have heard that the iPhone (or presumably the iPod touch) is by far the best--it's supposed to have a stellar PDF reader. And, of course, the best screen resolution.

Unfortunately I don't have one, so I can't corroborate. I also don't know if the thing even has a local filesystem so you can store something and read it offline.

I read PDFs on my Treo 650 with PalmPDF, which is much recommended over Adobe's solution. But, it's not terribly enjoyable; even though the Treo has one of the highest resolution screens out there, it's still a bit so small for a great experience. More of a "if you have no other choice" thing.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:21 PM on September 22, 2007

Having been innundated with pdfs to read for classes, I've been thinking about this too. I've got a blackberry, but I would not want to try to read articles in pdf format on it with its small screen.

If I continue to grad school and thus have more pdfs in my future, I'd seriously consider getting a Sony Reader. It's a one trick pony, but it seems to do the trick pretty well. Better than printing off reams and reams of paper.

I've seen one of these which a commuting acquaintance has, and it is pretty good to read from. It's not necessarily cheap, but it'd beat beetling my brows trying to read tiny chunks of text off a PDA.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:19 AM on September 23, 2007

Best answer: as someone that has tried to find such a device, and had a go on a few, so far the n770 is the best at handling pdfs. but having had a play with the iphone/ipod touch, i think that my be my replacement. the good thing about the n770 is that it can read .chm and various other formats too, as well as browse and so on. i'm not sure if the iphone/ipod touch can handle other e-book formats easily.

prior to that i have been using a tapwave zodiac with picsel viewer, which has a lovely, but not very fast to use interface, and palmpdf software isn't particularly swift either. (the tapwave is by far the best portable device i've used, with the best video playback, audio playback, browsing and games as well as other functionality thrown in to boot)

for something that renders well and allows swift page turning, as well as able to handle colour and images, the n770 is about as good as it gets. the sony e-book reader looks lovely, but isn't as portable, and i don't believe it handles colour.
posted by spyke23 at 1:29 PM on September 23, 2007

Late correction: I don't know where I read about my above statement, but clearly the iPhone, today (11/2007) does *not* have an ebook reader or a separate PDF reader. There is support for viewing PDF mail attachments, though. Sorry for the confusion, and good luck.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 3:55 PM on November 20, 2007

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