Tablets for A4 PDF reading - Why You've been lied to

Discussion in 'What Tablet PC Should I Buy?' started by Megamox, May 3, 2014.

  1. Sweetpea8472

    Sweetpea8472 Scribbler - Standard Member

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  2. JoeS

    JoeS I'm all ears Senior Member

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    It's a really cool device, we had a discussion on this a while back. I was only half joking when I said that it would fit the 'annotate papers in the sun' niche, providing an excuse to buy it alongside my many other tablets.
    http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/professions/61812-bronsky-dstrauss-others-legal-profession.html
     
  3. IM46

    IM46 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    OP, I agree with you. I love to read a proper book. I love the feel, I love the smell, it's irreplaceable. I have an iPad mini that I adore, but nothing tops a good, old-fashioned book.

    Trying to justify that with costs and a myriad of calculations is completely unnecessary. Just say you like reading off of paper. Millions will agree. Though I'd be a little wary of printing and reprinting books. Why not just support your local book store? You obviously have the time on your hands to wait for an ordered book to come in.
     
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  4. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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  5. Sweetpea8472

    Sweetpea8472 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yes, and that's sad. It would be an awesome device if the price went down a bit and the software got more functionality. Even if only the price went down, it would be great for the average student.
     
  6. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    In Japan it's sold to universities and students. They found it is less distracting than iPads.

    Sent from my SC-01F using Tapatalk
     
  7. Megamox

    Megamox Pen Pal - Newbie

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    For those who asked, I am aware of Sony's 13.3 Mobius Digital Paper effort (it was mentioned in the first post), however, having reviewed it at CES it is almost 4 times the weight of anything I deem comfortable (360g). After 12 minutes I was tired of holding it, which was lucky as the handlers were eager to have it back. Also - while not one of the main criteria listed above, but part of my own 'Extra needs', the 150 ppi is pretty lacking when it comes to anything above a fairly moderate PDF experience. Sony's goal, as I've understood it, means none of this is an issue as it's purely for business an academic settings. If you're interest is peaked by this however, keep your eyes out for the Onyx 13.3 offering which should be released in the next six months to a year. Personally, as part of my own criteria I would not consider a device with less than 250 ppi.

    Answers to a few questions:
    1) Why the preoccupation with A4?
    If something works well with A4 - it automatically will accommodate all sizes below and up to this. My dream machine is, automatically, all of your dream machines too.

    2) Why quote 100g when books already weigh more than this?
    Call me crazy but I thought technology was supposed to IMPROVE my reading experience, not simply replicate it. If I'm going to buy something dedicated to reading why does making it as light as possible seem to be at odds with some of you. 100g is the perfect weight for holding reading material for 2hrs+.

    3) Devices already exist with 4/5 of the attributes you've stated, whats the problem?
    The running theme through my posts is that the size of the reader should be A4. While I do accept some compromises can be made, I meant in general I'd be willing to look at readers that may have had to sacrifice the MP3 element, some leeway with dimensions of width etc. I would not consider any device below at least 10" to match, or nearly match my criteria. Less than 10" is a deal breaker.

    4) Books don't come in A4 - why do you insist on printing things out to an unfamiliar format?
    Books come in all sizes, and while A4 publications arent the norm, there is a font size of text which feels more comfortable to read. Sure I can squint at font 8, but I'd rather bask in font 12 and up. Don't be afraid to dream a little bigger darlings.

    5) Are there enough people with your criteria for manufacturers to ever make such a niche device?
    Maybe. I can only specify my requirements and wait and see. In the meantime, my reading experience with paper is quite beautiful.

    6) Why don't you just buy the books?
    I have quite a library in book and digital form. The digital form is what primarily concerns me.

    7) What are the downsides of your unique choice of reading style?
    I only have access to the pages in my hand and cannot refer easily to other sections of the book. Is this frustrating? Sometimes. Is it as frustrating as navigating the minefield of tablet technology, rooting procedures, system updates, crashes, system lag, software conflicts, sd card and storage management, screen freezes, constantly worrying about battery consumption, dead pixels, tinting and an almost OCD preoccupation with swiping home screens as fast as possible to keep an eye on system performance?. Not even close. I'd also prefer to go through life without having to learn the names of more of the latest generation of CPU's which sound so cool, but mean absolutely nothing. Give me a device that works, not a list of tecchy acronyms that are supposed to comfort me while it doesn't work. Exynos? Adreno? .. Really? No Thanks, Keep your hipster terms. I'd actually prefer a Works-Straight-Out-Of-the-box-ynos (c).

    Sure my standards are pretty high. The question you might need to ask yourself is - why aren't yours?
     
  8. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Your standards may seem high to you, --but to me at least-- they seem a wee bit trivial, and most certainly NOT universal.

    I personally would count the disadvantages of carting sections of a book around on printed paper (economical, aesthetic and ecological) as far more inconvenient and obstructive to the reading experience than just taking a book with me, which leads me to my major question: 6.) Why do you buy digital at all?? Clearly if you enjoy the book form, (which I'm grateful to hear) but hate the digital reading experience on tablets, why bother buying a digital copy of a book and spending all the time and money printing them out? It can't be still cheaper by enough (if at all) to warrant it in a practical sense.

    I think most people who would prefer books over tablets for reading would still prefer books over printing their own books onto A4 to read, which I think is where your point falls flat for many of us. Many would agree reading tablets have much room to improve, but the classic book is difficult to beat.
     
  9. Megamox

    Megamox Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the comments, I do read and appreciate them. Just thought I'd share an anecdote of my journey into work this morning. While London's underground train network (locally referred to as the 'Tube') had been upgraded for the 2012 Olympics, everyday users will tell you that behind all that jazz it's still woefully archaic, hot, cramped and squalid. Thankfully It's not all bad though, this is only true when it's open. The rest of the time, it's on strike.

    Like normal, I find myself in the carriage pressed up against other passengers in a level of intimacy usually only reserved for married couples. However this does allow me to observe the reading habits of my fellow tube sufferers, all sporting various gadgets from Ipads to kindles. Perfect for the topic under discussion.

    The tube really is the perfect testing ground for such devices. If you can enjoy a quality reading experience through the horrendous rocking motions, the blare of the overhead lights, the sweltering heat, and participation in what feels like a giant game of carriage twister, you're really on to a winner.

    From my vantage point I do spot an Ipad user next to me, a rather tall gentleman probably heading into the financial district judging by his attire and brogue combination. Must be a stressful day ahead as he's already playing Flappy Bird. Swapping over now to a digital newspaper, he raises the tablet just inches from his face and I see him trying to make out what looks like the issues of the day, albeit in font 8. Unfortunately due to the lack of space around him, he has barely enough space to hold it and has to tilt the tab respectfully. As the heavy lights bear down on him, I can already tell he's a level 6 grand wizard in reflection management, effortlessly finding the perfect angle to read the parts of the screen which dont appear like a pristine mirror.

    I make the bold, and not to be recommended decision, of asking him how he finds reading on his device - as to me it seems like a chore. The antics in the carriage mean he's only left with one hand to hold the device, the other desperately holding on to the rail to keep from being thrown against the carriage sides. He has to judge his page swipes in line with when he feels the train is going to wobble less, so he can quickly let go of the rail, swipe, and then grab it again. This could become an olympic sport one day.

    Despite this, he tells me he enjoys it and the Ipad is the only superior device for comfortable reading. I'm not convinced so I offer a brief swap - his pad for my stack. After quickly scanning my face for signs of criminality, he relucantly agrees. I really want to love the Ipad, I do, but it is far too difficult to read a full page of anything serious on, clearly. Of course, the fractal crack running across the screen end to end doesnt help. By this time he's absorbed in my reading material to such an extent that I'm worried I might not get it back. His final remarks however - he wouldnt trade in his device because it's far too useful for him. However for reading, at least in that situation, paper wins. The lady behind us, now inviting herself into the conversation, agrees, waving her newspaper to emphasise the point and inadvertently fanning us both in the process. She wouldnt trade it in for a tablet either apparently. Another man, with what looks like to be a kindle on the other side of our clique goes one better, No way! I've read more books on this than I have in my entire lifetime, he exclaims - holding up a miniature device that looks like it should live in a lady's purse. I'm guessing he means epubs, because PDF reflow on any device is poor in my experience, unless he's using a newer version of k2pdfopt on steroids.

    Meanwhile the train shudders to a halt at the next stop and after our impromptu gang has rearranged, I offer the same swap to Mr Kindle - Now interested in his opinion of the two experiences. Of course this is better, he says, it's paper! But can you fit all your books into your pocket like I can? Sadly not I admit. Can you search through your books to find any reference? Again I'm resigned to admitting defeat. Can you read several books at the same time? I Shake my head once again to indicate another no. Luckily though I muse, not having ADD issues myself, none of those habits seem common to my lifestyle. Have you got anything in that electrical talisman that resembles a complicated diagram? I enquire, sure he says. After a few moments he shows me what looks like an pen drawn illustration of Sherlock Holmes. Heady from his apparant victory, he offers to zoom in for more detail which it seems to do fairly well, if a little clunkily. The smile on his face only evaporating as the device yields to its limit, displaying an out of memory message and then locking up completely. Twenty-first century technology it seems, may have trouble rendering Eighteenth century literature. Pity.

    Before he leaves we have a brief discussion on the irony regarding people who buy ever increasing television screens (50"+ and up), yet defiantly object when you suggest that 6" is far too small for an enriching reading experience. Sure you can enjoy Fight Club on an old 14" cathode ray tube from the 60's - but the question is, why would you want to? As for me, I fold my stapled 20 or so pages and slide them into my coat before leaving the carriage. I'm left with the memory of what I consider to be the summary of my morning's experience. Of course it's better.. it's paper.
     
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  10. stoneseeker

    stoneseeker Animator and Art Director Senior Member

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    Well, if anything that was a very well written and enjoyable post. Like a snippet from a novel.

    Although I feel in true honor of the post I should have printed it out on to A4 before I read it to get the true experience! :)
     
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