eBook Readers

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RPTroll
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eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

Does anyone use an ebook reader to hold their game PDFs or have an opinion what the best valued reader on the market? I've gone to almost all electronic for my techie manuals and RPG books and am looking to buy an eBook reader that is flexible, functional, and easy to read with a good price point. Back lighting might be nice as well.

The ones I've see are Amazon's Kindle variants, Sony's PRS, and Barnesr & Noble's Nook.

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Re: eBook Readers

Post by jfrazierjr »

I don't have specific info on gaming uses, but my wife loves her Kindle (last years X-Mas present). One thing we also recently noticed was that there was a blackberry app(which we both have) to allow reading Kindle books.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

As my eyes get older I'm more interested in something I can read easily without my glasses. :-)

I have a hero and could read them there but would prefer something with a larger screen.
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Thanlis
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by Thanlis »

Anything but the Kindle DX is too small for RPG PDFs. I had a regular Kindle for a year or so, and I tried, but it just wasn't up to snuff. I have opinions on a certain other flat device which serves as a PDF reader, but I won't force them on you (some are pro, some are con). ;)
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

Actually I would like to hear your opinions. If you don't want to post it all here, feel free to email me at keith (at) rptroll (dot) com.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by neofax »

Are you planning to only use it for RPG PDF's or for casual reading as well? As battery life plays a big part. I personally wouldn't like using the eInk screen for RPG PDF's and would like a actual AMOLED or LCD screen. For casual reading, I prefer the nook as I have been planning on purchasing a eBook reader for a while now and have tested the Kindle, nook, Sony's versions and the Kobo one that is at Borders. Since the price drop, I think the nook is the best for what I would use it for and most of the software problems have been fixed with all of the firmware upgrades. However, I am holding out now for a Android or Linux ARM based tablet instead as it will kill multiple birds with one stone.

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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

I'm planning on using it for RPG and Techie PDFs and little else. True I might become enamored with eBooks and want to use it for that purpose as well but for now I'm only interested in PDFs and the ability to search for text within them.

Good comments on the tablets. I hadn't considered one of those. I wonder if they could run maptool.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by Notsonoble »

The E-Readers don't handle .pdf's very well... No real access to the search function, and pdf's can't resize the "page", so you either have the whole page with text about this big or regular sized text the need to scroll...

That said, bat life even under heavy usage is pretty long... and they are better on the eyes... and there are some pdf->epub and pdf->mobi options out there... so you could consider converting.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

Does anyone have any experience with the converters? Does the end product look great, OK, or bad?
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by Azhrei »

Notsonoble wrote:That said, bat life even under heavy usage is pretty long... and they are better on the eyes... and there are some pdf->epub and pdf->mobi options out there... so you could consider converting.

But if you like pictures and/or color, the b&w ebook readers leave a lot to be desired. Some (most?) have multiple shades of gray which is better than just b&w, but those also tend to be a bit slower when rendering the book as well.

Also consider weight: how much weight do you want to be toting around. I had considered the iPad as a general purpose toy (reading, web surfing, etc) but it's too heavy (and too large) for carrying around in general, IMO. Of course a tablet would be even heavier, but the functionality level would go up by about 10x!

For those that use HeroLab, lonewolf-rob posted on the Paizo forum last night that they are porting HL to the Mac and plan to use a technology that will let them easily port to the iPad as well. (No idea what that will be -- I've asked -- because the iPad doesn't support Java and Apple is really pushing HTML5. Porting from their current Windows-only library must be a lot of work as he's said that their code isn't the most modular application out there. One of the same issues that MT has right now...)

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Re: eBook Readers

Post by Thanlis »

RPTroll wrote:Actually I would like to hear your opinions. If you don't want to post it all here, feel free to email me at keith (at) rptroll (dot) com.


Nah, I don't mind posting at all, I just don't want to be that guy forcing iPad stuff down anyone's throat. I believe very strongly that the Kindle and Nook serve a somewhat different niche than the iPad.

So yeah -- for RPG PDFs, a standard Kindle is too small. The eink screen can't scroll quickly enough to make zoom functionality useful, and the screen is too small to view the full PDF legibly. I have heard a Kindle DX is better, but I haven't seen one. Losing color is also painful.

You also have to take into account slow page turns. On my iPad, I can turn pages quickly, which means I can leaf through a PDF. On an eink device, each page turn takes a second or so, so you can't really scroll through them.

On the other hand, the Kindle has better battery life. An iPad will last 10 hours -- I've done that a few times now. A Kindle still lasts longer on a single charge. Kindles are also more readable outside. Direct sunlight washes out an iPad's screen. I don't read outside much, but that's me.

I find the iPad screen very readable, more so than the usual desktop monitors. The LCD technology used is somewhat different. I read through the new superhero book from Greg Stolze and Arc Dream, Progenitor -- it's like 300 pages and I had no eyestrain. I'm 40, I wear glasses, for what that's worth. I didn't sell my Kindle until I had a month of iPad experience, because I thought I might still want the Kindle for some purposes, but after a while with the iPad I was confident I'd be fine without the Kindle.

The Kindle is way lighter. I can't hold the iPad up with one hand. Reading in bed is a smidge less convenient.

I do use the iPad a lot for non-ebook uses. $500 is really pricy for just an ebook reader, or even for just a PDF reader. And it's more if you get 3G. Since I can use the iPad for travel instead of a laptop, and since I do a lot of business travel, that was a real factor for me. (It even has RDP/VNC, so I can remote desktop into my work desktop and get stuff done if I need to.) Might not apply to everyone.

So that's some pros and cons. Short form: I strongly recommend it for reading game PDFs if you absolutely have to have a portable PDF reader or if you would find it useful for other things as well. If you don't have any other use for it, I don't think it's as worthwhile.

Rough calculations: $600 for an iPad with maybe a case, or the 3G version. PDFs average maybe half the price of the hardcopy, gaming books average around $30 apiece, so you'd save $15 per book. You'd make your money back once you bought 40 RPG books. Heh.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

LOL. That last bit is funny.

Thanks for the feedback. Others on other forum have said how badly the PDFs do on a reader. There may be some converties that will help but screen size is an issue. I'm in my mid 40's so larger fonts help a lot. I'm not wild about spending 600+ on a pdf reader so the iPad won't do for me. Maybe one of the Linux tablets will be the solution unless/until the readers get a bit more umph. Either way it looks like I'm waiting for a bit.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by wolph42 »

I'm currently using the bebook it is an open source reader so can support nearly any format. And believe it or not I also read rpg PDFs from my iPhone I've got a very very good PDF reader on it: goodreader.
Anyway bebook works quite well but is not ideal for full colour PDFs. Then you better can go for an ipad.

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Re: eBook Readers

Post by RPTroll »

I think trying to read a pdf on a phone might be stretching my poor eyes to the tearing point but I'll take a look at bebook.
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Re: eBook Readers

Post by wolph42 »

As I said the PDF reader is very good on the ipone it can for one cut of margins of odd and even pages can read columns AND most impotantly it can transform the text to a normal text stream that you can read at any size and font.

But in all the bebook is much nicer for longer reads. I love it.

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