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OT, sort of: Tablets for reading

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  • OT, sort of: Tablets for reading

    I have several thousand, large format (8 x 11" or more) shop/machining related, PDF's on my computer. I hate reading them on my computer, it's hard on the eyes and not very comfortable sitting there. I have looked at tablets like the I Pad (10.1" screen) and a couple of others (up to 11.5" screen), I have a 7" screen one but it is to small/low resolution to be of any value.

    Have any of you any experience with this.
    Any favorites or ones you hate.
    Is there any really good reason why the I-Pad is considered better then others.
    Are any of these tablets any good for this purpose, are the screens just to small for decent reading of large format books.

    Thanks.
    The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

    Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

  • #2
    I read everything on my computers. I have read gigabytes worth over the years and much prefer it to paper. I would suggest the highest resolution screen you can find which is either the I-Pad with Retina Display or the latest Samsung which is even slightly higher res. Samsung makes the Retina Display and won't sell Apple the best one. A 10" tablet or bigger is really the best for reading.

    I like the computer because the text is searchable as well as the ability to copy sections to create custom documents.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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    • #3
      I use a Galaxy Tab 2 for this exact thing. Works great, and I can zoom in on anything I want, and never have to worry about having to prop a book's pages open. Don't ask about Ipad vs. others. It will always turn into a fan war. Look at the features, try them out, and decide for yourself. I prefer the samsung because it's cheaper, and will run whatever apps I want without Apple deciding what is fit to allow on it. (see? I'm already flaming and I didn't even mean to!).

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      • #4
        I picked up a 10" tablet and generally like it for reading, mostly because I can hold it easily, it doesn't get hot like a laptop, and the screen is about the right size. Finding the right reader can be an issue as not all PDFs are created equal. The ones that are basically scans of a page tend to be the most bothersome. Also, I've still not settled on a good mark-up systems, basically for the same reason. PDFs include too wide a range of possibility and there's no one reader that does them all well. But, it's getting there. In another year or so I suspect this issue will be solved by the latest and greatest app. Just not yet, last I looked.
        http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

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        • #5
          Unless you are just trying to justify purchasing a pad, I can not understand the problem with reading on a computer screen. I have done several things to make myself comfortable while using my computers. First I have a standard desk. Second, the computer screens are large and high resolution, not the old VGA or worse. I adjust the brightness and contrast to comfortable levels, not blaring bright. Finally, I have a comfortable, office style chair with an extra cushion or two. Oh, and proper room illumination - not too bright and not too dim. Roughly the same level as the computer screen. Or is that vice verse?

          I do not see how a much smaller screen on a pad would be better on my eyes. But perhaps that is just me.

          I do find that there are differences between reading something on a computer screen and on paper. When I am proof reading something I have composed on the computer, I find that many errors that I have glossed over on the computer screen, jump out when I see the printed version. I do not know the reason for this, perhaps because I started writing on paper and only moved to paper later in life. Or perhaps there are other reasons. I would wonder about the comprehension factor when reading on a computer vs. on paper.
          Paul A.

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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          • #6
            I haven't stooped/advanced to using a tablet yet, although I can see the attraction of the technology, especially since her indoors (my wife) has started to take over my development computer at my desk, so can't trust the machine at my desk to be available for me whenever I want it any more. Nowadays I do most of my reading on a laptop either in bed or at the table in the conservatory - the glass roofed lean-to at the back of the house, what ever you call it over there.

            But tablets don't come with even a mousepad as far as I can see. The idea of coming in from the workshop with oil all over my fingers and using a touchscreen just won't wash (pun intended).

            Paul, I think that phenomenon may have more to do with the fact that when you print stuff out it is reformatted for the printed page. I think what's happening is that the mistakes have moved to a different position on the line, with different words above and below them.

            I think that when you're scanning for errors, the eye (meaning the eye-mind combination) can be distracted by words on adjacent lines, by preparing for the end of the line and by the start of the new line.

            I often notice some mistakes on screen after inserting or deleting a word, and causing a reformat to take place.
            Richard - SW London, UK, EU.

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            • #7
              I just returned a NOOK on the Barnes and Noble 14 day return privilege. It was okay for reading, but very poor for all the other things it could do like WIFI surfacing. Very few apps, it was the low price, $269 + $50 stored credit, that lured me in.

              As far as I could determine all the things the NOOK did well cost you money, paying to download books/mags, etc.

              I checked out iPads at the Apple store. Whew....pricey in comparison to NOOK, but do things other than reading books fairly well. Both our adult children use iPads in their work and love them.

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              • #8
                Two or so years ago I decided to try and do all my reading, etc, digitally. For reading and similar things, I use an iPhone sometimes, mostly my iPad. I'm happy. I like being able to download what I want when I want it.

                Why the iPad vs something else?
                Why not?
                It's an apple product, which, if one has that particular religion, makes it perfect ;-)
                It was the mature product when I bought it

                A bit more seriously, I do like the integration between iPhone, iPad, and mac that you get from going all-apple. Some folks don't like that "all your bits in one spot" kind of integration. YMMV. I also like that it's not open-source/etc ... a long time ago I tried using Linux as my home OS and hated it ... I spent more time administering the thing than using it. Again, YMMV.

                Personally, I think that the differences between the iPad and the others are mostly matters of personal prefefence and religion. There might be a "I want app FOO and it only runs on X, not Y" issue ... which only you can judge. As to the hardware technology (eg, display quality, amount of memory, etc), it all depends on where you catch them in their product cycles.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MikeWI View Post
                  I use a Galaxy Tab 2 for this exact thing. Works great, and I can zoom in on anything I want, a
                  How big a page can you see (can you read a large magazine format, not one made for a tablet but a regular mag digitized) and do you have to zoom in to see it.
                  The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                  Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

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                  • #10
                    There is no clear dividing point now, between tablets and phones and laptops. There are all kinds of tweeners now too, like the phablet for example:

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phablet

                    My current best read is on my ultrabook laptop. Very thin, half the weight of my previous laptop, cooler, more efficient, twice the battery life, nice screen. Nice high res screen, and it's got a pretty decent keyboard. That's what drives me crazy on my wife's kindle fire, input is painfully slow and it dirties the screen up pretty fast.

                    They are also making interesting progress on digital paper. Reads like paper, but changeable like a computer, sort of...

                    http://www.mobilemag.com/2004/01/20/...er-production/

                    More choices all the time. All it takes is money.

                    doug

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DR View Post
                      I just returned a NOOK on the Barnes and Noble 14 day return privilege. It was okay for reading, but very poor for all the other things it could do like WIFI surfacing. Very few apps, it was the low price, $269 + $50 stored credit, that lured me in.
                      It is a great deal. However, you have to get past the core install of the OS. I loaded cyanogenmod (Android) on an SD card and use it in my Nook. It is really pretty easy. Worlds different. I love that thing now!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by loose nut View Post
                        How big a page can you see (can you read a large magazine format, not one made for a tablet but a regular mag digitized) and do you have to zoom in to see it.
                        I have several subscriptions for the google magazine app, and they work well. The Cooks Illustrated magazine is in identical layout to the print version, and you can read the pages easily. You can zoom in to whatever you need regardless. I mainly got the tablet in order to have all of my vehicle service repair manuals (factory) on hand when I'm working on the car, but it worked out so well that all of my documentation has been scanned or migrated to that tablet as well. I also use it to read books.

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