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Kindle e-reader and scientific papers

  1. Nov 24, 2009 #1
    Has anyone used the new e-readers with scientific papers? I'm looking into getting a kindle or something similar. But am concerned about the formating of the pdf files on the small screen. While it would be nice not to have to carry a stack of papers the screen needs to be easy to read, otherwise it's mostly a waste. Any comments?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2009 #2
    Kindle just came out with PDF support, but it looks like it has a few problems.
    http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Kindle_gets_Native_PDF_Support_Battery_Life_Boost/551-107719-893.html [Broken]
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  4. Nov 26, 2009 #3
    Scientific PDF's are all but unreadable on most modern e-readers (Kindle, Sony Reader, Nook, basically everything with 6" displays, which is, as far as I know, everything except the $500 Kindle DX) if you upload them natively. The trick is to reformat them into a usable form. I found the program called "pdf2lrf" quite useful for uploading scientific papers in pdf format onto Sony Reader, that makes them a lot easier to read. The program automatically cuts off margins, splits pages, increases contrast, and it's smart enough to handle two-column PDFs.

    On a related note: scientific PDF's are one thing, but just try to find a (legal) e-textbook...
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  5. Nov 26, 2009 #4
    I took some pictures, if you're interested.

    #1: PDF when loaded directly into the e-book reader (landscape orientation)

    #2: PDF at maximum zoom

    #3: PDF converted into LRF

    Shown next to a typical paper textbook.

    Attached Files:

  6. Nov 26, 2009 #5
    And one more shot of the final version:

    Attached Files:

  7. Dec 1, 2009 #6
    Thanks for the reply. How do equations look? I was thinking about the DX because the screen is larger, with increased resolution.
  8. Dec 15, 2009 #7


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    Gold Member

    I have had pretty good luck reading computer science textbooks on Kindle 2. They recently improved the .pdf displays with a code update, so you might want to actually look at a friend's Kindle.

    I just love the Kindle, period.
  9. Apr 20, 2011 #8
    I have a Kindle 3, WONDERFUL for books, so so with pdf articles. I have a very good eye sight, and full screen view kind of works for me, but only barely. By Tilting the display 90 degrees and fitting to width, the text in single column papers become large enough to read comfortably, but you lose the overview of figures and tables. If you plan to read a lot of pdf articles, then I'd definately recommend the DX instead.

    P.S. The Kindle only works as a complement, if you do research you'll probably still want those paper copies so you can scribble notes and quickly flip between text, figures, tables and appendices.
  10. Apr 24, 2011 #9
    I have a Kindle 3 and it works well, for me, even though the screen is not very large and I have to switch to landscape orientation. I am waiting for this, it should be released in june
  11. Apr 24, 2011 #10
    Omg! I want that!!!
  12. Jul 30, 2011 #11
    There is good review, with comparison of paper printed vs. eReader display for the new iRiver Story HD.

    http://kernel-panik.blogspot.com/2011/07/pdfs-manuals-and-tehincal-papers-on.html" [Broken]

    Seems like device is usable, but still a bit smaller, less enjoyable for reading than paper.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  13. Dec 28, 2011 #12
    So nobody else has to register just for this one thread, here are the images hamster uploaded hosted elsewhere so you can view them:

    http://img807.imageshack.us/img807/6186/attachment3.jpg [Broken]
    http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4565/attachment1b.jpg [Broken]
    http://img688.imageshack.us/img688/4152/attachment2s.jpg [Broken]
    http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/7397/attachmentgs.jpg [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  14. Dec 29, 2011 #13
    You might consider some other devices too, which are 9.7":
    - Pocketbook 902/903/912
    - Onyx Boox M92
    im thinking about using them for PDFs but have not decided which one is the better of the two. (Not only in terms of hardwarefeatures but also in terms of support, firmware update policy, general information about the devices...)
  15. Mar 22, 2012 #14


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    Gold Member

    I love my Kindle too, though I haven't found it satisfying to read technical books on it as much as regular (fiction/non-fiction) books. But admittedly, if I wanted to read techbooks on Kindle, I think I would buy the large footprint device (approximately 8 x 11).

    I'm also very happy with using the free Mobi reader on my laptop.
  16. May 10, 2012 #15
    I would go with a generic tablet, PDFs display perfectly and you get full color.
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