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Scanned books, where to read them?... PC monitor, some sort of reader, what is out


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I have tons of PDFs from scanned big books to study from. I always resisted going the digital way and just bought the damn physical books but now there are too many and they are very expensive medical books. 

I have no clue what is out there regarding e-book readers, tablets, etc. What I do know is that:

- I hate reading books on a big screen

- I hate not being able to make annotations or underlining text.

- I own a 32' screen which is too big and a 11' laptop/tablet 2 in 1 thingy which is too small.

- I need because of diagrams, anatomical sections, etc.

- I also need some way to have them available, so either the device has a big capacity memory or needs some sort of easy way to transfer files (External HD via USB or something).

 

Thoughts or suggestions?  

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the idea, I do have something like that, an HP Spectre x360. When I posted the question I was under the impression that there were already coloured e-ink e-book readers (apparently it's going to be a thing in 2018). Since then, and because they are text books, I just gave up on the idea of reading them on a screen. I just can't do it, I need them in paper and be able to underline and write notes and stuff like that. It's just the way I'm used to study for decades. If I can't scribble on the margins, I can't keep focused. 

So I just went ahead and printed some of them in B&W and bought the ones I need in colour. Ongoing (big) expense but used books are dirty cheap and in my new field a lot of stuff doesn't change much from 2014 to 2017.    

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 21/10/2017 at 10:07, Senninha said:

iPad Pro is really good for that, almost full A4 size. I've had same challenge of wanting to read PDFs, and that's the best solution I've come up with.

Thanks for the input, I had missed your reply. It seems to me that Ipads are actually the best solution and I might have to go for one. I've been buying hard copies, wasted a couple of toners printing some materials and it's just not working. Too much money or too long waiting for a book, I'm not keeping up.  

That pen thing it comes with... can one take notes over the PDF, highlight stuff or turn a non-editable PDF into an editable one easily? I'll have to google these stuff up but if you could give me an idea of what to expect, that would be helpful. I've seen a colleague doing that with a Microsoft Surface, I believe Samsung's tablet does that too but they cost a fortune compared to the IPad.       

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Yes, you can do that using Apple pencil (or indeed your finger!). I use an app called Goodreader - I drop the files into a Dropbox folder on my computer, and then that folder syncs down to the iPad. So whatever desired to be read can be just dropped into the folder, and be there when you pick up the ipad.

I've tried normal size ipads (and also a mini) but even with my eyesight pretty good find them too small. I use an ipad mini for web, email etc, but the biggest ipad works for A4 size documents, magazines etc. Scanned books work fine on the mini, as the screen is about book sized.

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Have a look at the Surface line. I used mine (S3, SP3, SP4) for 3 years at university and they proved absolutely fantastic. The dekstop version of Onenote is very hard to beat. I have every single annotated book, pdf, and powerpoint etc in one local notebook, which is also available on any machine in the world as everything backs up on the cloud. You also gain all of the abilities the full version of windows offers, unlike the rather limited mobile OS on the ipads. 

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6 hours ago, hughlle said:

Have a look at the Surface line. I used mine (S3, SP3, SP4) for 3 years at university and they proved absolutely fantastic. The dekstop version of Onenote is very hard to beat. I have every single annotated book, pdf, and powerpoint etc in one local notebook, which is also available on any machine in the world as everything backs up on the cloud. You also gain all of the abilities the full version of windows offers, unlike the rather limited mobile OS on the ipads. 

Thanks, I'll have a look at those too. I've seen them on stores and they are really expensive but a windows OS would be nice.

Got to play a bit with an IPad Pro during lunch and it feels nice, although the OS is a bit alien to me. 

Oh, and small correction to what I said above, I don't know what IPad I was looking at but the price of a Pro is around the same as a Samsung and a Surface (all expensive). 

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8 hours ago, Kutusov said:

Ah, that sounds just like what I need, thanks! BTW, what's the size of your Pro? I'm guessing the 10.5"? The other one is huuuge :laugh:  

Ah, mine is the huuuge one :-) 

They do look big, but handle really well. The point is the physical screen size - it's almost the same as an A4 page, which means it feels really natural when reading A4 size pages, like documents or magazines. I've never tried the 10.5" one - with the pixel density it should be good, but I only know personally the full size, which works superbly.

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2 hours ago, Kutusov said:

Thanks, I'll have a look at those too. I've seen them on stores and they are really expensive but a windows OS would be nice.

Got to play a bit with an IPad Pro during lunch and it feels nice, although the OS is a bit alien to me. 

Oh, and small correction to what I said above, I don't know what IPad I was looking at but the price of a Pro is around the same as a Samsung and a Surface (all expensive). 

Look at the older models. They can be found for very very reasonable prices and are by no way obsolete or slow. While smaller than what you say you're after, I found that the 3:2 aspect ratio made my S3 absolutely fantastic for reading and annotating textbooks. it's not the fastest device, but as a companion device it proved perfect. For me the biggest seller has been the 3:2 aspect ratio, I don't think I could ever happily use a 16:9 laptop or tablet again. 

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Well, I'm sorted, I hope. I ended up making an impulsive buy of a Galaxy Tab S3 just a few hours ago because it was on some weekend sale in a store I happened to pass by. I know it's not the best choice but the price was ok, I do trust Samsung and I'm used to Android OS. It will have to do, I ended up organizing myself a bit better and I'll be using this thing for accessory textbooks, I don't really have all that many "Bibles" so I can have those in hard copies - I'll be using those for a long time. 

Thanks for all the answers and for putting up with my basic questions (on tech forums I essentially got "oh lordy, not another of these questions, do your homework!" :tongue:

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First impressions are that the Galaxy Tab S3 runs much faster than other Android tablets I've tried. It's snappy like a flagship smartphone from last year (no wonder, it runs a Snapdragon 820). Runs Android 7 but, as per usual, it looks like a blown up version of smartphone UI. Samsung did a good job trying to minimize this with their skin though but it still isn't as nice as an Ipad or a Windows 10 device. Screen is amazing, probably better than the one I have on my S7. Transferring files is easy, it's just like having an external drive connected to your PC - connect via USB, create folders, copy/paste. Not amazingly fast transfer speeds but I'm putting everything on a micro SD card and I've bought a conservative UHS-1 Class 1. Still nice that has an expandable storage capacity. There's Google Drive too. Samsung's stylus is very nice and haven't run into any problems or inaccuracies, etc. Battery life seems pretty good and it has adaptive fast charge, it fully charges the 6000mah battery in about 2 hours, very quick to get an emergency 30 to 40%.

Loading and browsing books is not snap fast, it might take 3 or 4 seconds if you open a heavy ilustrated book of over 1000 pages and jump straight to page 500. No problems after loading it fully. Now it's a bit up to what app to use, I'm using Xodo and it does a good work cataloguing all the books and has a nice interface. OneNote also seems to work fine (in my (small) experience Android works fine with Microsoft Office). 

Happy so far but time will tell... and I'll tell you then :yes:        

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All sounds really good. Speed sounds very similar to ipad - even the big Pro model (supposedly most powerful) takes 2 or 3 seconds to load a file, and sometimes pre-rendering the next page is not ready instantly when flicking through. Main thing for me is updating and transferring files, and that sounds really good on the Galaxy. Sounds a great option.

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It's a bit smaller than the Ipad Pro, has a 9.7" screen but it's ok for me. One can always pinch and zoom a little bit of a particularly intricate illustration. On the plus size, it's smaller an lighter and maybe the better screen makes up for the smaller size. It really is an impressive SAMOLED display with incredible viewing angles. HDR ready but that's wasted on me, I'm not really going to use it for media consumption.      

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