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Good PDF Reader Device With Internet Browsing? 167

Posted by timothy
from the all-things-to-one-guy dept.
ranjix writes "I need a handheld device which would allow me to read ebooks and/or browse the internet while actively and intensely laying in the hammock (and Yes, I do have a hammock in my mom's basement). I'll try to sum up the basic requirements: (good) PDF reader (and ebooks of whatever sort), WiFi connectivity and Internet browser, screen minimum 4.5", readable in sunlight, etc, fairly responsive, at least 4-5 hours battery. Obviously I looked at the usual suspects: Kindle/Amazon tries to grab one into the proprietary formats and their own network (while other ebook readers don't really browse the internet), laptops/netbooks are pretty hard to hold, and the UMPC arena seems a hodge-podge of 'to be released' (Viliv S5? Aigo whatever?) with 'seriously expensive' (Sony, OQO) or plain 'we recommend you don't buy' (Samsung Q1Ex). Is there anything else I could use in the given circumstances?"
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Good PDF Reader Device With Internet Browsing?

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  • Your are not the only one looking... I have even looked at the older PDA's and such posted on ebay. The biggest drawback so far I found is the e-ink daylight, no backlight desire.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Antidamage (1506489) *

      The cheapest option could be a Nokia N770. They're not quite as daylight readable as e-ink surfaces, but still not bad. The bonus is you're getting a mini-linux environment in your hand. I run RDP on mine and connect to a Windows 7 box when I'm around home.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can get a Nokia 810 for about $180 these days. They have the transreflective screen. FBReader makes a great ebook reader on these things. I don't know if you can get a 770 new any more and the 810 will be worth the extra $ anyway.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Antidamage (1506489) *

          When I checked a year ago, the N770 was still around for $170 new, so the 810 would definitely be a tempting prospect. It's a big upgrade.

      • by Holmwood (899130) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:53PM (#28583647)

        The parent is correct in pointing out the fascinating Nokia device. However, the Nokia 770 hasn't been manufactured for at least a year; it was replaced by the Nokia N800. The N810 is an N800 with slideout keyboard, GPS, etc. The N800 is probably the best choice for a very small reading device that also browses the web superbly.

        That said, the screen is a slight bit smaller than the OP's requirements; it's ~4.1". But at 800x480, it yields 275 dpi which is very, very nice for an LCD-based device to read text from.

        The N800/N810, despite coming from Nokia are not phones. They are essentially powerful desktop computers from the late 1990's reduced to palm size (~8 ounces). 400 MHz ARM processor, 256 MB RAM, up to 64 GB of storage (2 SDHC slots), 4.1" 800x480x16bit screen, runs a loosely Debian-based Linux distribution called Maemo.

        It plays Youtube videos, and can play back DVD-quality DivX/Xvid (MPEG 4 pt 2 ASP) video without transcoding. It has a built-in PDF reader, and FBReader is an excellent free reader available for a wide variety of other formats.

        Battery life is on the order of 4-5 hours, and unlike Apple devices the batteries are user swappable. I have a spare that gives my N800 close to 10 hours of powered-on life. (In sleep mode, the device sips power; I've had mine sleeping for days without running out of power.)

        I find it generally excellent for daytime use, though I agree with the parent that e-ink devices are a little better for text in daylight, but all I've tried (Kindle, Sony) are inferior for PDF's and web browsing.

        • by NightLamp (556303)

          I also have an n800 and use it to read .pdf every night (there is a download to let you set the lcd to 1/128 brightness), during the day I read the same book on my Touch Pro but the n800 has a much better screen. I use Evince to read the pdf files, it is one of my favorite pieces of software.

          Evince lacks reflow but I can maximize the font by reducing the margins to 0 in Acrobat.

          Evince beats the WinMo Acrobat reader because it remembers your page when you re-open the file, this is a feature not to be undere

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by denttford (579202) *

          Doesnt't it feel like there have been three of the same stories in different form but identical in comments?

          Anyway, The N810 is also an N800 with a transflective screen, making it very readable where the N800 is not, and thus fits the requirements better. Yes, I own both (and owned a 770, for good measure).

          I would caution against any of the eink devices if you insist on webbrowsing on the same device. The refresh rate and limited web media and browser functions make for a frustrating experience. I carry m

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You have not listed the most important difference between N800 and N810 with regard to ebooks - the N810 uses a transflective screen and is thus readable in even direct sunlight. Not as good as e-ink but definitely useable.

      • I love my Nokia 770. I use VNC to access Windows and Linux desktops elsewhere in the house, and I also use it for LOTS of other things including reading PDFs and e-books, viewing msps offline via Maemo Mapper (and sometimes as a basic GPS), running various Palm programs via Garnet VM, etc.

        In fact, right now I'm writing this via Firefox via VNC from my 770. :-)

        • I don't even buy textbooks for school anymore if there's a PDF version available, now that I have an n810 and an 8gb card.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      My X1 came with PDF support

      http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/products/mobilephones/overview/x1?lc=en&cc=us [sonyericsson.com]

      It's a great device really.

  • iRex iLiad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:05PM (#28583395)

    It does everything you want. Nothing with an e-ink screen is going to browse the internet "properly", but nothing without really fits the bill either.

    Get an iLiad, and keep updating the browser as new versions become available. It runs Linux, and isn't locked-down DRM-addled crap like the Kindle or those shoddy Sony efforts.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      the price of the iliad is a complete joke. $700? May as well buy a tablet pc at that price.

      • by amiga3D (567632)
        Ah...but he doesn't want a tablet PC. According to what the original post asked for this seems to be a perfect fit. Cheaper would be nice...if it existed.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      OK, DRM sucks, but seriously, the Kindle DX doesn't force you to use it. It is "DRM-addled crap" in the same way the iPod is. It displays normal PDFs *and* the DRM-shit that Amazon peddles. You decide what you want with your credit card and USB cable.
      • by afabbro (33948)
        Does it display PDFs? Last I heard you had to email the PDF docs to some conversion service run by Amazon, and they made no guarantees that any given PDF would render properly.
    • by peragrin (659227)

      Well there is one but it isn't out yet.

      Get a crunchpad. The form factor is larger than wanted but everything else fits the bill. The fact is companies keep trying to tie their services to these things to make money but some how fail to do so as the unit is so locked down it never takes off to begin with.

      I fully expect the crunch pad to spawn a series of open devices of various sizes. electronic paper, is a joke until it costs the same as paper.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gazita123 (589586)

      I second this. I've got one and use it all the time. It is really excellent for taking your library with you, and it doubles as a notebook (a book to take notes in, not a notebook computer). The wifi works OK, but can be finicky. This is one of the only e-ink devices with a Wacom digitizer for taking notes and annotating documents. The software has been opened up and there is some community development Open Iliad [openiliad.com], but you will find most of the active discussions and news on the forums.

      It is hackable to exte

    • Re:iRex iLiad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 04, 2009 @09:39PM (#28583809)

      I too have an iLiad and would recommend AGAINST getting one. The hardware for the iLiad is great, the software from iRex is horrible. Just for example, the hardware has (stereo) sound capabilities. That's good. The software doesn't. That's stupid.

    • Re:iRex iLiad (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rm999 (775449) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @10:08PM (#28583909)

      "It runs Linux, and isn't locked-down DRM-addled crap like the Kindle or those shoddy Sony efforts."

      You don't understand the Kindle at all. First, it runs Linux. You are probably repeating complaints that the software isn't open source, but Linux is not a synonym for open source. Second, its DRM does not prevent you from viewing non-DRM material. The Kindle has a very capable PDF converter, and the resulting files have no DRM in them. The Kindle is a superset of a theoretically identical device without any DRM. I have a Kindle and have never used its DRM.

      The Kindle is an impressive piece of hardware, but I agree its software licensing leaves something to be desired.

    • Re:iRex iLiad (Score:5, Interesting)

      by SpinyNorman (33776) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @10:16PM (#28583939)

      Nothing with an e-ink screen is going to browse the internet "properly", but nothing without really fits the bill either.

      Maybe not yet, but check out this dual-mode reflective/transmissive LCD screen from Pixel Qi.

      It has the best of both worlds - in reflective mode it's like an e-ink display, readable in full sunlight, and in transmisssive mode it's a fast color display suitable for watching movies.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm8WoItVRn0 [youtube.com]
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oawX3wenxNc [youtube.com]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stephanruby (542433)

      Get yourself a computer projector (if you do your research, you can get a very good one for a decent price). Experiment with projecting on the wall (or on the ceiling of your basement). If your basement doesn't have a good spot for projecting on to. Build yourself your own custom projection screen (see the instructables web site to see how it's done right). Hang it from the ceiling, and use some ropes and a couple of mini-pulleys to tilt it to the angle you prefer (assuming you do want it tilted, also if no

      • Very good.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vivian (156520)

        This is thinking along the right lines. For years I thought it would be cool to have some sort of tablet PC so I could surf the net on my couch.
        After getting a 42" plasma screen a couple of weeks ago, I now realise the solution I always needed was to have an old PC hooked up to a huge screen and just have a remote keyboard & mouse. Works great - you can watch tv, movies etc and also surf the net at a lovely 1920x1280 resolution. Total cost: About $AU 1700 for a 42" plasma, + $100 bucks for a logitech w

    • by RMingin (985478)

      Locked-down DRM-addled crap?

      I put tons of my own books on my Kindle. I do so drag-and-drop, from an OS of my choosing, via USB mass storage. Kindle reads plain text, MOBI/AZW (mine have no DRM, or the Amazon DRM stripped, pretty easy to do), and the newer ones read PDF unconverted.

      If Kindle isn't for you, that's fine, but dismissing it out of hand as 'DRM-addled crap' seems a bit knee-jerk.

      I have a Kindle, I bought it second hand. I've bought exactly two paid books via Amazon, and have ZERO issues of any ty

    • I own one and it's horrible: slow screen refreshes, slow and confusing navigation, and it runs out of power at inconvenient times. I don't think the Kindle or Sony are much better, although I have only tried them briefly. Although the Iliad is hobbled by bad software, I think even the best software can't compensate for the limitations of e-ink.

      Get some kind of tablet with a touch screen. A tablet-converted Macbook may be a reasonable choice, as may be the new EEE PC T91. In about a year, you can get a l

    • Nothing with an e-ink screen is going to browse the internet "properly"

      I figure my eyes/brain just glitched, as I read it as "e-kink".

      I'll leave it up to the reader to guess how I read the word "properly"...

  • iPhone. (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:08PM (#28583411)

    Ok, someone has to say it. iPhone/iPod Touch.

    Choice of several readers. Choice of formats,
    and at least 3 different on line stores if you want to buy something to read.

    May not be cost effective for the single purpose of PDF reader, but throw in everything else it does and it makes sense.

    • Re:iPhone. (Score:4, Informative)

      by Degro (989442) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:25PM (#28583517)
      The iPhone is not very good if you're talking larger book pdfs (jailbroken may be a different story). The best I've found so far is Air Sharing from the app store, which lets you map your phone via WebDAV. Once the files are on your phone it seems to use the built in display for that file type, the same pdf viewer you get from the mail app in this case. The viewing is good enough for me. I've read several smaller books with it already. The problem lies with trying to open large files. Anything over 10-15mb will likely lock up your phone. Anything over 25mb, forget about it. Sometimes I can't even kill the app when this happens and have to reboot the phone...
      • Re:iPhone. (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:31PM (#28583545)

        Try PDF+ which is in the App Store. I carry several large IEEE standards in it (largest is 19mb) that work fine. It also adds search and index support which makes it reasonable to use with large documents.

        Even with all of that it is a pain compared to reading the same document on a laptop. The screen is small and the controls are limited. But it fits in my pocket which was the goal.

      • by BagOBones (574735)

        - The 3GS has a lot more ram which should solve the large document issue, and there are plenty of different PDF apps on the app store.
        - There is the kindle branded app as well that lets you get the same books available on the kindle direct on your iPhone

        Other than screen size the iPhone very closely meets his requirments and is great for surfing the web.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by wizzat (964250)
        Sounds to me like you're using the wrong app to read with. I've read many many (many) books on my iphone and really it comes down to the interface on the app you're reading with. I rather highly recommend reading with Bookshelf - and as a double bonus win, it is setup by default to access the Webscription (Baen/Tor) free library.
        • The problem I've had with bookshelf or any PDF reader on the iPhone is a lack of any kind of search within the document. Even being able to flip to the next chapter would be nice, but a minimum requirement for me is to be able to search on a string, find all instances within the PDF and cycle from instance to instance. Every reader I have tried has failed in this regard.
          • I use Stanza, which handles a variety of book formats including PDF. It has string search, bookmarks and automatically bookmarks chapters. It also automatically preserves your place. The OS X version has a sharing feature for transferring books to your iPhone/Touch over WiFi.
    • I I've been using my palm tx now for many years. When I bought it I figured it would be the killer device. All screen touch sensitive, wifi, blue tooth, using Palm OS which has a ton of apps. Add Documents to go and there is your PDF Word, and Excel app. It browses the the net well and allows SD cards which adding a few cards to the case puts you way over the Iphone. I'm not sure if Palm still even sells these but It's an awsome device

    • I was going to say the exact same thing. I hardly ever use my iPod Touch to listen to music, but I use it all the time for Internet, IM and PDF reading. I use air sharing for my PDF reading. It's quite good.

    • I agree with the other posts about the iPhone. I have Readdle and Files and while both do smaller pdf's adequately (not great, just adequate), there is nothing I have found that does 80MB pdf's without crashing.

      If anyone has a suggestion, I'd love to hear it... because I could surely use one.

    • by wzinc (612701)

      iPod touch has more than everything you want, except the 4.5" screen. All other devices will be a disappointment compared to it in terms of ease of use.

    • No device with a screen resolution of 320x480 is going to make a decent PDF reader, period.

      Heck, the first Kindle had 600x800, and it still sucked at it.

    • Alternatively, consider one of the new breed of large-screen smart phones like the Samsung Omnia HD or the HTC Touch HD. Now that manufacturers are waking up to the design mistakes they've been making for the past five years, these devices are finally becoming the true all-in-one solutions that they should have been all along.

      The large screens are ideal for both web-browsing and e-book reading - obviously not as good as a larger dedicated reader, but if portability is a factor then these things are ideal. I

    • The screen on the Apple devices is smaller than the OP wants, and is seriously low-res for 2009. 480x320? Seriously cheap move by Apple. The HTC and Nokia devices do 800x480 and the difference, especially for annoying formats such as PDF, is like night and day.
  • HP TC1100 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:09PM (#28583419)
    You'll have to get it used but you won't find anything better.
  • Netbook with Pixel Qi screen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm8WoItVRn0 [youtube.com] (evolution of OLPC XO-1 screen)

    If it would be in the form of tablet-convertible there shouldn't be much of a problem holding it.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Pixel Qi will have screens ready for manufacturers in a few months. It then takes a few months for the manufacturers to test/implement them. Don't expect to see anything with a Pixel Qi screen until sometime next year (despite what the marketers at Pixel Qi keep saying--remember that they only have a few samples themselves). Chances are a few netbooks/tablets will be announced at CES next January, with ship dates around March or April. Still a little ways off, but if they pull it off it should be what peopl
  • Have you considered the Crunch [techcrunch.com] ?

    I know, I know, it's billed as being a web-only tablet at this point in time, but I honestly can't see it being released without support for the PDF format, it's just too common to overlook. I know I'll be getting one when it becomes available.
  • A 9 inch netbook (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grege1 (1065244) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:15PM (#28583461)
    An 8.9" netbook is very close in external dimensions to a 7" inch model. All have WiFi. Get a solid state device like the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 running Ubuntu or get an ASUS EeePC 701 for the absolute cheapest. Use any PDF reader and screen rotation, hold netbook sideways. With a big USB Thumb drive (or SD card) and headphones it can also be used as a movie player, or a music player and you can surf the net. This is the sort of use netbooks are good for, better than trying to make them mini notebooks.
  • I had to attend a workshop which required we have 100 or more white papers on tap and easy to read. I looked at all sorts of devices and settled on an Acer Aspire 1 netbook. None of the ebook readers at the time were good at PDF's. The Acer wasn't even close to perfect, but it did the job for that workshop. It has a fairly wide screen but I would prefer something larger, vanishingly thin, flexible and foldable. Oh, and it should run the application "Papers" by Mekentosj.com
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Get a netbook, add a polarizer so its readable in sunlight, buy an expanded battery.

  • by ActusReus (1162583) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:23PM (#28583513)
    I haven't heard that the CrunchPad prototypes support PDF... but if not, I imagine it's sure to be the first new feature added.
  • by magarity (164372) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:26PM (#28583521)

    The new version Kindle in the large size does PDF - they don't force all the content in their proprietary format (although of course they make that the easiest to get). I think that would be your best bet. Note the smaller size Kindle does not do PDF.

    • by amiga3D (567632)
      Really I'd love to have something just like a Kindle but with linux on it and totally open. The hardware is great but I don't want to be tied to Amazon. I can see why people that want it just to read books love it though.
    • by _KiTA_ (241027)

      The new version Kindle in the large size does PDF - they don't force all the content in their proprietary format (although of course they make that the easiest to get). I think that would be your best bet. Note the smaller size Kindle does not do PDF.

      Not YET. The Kindle 1 had a firmware update after the Kindle 2 came out that backported the 2's features. I would not be surprised to see the DX's full PDF support backported to the 1 and 2 later, after the people who NEED PDF support get the DX.

  • Srsly, I have an old Palm Tungsten E (the first one, uses a standard mini-usb port before they did their universal dock connector shit). It's perfect for reading ebooks (Mobipocket Reader) and PDFs (Adobe has a Palm reader), and isn't bad for pictures as well (the screen is only 256 colours though). I use it an average of 2h per day (long commute, and I read paper books at home) and I only have to charge it maybe twice a week. The only thing it doesn't have on your list is internet. I personally don't care
  • N810 (Score:3, Informative)

    by mzechner (1351799) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:38PM (#28583567)
    a linux based internet tablet with tons of 3rd party apps, everything open source, superb pdf reader, very big screen 800x480, wifi, bluetooth, keyboard, camera, microfon etc. really it's the perfect device for the purposes you mentioned. i couldn't live without mine. forget about the iphone/ipod touch, they are nothing compared to this little beast.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The screen size is only 4.1", but I agree with the Nokia recommendation. PDF sucks for e-book reading unless you have a large screen though. I suggest EPub or Mobipocket formats and FBreader. They allow reflowing of the text to fit the screen, instead of trying to preserve the exact page layout. Fortunately there are a couple of good PDF readers if that is the way you want to read E-books.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The third, and cheaper Nokia option is the n800. If you don't need a keyboard or GPS (hey, you're in your HAMMOCK) it's also decent.

    • Re:N810 (Score:4, Informative)

      by cbhacking (979169) <[moc.oohay] [ta] ... isiurc_tuo_neeb]> on Saturday July 04, 2009 @10:24PM (#28583975) Homepage Journal

      Agreed, although I used a N800 (same as the n810 but no hardware keyboard - more expandable storage capacity though). The screen is big enough to read books on, the latest version of the OS (Maemo, a modified Debian) has a very nice PDF reader built in, the browser is Gecko-based and even has things like AdBlock Plus available (since it supports Flash, this is a real benefit). Everything is open source, no jailbreaking required (there's a built-in way to get full control over the device, including a root terminal) and you can install whatever you want on it - other PDF, web, or email software, Skype, the freaking GNU build toolchain even. WiFi and Bluetooth are its primary communication methods.

      The fit VERY comfortably in one hand, and if you're just reading books the battery will last 7 hours or so. Fantastic little device.

    • Re:N810 (Score:4, Informative)

      by delorean (245987) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @11:33PM (#28584241) Homepage
      Yes, the 810 is an excellent unit. Does lots of things well, lots of things so-so.

      PDF and eBook is so-so. Don't get me wrong it is very usable-- that is what I mainly use one for now, that and email.

      But I am coveting the Kindle I bought my wife for her birthday. It much much much easier to read a book on the Kindle than the n810. There is more screen and the screen so much easier on the eyes. I love that eInk stuff. Just keep it out of the direct sunlight or you have little evil kindles running all over the place. But the little evil kindles are much better than the Vashta Nerada that come in with our hard copy books.

    • everything open source

      Are you sure this is true? Last I checked, a fair bit of the software supplied with the Maemo OS was not open source. Not to mention that a number of high profile third-party Maemo applications aren't open source either.

      I have an N800, and they're great devices, but finding this out after I bought it was a great disappointment.

  • by bluemonq (812827) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:47PM (#28583617)

    For sale at Dynamism.com, and has been for the past month; I don't know how you got the silly idea that it was "To Be Released". It satisfies all of your criteria, which is pretty awesome considering that it weighs less than a pound. Yes, I own one. A 7" screen version goes on sale this week, weighs a bit more than a pound. Both are priced at $599.

  • I use the 701, but i plan to upgrade. Using either envice or a combo of fbreader and pdf2txt tools it works great. Fbreader will even let you hold the thing sideways and rebind keys. Imo it's the best way to go. (plus the eee pc 1000he has 7+ hr battery life).
  • There are excellent reviews of the device at UMPC Portal here http://www.umpcportal.com/2009/05/smart-devices-q7-7-pad-for-189 [umpcportal.com], and at Mobileread forums here http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48934 [mobileread.com]. You can find one online for under $200. It comes with a version of Ubuntu Linux, FBReader and Evince are in the standard install. The Mer Project over at Maemo.org is currently porting Maemo to the device, they have a thread here http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=27433 [maemo.org], discussing ports for
    • by torpor (458)

      I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the SmartQ7 .. the OS pretty much blows, and there are power-management issues .. the device is rather prone to suddenly shutting down if you don't play with the right buttons for a while (15 minutes), and really .. the OS is pretty bad. It'll be much more ready for prime-time when a full Android or Mer port is completed .. in the meantime, if you get one, be prepared to put up with a very weird, Chinese, Ubuntu hack ..

  • by RicRoc (41406) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @09:22PM (#28583753) Homepage

    I have pre-ordered a Touch Book from Always Innovating for just this kind of thing.

    http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/ [alwaysinnovating.com]

    Runs Linux on:
    Texas Instruments OMAP3530 with Micron 256MB (RAM) + 256MB (NAND) Memory
    8.9 inches 1024x600 A+ ressure sensitive touch screen
    Main storage: 8GB SD card (replaceable!)
    USB: internal and external

    Should be shipping this month!

  • I've been *told* a PSP with some extra software can make a great, if basic ebook reader, plus it has many other features. I might be tempted to look at a DS too.
  • Not only can you read pdfs and surf the internet, you can easily do the following:

    *Connect to networks via VNC
    *Stream music with Pandora
    *Watch flash content such as YouTube, Hulu, Youku, etc
    *Type up office documents
    *Print office documents
    *Listen to FM radio
    *Run a Bittorrent client
    *Calculators
    *Watch video
    *IRC
    *VoIP
    *Watch TV
    *Play MP3s
    *Read and compose email
    *Monitor weather
    *Expand storage capabilities up to 32GB
    *Use as a wireless modem, or WAP
    *War driving
    *GPS locator
    *Play games
    *Command prompt
    *Cellular network a

    • TOUCH PRO FAIL (Score:3, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I have an AT&T Fuze right here. It is a touch pro with an alternate keyboard. The device is a pathetic joke. Here's some reasons why:

      1. Comes with Windows Mobile 6.1 while everyone else is shipping Windows Mobile 6.5.
      2. There are replacement ROM images with WinMo 6.5; they are ALL problematic to some degree.
      3. The cable for the sliding keyboard WILL FAIL. Some people have had their unit replaced three times for the same defect. Reportedly you can stop it happening with a little square of electrical tape, but you
      • by ZosX (517789)

        Sorry you ended up with that piece of crap. This fully reinforces why I want my cellphones to be cheap and single purpose. All I need is a number pad and an address book, preferably in a flip format, so I can at least feel like I am talking into a phone. Something like a plain small tablet like something maybe a bit bigger than a touch would be really appealing. My desktop finally died, so I decided that my next computer would just be a laptop. I can get cheap laptops that are faster than my desktop ever wa

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't care about internet browsing, that's what my computer is for. Nor do I care about music playback, that's what my MP3 player is for. I just want a simple device that can read PDF files so that I don't have to read them on an eye-straining monitor.

    Criteria:
    - Screen without backlight, large and high DPI preferably. e-Ink is fine. I want ot read under a lamp.
    - Long battery life. Enough for me to read for 30+ hours.
    - Touch screen would be nice.
    - Low price, but not too picky

    Can anyone suggest any devices

    • I think the problem is that a device's manufacturing costs mainly come from the type of hardware features that it has. A pure PDF reader needs a processor, a good screen, volatile storage, non-volatile storage, a way to transfer the books to the device, battery, human interaction interface, etc etc. In other words it basically needs to be an iPhone or tablet PC 'hardware-wise' but you want it crippled so that it is only a PDF reader. Well no one is ever going to make such a device, because its hardware w
  • OLPC XO-1 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Necronian (602418)
    I bought my xo for exactly the type of thing that you are asking about. It's display is really well suited for reading ebooks, it's sunlight readable and 200dpi. I get around 5 - 6 hours of reading time when I turn everything off and put the display into low power(ebook) mode. The processor in it isn't the beefiest a 433mhz amd geode, but you can browse the web with it. I think they usually go for ~$200 on ebay.
  • Not quite out yet, but this seems likely to be your best bet.
    It's a laptop, but the keyboard portion is removable (and, infact, optional) turning it unto a tablet. Reportedly 10 or so hours of battery life.

    http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/ [alwaysinnovating.com]

  • by xSauronx (608805) <xsauronxdamnit@gmail. c o m> on Saturday July 04, 2009 @11:24PM (#28584191)

    that the only thing you should have in your hand is a beer or a mixed drink.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Agreed. Throw that sentiment in with the fact that a war's going on, the economy is circling the bowl, we're destroying the planet with our excesses, but a laptop is too cumbersome for your precious hammock, so stop the press.

      I sympathize with your plight, but please go to a store where they're paid to be insensitive. Pardon my optimism, but this marvel of intercommunication has more potential than an enhanced shopping channel.

  • Get a GPS that can run miopocket. It comes with a PDF reader.

    If you get a GPS with wifi, you get internet connectivity. If it's got an SD port, get a wifi SD adapter and you're good to go.

    No monthly fees, touch interface, and the battery life on mine is 4-5 hours.

  • Irex iLiad 2nd Edition, WiFi, Wacom Penabled, 12 hour battery life wile reading and writing, supports wireless synchronization, 8.1-inch (diagonal) Electronic Paper Display, 768 x 1024 pixels resolution, 160 DPI. 16 levels of grey-scale. Built-in stereo speakers. File formats supported : PDF / HTML / TXT / JPG / BMP/ PNG / PRC (Mobipocket).

    IrexShop.com [irexshop.com]
  • PDF as movie (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @01:06AM (#28584551) Homepage Journal

    You know how newer mp3-players and phones can play movies?
    Wouldn't it be possible to convert a PDF into a movie (scrolling the pages) and read it with pause-play?

    • by daath93 (1356187)
      it would probably be infinitely easier to just save the PDF in jpg and read each page as a picture if you cant find a device that reads pdf.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ASUS are about to release a tablet netbook, the Eee PC T91 [asus.com]. I have an ordinary tablet PC and have read dozens of books on it but it is far too heavy to satisfy the hammock requirement.

  • Nokia 770 or n800

    I own a 770, it does an amazing job as handheld web browser/ebook reader.

    With fbreader, you can rotate the text and hold the reader vertically in one hand, the thumb right on the pageup/page down switch.

    I don't like reading pdf on it, however.
    Too slow.

    The n800 may have the memory and processor to handle large pdf. I never tried it, however.

    Otherwise, an eee is great too.
    Way bigger, but i think it could be usable in an hammock,

    Celjabba

  • ...actively and intensely laying in the hammock...

    So, did you really mean "lying", or are you a hen, or will your reading matter be the Kama Sutra and/or Masters and Johnson?

  • I was looking for a similar device myself. I wanted to use it to control things like lights and the TV in my house. Originally I landed on the n810 (nokia). It had a decent sized touchscreen, not huge, a wireless, a flip out keyboard and oddly enough GPS. I was trying to find out what was wrong with this device. Turns out the GPS is a little slow to come on. But for the price it is great for its other functions. At least from what I read. In reality I ended up buying an Android G1. I don't so much use it a
  • Crunchpad [techcrunch.com], crunchpad [bizjournals.com], crunchpad [slashdot.org]!

  • ..with the not-yet-out integrated Atom + video system in a chip.

    If you can't wait, the Atom + Nvidia ION combo is one to look for.

    If you really can't wait, the cheapest current Asus/Acer aren't bad, and much more versatile than an ebook. My now-obsolete Acer 8.9" (with the larger battery) gives me a good 5 hours, and I can use it on a plane when the guy in front has reclined so that I am admiring the bald patch.

    Here's the BIT (bagofbeans important test) for an ebook reader: When you've read enough, can you

  • You are asking for what amounts to the impossible. PDF's are created for a specific page size when created. A4, A5, 8.5x11 , whatever. PDF's do not "reflow" easily or properly onto smaller devices. Yes, all the major ebook readers 'support' pdf and do attempt some degree of reflow. For all but the most simple documents (ie, something that would look just as good as a flat txt file) the results are poor. Sometimes the font is reduced to unreadable. If it is not, edges of pages may be cut off. Page b

  • I have been very impressed with the PDF quality on this device, and it does have (free) Internet access in the USA (coverage by Sprint).

    Moreover, the form factor is just fantastic. It feels good in the hand (or in bed, or on the subway, etc.) and looks good too.

    Search for the recent Ask Slashdot thread on the Kindle DX for more, or see my profile for my comments on the Kindle DX.

  • built in 3G wireless chip set. A Linux netbook may be the only way left to get a SSD flash drive (lower power consumption and better ruggedness), find one that Kubuntu or netbook remix are known to work on. (as in for which driver support exists) If battery life is a problem, get a larger aftermarket battery, and if you're reading local content, turn off the wireless card and run the backlight at the minimum that works in your lighting environment.

    My netbook OS (eeepc 900) is stock Kubuntu Jaunty. So I r

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