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Ask Slashdot: E-ink Reader For Academic Papers? 134

Albanach writes "Recently, I purchased an e-ink Kindle. I like real paper books, but I'm reading lots of academic papers. The Kindle is a nice way to carry and read them, and I went through several documents, highlighting important passages. Now I learn that there is no supported way to actually get a highlighted personal document back off of the Kindle with the highlights intact. I don't need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines — there are other things the Kindle can and will be used for. What I would like to know is whether there's another e-ink reader that does let you add your own documents, then highlight them and export the altered document. Or does someone know of a way to achieve this using the Kindle itself?"
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Ask Slashdot: E-ink Reader For Academic Papers?

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  • Oh man (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:26AM (#46254047)

    "I don't need lectures about DRM, proprietary software or anything else along those lines"

    Are you sure you posted this to the right geek news site?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Listen you Troll, he said he didn't NEED lectures about DRM. He never said he didn't WANT lectures on DRM. I'm mentally sifting through my RSM lecture notes as I type.

  • Uh, yes (Score:5, Informative)

    by orledrat ( 3490981 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:27AM (#46254055)
    They exist. Don't pick one that is too weak to display large PDFs or too small to comfortably navigate A4. I'd probably pick this 9.7" Icarus Excel if I had to choose one right now: []
    • Thanks. I don't need to deal with PDFs (fortunately). Can this do the same with stuff like ePub?

  • by jaymz2k4 ( 790806 ) <> on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:30AM (#46254057) Homepage
    I tried making use of a kindle for reading papers but in the end found the experience too clunky and cumbersome - especially with dual column PDFs. Instead I've ended up using a 7 inch tablet (nexus 7 in my case) and a good PDF reader (settled on ezPDF reader). My kindle wasn't touch enabled so that may have been part of it, but even then I found it easier and more reliable to load and annotate the PDF in a good reader on a tablet.
    • by JanneM ( 7445 )

      I have a Nexus 7, but I found the screen just too small for double-column papers. I now use a Sony Tablet Z and it's nearly perfect. It's still light enough to easily hold in one hand, and I can easily read a single-column paper in portrait format, or a double-column paper either in portrait or landscape, depending on how tired my eyes are at the time.

      I use "PDF Viewer", actually "EBook Droid" for PDFs, and it's OK for papers. I'll try ezPDF as well. I also use Sony's "small app" notes application to take n

      • The big advantage that the tablet has over an eInk device of the same size is that you can scroll quickly. I found having an eBook reader that could only display half of an A4 page quite annoying, but on a tablet it's far less of a problem because you can slide the page up as you read it.
    • I was looking at youtube videos of PDFs on various tablets. It looks like with book format the larger hi-res tablets (like iPad w/Retina) and some of the newer 9-10.1" Androids with similar hi-res display (2048 x 1152-ish) do a much better job of displaying the full page of text and are legible to read. I find the small screens make reading difficult and strenuous on the eyes.

      I'm going to grad school soon and I'm debating buying a tablet or getting a new laptop with hi-res display. I just want to setup some

      • I was in the same boat, and carry my iPad with me daily. First, get a good case and never take it out. My old iPad I (kids use / abuse daily) has one of these [] which I used to use but found a bit bulky. Now I use this []. I've dropped it numerous times and come away unscathed. I think the trick is to make sure the corners are well protected, so DON'T use that pretty, slim one Apple makes!

        Goodreader [] with its file sync and annotation capabilities goes a long way towards making up for the stock viewer you get wi
    • i have a 10 inch tablet and i would buy a bigger one if i could.

    • Yep. I just sent a Kindle Paperwhite back to Amazon because of multiple pdf-reading problems. Ten-inch android tablets, even slow ones, work better.

  • Calibre? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by karimicus ( 3538639 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @09:38AM (#46254085)
    If I remember right there's a function within calibre which detects the meta data from kindle/pdf formats and allows it to read the highlighted meta data
    • i think if I had the chance would get a kindle dx for the larger format as an e-reader. I have the 7" kindle for but techy books and whitepapers it is annoying to read from
      • by tilk ( 637557 )
        I'm using a Kindle DX for several years now, and I have read a lot of technical books and scientific papers using it. It has some software limitations (no highlighting, poor bookmarking) but other than that it works fine and I'm very happy with it.
  • I had a Kobo-Reader and my girlfriend has a Kindle. We both evaluated using these readers to read scientific papers. These papers come in PDF and are sometimes in a two-column style. Reading PDFs is a mess on both readers. This also applies to the Tolino, which my niece bought recently. The problem with papers is, that they are more or less A4-documents and not A5. Therefore, they are hard to read on the small screen anyway. What works somewhat better are scientific books, which are available as e-book. I h

    • Hi, I am the submitter - most of the papers I am working with a plain text and either directly available in a compatible format or very easily converted to one. I should really have made clear that I am not stuck with PDFs which makes the small size of the regular kindle more of a plus than a disadvantage.

      • Re: Short Evaluation (Score:4, Informative)

        by ArgumentBoy ( 669152 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @11:12AM (#46254437)
        I use iAnnotate on an iPad. I download the PDF or Word document from my Dropbox, highlight and so forth on the iPad, and then can sync the marked up copy back to Dropbox. It's not the Kindle solution you wanted but otherwise it seems to be just what you want.
        • by tgibbs ( 83782 )

          I also routinely read academic papers using iAnnotate. If you read a lot of academic papers, it's worth investing in an iPad.

          • by godrik ( 1287354 )

            I completely aggree with that, but they did not release an android version that that can output pdf. Yes it is ridiculous, you can read and annotate, but you can not save what you do.
            Any Android suggestions?

          • Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I have an iPad, and an Android tablet and use them both when appropriate. However, they're big. They're heavy. And the screen is nowhere near as nice to use for lengthy reading as e-ink. That's why I was looking for an e-ink solution.

    • Re:Short Evaluation (Score:5, Interesting)

      by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @01:25PM (#46255039) Homepage Journal

      I wrote a small script that takes research papers and splits them up if they have two columns. It tries to figure out when you have figures, and to strip away the header/footer etc. It produces epubs (which you can convert with Calibre)


      The pages are first converted to images, the white spaces figured out, and the page sliced and diced. The linearized content is a sequence of page number, and rectangle definitions. You could make those into a pdf again, but I just stick to images and html (epub).

      • by prefec2 ( 875483 )

        Thanks for the hint. I will look into it. Such tool, if it works properly, could ease my daily work. No more searching in folders (paper) for notes, no more piles of documents on my desk.

      • That sounds useful ... I hope you don't mind, but I reposted this as an answer to a relevant question on the new EBooks StackExchange site. Might come in handy there. []
  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:03AM (#46254157) Journal

    Don't ever let something like DRM get in the way of you getting your work done.

    Screw it. Use Calibre and root your Kindle. Strip out the DRM and get a proper reader app.

    There is no moral requirement for you to participate in corporate insanity.

    In the words of a great tech guru: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

    And while we're at it, "All you have to do is be yourself, do your will, and rejoice."

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think I prefer 'Do what thou will an it harm none'

      Crowley was an arse.

    • DRM is not what is stopping me getting my work don.e I can put my own stuff on, and get it back off again just fine. The problem is a lack of tools to take the annotation data that's on the device and merge it into the document when it's not on the Kindle.

  • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:10AM (#46254177)

    I have a little rant because I hate these little fucking problems like the OP is talking about. That is bullshit. What the fuck is the point of the highlighting feature if you cannot take it off and use it somewhere else? Seriously.. it would be like 4 hours of a Kindle programmers' time to implement that feature. I hate that shit.

    Also, fuck the cloud. Every company wants to create their little own proprietary cloud that envisions you being locked into their half-assed limited selection of crap. Microsoft Skydrive.. now I'm stuck with only using Microsoft. Everyone else is the same. Where the fuck is my cloud that works on any device and lets me store any document there. Maybe dropbox is the best so far.. but something tells me I cannot store my Kindle books, Nook books, Itunes, or any other media on that cloud. It's my fucking media.. Let me store it wherever the fuck I want on whatever the fuck device I want to store it on. Maybe the new Kindle sucks and some other company makes a better implementation. Let me move my shit there.

    Also, why the fuck can't all my devices just report back to a shared drive on my computer. Why can't I just have a 'pdb' (personal database) file that is constantly updating with any device I own. Let it encrypt the parts that need encryption. Let the interface pop up with a list of checkmarks and I (the GODDAMN USER THAT IS BUYING THIS CRAP) decide what I want my device to be able to access, copy, and modify out of my personal database. Seriously.. the idea that it's not just built-in to store files to a share drive on every new tablet and cell phone is as frustrating as watching someone try to be productive on Windows 8.

    This ones for Android.. let me tell the fucking device when to update! I don't want it updating my apps when I picked it up to quickly read a pdf. I don't need it trying to use my internet connection when I'm at some fucking remote site 3rd world country with barely any cell phone coverage deciding it needs to update some bloated app I never use.

    This one is for Windows.. updating when I want to turn off my laptop and telling me not to turn it off is retarded. Whoever decided that is the time to update should be slammed on the pavement like how Hulk smashed Loki.

    I have a lot more to rant about.. but I am going to take a vacation away from technology for the next few hours.

    I cannot believe people think we're innovating at this time.. We're taking 3 steps forward and 12 steps back. Fuck you, Kindle, for reminding me of this non-interchangeable mess that we call the technology world. Shit should work together. If we had a PDB that was universal (and with compatibility layers for all the proprietary shit - APPLE), then maybe the consumer wouldn't think it was such a pain in the ass to move to a new device.

    • So did Amazon take your lunch money too, or just your milk money?
    • by JanneM ( 7445 )

      Use Owncloud. Does pretty much what you seem to want.

      • by godrik ( 1287354 )

        Well, many applications seems to have an "export to dropbox" features, but not all have an "export to owncloud" feature. This imporves on Android where there are proper interface for exporting documents. But you still need the application to use it properly. If I understood correctly, there is no such interface on iDevices which forces each softwaredevelopper to explicitely write a support (probably smply linking with an external lib andadding a hook) for different cloud platforms. This is essentially the s

    • by mspohr ( 589790 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:23PM (#46254793)

      This is an impressive rant but it you spent as much time researching the problem as you took to write the rant, you could solve your problems.
      On the cloud: Dropbox, etc. have clients for all OSs. You can even use Owncloud to have complete control.
      Updating: You could spend a few minutes to set up your options to update when and where you want (Google it... all of the OSs have these options).
      PDFs: Again, spend a few minutes to find a PDF reader that has the options you want.

      (I did enjoy your rant, though. Good to see someone get this worked up on a Saturday morning. Maybe you should try getting outside more.)

    • Instead of ranting against them (not that I disagree) you could also just not use any cloud services. Their TOS and EULAs are usually unacceptable anyway. I store everything on my PC and backup the contents of this machine in encrypted form to georedundant servers. The rest is just a matter of using remote desktop login, ssh, and similar services.

      If you don't want to set up the services on your own, there is a little Danish company that produces sort of two matching, paired USB sticks that allow you to move

    • The slashdot boycott [] must be working because slashdot is clearly falling apart; +5 Interesting?!!??!?! WTF???, I just wish someone would point me to wherever the slashdot fork is being set up so I don't accidently read another post like this. Anyway:

      If you would just google your problem, in a fraction of the time you spent ranting you would already know all of the sharing features you want are available via google drive, and android auto-updates can be turned as a whole or on an app by app basis by go

    • by gr8dude ( 832945 )

      SkyDrive can be mounted via WebDAV, which is a standard protocol - that makes things a little bit better.

    • by mal0rd ( 323126 )

      I agree with you and I think a few people do recognize the problem. What we need is a system that allows the app companies like Dropbox and kindles to innovate and make money but without the lock-in.

      For example Dropbox. Much of there success is just because of the lock-in. They are expensive and lack features like real encryption but because they built the most user friendly interface and spent lots of money for integration with other parties, the only people that can compete are Microsoft and Google.

      It's a

  • by stasike ( 1063564 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:13AM (#46254189)

    Have a look at the PocketBook e-ink readers. Sadly, they have left USA market, unable to compete with Amazon.
    Here in my European country, in an online store specialized on e-book readers PocketBook is by far the most popular brand. Keep in mind that most people buying kindles are buying them directly from Amazon.
    I have PocketBook Touch Lux 623. The screen and front-light are the same as on Kindle Paperwhite. It supports 18 e-book formats and lots of configuration options, all without hacking. It has headphones output with support of TTS in many languages. You can use micro SD card. There are third-party programs available, such as scientific calculator, Linux terminal (for hacking - the reader itself has busybox installed), ftp server (so you can look at *and* modify files from internal memory), Coolreader, chess, several games, Vim text editor (full-fledged recent version).
    You can make your own notes and highlights and PocketBook will prepare html file for each document with your notes that you can download to your PC. No special software necessary.
    You can import PocketBook from Europe.

    • I have a PocketBook Pro 912, exactly for the use case described. Works like a charm. Large screen, A4 PDFs are easy to read. Problems are rare (under heavy use for well over a year I found just one extremely heavy PDF that basically caused the reader to hang, I couldn't even reboot it - that's it, no other problems). I don't even connect it to a computer (why waste desk space?), I just use a microSD card. My collegue has a 911 and connects it all the time, so that seems to work just as well.

      Also useful duri

  • by supercrisp ( 936036 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:15AM (#46254195)
    The obvious part: Root it and install a more capable e-reader app. My recommendation: I prefer Moon+ Reader Pro, which will not only give you a highlighted and annotated file you can use elsewhere, it can also, with one click, generate a document with annotations and highlights only that you can e-mail to yourself. I should not that this is something even Acrobat Pro can't do, and also note that Moon+ is more feature complete and easy to use than is Adobe's offering for Android. NB: I don't have any stake in Moon+, nor give a crap what money they make. I'm sharing because I spent too much time wading thru all the e-reader apps to find this one.
    • I did a quick Google. It looks like Moon+ is an Android App. I was specifically looking for a solution compatible with an e-ink reader. Simply due to the long time spent reading straight text, the screen is superior for what I am doing.

      • by Gramie2 ( 411713 )
        I believe that the Kobo is an Android device, and can easily be rooted. So that may work.
      • by davolfman ( 1245316 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @12:50PM (#46254911)
        Nook Simple Touch's and Glowlights are technically Android and once rooted can run Moon+ last I checked. Rooted Nooks alse run the Kindle app if you pick the right version. Best of all worlds.
  • Mobius (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jadrian ( 1150317 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:19AM (#46254201)
    The only one I know of is Sony's Mobius [], which was conceived specifically with academia in mind.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I lived in China I remember seeing a lot of "national" alternatives to kindle. They did cost more but they had many advantages: colors (at the time the only e-ink readers with colors were Chinese, don't know now), different sizes, the larger ones being much better for reading PDFs than kindle, and better compatibility options. I deeply regret going cheap (I bought a kindle because of the price).
    Here is a link for one of them (I remembered the brand and made a search). They say you can embed notes to pd

  • by gwolf ( 26339 ) <> on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:31AM (#46254251) Homepage

    There is a file called documents/My Clippings.txt if I'm not mistaken. Some time ago, I wrote a simple program (kindleclip — [] ) that presents you highlights, bookmarks and comments, allows you to search, either by book or by date. It's a GTK2 project built with Glade however, and I have not yet ported it to use current alternatives, but at least I believe the source to be quite readable/followable. Hope you find it useful.

    • There is a file called documents/My Clippings.txt if I'm not mistaken. Some time ago, I wrote a simple program (kindleclip — [] ) that presents you highlights, bookmarks and comments, allows you to search, either by book or by date. It's a GTK2 project built with Glade however, and I have not yet ported it to use current alternatives, but at least I believe the source to be quite readable/followable. Hope you find it useful.

      ^ This. While that may be a little cumbersome to sync it all, I think that's the best you'll probably get with the Kindle.

  • by astralagos ( 740055 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @10:43AM (#46254303)
    I think what you're really looking for is a research paper management application, such as Mendeley, Zotero or Papers. I personally use Papers, but that's a very mac-specific solution. There is apparently a Mendeley-specific application called KinSync that should help with using it on the Kindle. In general, if you're reading a bunch of academic papers and you don't have a manager like this, I recommend getting one.
  • Been asking myself the same question the last couple of months, as the quantity of books required these days has become too much to carry. I first considered the Kindle DX, but I'm not familiar with the OS "ecosystem" of Amazon and the restrictions within (transfer of files/DRM). After some more searching I ended up deciding on the Boyue G10 (random chinese device), as linked here: [] Very satisfied with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I help maintain Xournal (a PDF annotation software) and like you, do a lot of reading and reviewing of papers.

    My suggestion is to use Xournal on a tablet. The best, in my opinion, is the Thinkpad Tablet 2 with a wacom digitizer. It is very nice and a great deal these days. It can't do much, but it runs xournal beautifully. But for me, it is purely a PDF annotator:

    There are several advantages to it:

    1. It has a wacom digitizer. I can't stress it enough. There is no comparison to any other digitizer in the ma

    • Aha -- you beat me to the punch. Yes, this is one thing (the only thing?) that Windows 8 tablets really excel at, as Windows has long-standing (since XP) and mature support for pen digitizers.

  • You want a device w/ an active stylus and decent software support for that --- unfortunately, these haven't faired well in the market.

    The Icarus Excel is one which seems to still be available --- 9.7" E-Ink Pearl screen, for a paperlike reading experience
    Supports handwritten notes and annotations with Wacom technology: http://blog.the-ebook-reader.c... []

    I just always use a Tablet PC as my main machine --- I do have a Sony PRS-600, but it's not easy to get the annotations off of it.

  • by ehack ( 115197 ) on Saturday February 15, 2014 @11:50AM (#46254629) Journal

    I cannot read a maths book or paper without writing on it.

    Microsoft OneNote is cloud-based with syncing, has drawing tools, OCR for image content, handwritten comments, and even a Maths editor, and can organize your stuff. There might even be a symbolic calculator buried somewhere in it. I use it on a Surface Pro; to make the handwritten annotation part work well you really need the Wacom Stylus.

    There are a bunch of PDF readers on the PC and Mac which can annotate. I think they all export the annotated PDF, and a couple of smart folders or Google Drive might be enough to maintain a synced system.

    Unfortunately, this whole area is one where proprietary is ahead of open source - OneNote and InkSeine are masterworks.


  • The problem is not the Kindle. Publishers (particularly scholarly publishers ) have not adopted epub format. PDFs do not reflow to screen size therefore they will NEVER be useful in devices of variable screen sizing. Sorry. There is no reason you should not be able to get you publications in a format that would be more convenient to read on any eReader. Check put [] and down load the epub version of the article. I wish had the good sense to provide an epub version
    • "The problem is not the Kindle. Publishers (particularly scholarly publishers ) have not adopted epub format. PDFs do not reflow to screen size therefore they will NEVER be useful in devices of variable screen sizing. Sorry. "

      That's where Calibre comes in.

      • Last I tried, Calibre didn't do a good job of transcribing some PDFs to ePub. PDFs record layout on a page, not semantic information, and so any format shifting has to be based on reverse-engineering the layout. Do the scholarly PDFs typically come out of Calibre well?

  • If you limit yourself to e-ink readers, I predict that you will suffer from endless problems with finding software that does what you want. You may have to bite the bullet and get a general-purpose tablet PC.

    Go for a lightweight tablet with a Wacom stylus (digitizer), as this kind of stylus will give you a far better user experience for highlighting and handwriting than an ordinary capacitive stylus would. The Surface Pro has a Wacom stylus, but is too heavy for comfortable one-handed use. I would recommend

  • I thought that as long as you put your document on your Kindle using Amazon's servers - basically meaning you send the document to your Kindle's email address rather than transferring it over USB - things like highlights and bookmarks would be synced to Amazon's servers (which would make them transferable)?

  • In the business world, I and many others use an iPad and GoodReader for annotating board papers. To be honest, it's the only thing that I use an iPad for, as I prefer a proper PC, a smartphone or a smaller tablet for anything else.

    GoodReader allows you to annotate pdfs with a wide range of tools - I usually scribble free form text with my finger - and you can read the annotations with any pdf reader. The large format of the full size iPad simplifies finger writing, and the large retina screen means that I c

  • I purchased a Nook for this. It reads EPUB, PDF, and of course B&N DRMed stuff. I can transfer my documents directly to the Nook using Calibre and haven't had much to complain about. When I purchased my Nook, the Kindle didn't allow directly installing documents and instead required my uploading to Amazon for it to show up on the device. I'm sure that has changed, but I'm still happy with the Nook.
  • This is a 9.7 (1200x825 px) inch e-ink reader. Supports most PDFs perfectly. It allows you to hightlight text and to scribble on them. You can then save the annotated version to a standard PDF that can be opened with the annotations and all on a PC with Adobe Reader or similar.
    The hardware is somewhat old at this point and there's supossedly going to be a refresh in the near future (m96) with Android. They're supossedly even sponsoring a contest to develop e-ink optimized Android applications.
    Warning: Thi
  • Only one that works best for it, sadly it's discontinued as it seems that most people are weak waifs that cant carry a 9 inch E reader because they are soooooo heavy.

    I wish they would release a Kindle XL-DX that has a display the size of a US Legal piece of paper. but I doubt we will see any useable e-ink readers released as the bulk of sales are for paperback recreational reading and not for professional or education use.

  • While it wont change the original document, If you go to you can view your highlights and notes. Then just copy and paste to create a new document with only the important parts. I read a lot of books about programming and after a little clean up it works great for code examples.
  • I also read a lot of research papers. I sometimes discuss them in academic groups and need to highlight parts for quick and easy reference.

    I've tried a variety of eReaders (glowy ones with touch screens) and tried converting PDFs to eBooks and HTML, I've used a smartphone, I've taken my laptop with me. I've looked at what others are doing to see if they've got any good ideas.

    I hate printers and agree with The Oatmeal that they were sent from hell: []

    What do I do now? I get my

  • You're only borrowing the work, it's not appropriate for you to highlight it any more than it would be a library book.
  • The Kindle is holding your copy of the book. You are annotating your copy of the book and highlighting it.

    Were it a hardcopy book, your highlights would not automagically transfer to another copy of the book.

    Why, then, do you expect to be able to export/read your annotations and highlights from a Kindle?

    In order to do what you want, you'd effectivly have to be able to edit the book to embed your notes. If that's really what you want to do, get a document file and edit away, but don't expect an eRea

  • A lot of eink readers have crap PDF interpreters - sometimes that's the software and sometimes the PDF has been formatted in such a way that you need more serious hardware than the eink reader has to deal with it in a timely manner. When a PDF is 50M for less than 10 pages it falls into that broken category where a decent computer is needed to even look at the things.
    The answer is to work out what the software and hardware limitations are and reformat the PDF to display properly on the device you have and
  • Somewhat off topic, but I'm put off by the resolution of eInk devices. The readers I have seen have relatively low pixel density compared to recent phones, tablets and laptops. Any experience with reading equations and formulae on these? How about diagrams, figures?

    • My Nook (Simple Touch with glowlight) doesn't render those well. It's great for text, but once you get into a thin, detailed, font, the legibility declines sharply. Don't know about other eInk devices.

  • Hi,

    I was looking for Kindle alternatives the other day and ran across across this vlog about best e-ink devices of 2013. of note for you may be the Icarus and sony large format e-ink readers. []

    the vlog authors at [] have their own store. You may want to look into the (rather expensive) sony and icarus pen enabled devices.

    As far as kindle goes, if you root the kindle you can access Cool Reader and other tools that may do what you want.

    I would also

  • I have had good luck using Notability for iOS:

    Easy to import PDFs, easy to highlight, easy to annotate with handwriting or typing, and easy to export back to PDF. Fairly responsive on my old first generation iPad.

    The only drawbacks I've found are:
    1. Documents with handwriting or free form drawing get larger r than I would expect (~ 1 MB per page for a page of Calculus homework or doodles)
    2. Doesn't support ssh or git for uploading/downloading docum

  • I've also looked at this myself - there are a few readers that are ~10" and read PDFs quite well (e.g. the Onyx BOOX M92 or the aforementioned Icaus eXceL), but as far as I can tell none support true PDF annotations (e.g. highlighting some text). They typically support sketch or typed annotations, which can be merged back with the original PDF, sometimes as an additional layer. But none seem to support native PDF annotations...
  • [] sells the imcoV6L, an e-ink reader which runs on android (2.3.1, sadly). So you can use whatever android-software there is.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.