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What is the best 7.8-10 inch e-ink device for reading academic pdfs?
#1  Isak 08-12-2019, 08:44 AM
Hello forum,

I’m new here and I hope I can rely on your expertise for help.
TLDR What is the best 7.8-10 inch e-ink device for reading academic pdfs and optionally pocket or instapaper?

I am a long-time kindle user (I use a voyage for reading ebooks and occasionally artickles using pocket to kindle). I am increasingly reading academic pdfs; I have quite good eyesight (when I use my glasses, which is all the time, otherwise I can’t see s**t) so I am able to read normal A4-formatted pdfs on kindle if they are normal font size and not gritty scans. But it’s far from ideal and as importantly I lack a way of getting the pdf with my highlights and annotations back to the PC to reference it in the future. Also navigating a long pdf in kindle is clunky.

I would also like something that works well with pocket, as I read a lot of articles and would like to have highlights/annotations available in my pocket app. I have read that instapaper offers a page mode instead of a scroll mode, but I’d be sad about switching since my network generally use pocket for sharing things. Any solutions/suggestions?

I have a muscular dystrophy which means I use a wheelchair and have limited arm strength. I can handle most devices but I prefer to set them on a stand and in some situations, and as I get less strength, I would like the ability to control the reader with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to make highlights and annotations. The bigger the device the more need for an external device, as it gets harder to reach the far corners of the screen.

Stylus functionality or handwriting doesn’t matter much to me. I’d rather annotate on a keyboard. Basic capabilities for drawing on figures and such might be nice though.

I am not interested in reading on a tablet or any other kind of LCD. I spend all my day in front of screens and want to rest my eyes when reading.

So I need an e-ink device that:
  1. Is big enough for most A4 pdfs in portrait mode
  2. Has good annotation features and saves the annotations/highlights in a format recognizable on a PC
  3. Has good support for Bluetooth accessories as well as highlighting with a mouse rather than fingers/stylus
  4. Has good synchronization capabilities so I don’t have to mess around with cables to acces my latest notes/highlights when I’m working on PC. I’m guessing the android onedrive app would do the job?

My research so far has narrowed this down to either a Boox or a Likebook (I'm open to other devices though). I’m also pretty sure that it should be either around 7 or 10 inches.

I’ve had the opportunity to borrow/look at both a 7.8 inch Boox Nova and a 13 inch Max 2. The Max 2 seems way to big and unwieldy for me, while reading pdfs on the Nova seems comfortable enough. If I zoom to a level where there is no margins or page numbers but just the text the font is actually as big on an A4 pdf in the nova as the font size I use on my kindle (=the smallest). The pocket app does not seem to work well on the Nova. I prefer the glass screen on my kindle voyage, but it seems the Nova Pro has that as well.

I was leaning towards the Boox Note Pro or Likebook Alita before testing the Nova but now I’m unsure if I need the full 10 inches. The Note pro/alita both seem more capable hardware wise than the Nova pro, am I correct?

Also I am tempted by the alita apparently getting an update to Android 8 this September. Reading around some people seem unsatisfied with the Likebook software though. Should I prefer the Boox (that I know) and how concerned should I be for long term support/app compatibility if that means being ‘stuck’ on android 6?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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#2  Michal Jancik 08-12-2019, 09:45 AM
Quote Isak

I was leaning towards the Boox Note Pro or Likebook Alita before testing the Nova but now I’m unsure if I need the full 10 inches. The Note pro/alita both seem more capable hardware wise than the Nova pro, am I correct?

Also I am tempted by the alita apparently getting an update to Android 8 this September. Reading around some people seem unsatisfied with the Likebook software though. Should I prefer the Boox (that I know) and how concerned should I be for long term support/app compatibility if that means being ‘stuck’ on android 6?

Thanks in advance for your help!
e-READER :

- Only in my opinion, I would probably recommend a much cheaper Pocketbook Inkpad 3.

Inkpad 3 : With SD port, without Bluettoth
Inkpad 3 Pro : With Bluettoth port, without SD port, waterproof.
Both devices have excellent battery life.


* IMHO Inkpad 3 is better and cheaper (199Euro), very light (210g), excellent on PDF.

E-INK Note :

- I really only speak for myself, but BOOX Onyx from my practice has better Software and even his optimization about against Likebook.
- I own the BOOX NOVA PRO, but it's quite heavy in hand leaves a lot of fingerprint on the body.
* Otherwise I have nothing to reproach him

Conclusion

- I think Onyx BOOX Note Pro "10.3" might be the best alternative for your purposes :
* I would also like to add that Onyx has excellent and reactive support, its own firmware download site.
"10.3” Flush Glass-based Screen
RAM : 4GB
Front Light
USB type-C
Stylus
Audio speaker
I have tried and keyboard via bluetooth interface
etc
..The acronym of the classic that will satisfy every user.
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#3  Pajamaman 08-12-2019, 09:50 AM
In my experience, Onyx is the best option. Solid hardware and software, with some inevitable kinks. Personally I would get a 7.8" and read in landscape. 10" would be even better for screen size, but less portable. The on-board Onyx pdf reading software is the best I've found, and crops the margins to maximize screen acreage. I owned a Boyue (Likebook). I still use the old Onyx. The Boyue I never use. Poor battery and software. The Onyx is much better at running more apps stably.
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