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Anyone use a large e-ink reader for RPG books?


Registered User
Validated User
Like many of the prior threads on this topic, I want to get a tablet to read my embarrassingly large PDF collection. I want a larger sized device and I have had my eye on the iPad Pro 12.9 inch model. However, they look a little heavy/unwieldy for reading purposes and I don't like reading from a back-lit screen for hours at a time. I have switched to reading all of my e-books on my Kindle Paperwhite and I enjoy reading more than ever now. Ideally, I would like a large screened e-ink reader but it seems that they are just as expensive as full fledged tablets. I recall researching them years ago but there doesn't seem to be the same technological progress in large screened e-ink readers. The BOOX Max2 is $800 and the Sony DPT-RP1 is $700. I'm not even sure if the e-ink tech can actually handle some of the larger roleplaying books. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on large e-ink readers for the sole purpose of reading gaming books?


Two Separate Gorillas
Validated User
Until last week I was looking into this myself, but I ended up getting an 8" Windows tablet I spotted on eBay. However, I did find The eBook Reader Blog to be a good source of information. Worth a look if you don't already know it.

Unfortunately, the impression I have is that prices are high and the tech still isn't quite there for comfortably dealing with most RPGs.


Active member
Validated User
My understanding is that the color Kindle is finally slated for release sometime next year, so it may be worth holding off until more news about that comes out.


Crown Prince of Next to Nothing
Validated User
I used to have the KindleDX with a 9.7" e-ink screen. It took a long time to render the pages in a any graphic rich pdf and was generally quite slow in going from page to page. It was also as heavy as most modern tablets. Given how inexpensively ($150 or less, depending on sales) you can decent tablet from Amazon these days I would strongly recommend against the current e-ink offerings.


Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I had a Kindle Paperwhite for a while. It was an expensive and completely useless piece of shit, even rendering their proprietary AZW files poorly. It could barely render text-only PDFs. It flat out couldn't render anything with graphics in it. The two Android tablets I've owned, OTOH, are great at rendering PDFs, plus run a lot of other productivity apps that many e-ink readers (including that piece of shit Paperwhite) simply can't.
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Registered User
Validated User
I like the idea of reading game PDFs on a Kindle, but the practice leaves a lot to be desired.

I have a Paperwhite and an iPad Pro (the 10.5" one). I love them both, but they are good at different things. The Paperwhite is excellent for reading a long novel (.MOBI), especially in bright sunlight. iPad Pro is good for everything else �� I've tried reading game PDFs on the Paperwhite and it does an OK job (at least for simple, digest size PDFs like Fate Core and Diaspora), but rendering speed and scrolling are painful. Throw something like Eclipse Phase at it though, and, well, ugh.

The iPad Pro is a stunning PDF reader (the screen just won 'screen of the year' or something) - the screen is high res, HDR, and high refresh for super-smooth scrolling, and the CPU/GPU chew through even the meatiest PDFs with no bother. Pages render as fast as you can scroll them. It's also light to hold. The 12.9 is more of a monster though, and really designed to be used at a desktop. The downside is that you pay a lot for this tech.

Have you considered the standard iPad? The screen isn't nearly as good as the Pro - but it's still a lot better than almost all other tablets on the market, and the CPU is still powerful enough that you won't notice the difference from the Pro in PDF rendering. It's ½ the price of the Pro, and it's very light.

Another thing to consider is how do you get the PDFs onto the device? With the Kindle pretty much your only option is to wire it up to your PC and do a direct file transfer (game PDFs are too big to use the 'mail to kindle' feature). With an iPad or other tablet you can just read files directly from your cloud storage provider (and if you make annotations and notes they will get synced back).
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Ben W Bell

Analyst for hire.
Validated User
I did try a 10 inch Sony once for reading PDFs on. A complete exercise in frustration that didn’t last long. Simply put the reaction times of e ink coupled with the low power processors in these kinds of devices, mean it’s too slow. Even turning a page is painful, never mind trying to flick through something. If you want to zoom, forget it. Can you read an RPG PDF on one? Technically yes. Can you reference an RPG PDF on one? No.

Seriously, I’m and Android person and love my e ink reader for novels, but for reading RPGs I bought a 10.5 inch iPad Pro and haven’t regretted the outlay for a moment.


Registered User
Validated User
I've tried reading PDFs on a kindle because in general it makes reading easier on the eyes (I get tired eventually on a back-lit screen) but gave up very quickly. I don't think the screen size will make any difference at all. It's just that e-ink is slow to refresh and it makes flipping pages very slow and frustrating, especially for gaming PDFs which are usually graphic intensive.

I've heard of a new e-ink tablet called Remarkable which is supposed to be a lot better in this aspect, but it's also expensive and I can't justify the cost when my ipad does a good job at displaying PDFs. Now if I win the lottery...

Jürgen Hubert

aka "Herr Doktor Hubert"
Validated User
It really depends on the PDF in question. GURPS PDFs, for example, render very quickly.

But anything with background graphics - especially multiple layers of the same - will be a different matter.


Well, that’s just Prime.
Validated User
By and large it simply isn’t worth it for PDF use. E-ink should be considered solely for reflowable text.

Also, while I can’t say whether or not the rest of the uses of a 12.9 iPad Pro would mesh for you, I’m on one right now and they’re really not heavy. It weighs about as much as a thick magazine. If memory serves, the weight of the WiFi only model is almost exactly the same as the iPad 2.
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