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

AndrewTBP

You are Number 6
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It occurred to me that "printer friendly" PDFs might be better for e-ink readers. Some publishers have them available all the time, some on request, etc., so it's worth asking.
 

Malistyr

Registered User
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I use the slightly older 9.7 iPad Pro and GoodReader. I think I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-250 PDFs and it works fantastic. I do zoom in and out sometimes on dense books because of old eyes but it is so smooth and natural now I don’t notice it. I do use night shift and play with some of the settings when I notice eye strain but again it is just reflex now. I would say I read on my iPad the most but when actually playing it is has become invaluable. I use GoodNotes to keep scribbles during the game, have the pdf open for quick searches and draw maps, stickies and player stuff outputted to a external display. I don’t use my laptop at the table because I like to player more player facing games and feel like it gets in the way where the iPad doesn’t. I personally like the smaller size because it is easy to toss in my shoulder bag and take everywhere. I had the iPad mini before and it worked just as great. The new iPad regular works with the Apple Pencil which adds just a whole different level of usefulness. They are pricey but I use mine way more than I do any other device/tool.
 

Jack Thursby

Yes, I work for Digicorp.
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The ReMarkable is 600 bucks, but the software is supposed to be shit, also terrible stats; 1GHz, half a gig RAM, it also ONLY handles .pdfs.

So one of them, in a year or so, when it's 300 bucks and the software is updated?
The ReMarkable is designed as an electronic sketchbook which uses (their term, "partial e-ink technology") and can view pdfs and epubs. I would imagine that the internal electronics don't need to be as hefty because it only does basically one thing which doesn't need a lot of processing power. It's also only 6.7mm thick and weighs 570grams which is very nice.

I don't own one myself yet, but have been following their development for a few years now. I wouldn't personally buy one just for pdf viewing because that's not its strong suit. Instead I own an Asus P01MA 8" and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 10", both of which work very, very well with pdfs (with the added bonuses of being able to access the cloud services as well as having dice rollers and all the rest available).
 

dbm

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I’ve been curious about large-format e-ink displays myself for sometime, though they are very hard to find for sale in Europe (in my experience).

Since you’re also considering an iPad Pro, and specifically the 12.9, let me tell you a little about my experience as this is my device-of-choice. In the spirit of full disclosure I am an Apple fan and have been an iPad user since the original device launched; I’m on my fifth iPad currently and it is the gen-2 12.9.

The screen technology in the latest Pro iPads (all of them) is brilliant. There is no air gap inside the screen, and this means environmental light doesn’t bounce around inside it. This massively reduces glare. The screens are also brighter than earlier models. The combined effect of these two factors is that this is the first generation of iPad you can read outside in direct sunlight (certainly in the UK and Europe / Mediterranean). My Kindle Paperwhite recently gave up the ghost and the iPad is now so good I haven’t bothered replacing it.

The 12.9 in particular is fantastic for RPers as most books are larger format, and the iPad screen is about 90% of the physical size of such a book. So no zooming or cropping needed at all. Add in to that, you can do side-by-side multi-tasking on the iPad Pro, and with the 12.9 you get two ‘full size’ iPad apps showing at the same time. I use this to have GoodReader open with my note taking app of choice (iThoughts) open alongside it. So if you are ok with the smaller format you are still getting more mileage out of the 12.9.

In terms of weight, 12.9 is perfectly fine in my experience. It is, for interest, almost exactly the same weight as the original iPad, though of course there is more ‘leverage’ in the 12.9. It weighs less than most hard-backed RPG books, too... I use mine with the Apple Smart Cover and it sits comfortably in my lap using this, including typing on the screen keyboard. On a table I have Bluetooth keyboard I use about a quarter of the time - the on screen keyboard is very good.
 

goblinchemist

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For anyone that does go with a tablet smaller than 9 inches (an ipad mini for example), try to get a PDF reader app that can crop pages (like goodreader for ipads, there must be something out there for android tablets as well). It makes a huge difference in readability without having to zoom-in and pan the page around so much. Just my personal experience.
 

The Tweaker

Generic system fan
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For anyone that does go with a tablet smaller than 9 inches (an ipad mini for example), try to get a PDF reader app that can crop pages (like goodreader for ipads, there must be something out there for android tablets as well). It makes a huge difference in readability without having to zoom-in and pan the page around so much. Just my personal experience.
For Android, Xodo is an excellent PDF reader app. You can zoom in and center any column on-screen simply by double tapping on it. Another double tap zooms out and returns to full page view. It really helps with large-format or multi-column books.
 

BigJackBrass

Two Separate Gorillas
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The very best mobile PDF readers are, without a doubt, on iOS. Android has a few that handle relatively simple files quite well, but if they include bells and whistles such as JavaScript then Android apps cope rather poorly. Not an issue for the majority of cases, I expect, but very frustrating if it affects something you'd hoped to get full use of (Greg Porter's EABA, for example, includes things like auto-calculating character sheets that give Android apps a fit of the vapours).

In the end I traded in my ailing Huawei Android tablet for a secondhand Windows 10 machine. Lovely 8" screen and of course it runs full Windows PDF software, but all things entail a compromise somewhere: battery life is better on iPads and there's no denying that things like the Kindle app are far slicker on iOS and Android than the equivalent Windows program. I saw no evidence that ereaders would be catching up with tablets any time soon, except for reading simple text; and at that they still excel.
 

Gee4orce

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This is interesting - a new 10" eInk tablet from Sony (they already had a 13" one, apparently). Is this the product that was mentioned up-thread?

https://www.sony.com/electronics/digital-paper-notepads/dpt-series

At that price, though, you've REALLY got to want e-Ink because you could pick up TWO of the current low end iPads for the same money, and they come with twice as much storage built-in.
 
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SuperFigs

Firefighter
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This is interesting - a new 10" eInk tablet from Sony (they already had a 13" one, apparently). Is this the product that was mentioned up-thread?

https://www.sony.com/electronics/digital-paper-notepads/dpt-series

At that price, though, you've REALLY got to want e-Ink because you could pick up TWO of the current low end iPads for the same money, and they come with twice as much storage built-in.
I have the 10.3". That 13" seems to be the "next-gen" version. Looks a tad thinner than my version as well.

The price of the 10.3" has come down $100 since 2015.

I really think it's a great device for B&W and/or less layout dense gaming PDFs. Especially if you have a large collection of OSR PDFs.
 
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Zed

in Berkeley, California (he/him)
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I tried some 6x9 PDFs on a Kindle DX. The rendering was tolerable, but it was slow.

I read things in general on a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1 and they generally work great. I wouldn't want to go much smaller than 10.1" to read 8.5 x 11 PDFs.
 
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