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Does anyone have any recommendations for a nice ebook reader for tech books?

Ideally something 8.5 x 11 or so, in color...

I guess a TabletPC is the best option for now?

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this should be wiki, at least :) –  onesysadmin Jun 10 '09 at 1:38
    
+1 it really should be –  Server Horror Jun 10 '09 at 1:51

8 Answers 8

If you are in the US I'd go for a Kindle DX. To me it is the best option, unfortunately I'm not located in the US so I can't get one.

Reasons:

  • large screen
  • amazon probably has the most content available
  • 3rd generation, it should have quite some odds ironed out
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Much better pdf support then Kindle 2. –  Copas Jun 10 '09 at 2:26

Not 8.5x11, but the Kindle is nice.

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it's a bit small, no color, and many reviews say it's terrible for tech books...you need 'kindle'ized ebooks made for the Kindle...existing ebooks aren't as nice on it. –  visitor Jun 10 '09 at 1:31

8.5x11 seems pretty big for an ebook reader. A Tablet PC or a tablet netbook might be what you're looking for. I personally use a Sony PRS-505 reader.

I remember reading about the crunchgear tablet but it's not out yet and probably won't be out for a while.

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I've got an Acer C110 10-inch tablet which works very well (in slate mode) as an eBook reader: it's got face buttons that are conveniently placed for flipping pages. It's a little heavy to hold like a book, though.

I reckon that an Eee and the EeeRotate utility would be a little easier on the arms (but slightly less convenient, with the keyboard sticking out).

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Pick up an old laptop on ebay. Reformat the HD and replace the battery if necessary. Bam! You've got the perfect ebook reader, plus you can play solitare when you need a break from reading.

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Screen size is not all, you need to take into account several other factors -- color, as you mentioned, but also speed of screen updates and screen resolution, which is key for me -- I don't mind reading in a small screen if the resolution is decent.

I use a PRS-505 for normal, day-to-day reading, but its screen refresh rate is too slow for reference works.

For plain PDFs and HTML browsing I used a Nokia N810. It is a lot more responsive for browsing reference manuals and it has a full keyboard, so it is easy to input text for searching or new URLs for browsing. Its pocketable-size factor is a plus for me.

However the Nokia has been almost totally displaced in its ebook function by my iPod Touch -- it is a lot lighter and navigation is more intuitive but text input is a total hassle. And besides free materials it also supports commercial ebooks: there are some nice dedicated ebook applications like Stanza and Amazon's own Kindle ebook reader.

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I use a Sony Reader PRS-505[1]. O'Reilly is my primary source of technical books, and they provide most of their new books as ebook bundles which include epub. As epub is a mark-up system specifically intended for reflowing to various screens, most of the books look good on the Sony Reader. It is not great as a reference reader (it lacks a search function for example), but it works well for those technical books that are actually read front to back (such as the great Time Management for Systems Administrators). Since the ebook bundles come with PDFs as well, I do most of my reference of the books on my computer with the PDF files. The Reader does a pretty impressive job with PDFs, but is limited by generally poor text reflowing and a limited resolution and screen size.

I can't say I would recommend an ereader type device for technical books yet. Not enough of the publishers make their books available in acceptable formats (acceptable to me is both unencrypted PDF and epub).

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Pick up an old HP TC1100 if you can find one on ebay.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tc1100

The keyboard is detachable and it has a jog dial on the side for paging. I've read heaps of tech books on it.

Also nice for reading tintin comics to the kids - see my avatar pic... :)

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