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Part of me thinks an iPad is cool but the leap from the 140 kindle to the 500 dollar iPad is pretty big. Maybe if I were a desktop user that wanted the tablet as a secondary device - but I have a perfectly new laptop so I am trying to save some cash. Although for those of you that want to make the iPad leap, I have heard good things from my friends that have it.

Thanks for the input on the Kindle! It really seems like a good investment. I plan on saving my class notes as PDFs and reading them on the Kindle as well. Unless the book is a supplement, I probably will not buy it on the Kindle unless it is dirt cheap. I actually do take a lot of notes in my textbooks (but not on articles, I have a scattered little studying process). For 139, the Kindle seems like a deal! (I've already started looking at cases... there are some cool ones!)

I strongly recommend getting an eReader. Any PDF can be downloaded or Torrented and put onto an eReader. Makes life very easy.

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What do you think of hybrid tablet/laptop?

I have the HP TouchSmart tm2t series in mind.

With the various discounts it comes down to ~$800 with pretty much all the upgrades, and seems much better value than having to buy a new laptop (need one really badly) + a tablet. It comes with a stylus too, so I imagine it is better designed for note taking than the ipad. Is it too good to be true?

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Thanks jendoly and eigen. I'm sure it just takes getting used to; it's only my second day with it and it's pretty comfortable already. I just downloaded dropbox and it works great. This has nothing to do with my academic field, but I downloaded this app called Star Walk which is amazing and it alone makes me feel justified in getting the iPad (well, not quite, but you get my point). On a side note, I hate that the on-screen keyboard has most of the punctuation on the other screen: so annoying!

I have that app on my iPhone. I love it!

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Yeah, GradCafe doesn't work for me either on my iPad (but it's the only forum that behaves as such for me)

If you disable rich text editing in your user preferences on this site then you'll be to post. This is a known issue which I hope they will fix in the next release.

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If you disable rich text editing in your user preferences on this site then you'll be to post. This is a known issue which I hope they will fix in the next release.

Awesome, works perfectly! Thanks.

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If you disable rich text editing in your user preferences on this site then you'll be to post. This is a known issue which I hope they will fix in the next release.

Thank you!

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I love my iPad - the contrast between print and page is the best I've seen. I have the Sony e-reader, and I looked at the Kindle; but I can do so much more on the iPad. People always talk about not being able to read in direct sunlight - but how often do you actually do that? I've had mine for almost a year, and I've yet to run into that problem.

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The Galaxy Tab is down to $350 in wireless. I'm pretty tempted:

http://www.amazon.co...&pf_rd_i=507846

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/ipad/wi_fi?mco=MjAzMTExOTU

Apple has refurb 16GB iPad (first gen) for $350. 1 year warranty (same as new models), and their QC is pretty decent on recertified products (typically held higher than BNIB items).

Great deal, but these sell out fast, but get replenished after a few days. You just have to get lucky and hope they're in stock when you check.

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I bought a refurb, and it was in great shape. They replace the battery/outer shell, and test to make sure everything else is in good working order. In some ways, the reburb's have better QC than the new models, since they're more rigorously tested.

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So, today might be a good day to buy an eReader if anyone is in the market.

1) Woot.com is offering a refurbished 2nd generation Kindle for $90.

2) Dailysteals.com is offering a B&N Nook for $85

3) Amazon now offers the Kindle with Special Offers for $114. The KSO shows ads on the home screen and screen saver. If you buy it right now and sign up for the Amazon credit card, you get a $100 Amazon gift card, making the purchase price effectively $14.

Anyone jumping in on any of these deals? Or, anyone have advice for someone like me trying to decide between these deals?

(In case anyone's wondering, the key for me is being able to download books while I'm out of the country doing research. The Kindle's 3G supposedly works where I'm doing research whereas the Nook doesn't have 3G outside of the US. So, I'm leaning towards the Kindle for that reason but, is it really that awful to download books over WiFi?)

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Anyone here use an Android tablet? I'm trying to decide between an iPad and an Asus Transformer. I understand that the iPad is probably better suited to the needs of a grad student (teachers programs and research tools are really good and well established), but I much prefer the Android OS and was hoping that I could hear some comments from some grad students who use an Android tablet.

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Thanks, Fuzzy! :)

Yup, there are actual Kindle apps supported by Amazon for each platform/media device. There are also third-party handlers if that's more akin to your liking.

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When my Kindle 3G's screen broke (or, more accurately, when I broke the screen of my Kindle 2 3G) I bought a Kindle 3 with Wi-Fi only because it was cheaper. In all honesty, I don't miss the 3G all that much. I'm usually connected to a network, and what I do is I just download a book or 2 before I leave the house. Sometimes I run out of reading material before I get back home and that sucks a little bit, but it doesn't happen often enough.

I'm planning on getting an iPad - Kindle is great for books, not so good for PDFs, and there's a lot of other things I can do with the iPad.

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Does anyone have experience with tablets other than iPads? I was looking at a Xoom tablet (uses Android OS) and a HTC one that seemed like good alternatives to an iPad, but I've been able to find very little information on people's experiences with them. My biggest use for a tablet would be reading pdfs and maybe having some functionality to take notes on the docs, and anything else I can use the device for would be icing on the cake. Does anyone have experience using Droid apps for pdfs or other academically useful tasks? I don't even have a smartphone at the moment, so the whole world of apps is very foreign to me....

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I have been using the Nook Color with CM7 (android on sd card) and it has been working as a decent tablet for my purposes. As far as pdf's go I just used the adobe reader app on it and was able to happily read a 100+ page document. I have not tried writing notes with it - though with all tablets without a keyboard typing takes some getting used to. The only other app I have used that could be academically useful was a simple calculator and converter apps, however I suspect more relevant apps than that exist.

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I have to plug the new Nook Simple Touch. It has the same base price as the Kindle ($139), so the price won't be the deciding factor. I got a first-gen Nook last February as an anniversary gift, and upgraded to the newest model this summer. There have been some great changes. It's smaller and more stream-lined. There are more user options to customize the interface. Page changes are smoother and faster. etc. When I first looked into getting an eReader, the deciding factor for me was the Nook's expandable memory. You can add more storage by slipping a micro SD card into the slot, and you're good to go. This is also a nice feature if you wish to have separate storage to keep your academic and personal reading lists separate. I also like the fact that the Nook doesn't have a physical keyboard on it. For some reason, that just bothers me about the Kindle...it seems awkward and unnecessary to me. I was also drawn to the Nook because I have a B&N membership, and have been a fan of the store for years.

I will say this in favor of the Kindle, though: it now has real page numbers that correspond to the physical copy of the text. This is great from a reference/citation standpoint. The Nook pages are kind of weird, especially if you download a text from another site or convert from one format to the other. It's not uncommon for one "page" of a text to take up three Nook pages, and I'm not always sure if the Nook page number corresponds to the real text. So if your main drive in getting an eReader is to simplify research and citations, the Kindle does have that advantage over the Nook (assuming B&N developers aren't working on a software update that would even the playing field).

CNet has a good review and comparison of several eReaders: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20009738-1/kindle-vs-nook-vs-ipad-which-e-book-reader-should-you-buy/. The article was published last month, and lists the "best" eReader in several categories. That might help your final decision.

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On eink and pdf: For those of you who primarily read research articles published on the journal's website, the program Calibre mentioned earlier in the thread is able to convert HTML to the output formats it supports (including epub and mobi). So instead of clicking over to the pdf just hit File -> Save on the full article's page and shoot that over to Calibre. I works fine for the journals I've checked out without many formatting problems (sometimes one extra page that's from the sidebar or something). Also, I'd recommend to click the option to NOT split on page breaks, since I found it slows things down a lot (on my phone's ebook reader anyway). This way you don't need to worry about zooming in and navigating a PDF that was designed to be read on 8.5x11" paper.

On iPad and Android Tablets: I had an iPad 1 for about a year (gave it away) and personally found that the size and weight made it a bit awkward for reading, it's not a problem for many though so just go to the store and get a feel for it. I currently have an ASUS Transformer which, while a lot of fun to use, I will be returning because the 16:9 form factor on a 10 inch screen is really weird in portrait mode. Landscape is fine (and unlike the iPad videos are able to actually fit the whole screen). I haven't experienced any limitations due to the Android app selection but I've never been one to download a ton of apps to begin with, especially since the mobile app world (even for iOS) feels so much less mature.

Edited by asdfx3

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I'm surprised there isn't more Nook Color love. With a rooted Nook Color and a custom ROM installed (Cyanogenmod 7 is very nice), which is actually quite easy to do, you have a full-featured Android tablet with excellent build quality for ~$200. You can overclock it to get a huge bump in performance for any graphics-intensive stuff you need. Almost any app you need can be found for free in the market, which is a nice thing about Android devices. The smaller/lighter size is good for some things (under a pound, so very easy to hold for long periods) and not as good for other things (reading scientific articles on a 7" screen means you can usually do one column at a time in portrait or short full-page horizontal sections in landscape). Oh, and it doubles as an e-reader :) The screen is very readable on minimum brightness, which saves battery life and your eyes!

Overall, I am incredibly happy with it. It has much more functionality than an e-ink reader, but is more portable and much cheaper than a larger tablet. The Galaxy Tab WiFi is in a similar position. Here is an article comparing the two: http://blog.laptopma...r-vs-galaxy-tab I think either would be a good buy if you're on the fence about tablets or want something affordable and fully-featured.

Edit: One more thing for compatibility issues. You can convert e-book formats between Kindle, Nook, etc. With any of the full-featured tablets, you can either install each of the reading apps (Kindle for Amazon, Nook reader) or convert them to a common format and use one reader for everything. I'm not sure whether e-ink/Kindle readers are able to do this.

Edited by cogneuroforfun

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I just got Repligo Reader for Android and will now definitely use my Nook Color for reading articles. You can add notes and little graphics (arrows, highlighting, etc) on top of the pdf and these annotations do display when you open the file using Adobe on a PC. So that seals it for me, no more huge stacks of printed articles. I can take notes as I read and view those notes on the actual pdf file when I go back and reference an article for a paper or something.

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honestly if you're buying this e-reader to read pdf files and articles, i'd recommend checking out some of these less expensive options (compared to the iPad)

http://www.pronto.com/e-book-readers-and-tablets

I'm actually thinking of doing this too.. especially if the page number issue has been solved

can't lug around hundreds of pages of material again this year.. my shoulders were dying last year

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