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I hate reading datasheets or user manuals on the screen, and printing such documents tends to waste a lot of paper/ink. Has anyone tried to use an eBook Reader for this purpose? Are they good enough to display the sometimes complex diagrams found on datasheets?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by pipe, laptop2d, Charles Cowie, MCG, PeterJ Jun 12 '18 at 12:21

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Get a second screen \$\endgroup\$ – laptop2d Jun 10 '18 at 3:00
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I've used a Kindle DX to read datasheets, and it has been a relatively pleasant experience. Typically, on a datasheet, the text is reasonably large enough that it looks OK. I've also used it on journal papers, and found that the text is small enough that it can be hard to read. Figures with very fine lines don't show up, but again, datasheets typically aren't too bad about this.

The zoom ability is limited, which makes it difficult to zoom in just enough to cut out the margins. One workaround is to "print" the PDF using a PDF printer on a smaller virtual page. It might be worth it to figure out the correct settings for something large, like a book or microcontroller datasheet, or for a particular manufacturer you use frequently, but it's a clunky hack.

I don't think I would lay down $480 USD for just reading datasheets. The experience feels second-class compared to the rest of the e-book features. I view it as a nice perk of the device.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Now that iPad is out, you can get a good deal on a Kindle DX on ebay. \$\endgroup\$ – Jay Atkinson Apr 12 '10 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is the Kindle for any type of .pdf? Can you zoom in and out of a page? Thinking it would be very useful for all those .pdf books floating around the internet. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ – user1307 Apr 12 '10 at 23:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Let me start off by saying that the way I want to view pages is portrait mode. The "zoom" functionality is achieved by switching the screen to landscape, and letting the PDF reader fit the width of the document. It works, but that's not the way you want to read your PDF since the scrolling isn't very fluid. PDF books are usually OK, but if they have large margins, or dense text, you may need to make some adjustments. The ideal PDF for the Kindle has no margins. Hence the part about using a PDF printer to print the original PDF into a "cropped" format. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Apr 13 '10 at 0:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would say that ebooks have a really poor scrolling capability, due to the slow refresh rate of the screen; without considering that you are draining much more battery! I would suggest of splitting the page in parts. \$\endgroup\$ – clabacchio Jan 13 '12 at 9:00

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