• C++ Programming for Financial Engineering
    Highly recommended by thousands of MFE students. Covers essential C++ topics with applications to financial engineering. Learn more Join!
    Python for Finance with Intro to Data Science
    Gain practical understanding of Python to read, understand, and write professional Python code for your first day on the job. Learn more Join!
    An Intuition-Based Options Primer for FE
    Ideal for entry level positions interviews and graduate studies, specializing in options trading arbitrage and options valuation models. Learn more Join!

iRex eInk Readers - personal experience?

Hi everyone,

I'm really interested in buying one of these new electronic ink readers that are available now. My friend has the Sony 6" reader, which is quite cool, except it doesn't handle the display of PDF's formatted for A4 pages very well.

I've since seen the iRex stuff,


Which looks good, the problem is, its quite expensive, so before I splash out on one, I wondered if any of you had any hands on experience with them? Half the feedback I read on the Internet complains that its not a laptop, that its not colour, etc etc... the thing is, I just want it to read scientific papers and several books I have in PDF format which I never get to on the computer because I don't like to read off the LCD.

So, yeah, its expensive, but if it does the job of displaying large page sizes well, then its probably worth it for me... save printing out squillions of pages of paper at the least.

So, anyone had any hands on experience, good or bad?


Older and Wiser
for what is worth, I use my TabletPC to do all that and more, including writing notes on the PDFs. It's expensive and heavier than those readers but I carry only one thing with me.
In addition to that, this kind of readers are not convenient at all for the technical literature. When you have to read texts with formulas and diagrams it becomes close to impossible.
Hey, thanks all for the feedback.

The problem I have is that based on the 6" sony reader, its far far too small to read technical documents, such as the PDFs formatted in A4 size. The Kindle, being the same size, is presumably going to also be unsuitable. I don't want to read novels as such, since I don't have the time to read much fiction, I'm more interested in being able to read technical manuals/papers and textbooks etc.

Thats why I am looking at the Irex stuff, they have the only large readers available at the moment, I've seen pictures of the 8" reader and even that probably wouldnt be very good at reading documents formatted for large page sizes. Since the 10" Irex is the largest device currently available on the market, its the only one I am really considering, its just also (brutally) expensive unfortunately.

I checked out tablet PCs, but they seem nearly double the price of the 10" irex reader, so that's really going too far for my budget at the moment.

10" NetBook will cost you about $300-$400. Battery life is lower than on reader devices, but you are getting a full functional PC.


Older and Wiser
I checked out tablet PCs, but they seem nearly double the price of the 10" irex reader, so that's really going too far for my budget at the moment.


I don't think you look too deeply. So, I'm going to do some free work for you. The HP multitouch tablet comes on sale once in a while for around $800. That's a much beter deal than that iRex thing you talked about.

Here is a link to HP's Tablets


or you can buy a used/refurbished/whatever x61 for around the same


The iRex cost almost as much and it's not as good as a full blown notebook.
Hmm... that is impressive Alain. I'd been looking all around and hadn't seen anything for under 2200 (australian dollars), and they weren't all that particularly powerful either. Using the series you mentioned as a search start though, I have found a couple good listings for aussie tablet sellers...

So now I guess, I decide whether I really care about long battery life, and a bit of extra weight... but it means I could sell my old laptop to recoup a bit on the purchase price, since a tablet would double up on features anyway. I'd been quite set on the ebooks, but now...

Thanks for your help.

I have had their prev. model - Irex Iliad (8") for a couple or years. If you want to read fiction books, or if you find a way to stream news or blogs into it - that's much eye-friendly than reading from a laptop or pda.

The problem with scientific papers - is that they usually have quite a lof of graphical informatin which is not easy to re-flow and fit into the screen of the device: charts, tables, etc.

Secondly, due to a e-ink limitations and a slow (compared to laptop) CPU - it takes a while to "turn a page" and even longer to goto a specific page. Not sure about your reading habits, but I think in case of scientific papers - the reading in not a page-after-page linear.

And, yes, it is expensive.

So, I ended up reading scientfic papers from a laptop, while still occasionally use Irex for reading fiction.

If you have any specific questions - post it here.


Older and Wiser
As a follow up to my original latest post (#9). I'm use a Thinkpad X61 Tablet with SXGA+ (1440 X 1050) as my primary machine. It's couple of years old but it is very good. It was almost $2G when I bought it. I think Lenovo stopped manufacturing them because I haven't been able to find a new model anywhere with the same display resolution (I don't like 16:9 aspect ratio). If you like a high resolution screen I will recommend you to get it refurbished.

I also use this software to write on PDFs


So far, I'm really happy with it.
Excel Net,

Thanks. You have pretty much exactly answered my question: Can I use these devices to easily and clearly read documents formatted for large display (A4 technical papers, pdfs of textbooks etc), and is the technology friendly.

I don't intend to read any fiction (I'd love to, but there are so many non-fiction things I have to learn/read first), and so based on your answer any of the smaller screen sizes (6", 8") don't sound as though they will be suitable. As I mentioned, I've seen and used the 6" sony reader, and it didn't handle these technical documents very well at all, like you say.

I know exactly what you mean about flipping between pages, I tend to flip back and forth between different sections VERY frequently, and so the more I read, the less I think I should buy a electronic ink device. Bit sad really, since I had so hoped that they would be worth the effort... I have a lot of tech papers and textbooks that I would love to read but tend to avoid reading on my normal laptop.

I guess I might look into the idea of buying a tablet pc a little more, to get that "reading a book" feel.... but then I kind of wonder whether its worth buying an entirely new laptop just to read documents in portrait view :P I actually liked the idea of a device entirely devoted to reading, since it meant i would not be as likely to get distracted by the internet :P

It was almost $2G when I bought it.

On a side note, our lousy commodity-based dollar is worth about 1/2 an american peso at the moment, so a $2G laptop (even though you mention it was quite a while ago) is the equivalent to about $4G aussie... which ties back to my earlier comment about my thinking that the tablet PCs were generally quite expensive.

Consider that my reasonably high powered (second hand) motorcycle cost me ~$5500 aussie, versus your tablet PC, and hence why I was a bit scared off by them earlier. That said, the tablet idea DOES appear like its going to be a better bet than the ereaders. Thanks for the tips, I don't really care about "multi touch" or any rubbish like that, so a lower end tablet might be just what i want.
Amazon announced new version of it's Kindle - Kindle DX
It has 2.5 times bigger display than one of the previous version. Looks really great. Kind of pricey, but it can solve the problem of viewing technical literature.

So you buy a Kindle device, pay for the kindle version of books and Amazon can still have a right to delete books on your device?

Amazon still hasn't moved past its embarrassingly painful decision to delete copies of 1984 and other books from customers' Kindle e-book readers.

Even after CEO Jeff Bezos formally apologized, the company is taking more steps to make amends for the "stupid" and "thoughtless" (his words) mistake it made this July. To wit: Amazon is now offering affected customers the chance to re-download any books summarily deleted from Kindles during that time -- along with any annotations made to the books. If you don't want the book back, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com gift certificate or a check for 30 bucks. Not bad for a book that cost about a dollar.

Facing a lawsuit over the deletion of the books and a mountain of outrage from consumers crying that Amazon radically overstepped its bounds with its actions, the company has been backpedaling ever since the incident occured.

However, per the Wall Street Journal, a company spokesperson says the $30 refund/free copy offer has nothing to do with the pending lawsuit.

If you were affected by the deletion of a book, you should have received an email from Amazon with the above options outlined. If not, write to kindle-response@amazon.com to ask for your remedy directly.

So... now has Amazon gone far enough to regain your trust and to convince you that ebooks are not some ephemeral gossamer subject to the whims of corporate overlords? If nothing else, Amazon has surely learned a powerful lesson in how small mistakes can quickly snowball into problems with enormous consequences. My only wish is that the company released Kindle and ebook sales numbers, so we could actually quantify the damage done instead of having to guess at it.
Amazon still apologizing for 1984/Kindle mess : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech

Here is the incident in debate

It was a vicious -- yet very quick -- little war.

The trouble began on Friday morning: News began to percolate that Amazon was remotely deleting books from the Kindles of customers who had bought a few specific titles. There wasn't a lot of explanation offered for why the titles were deleted, but a few hundred buyers who paid a dollar for -- in the irony to end all ironies -- copies of George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, found them abruptly deleted without warning, though the money they paid for the titles was at least refunded.

The protests were quick, loud, and angry, with Amazon being portrayed as Big Brother, a "virtual book burner," and Satan himself by various commentators. One student even bemoaned that Amazon's deletion of the book, which he was using for school research, took with it all his annotations and notes. Did Amazon hate learning?

By late Friday night, Amazon had changed its tune, saying that although the right to delete content is outlined in the Kindle terms of service, it would no longer engage in such practices. (Amazon's original claim to that right however is also being debated and challenged.)

The problem was eventually revealed to be more complicated than Amazon's remorse over having sold the novel. Turns out someone uploaded their own digital copies of the books in question without authorization. (Amazon allows anyone to sell their own work on the site, in hard copy format or encoded for the Kindle.) The legal copyright holder for the Orwell books complained, so Amazon deleted the unauthorized versions for sale -- which it was right to do -- but also "recalled" the copies that had already been sold.

As loathsome as it sounds, Amazon's actions were at least understandable, the equivalent of asking shoppers to return stolen goods that a retailer had inadvertently stocked on his shelves. The real problem, of course, is that consumers didn't get an explanation in advance, and some paid a heavy price for the recall in the form of lost annotations.

Nonetheless, Kindle owners -- and buyers who'd been considering a purchase -- are awfully peeved about the situation. It's easy to see their side of the argument. Once paid for, no book should ever be deleted. Period.

Amazon says it's putting systems into place to prevent this problem from occuring in the future, but is it too late? Is the damage already done? Discuss amongst yourselves.
Amazon deletes Kindle downloads, backpedals quickly : Christopher Null : Yahoo! Tech


Graduate Student
Barnes and Noble just joined the party with their nook reader....hopefully the pricing war will start with sony and amazon, then I can get one of the these once it goes below $200


Graduate Student
Amazon just announced the new wifi Kindle that is priced for mass adoption at $139. It can hold 3500 books, battery last a month. You can now have all the books you ever need for your MFE study and later years in a few ounces device. Simply amazing.

Amazon.com: Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6 Display, Graphite - Latest Generation: Kindle Store

Most of the books on the reading list don't have a kindle version yet. Unless publishers of quant books start offering pdf versions of their books..this device may not be ready for this audience.

I would buy the kindle, but I have no interest in reading Pride and Prejudice or most of the books on the NYT best sellers list.