WWI: Kindle DX
The Elements: It's an e-book reader from amazon. It reads .pdfs, .mobi format and text documents among others.
The Crux: It's pretty straight forward. Transfer files from your computer to the kindle. You can use a free application like calibre to convert anything that's in a format Kindle doesn't want to read.
If you're dumb and computer illerate, you can e-mail documents and have amazon whisper-net them to your kindle for a fee.
The Countenance: I'll get right to the important questions.
Does this read .pdfs?
Yes. I bought the DX because on the normal size Kindle they can be too small to read (although you can hold sideways and see the page across) Not all .pdf's worked, I had to covert some of them with calibre. I was concerned about that, but the software is awesome and works perfectly.
Can I use it as a replacement for my gaming books at the table?
Not really. The search function is so slow and it takes a while to refresh .pdf pages. Pulling up an often used table would be ok, or perhaps searching for a specific spell might be marginally quicker, but overall the function is very limited. I should also point out that it lacks many features, such as annotations, though I've had no problems with the book mark feature.
So this e-ink thing?
It's super easy on the eyes, and does require external lighting (just like, you know, a book).
It does have browser access, but I've had little success getting it to download the .pdfs from my webpage.
As far as it's worth as a book reader goes, it's divine. I can bring all my reference to work without it weighing down my bag and it's a pretty marvelous reader for books, lightweight and easy to read on. I REGRET NOTHING.
Fighting Fantasy books and other Kindle Active content are brilliant. It contains the original (Russ Nicholson!) art, draws a map, keeps track of your character sheet, rolls dice and more. I'm drawn right back to the hundreds of hours I spent playing those books over at my grandmothers house. There are at least two of the fighting fantasy books available at the amazon store, and due to the difficulty in ordering the actual physical books, they have a guaranteed sale anytime they want to release a new one.
I wouldn't quite tell anyone else it was worth the buy in price just for how well it handles the fighting fantasy books, but it does.
The Final Counsel: The price for the DX was very close to the price for a full blow tablet. I've owned an actual computer tablet before (long before the ipad) and it cost about twice as much. I think if you were really looking for a .pdf tablet library device, you'd have to deal with the issues on a blackberry, android, or ipad to be really functional. I use it a lot for reference, and unlike a computer I can use my kindle at work, so I'm happy with my purchase. As an e-book reader, it's a pretty brilliant device. Do recommend.
The Kindle is (unsurprisingly) available at Amazon.