Need help. Electronic textbooks

Tipsy McStagger

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
40
4
I hope everybody is doing well today :)

I'm starting med school in two months and they are moving to an electronic textbook curriculum. It has me slightly nervous as I've never read large volumes of text from a computer before but I'll get through it.

I was originally going to purchase a 13" MBP but now I've been thinking that the 15" would be easier to read from, perhaps even with the antiglare option.

What would you all recommend. I'm not concerned with portability, just ease of reading. Thank you in advance!
 

derickdub

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2011
317
0
VA
I would second the iPad. I personally don't own one, but of the few times I've used them for reading technical documents from the web it's been great.

If you go the MBP route though, anti-glare would help a lot. I try to avoid using my MBP in class because the reflection from the fluorescent lighting. It can get pretty frustrating. Keep in mind the anti-glare is also hi-res, so it would probably be even harder to read small text if your vision isn't good vs. the 13".
 
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mikeo007

macrumors 65816
Mar 18, 2010
1,373
122
What type of textbooks? Do they have lots of diagrams?
Kindle is amazing for reading textbooks that are mostly text.
 
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NutsNGum

macrumors 68030
Jul 30, 2010
2,851
324
Glasgow, Scotland
Antiglare does help a great deal, I've got both the new iPad and a 17" AG MBP. I find reading from the Pro quite a bit easier. Although that's also likely in part due to the size of text. I also use a Kindle DX which beats both of them hands-down in terms of readability. It is however, not as intuitive as an iPad to use, and you really need to use it in good light.

In terms of reading long screeds of text, I've found the DX to be absolutely invaluable, I can't actually express enough how much of a difference it makes on your eyes not to have a backlight constantly blaring into them over long periods of reading. I really struggle to read from monitors, the iPad included.

If this is your only option however, I would recommend downloading f.lux, it's an application that allows you to alter the colour temperature of your monitor, it just makes reading much easier on the eyes from an LCD screen. Very helpful, particularly late at night.

Flux
 
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Tipsy McStagger

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 19, 2011
40
4
What type of textbooks? Do they have lots of diagrams?
Kindle is amazing for reading textbooks that are mostly text.
Medical textbooks; lots of text and diagrams. I've heard the ipad would be good but the school requires a laptop and I've been using a 2004 Dell that doesn't meet the required specifications.

----------

Antiglare does help a great deal, I've got both the new iPad and a 17" AG MBP. I find reading from the Pro quite a bit easier. Although that's also likely in part due to the size of text. I also use a Kindle DX which beats both of them hands-down in terms of readability. It is however, not as intuitive as an iPad to use, and you really need to use it in good light.

In terms of reading long screeds of text, I've found the DX to be absolutely invaluable, I can't actually express enough how much of a difference it makes on your eyes not to have a backlight constantly blaring into them over long periods of reading. I really struggle to read from monitors, the iPad included.

If this is your only option however, I would recommend downloading f.lux, it's an application that allows you to alter the colour temperature of your monitor, it just makes reading much easier on the eyes from an LCD screen. Very helpful, particularly late at night.

Flux
I have flux on my iphone and it is very nice. I didn't know it was available for computers as well. I'll definitely look into it. PS you have a great name...love the simpsons

Thank you all for your help so far, I've looked at AG and Non-AG macs at the store and think AG will be a better choice. Hopefully they'll release new models soon and I'll be able to pick up the current gen MBP in the refurb store for cheap.

I appreciate all your input!
 
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Arelunde

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2011
980
28
CA Central Coast
If this is your only option however, I would recommend downloading f.lux, it's an application that allows you to alter the colour temperature of your monitor, it just makes reading much easier on the eyes from an LCD screen. Very helpful, particularly late at night.
Flux
I downloaded this for my MBP, but it appears you have to be jailbroken to download it to the iPhone and iPad. Is there another alternative? It seems like a good idea.

BTW, there is an option for reading from iBooks to change the background/type to sepia - a soft, light brownish cast to the normally start black and whilte. This, plus adjusting the brightness down and making it automatic, can vastly help for reading long term.
 
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Irock619

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2011
1,773
272
San Francisco, CA
All my text books are electronic as well. I have a 15" MBP and reading the books are easy. When I started my BS program all my books were locked PDF files. This poses a problem for tablets as you cannot unlock them without a computer connected to the internet.
 
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Laco

macrumors 6502
Apr 23, 2008
375
1
I would get an external monitor either with the 13 or 15 inch.
 
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Ccrew

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2011
2,035
3
All my text books are electronic as well. I have a 15" MBP and reading the books are easy. When I started my BS program all my books were locked PDF files. This poses a problem for tablets as you cannot unlock them without a computer connected to the internet.
Aren't too many schools that don't have accessible networks these days, so I'd say that's a pretty low scale issue.
 
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