I recently had access to a Kindle DX, one of Amazon’s eBook readers. It supports PDF files, which got me thinking about if it could be used to display paper model instructions.
Some of my instructions can be lengthy (measured in pages), especially for the more complex paper models. Printing them does waste ink and paper because they get tossed when the model is finished. Some folks prefer to view the instructions right on the computer screen. That’s handy if you have a portable laptop, but not so much if you have a desktop computer. Personally, I like to build my models both in front of the television and the dining room table. Portability is key for me.
I uploaded the Temple of the Forbidden Eye paper model instructions to the Kindle to see what it was like, and I was less than enthused. The text was very small, but crisp and clear. It was readable. Not easy on the eyes, but readable. And, the text-enlarging feature was disabled for the file. Bummer.
The graphics were clear, but it would have helped if they were larger. The big minus was that the part labels in the images were faint. Readable, but faint. But, that’s due to the color of the labels, I think, so it’s not the Kindle’s fault.
Since the Kindle DX has a rotation feature, I tried that out, too. With more horizontal screen space, the text and images became bigger. Unfortunately, only half of the page can be seen at one time, cutting off text and images. That’s more of a hassle than reading it in the smaller vertical position.
Bottom line: I’m not thrilled. Don’t get me wrong; the Kindle DX is really nice! It’s just that my paper model instructions don’t look all that great on it. If you have really good eyesight, it might be worth a shot. If you own any of the older Kindles, don’t bother trying it. The Kindle DX’s screen is two-and-a-half times larger than the others, and it’s only barely readable on that.