Anyone, who is interested in this topic - I did a few comparisions between Duokan 2012, 8/2012 Version and the latest of the "old" Duokan versions, even before the Lite versions, which was 0.5.13.8942 to my knowledge.
I have a Kindle 3 and 4NT, the old Duokan is only available for K3.
I installed Firmware 3.3 and then old Duokan and Duokan 2012. Duokan 2012 comes with a bootloader that can handle all 3 firmware versions at a time, so at every startup I can chose between Amazon Kindle, Duokan old or Duokan 2012.
I compared Duokan 2012 and old Duokan with each other, mainly in terms of contrast, which was my main concern.
These are my findings:
- Duokan 2012 is faster and feels sophisticated overall
- DK 2012 handles Epub/Mobi much better than the old version, documents look much better structured and easier to read
- PDFs are best viewed with "smart layout", this function is highly improved over the old DK and works great
- DK old is optimized for viewing Pdfs "as they are", "smart layout" almost always causes a mess
- Trimming/cropping functions work a bit finer than on DK2012 and allow optimization of almost any PDF, no matter if in portrait or landscape format
- DK old has the much better option of adjusting contrast/darkness of all formats. Fonts can be made to look "black on white", whereas in DK 2012 contrast is limited. In some cases documents always look a bit grainy, in other words, like a document "printed with almost empty toner cartridge". Chosing higher font sizes reduces that problem.
- The greyscale option in DK old manages to make fonts look slightly smoother and bolder (the higher the greyscale level, the bolder the fonts appear). The result looks in many cases more book-like or like "printed on paper".
Duokan 2012 is clearly improved over old Duokan but I think not having included the great ability to change contrast/darkness/boldness of fonts was a mistake. This has been a very important feature and makes ebooks look more "real" and reading itself more enjoable !
I do not want to read my books/documents without this feature.
So I am going to keep my good old K3 (and likely sell the K4NT again) and will keep both Duokans running.
For ebook-formats I might prefer DK2012, for all other purposes DK old.
If the Duokan team ever decides to implement the old contrast options in Duokan 2012, I would go for the K4NT or K4T or whatever comes after them again. As for now, K3 rules with 3 firmwares on board
Whoever wants to try one of the old Duokan versions, here they are:
I hope this post was helpful for someone.