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Old 08-30-2010, 02:03 PM   #1
jswinden
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Photographic comparisons of K3 Pearl to older eInk screens

Here are my comparison photos of the Sony 300 to Kindle WiFi.

NOTE: The PRS-300 is the only device I still own with a 2nd Generation eInk screen, and I think it is comparable to the Sony 505, Kindle 2, and Nook screens as I'm fairly sure all of them use the same 2nd Generation eInk technology.
  • Both devices are showing the same book (The Federalists Papers).
  • Both devices are showing the same pages within the book.
  • Both devices are using their default serif font. (No font hacks.)
  • Both devices were photographed side by side with same lighting in a single photograph to more accurately show their differences

I think this clearly shows the vast superiority of the Pearl eInk screen to the 2nd Generation eInk screen, especially in the closeup view.

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Old 08-30-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Would you agree with me, Jack, in saying that virtually all the improvement is in how "black" the text is, and that the "white" background is only very slightly different?

When Pearl screens first came out, people were saying that the background was "white". I honestly cannot agree with that; to my eye, the screen background is pretty much the same as it is on the older screens; the improvement is that the text is now truly black rather than grey.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:57 PM   #3
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Would you agree with me, Jack, in saying that virtually all the improvement is in how "black" the text is, and that the "white" background is only very slightly different?

When Pearl screens first came out, people were saying that the background was "white". I honestly cannot agree with that; to my eye, the screen background is pretty much the same as it is on the older screens; the improvement is that the text is now truly black rather than grey.
I'd say you're right on. From what PVI/eInk says the white state relfectivity of Viziplex is "40% (typical)" and of Pearl it's "40%". So unless I'm misunderstanding that that means they're virtually the same.


I'm not sure I'd want a pure white background. I think it might end up harder on the eyes after a long reading session.


The new screen is fabulous. I'm not sure they could do much to make eInk any better as far as grayscale goes.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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Contrast is SUPERB

The contrast on that Kindle screen is the best I've ever seen. Its even better than on my PC. It makes my Sony PRS 900 screen look like the stone age.

I just purchased that Sony PRS 900 in December, 2009 for $ 400. Now its made obsolete by a $ 180 purchase of the Kindle 3 with a case.

I assume in 12 months the K4 will make the K3 obsolete. We really only pay for 6 months use when we buy one of the eReaders. By 12 months they become WORTHLESS.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:37 PM   #5
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I have the new screen on the DXG. The background is not white but the text is more crisp and darker on the new screen. I think that the new screen is nice but I can't say I noticed a huge difference when I moved to my K1 for my beach vacation. I didn't want to risk sand and water getting in the DXG so I used the K1 with a water proof cover.

Perhaps I am in the minority but I don't think that the new screen is a great reason to buy the K3. It could also be that I am 38 with good eyes (well crappy eye sight but otherwise healthy eyes) so that I don't notice the difference as much as someone with older eyes.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:43 PM   #6
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Perhaps I am in the minority but I don't think that the new screen is a great reason to buy the K3.
I'd have to say it would be a great reason when comparing with other models out there like the nook, or the sony Pocket edition...it's currently the best there is in many respects. Now, if you already *own* a K2, or a PRS-300 or a Nook, then yes, I would probably agree that the screen alone is not worth tossing your old reader in the garbage and getting a k3. But if you don't already own one, the screen would sway me over to the K3 above the competition.
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Old 08-30-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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I'd have to say it would be a great reason when comparing with other models out there like the nook, or the sony Pocket edition...it's currently the best there is in many respects. Now, if you already *own* a K2, or a PRS-300 or a Nook, then yes, I would probably agree that the screen alone is not worth tossing your old reader in the garbage and getting a k3. But if you don't already own one, the screen would sway me over to the K3 above the competition.
Agreed. But if other features are imprtant to you, EPub, replaceable battery, memory card slot, then the screen is not so much better that it should out weigh the other features.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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I assume in 12 months the K4 will make the K3 obsolete. We really only pay for 6 months use when we buy one of the eReaders. By 12 months they become WORTHLESS.
Not "worthless" at all. Look on eBay and see how much K2's are selling for. I've sold a number of book readers; not one has sold for under half what I paid for it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #9
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What is the matter with you people? The Kindle 3 screen is amazing! Far better than the screen on the Kindle 2. To my eyes, the background looks white and the text black. I was always conscious that my Kindle 2 had a light grey background with dark grey text.

I would say the new screen should be a big factor in upgrading!
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Would you agree with me, Jack, in saying that virtually all the improvement is in how "black" the text is, and that the "white" background is only very slightly different?

When Pearl screens first came out, people were saying that the background was "white". I honestly cannot agree with that; to my eye, the screen background is pretty much the same as it is on the older screens; the improvement is that the text is now truly black rather than grey.
I agree Harry. I heard that "white background" comment a lot, but I honestly don't know where it came from. I will say that in certain light is does look whiter than these photos, but it is still a dull, light shade of gray. The text is definitely blacker and is what makes the screen so much easier on my 52 year old eyes.

BTW: I posted these photos in the Sony forum on MR in response to someone complaining that the K3 screen was no better than his 505. One person in denial stated an obvious mistake I made but had not noticed, and that was the text sizes were not equal. So to prove that made no difference I took another photo with the text sizes on the two devices as close as I could get them to being equal. Here is the result, as you can see it still shows that Pearl is far superior to 2nd Generation eInk screens.

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Old 08-30-2010, 04:41 PM   #11
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What is the matter with you people? The Kindle 3 screen is amazing!
I'd have to agree. The difference between the two screens in the OP's photos is dramatic. I also agree that a dazzling white background is not necessarily the best for comfortable reading; personally I prefer a softer white. It's the contrast that's all-important.

The Pearl screen is one of the main points that convinced me to buy the K3 -- my first e-reader (which, by the way, is waiting for me at home!).
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:55 PM   #12
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I also agree that a dazzling white background is not necessarily the best for comfortable reading; personally I prefer a softer white.
Good point. When I take it into direct sunlight the light gray looks almost white. If the screen were already a bright white, then I think bright lighting would make the glare too uncomfortable for reading. I think the Pearl designers had to hit upon a good compromise of light background and dark text that would work in most situations. I don't think a pure white background is even possible with eInk technology, but I'm really guessing at that. At any rate they turned out a winner.

Now the race in on to see how long it takes Sony, B&N, and the other major players to release their readers with Pearl screens. I love my KDXG and my K3, but I would love to see some stiff competition from other manufacturers so that we continue to have better and better readers being released each year. Competition is good for us as consumers.
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:59 PM   #13
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Can somebody who has both the k2 and the k3 compare the glare/reflectivity of the screens and see what they think? my first impressions of my k3 is that it's got more glare, that the screen is a little less "matte" than the previous model, but unfortunately I sold it last week and can't compare. I do have a PRS-300 back at the house I'll grab and compare when I get home.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:23 PM   #14
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I think we can all agree we would not want a pure white screen. But that is not the objective. What we do want is a screen that matches the contrast of printed paper. The e-ink technology still has some maturing to do before it can reach this.
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Old 08-30-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
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Would you agree with me, Jack, in saying that virtually all the improvement is in how "black" the text is, and that the "white" background is only very slightly different?

When Pearl screens first came out, people were saying that the background was "white". I honestly cannot agree with that; to my eye, the screen background is pretty much the same as it is on the older screens; the improvement is that the text is now truly black rather than grey.
HarryT, try a side by side comparison of the K2 and K3 comparing the "white" areas. Try looking at them in differing light/glare situations. To my eyes the black is definitely blacker but the "white" is perceptibly lighter gray.

What I think they have done is altered the reflectivity of the "white". In fact what I think they have done is introduced a little pearlescence. Hence the name.

Last edited by NormHart; 08-30-2010 at 10:46 PM.
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