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Old 09-16-2010, 07:08 AM   #1
Nikko73
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Confused: Vizplex or Pearl?

I just purchased a PRS-650 from the Sony Store at Robina on the Gold Coast. I read all the reviews and watched all the available videos before I went to the store so I barely glanced at the display unit before purchasing. Fast forward 2 hours and I am at home, I plug the unit in to charge via USB. The battery is full so I disconnect and the unit starts up. A few logos are displayed including the eink vizplex logo. What the!?! Once the reader has started I go into the 'about screen' and it says this unit uses eink vizplex! No mention of Pearl at all. I compare the display my (vizplex) Hanlin V3 and they are almost identical as far as grayness of the 'white' part of the screen goes. However the sony's page turns are faster.

Now I might be missing something but I was under the assumption that all of the new Sony readers use Pearl eink. Are Sony using Vizplex in Australia only? I rechecked the Sony Australia website and confirmed that the PRS 650 features include:
6" E Inkģ Pearl glare-free touch-screen for the ultimate reading experience

I rang the Sony store immediately and they said they will chase it up with their head office tomorrow (the guy I spoke to had no idea what Vizplex and pearl were).

Has anyone else had this experience in Australia (or elsewhere)? I do remember someone on this forum saying that his (vizplex) Kobo reader display was better than his new Sony's display and this may be the reason why.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:34 AM   #2
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I'm in Brisbane. My 650 says that on the about page too.

But when I compare my 650 side by side with the 300, the 650 screen is much better: the text appears darker. Images have much better clarity. The contrast is better. So I'm assuming it's a Pearl screen and they just forgot to update the About page.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:41 AM   #3
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I noticed the Viplex mention in the specs for the 950 too; it's mentioned in the last few posts at this thread -

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97191

Let us know what Sony replies about this!

ETA:

Quote:
I'm assuming it's a Pearl screen and they just forgot to update the About page.
That's about what I wondered too.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
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Sony uses E-Ink Pearl. Check Sony's press-release and product information on their web pages. I don't think 'Pearl' is a trademark and it is the technology name for an ehnacement of Vizplex(tm) Imaging Film, so maybe trademark-wise Vizplex could still stay.

I have both Kobo and Sony PRS-650 and Sony's display is better, period.
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Old 09-16-2010, 07:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yts06mgr View Post
Sony uses E-Ink Pearl. Check Sony's press-release and product information on their web pages. I don't think 'Pearl' is a trademark and it is the technology name for an ehnacement of Vizplex(tm) Imaging Film, so maybe trademark-wise Vizplex could still stay.

I have both Kobo and Sony PRS-650 and Sony's display is better, period.
Yes, the thought had just crossed my mind that maybe 'Viplex' is just a usual part of e-ink so I went to google about it; I couldn't find anything very recent though. But I'm guessing you're correct.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikelet View Post
I'm in Brisbane. My 650 says that on the about page too.

But when I compare my 650 side by side with the 300, the 650 screen is much better: the text appears darker. Images have much better clarity. The contrast is better. So I'm assuming it's a Pearl screen and they just forgot to update the About page.
It is possible that a) they forgot to update the about page but b) more likely that 'pearl' is just a catchphrase and not trademarked like 'vizplex'. If that is the case then I am very impressed by the reader (page turns, build quality, touchscreen and various functions and options) but not so impressed by pearl. The blacks are definately blacker but the white is almost identical to the 'vizplex' white of my 2 year old Hanlin V3.

Many thanks for your quick and incisive replies. I will keep you all updated as to what Sony says at any rate.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
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Indeed, the word "Peal" on the E-Ink product page does not have ™ next to it, unlike Vizplex™.

Some people on the-ebook.org forum have claimed that Pearl screens are just the top tier of the Vizplex screens, i.e. they don't have a new production process or anything, but just more stringent QA process. There might be some truth in this, but I think it's a combination of 1) better (blacker) ink particles, 2) new/optimized waveforms and 3) the new ISIS controller that can make use of those waveforms.
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Old 09-16-2010, 12:21 PM   #8
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So anyway, not worth a mental pause that it says Viplex, it sounds like?
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:16 PM   #9
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how is the glare in on the 650??? especially compared to the 600?
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacymarie7575 View Post
how is the glare in on the 650??? especially compared to the 600?
It's much better, along with the clearer screen it's a very much improved reading experience. The screen on the PRS-650 has the same level of sheen as the PRS-505
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #11
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I read several reviews (about the screens not any particular reader) a while back about the differences between the two screens and it was noted in both that the background screen color was the same but the black ink was much darker on the Pearl screen. The background screen can also appear relatively lighter if your looking at a reader (like the Kindle) which changed from a light colored bezel to a dark one.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:18 PM   #12
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I had always found with my 505 that if I held it at a pretty significant angle from my eye (as opposed to looking at it more straight-on), the background appeared much, much whiter than looking straight at it. The color I saw when holding at this angle was the perfect background color: a creamy sort of milk-white, not bright white like paper, but a very pleasing contrast to the color of the text. If eInk could reach this level of white background when looking straight at it, it would be awesome. As it is, everything I've read about Pearl to date, after boiling through all the effusive gushing over how wonderful it looks, seems to indicate that Pearl is really just the same as Vizplex with a darker text. As long as that background is that awful gray tone, eInk simply doesn't work for me. I can achieve the same results as Pearl with my 505 just by choosing a mid-weight or bold font.

Cream-white background with 300 pixels per inch or better: that's what it needs! I ran across an article from a year or so back that showed a demo eInk from Epson at a breathtaking 385 ppi! (Article here). Sadly, that was a couple of years ago and I haven't heard any more about it since. The background on the demo still looked far, far too gray, but that pixel density on a huge display (something like 10.5 inches by 8 inches - every eInk PDF reader's dream!) would have really thrown the eInk industry to a whole new level.
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Old 09-16-2010, 09:08 PM   #13
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You can see the differences between vizplex and pearl screens under a microscope here. The black is definitely darker and the grey background seems to be less noisy making it look a bit more white.
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Old 09-16-2010, 10:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lacymarie7575 View Post
how is the glare in on the 650??? especially compared to the 600?
There is no touch layer on top of the screen so the screen is as good as it gets for eink.
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Old 09-17-2010, 02:56 AM   #15
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