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Old 01-11-2011, 10:29 AM   #1
luqmaninbmore
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Jetbook/Libre LCD more robust than Eink?

In the spirit of my earlier post on the comparative robustness of Sipix vis-a-vis Eink, I have another question: Are LCD based readers such as the Jetbook or Aluratek Libre more robust than Eink based readers? While I have heard of Jetbooks with broken screens, this has universally been traceable to dropping the device or exposing it to the harsh environment of a purse/bag filled with various small objects. The mysterious, spontaneous screen breakings which have been reported with eink readers do not seem to be occuring with the LCD based readers mentioned above. The main cause of spontaneous screen breaking seems to be twisting forces cracking the glass substrate. Are the LCDs more resistant to twisting forces? Are they more flexible? Have there been cases of spontaneous breakage that I am not aware of? I know that the screen quality of the non-backlit LCDs is different than E-ink; I use an OLPC XO-1 that has similar characteristics. The OLPC is too heavy to carry around everywhere, so I am looking for something smaller.
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Old 01-14-2011, 06:27 PM   #2
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I dropped my jetBook in its padded case from about bed-height onto carpet and it broken the screen. It landed on its side/edge.

I have now dropped my Sony PRS-350 twice--once from waist height and once out of my coat pocket--and it fell on wood and tile none the worse for wear.

I think the frame has a large part to do with my Sony surviving vs. the JB.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:29 AM   #3
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I dropped my Kindle 2 several times...actually did break the BACK of it a few days ago, but the screen was undamaged. I really don't think they're probably better or worse particularly...fairly sturdy.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:55 AM   #4
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Many LCD devices use plastic screens, while e-ink devices use a hard mineral glass.

Plastic is much more easily scratched, but may be more impact resistant under some circumstances, but either glass or plastic can still be cracked if you work at it.

If you jam either your LCD or your e-ink reader into a gym bag with the screen up against your sneakers and then start jerking it around, don't be surprised if it cracks.

Cars have glass windshields and windows, but broken glass is fairly rare even under some pretty rough conditions, so with a little care, your e-ink readers screen should also be fine for many years of use.
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kralik View Post
I dropped my jetBook in its padded case from about bed-height onto carpet and it broken the screen. It landed on its side/edge.

I have now dropped my Sony PRS-350 twice--once from waist height and once out of my coat pocket--and it fell on wood and tile none the worse for wear.

I think the frame has a large part to do with my Sony surviving vs. the JB.
Well, I must have dropped my Jetbook a dozen times over the nearly two years I had it. The plastic cracking is what did it in, not the LCD.

I would have to say that my impression is that both LCD and eInk have approximately the same durability. For each there is a certain set of circumstances that will break them.

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Old 02-18-2011, 10:08 AM   #6
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It's not so much knocks that will break an eInk screen as twisting forces. There's a very thin layer of glass underneath the outer plastic screen; that is very easily fractured if it's twisted.
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Old 02-18-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
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It's not so much knocks that will break an eInk screen as twisting forces. There's a very thin layer of glass underneath the outer plastic screen; that is very easily fractured if it's twisted.
I don't think that the outer layer you are referring to is plastic on my PRS-650, I think it's glass, though it possibly might be plastic on some earlier non-touch models.

The maker claims that the inner e-ink display layer can now be made "Flexible"

Quote:
"E Ink displays are flexible and becoming more so every year. Flexibility doesn't mean you'll be able to roll up the screens and stuff them in your backpack, but is is key to making displays with larger screens light enough to hold it conveniently in one hand.

Flexible doesn't mean the display is floppy, it refers to its lightweight, shatterproof or rugged characteristics."
But there is no denying that cracked e-ink screens do remain a problem on virtually ALL e-ink e-book readers.

I would guess that, in order to improve readability and contrast, which is at a premium in e-reader screens, the thin e-ink layer is bonded right to the back of the screen bezel glass, so if you crack or even tweak the screen with too much force, you start breaking internal connections and it's toast.

Put your unprotected Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or Sony Reader in a gym bag or purse; banging around with a lot of other things; and you are begging for a cracked screen.

Or simply fall asleep while reading and crunch the screen under an elbow while rolling over.

So you have to avoid these kinds of situations where over stress or impact could crack your screen.

Glass is tough and scratch resistant, and it will put up with abuse up to a point, but then you go just a little farther, and CRUNCH, your screen is cracked.

When somebody does crack their screen, it's often the same sad story, "I don't know what happened! I didn't do any thing different. It just cracked!"

Last edited by delphin; 02-19-2011 at 06:11 AM.
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