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Old 10-07-2011, 09:24 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Zeebra View Post
I have no idea what you just did or said but it looks impressive.
lol, good enough for me.

EDIT: just for fun, i also measured a random paper back. Surprisingly the contrast is not that much higher than the Kindle screen(about 6-7% more contrasty, at higher resolution though), but probably more importantly, the white is ~25% brighter than the Kindle's e-Ink screen. So there seems to be still alot of room for the e-ink technology to improve.

Last edited by shinew; 10-07-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:46 PM   #32
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Some are speculating that maybe the K3 purchased in 2010 have better contrast and lighter background then those made in 2011. I don't know if this is true but It's a possibility Amazon switched manufacturer during that time or used a different stock of screen.
My Kindle 3--which was purchased in November 2010--started to act weird, so Amazon sent me a replacement that arrived today. I compared the old and new Kindles with the same book open and the same font. I cannot see any difference between the color of the background. The type on the new Kindle is marginally darker, but in normal use you would never notice the difference.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:03 PM   #33
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I have heard people saying the Nook Simple Touch doesn't have as good as contrast as a Kindle. So I believe you.
I think it's the poor rendering engine in the nook doing it. I've compared the exact same font on the nook with my 650 and the 650 looked better easily. The fonts almost looked like two different fonts. The nook had too many thin bits to the font that are not supposed to be there.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:12 PM   #34
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p.s. With no disrespect to Tom's hardware, where there're full of experts smarter than me, IMHO using a microscope to take a picture of the screen is not the most accurate way to evaluate...
Don't worry, THG isn't exactly known for accurate methods or unbiased articles
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:00 AM   #35
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Quote:
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Here I tried something new and I think I got a pic to finally show the difference of my screens so people can understand where I am coming from.

You can in this pic see the difference of variations between the two. The K4 is a light grey and the K3 a creme even though it's in the one in shadows if I put it in the light it's gets near off white, no grey to be seen but I am trying to show the K4s and my K3s difference not the brilliance of my K3 screen.
I bought a K3 3G with Special Offers this summer and the background is very grey. I think if it was more white, the contrast would allow me to use a smaller font. As it is, the contrast is poor so I use a very large font and have to turn the page often which is frustrating.

I wonder if they used a cheaper grade for the SOs also?

When I was at Best Buy, the previous Nook (non-touch) looked much better than the Kindle because it was much more white. Maybe Amazon unloaded some lower grade batches to other stores.

Quote:
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Interesting article, I don't have the K3 but since they also mentioned Nook STR(which I still have atm), I assume the K3 & Nook have the same screen.

I did some brief test just now by loading a pure black & pure white(blank) page on to each reader, then used my X-Rite i1 spectrophotometer to measure each of its black & white color data, I don't find the black "a little darker" on the Nook STR, in fact, the K4's black is darker.

Below are the comparison image I've created using photoshop based on the L*a*b reading of the spectrophotometer, then converted to sRGB color space:
That is so cool! My K3 background looks much more like the Nook STR.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:42 AM   #36
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I bought a K3 3G with Special Offers this summer and the background is very grey. I think if it was more white, the contrast would allow me to use a smaller font. As it is, the contrast is poor so I use a very large font and have to turn the page often which is frustrating.

I wonder if they used a cheaper grade for the SOs also?
I would contact Kindle Support. There is no need for you not to be happy with your K3. I use the condensed font and it looks fine small. It's still under warranty and Amazon will replace it. Believe me my K3 looks wonderful small or large even my new K4 looks fine. It sounds like you got a bad screen like I had with my first K4.
Don't settle! Amazon is happy to make it right.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:50 AM   #37
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My Kindle 3--which was purchased in November 2010--started to act weird, so Amazon sent me a replacement that arrived today. I compared the old and new Kindles with the same book open and the same font. I cannot see any difference between the color of the background. The type on the new Kindle is marginally darker, but in normal use you would never notice the difference.
The screens do vary as we are finding out as more people talk about theirs on here. Some of the newer K3s have a gray background. My guess is a different manufacturer makes the gray ones.
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:57 PM   #38
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2 of my friends have K3, if people are interested, I can take a measurement and see how much differences there are between k3 & k4 on black & white.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:19 PM   #39
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2 of my friends have K3, if people are interested, I can take a measurement and see how much differences there are between k3 & k4 on black & white.
Sure go for it! I would do it on both just because they vary from each other.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:44 AM   #40
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You know, I'm really skeptical that there are actually "different grades" of Pearl e-ink used on e-readers.

AFAICT, for 4 years no one has heard about these different grades. When Pearl came out, its 50% greater contrast was heavily advertised and featured, but no one talked about different grades of Pearl. If there really were different grades, anyone any company using a better grade of pearl would use that fact to beat their competition over the head with...and rightly so. But that never happened.

The only evidence we have for the different grades is from a second hand report we heard of from Tom's Hardware, who apparently called e-ink and learned this heretofore unknown fact. But we don't really know who they talked to, what questions they asked, or what kind of response they actually got. For all we know (and in fact, this is my assumption), they were asked how come some screens are better than others, and the response that there are different grades meant just that some are pearl and some are older vizplex. And not that there are different grades of Pearl.

And even if there were different grades of Pearl, I would be surprised if it were revealed in this way.

"Hello, E-ink, I have a question about Amazon? You know, your largest customer? How come some of their screens on the K4 look different?"

"Hello, random tech blogger. Well, we've never told anyone this yet, but there are are actually different grades of Pearl. And our largest customer - well, this is highly confidential, but they might be using Pearl B instead of Pearl A. Have a nice day!".

Anyway, for both of those reasons, I'm seriously skeptical.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:44 AM   #41
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K3 vs K4 Screen

So I borrowed a K3 from my friend(about 3-month old) and did some measurement with my i1 spectro, this time using the hi resolution mode so it should be more accurate. I measured each black & white 5 times and used their average as the final reading.

The blacks have a DeltaE of 1.98 which is little high & 0.84 for the white. The K4's black is about 12% darker than the K3 and white is about the same(~1% brighter on the K4). The K4's contrast is about 6% greater than the K3. Below is the approximate representation of their shades in sRGB color space:


Please take the above measurement with a grain of salt. It does not represent the entire K3/K4 product line, just 2 devices I happen to have. I don't have the access(nor the will) to get enough units to make any generalization.

cheers,

Last edited by shinew; 10-09-2011 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:25 AM   #42
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You know, I'm really skeptical that there are actually "different grades" of Pearl e-ink used on e-readers.

AFAICT, for 4 years no one has heard about these different grades. When Pearl came out, its 50% greater contrast was heavily advertised and featured, but no one talked about different grades of Pearl. If there really were different grades, anyone any company using a better grade of pearl would use that fact to beat their competition over the head with...and rightly so. But that never happened.

The only evidence we have for the different grades is from a second hand report we heard of from Tom's Hardware, who apparently called e-ink and learned this heretofore unknown fact. But we don't really know who they talked to, what questions they asked, or what kind of response they actually got. For all we know (and in fact, this is my assumption), they were asked how come some screens are better than others, and the response that there are different grades meant just that some are pearl and some are older vizplex. And not that there are different grades of Pearl.

And even if there were different grades of Pearl, I would be surprised if it were revealed in this way.

"Hello, E-ink, I have a question about Amazon? You know, your largest customer? How come some of their screens on the K4 look different?"

"Hello, random tech blogger. Well, we've never told anyone this yet, but there are are actually different grades of Pearl. And our largest customer - well, this is highly confidential, but they might be using Pearl B instead of Pearl A. Have a nice day!".

Anyway, for both of those reasons, I'm seriously skeptical.
Well, for LCDs I believe there are different "grades" of screens, and it's not something that would be "announced" like it's a new product. I'd imagine that there could be variation among e-ink screens that come out of the manufacturing process and maybe they do get differentiated into grades that sell for more or less. I don't see how that's so difficult to believe. Maybe they don't get sold for more or less, but I could easily believe that there are different grades of the Pearl screen.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:26 AM   #43
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So I borrowed a K3 from my friend(about 3-month old) and did some measurement with my i1 spectro, this time using the hi resolution mode so it should be more accurate. I measured each black & white 5 times and used their average as the final reading. ..

Please take the above measurement with a grain of salt. It does not represent the entire K3/K4 product line, just 2 devices I happen to have. I don't have the access(nor the will) to get enough units to make any generalization.

cheers,
Your observations are (empirically) similar to ours - K4 basic display we feel has better overall contrast than our K3

That is perhaps owing to improved firmware for the display, as Amazon says K3 & 4 use the same display?


What we do take with a BIG lump of salt is "Tom's Hardware" "reviews".
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:59 PM   #44
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Your observations are (empirically) similar to ours - K4 basic display we feel has better overall contrast than our K3

That is perhaps owing to improved firmware for the display, as Amazon says K3 & 4 use the same display?


What we do take with a BIG lump of salt is "Tom's Hardware" "reviews".
I doubt it's software related since I used the entire page with pure black, precisely because I wanted to avoid any software related dithering effect, so it should work like an on/off switch.

With the white(blank) page pretty much the same(less than 1 deltaE), it confirms with Amazon's claim that the screen material is pretty much the same as the K3. However, it seems that the dark blue pigments used in the K4 is of darker shade than the one in the K3(at least in my case). If the differences are universal, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the currently produced pearl eink display are using slightly darker pigments than the ones used in K3.

Anyhow, one thing for sure is that my K4 has the best screen compare to the Nook STR & K3 I've used. So i'm a happy user
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #45
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You know, I'm really skeptical that there are actually "different grades" of Pearl e-ink used on e-readers.

AFAICT, for 4 years no one has heard about these different grades. When Pearl came out, its 50% greater contrast was heavily advertised and featured, but no one talked about different grades of Pearl. If there really were different grades, anyone any company using a better grade of pearl would use that fact to beat their competition over the head with...and rightly so. But that never happened.

The only evidence we have for the different grades is from a second hand report we heard of from Tom's Hardware, who apparently called e-ink and learned this heretofore unknown fact. But we don't really know who they talked to, what questions they asked, or what kind of response they actually got. For all we know (and in fact, this is my assumption), they were asked how come some screens are better than others, and the response that there are different grades meant just that some are pearl and some are older vizplex. And not that there are different grades of Pearl.

And even if there were different grades of Pearl, I would be surprised if it were revealed in this way.

"Hello, E-ink, I have a question about Amazon? You know, your largest customer? How come some of their screens on the K4 look different?"

"Hello, random tech blogger. Well, we've never told anyone this yet, but there are are actually different grades of Pearl. And our largest customer - well, this is highly confidential, but they might be using Pearl B instead of Pearl A. Have a nice day!".

Anyway, for both of those reasons, I'm seriously skeptical.
I don't know much about toms, but they're a pretty big site, not exactly random blogger.

Sure they could have just made that up, but why? Wouldn't eink just say "wait a sec we never told them that. That's a total lie". Or at least say they were misquoted, or the person saying it was misinformed.

It's easy to spread misinformation on the net, but it's also easy to get correction. You don't need to trust a particular site, just the system's ability for self correction.

Yes companies make electronics of different grades (not necessarily on purpose; the manufacturing process doesn't guarantee the same quality at all times) and it's not something they would trumpet. Doesn't mean that's what happened here. But you can't blithely dismiss it.
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