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Old 05-15-2008, 04:21 AM   #1
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Do eink display's lose contrast over time?

I was reading this thread

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...t=21808&page=3

and came across a comment (#111) which implies there exists the possibility that eink screens can have their contrast degrade over what would seem to be a short period of time.

Is that the case?

I ask this because I did a side by side comparison between my Nokia N800 and the Sony PRS505:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22304

my preference easily being the N800. But this was with a demo unit. Now I am wondering if there is a possibility the display has lost contrast over the time it has been in use in the store.

Just curious as it would clearly explain why my experience gave different results from what others report.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:01 AM   #2
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1st Gen eInk screens (such as that used by the PRS-500) definitely do seem to lose a certain amount of contrast over time. It doesn't seem to be an on-going process - they fade a certain amount and then stop.

2nd Gen "VizPlex" screens don't appear to do so - or at least, comparing my 7 month old CyBook Gen3 (which has a VizPlex screen) to a new one that a friend of mine has just bought, there's no noticeable difference in contrast.

It's difficult to compare an LCD screen to an eInk screen - the results are basically down to personal preference and the lighting conditions. In poor light, a backlit LCD screen will be "brighter", since it emits light, but that very fact leads to eye-strain in many people. In bright light (eg sunlight), the eInk screen will, for most people, be the clear winner.
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:52 PM   #3
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thanks Harry,

I am not that intimate with the eink technology so I was not sure if the degradation would be an issue. I would have been surprised if it was actually the case. Glad to read it's not so.

I too agree displays are a very personal preference. Everyone's eyes are the same basic make up but there can be subtle physical differences which affect things like color, depth perception and even the ability to detect variations in a more monochrome color scheme (ie grey scale I would think of as a monochrome color gradient/scheme). Maybe my preference is because I might not see grey scale as well as I do color. If that is the case then maybe I perceive the issue as one of contrast.

Anyway, this is why I tend to suggest folks go view as many devices as possible. I do LOVE eink outside whether in direct sunlight or just out on the deck/under a tree.

So, thanks for the feedback about steady decreases in contrast which, it seems, are likely are not the case...
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