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Old 07-03-2012, 01:50 AM   #16
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The backlight is the deal breaker for me, not the resolution. I'm on a computer all day at work and it's nice to go to the e-ink screen for relaxation. iPad (and Kindle Fire and other tablets) do have an advantage for magazines and newspapers I think. Just an easier interface overall for that format.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:04 AM   #17
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Ditto with me. I use my iPad2 for PDF reference books and some light comic reading, while my Sony ereaders are used for all my other ebook reading.

Much easier on my eyes.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:34 AM   #18
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The retina display is for playing games, not serious reading

In addition to my dislike of reading with a backlight, I find the iPad too large/heavy to comfortably use as an ereader.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:00 AM   #19
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I agree, as far as books are concerned. I prefer magazines on the iPad.
The iPad is also the clear winner for reading PDFs, which are generally formatted for an A4/Letter screen size.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:30 AM   #20
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The weight is by far the dealbreaker for me. I'll use my iPad to browse magazine or have a brief read of graphic novels, but for long-haul novel reading my Kobo beats it hands down.

And the size, of course - I can slip the Kobo into any of my handbags.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:00 AM   #21
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The backlight is the deal breaker for me, not the resolution. I'm on a computer all day at work and it's nice to go to the e-ink screen for relaxation. iPad (and Kindle Fire and other tablets) do have an advantage for magazines and newspapers I think. Just an easier interface overall for that format.
This thing about backlights has always puzzled me. I have to look at the matter as a physicist. You "see" when photons enter your eye and stimulate the optic nerve. Your eye doesn't care whether those photons are emitted by a screen, or merely reflected from it, and if you have your screen brightness set to the same level as the ambient light level in the room, the total number of photons entering your eye will be the same. Rationally speaking, there should be absolutely no difference between reading from an eInk screen or reading from a backlit screen whose brightness is correctly set.

I can only think that people who complain that they can't use backlit screens perhaps have the brightness set too high?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:08 AM   #22
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I'm going to have to say Kindle over iPad, but it has nothing to do with the visual qualities of the screen. I prefer long battery life, compact, and light weight devices. On the other hand, the difference between the screens (for reading formatted text) is arginal.

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This thing about backlights has always puzzled me. I have to look at the matter as a physicist.
I think the solution would require the collaboration of a physicist, a biologist, and a psychologist. There may be no difference between a transmitted and reflected photon, but there is a huge difference between a transmissive and reflective display. There is the intensity of the emitted light, compared to ambient light, as you mentioned. But I'm curious as to how other properties may factor into our vision. LCDs emit polarized light and the spectrum of the emitted light will be different from reflected light. I don't see how that would change anything since our eyes can't detect polarization and are very poor at judging the spectral distribution, but I'd want to ask a biologist to be sure. Of course it may also be in people's minds, thus the psychologist.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #23
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This thing about backlights has always puzzled me. I have to look at the matter as a physicist. You "see" when photons enter your eye and stimulate the optic nerve. Your eye doesn't care whether those photons are emitted by a screen, or merely reflected from it, and if you have your screen brightness set to the same level as the ambient light level in the room, the total number of photons entering your eye will be the same. Rationally speaking, there should be absolutely no difference between reading from an eInk screen or reading from a backlit screen whose brightness is correctly set.

I can only think that people who complain that they can't use backlit screens perhaps have the brightness set too high?
I don't have a problem reading backlit screens per se -- I actually have a Kindle Fire which I use for magazines and comic books. But it's just over an extended period I feel drained by the bright screen. I also like to read under a bright lamp, or better yet, out in the sun, and the LCD screens tend not to work as well in that context. I haven't tried reading on an iPad 3 so it may be better.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:58 AM   #24
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I can only think that people who complain that they can't use backlit screens perhaps have the brightness set too high?
Given that Apple has minimal thresholds for brightness on most of their equipment, that's likely, and also probably not by the choice of the user --- I have to use a utility ``Shades.app'' on my iMac here at work to dim the display enough for it to be comfortable.

Then there's the issue of usage in sunlight --- took my boss's iPad out on a bright, sunny day here and couldn't tell if it was on or off.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:15 AM   #25
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Totally agree that eInk screens are better in sunlight. I recently took my Kindle on a Nile cruise in Egypt. There's no way I could have used an iPad outside in that level of sunlight.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:38 AM   #26
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Totally agree that eInk screens are better in sunlight. I recently took my Kindle on a Nile cruise in Egypt. There's no way I could have used an iPad outside in that level of sunlight.
Nile cruise? Sweet! Did you get 3G?
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:42 AM   #27
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Nile cruise? Sweet! Did you get 3G?
Yes. Absolutely brilliant mobile internet the whole way. Much better coverage than here in the UK .
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:16 PM   #28
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This thing about backlights has always puzzled me. I have to look at the matter as a physicist. You "see" when photons enter your eye and stimulate the optic nerve. Your eye doesn't care whether those photons are emitted by a screen, or merely reflected from it, and if you have your screen brightness set to the same level as the ambient light level in the room, the total number of photons entering your eye will be the same. Rationally speaking, there should be absolutely no difference between reading from an eInk screen or reading from a backlit screen whose brightness is correctly set.
And yet there's been at least one published paper that's been shown that backlit displays can affect sleep patterns. (There may be more, I just haven't followed it closely enough). One of these days I really need to sit down with the person in my department doing sleep research and see if she has any thoughts on this.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #29
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And yet there's been at least one published paper that's been shown that backlit displays can affect sleep patterns.
I think Harry's question is: Has it been shown the using backlit displays affects sleep patterns, or has it been shown that using a display of a particular brightness affects sleep patterns? If you shone a bright enough light onto a reflective display so that the light output equaled that of the backlit display, would there be any difference?
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #30
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A 6" eink screen is awful for most PDF. The iPad is so much better for PDF.
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