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Old 10-03-2012, 11:32 AM   #271
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Originally Posted by jocampo View Post
I think I should make this additional comment.
...
Based on that, rooms with very low light or in absence of total light (at bed), you can barely see the spot light at the bottom. This maybe explains why during press conference it looks so good. Lighting is almost perfect on those events.

Again, not justifying Amazon, but I thought it was nice to clarify.
I agree, meaning that in lowest light you CAN see the unevenness at the bottom where the lights start their way through the display.

In good, evenly lighted :-) rooms, it looks darned good. In darkest rooms, 'artificial' lighting used will probably always be non-ideal. The idea is to be able to see to read while not annoying your bed partner.
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:52 AM   #272
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I agree, meaning that in lowest light you CAN see the unevenness at the bottom where the lights start their way through the display.

In good, evenly lighted :-) rooms, it looks darned good. In darkest rooms, 'artificial' lighting used will probably always be non-ideal. The idea is to be able to see to read while not annoying your bed partner.
Also, consider that when reading in darker rooms the screen will look miles better (even with a bit of unevenness) than it would look without the light. Bottom line is that it is a better reading experience than was possible before.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:11 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by joehunt View Post

I don't see a difference in marketing the screen illumination. Look at the pictures/video of the Nook in B&N's ad and try to find a similar unit anywhere.
Yeah, maybe it's all in the name. Nook Glowlight or Kobo Glo tell me it's a reader with integrated light. Kindle *Paperwhite* makes me think -- wow, this thing is going to look as good as a piece of printed white office paper -- even white background and black text. And then, bam, disappointment, it's just a Kindle with integrated light.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:31 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by andrys View Post
What's good is he shows why you'll see the difference in full darkness, and I'll start you at that point, though you can just back up to the Start at any time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-SEYSHSVKc#t=1m27s

He also gives a good demo of the features.
Thanks for posting the video link! That's a good overview of Paperwhite's features.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:06 PM   #275
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Originally Posted by maxbookworm View Post
Yeah, maybe it's all in the name. Nook Glowlight or Kobo Glo tell me it's a reader with integrated light. Kindle *Paperwhite* makes me think -- wow, this thing is going to look as good as a piece of printed white office paper -- even white background and black text. And then, bam, disappointment, it's just a Kindle with integrated light.
The Nook pictured below certainly has an "even white background and black text". It's hard to imagine that someone would purchase an ereader based only on name, so I don't think it has any relevancy.


Last edited by joehunt; 10-03-2012 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:10 PM   #276
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I think some of those who have the "good" units are basing a lot of their assumptions almost solely on their good unit and its performance. They are seeing a tiny bit of shadowing (blotchiness) throughout the screen and can clearly notice the shadows at the bottom 1/2" of the screen. In many cases they have heard these shadows existed and had to search hard to find them. Since they have nothing "bad" to compare it to, they devise some strange reasons why some people or so disappointed with their units. Their good units after all are nice by comparison.

What seems to be a fact is that all or nearly all of the units have the LED shadows at the bottom of the screen, but in most cases this is not a big deal.

Some "bad" units have obviously shipped. It happens with every product. Stuff happens. Delivery guys drop packages, poor QC, inconsistent parts quality, et cetera. Every company faces a small percentage of bad units being shipped. But with the KPW there are two main complaints I'm reading about concerning "bad" units: There are units with less brightness in lighting and there are units with the severe case of blotchiness including extremely dark areas of the screen. And some with both.

I've read several people who say their "bad" unit has such dim lighting that they cannot tell the light is even on until they get around level 20 of 24. Most of these seem to not have the shadows and blotches. They say their screens look consistently lit but much darker than they thought they should be.

I've read a lot more cases, including my own, where the screens have severe shadows and blotchiness to the point of causing eyestrain. Unless you have one of these it is going to be difficult to understand just how awful they are. A few have written that they got two units where one is good and one is bad and they can tell a huge difference between the two.

In my case I seem to have an additional problem with font weights displaying in a very inconsistent and annoying way. The more I look at it and the more I think about it I'm leaning toward thinking this issue is somehow connected to the blotchy screen shadows and lighting issues. If you turn up the lighting on any eInk it tends to wash out fonts and make them look thinner because the font shadows begin to disappear. (Sorry, I cannot remember the official terminology for font shadows and shading et cetera.) But those shadows which add to a font's thickness and smoothness are lighter than the main portion and tend to get washed out first, resulting in thin washed out looking fonts. So it could well be that inconsistent lighting is causing my font issues.

It is true that taking photos of light emitting objects requires a good camera with manual controls and a good photographer. Using a consumer point and shoot camera on full auto will not work well. Using a professional camera on full auto will also not work well. That is why I used my higher level Canon 60D with a fully manual lense when I took the last photo I attached above. I used a tripod, normal room lighting, manual focus, and manual aperture setting so I could fully control the image. I do a lot of astrophotography so I am no slouch at taking photos of bright objects in dark surroundings. That photo is a very good depiction of my actual PW screen. Others have seen it on different forums and said that it looked like their screen. So the problem does exist beyond doubt.

It is not about marketing. Anyone with an ounce of grey matter knows that marketing commercials are never to be trusted. Otherwise we would all be driving cars which actually got the advertised fuel mileage, bald guys would have long flowing hair on their heads, and couples would remain happily married for 50 years after meeting in an online dating service! Yeah, not gonna happen, and deep down I think most people know that. I've no doubt that marketing hype does effect a lot of people, but we here at MR are a cut above most people!

But even though I know there are in fact a lot of bad unit reports, I suspect the percentages are fairly low--as in a small fraction of 1 percent. We have been living in Kindle Forum Land for the past few days, and true to history a few reports of bad units gets magnified because most people with good units don't report that, at least not as loudly. Any dentist will tell you that a small drop of blood mixed in with your saliva looks like a mouth full of blood, but it is only a drop so don't panic. Same goes for these bad units. They probably represent a tiny drop only, and once Amazon admits the issue exists and finds the cause, they will undoubtedly make the necessary corrections.

Last edited by jswinden; 10-03-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:31 PM   #277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrys View Post
Here's a good video -- this one shows the Paperwhite both in normal room light (and looks more like what I saw, except for an overhead light that's blotting some of his out) and in a pitch black room.

What's good is he shows why you'll see the difference in full darkness, and I'll start you at that point, though you can just back up to the Start at any time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-SEYSHSVKc#t=1m27s

He also gives a good demo of the features.
Thanks for the video. At the bottom you see clearly were the light comes out. And it shows on the screen. AND THERE ARE FOUR LED'S. Not three, not five but FOUR. Can anyone of the new PW owners confirm that?
Maybe Amazon removed one LED in the meantime. Maybe they have to have four or five LED's even if it means only 4 weeks of battery live.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:45 PM   #278
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FWIW, here's my take...I got my PW yesterday, and I read for about 30 minutes in regular room light and later for about an hour in total darkness. However, my first impression was based on what it looked like when I opened the box and pressed the power button. I was not encouraged. I could see both the splotchyness of the screen as a whole and the obvious shadows on the bottom. As soon as it let me, I turned the brightness down and was able to find a level (just under 1/2) that eliminated these problems. In the dark, after one night, I haven't been so lucky. I definitely noticed the splotchyness at all levels, and it does bother me. Like some others here, I'm a bit OCD, so I realize that it might not bother others...however, it bothers me. I was using a K3 with a Mighty Bright light. Of course it wasn't perfect either, but I'm not sure I prefer the PW experience.

Ultimately I agree with those who feel they were overpromised. Yes, we all know that advertising should be taken with a very large grain of salt, but I've owned multiple Kindles across all but the last generation and I've never felt that the product I received failed to live up to the claims made by Amazon. This device does. It's going to take a few days to sort out the disappointment that is due to unreasonable expectations from flaws that actually hurt the reading experience. I'm hoping that I'll ultimately prefer the device to my K3, but as of now, I'm not sure.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:48 PM   #279
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So the question would be ... should we see the light source, yes or not?

I mean, c'mon ... in order to see those 4 spot lights, we need to twisted the Kindle into that angle, turn light off ... maybe we're being over dramatic? And I'm including myself.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joehunt View Post
The Nook pictured below certainly has an "even white background and black text". It's hard to imagine that someone would purchase an ereader based only on name, so I don't think it has any relevancy.

Yes, it's very subjective, but speaking as a pretty tuned-in e-reader consumer, I didn't have huge expectations for the Nook Glowlight as far as a step-change in screen appearance, while for the Paperwhite, I did.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:49 PM   #281
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So the question would be ... should we see the light source, yes or not?
FWIW, I saw the light source on my Nook GlowLight as well.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:52 PM   #282
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Just got of the phone with Amazon CS. They were very nice and helpful as usual! I've got a replacement coming in a few weeks or so--whenever they are in stock again.

Yesterday a few people reported having a bit trouble convincing Amazon to replace their PWs. I thought that sounded out of character for Amazon CS, but perhaps the CS reps were told to expect complaints about the screens and to try to get people to understand there would be a little shadowing at the bottom. Pure speculation on my part based on working with the CS reps at a software company years ago. We basically wrote scripts for CS to follow and if we knew a new release would generate some specific questions/complaints due to shortcomings etc., we made sure to have scripts ready by release day. So perhaps they were expecting some complaints due to the nature of LEDs, but then realized they had some truly defective units. Who knows...

At any rate, CS was very nice and quickly said they would replace my PW. I barely finished explaining the problem and he said they would send a replacement later in October and I could hang on to this one until it arrives! I laughed when he asked if this was my first Kindle. Then he saw how many I've had and laughed too and said, "Wow, you really like Kindles!" He did have me try the restart where you hold in the power button for 20 seconds, but they always try that. It didn't help of course. Anyway all is good as I'll get a replacement. Other than the screen which I think is defective on mine, the only real negative I have about the PW is that it is a real fingerprint magnet on the screen and the body. Otherwise it is a very good design and I like most of the new GUI.

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Old 10-03-2012, 01:54 PM   #283
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Captain Picard says there are four LED's. Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:55 PM   #284
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So the question would be ... should we see the light source, yes or not?

I mean, c'mon ... in order to see those 4 spot lights, we need to twisted the Kindle into that angle, turn light off ... maybe we're being over dramatic? And I'm including myself.
So you see four light spots on your PW? That is all I want to know.
I would not bother about noticing were the light comes out. If someone is bothered it comes out at the bottom he should change the text orientation 180° opposite and the light comes out on top!
I would be bothered about uneven text and blotches! Then I would be fine with my K3!
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:03 PM   #285
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In retrospect, this should have been expected. TV makers have put a lot of time and money into LCD lighting, with flourescent light, then back and edge lit LED, and they still haven't solved the screen uniformity problem. The kindle uses a system similar to edge lit LED LCD TV, with LED and a light diffuser. The kindle screen is tiny compared to a TV, but working against that, it uses only 4 LEDs, must conserve battery, and has to hit that $120 price point. Also, on a TV, the screen is constantly changing and uniformity problems will be more or less noticeable from scene to scene. With an ereader, you have a static almost all white screen all the time, so the problem will be staring at you in the face. And obviously, this is 1st gen for amazon.

So yeah, it was foolish to buy into the hype (and shows why I don't trust the "professional" (p)reviewers). With led TVs, some models will be better than others. Some units of the same model will exhibit more problems than others. And some people will be more sensitive to the problems than others. I know I'm always bothered by stuff nobody else in family seems to notice. It'll be the same case here, I think.

I thought about canceling my order and wait to see how things shake out, but it already shipped. Ah well, I'll hope for the best.
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