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Old 10-07-2012, 05:06 PM   #1
jswinden
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Font comparison on Paperwhite and Touch

Here is thread wherein we can compare and/or discuss fonts on the Paperwhite and the other Kindles which have a lower resolution screen, for example the Touch and K4.

The Paperwhite has a screen resolution of 758 wide by 1024 tall whereas the other Kindle 6" eInks have a resolution of 600 wide by 800 tall. Interestingly the Paperwhite has a slightly elongated ratio than the other 6" eInks--if we scale the Paperwhite's resolution down to 600 wide we see it is equivalent to 600 wide by 811 tall, which is slightly longer than 800 tall.

The font sizes on the Paperwhite are smaller than the equivalent font sizes on the Touch. In the sample screens (attached) Caecilia Condensed size 3 on the Touch is roughly the same as Caecilia Condensed size 4 on the Paperwhite.

If you look at a larger scale of the attached screenshots, you can see the better font rendering (contrast and darkness) used by the Paperwhite.

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Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	PW-Touch-Caecilia-Condensed-comparison.jpg
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Size:	481.1 KB
ID:	93608  

Last edited by jswinden; 10-07-2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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Comparison of two "b" letters from that image (PW left, KT right).

Seems Amazon needs to do some font scaling optimizing for the new resolution, the PW has far too many "soft" (aka grayscale) borders.

/edit: Updated with the screenshots below. Upscaling issues are now by far not as pronounced (although IMO still there). THe major issue now is that at that font size (and style) the PWs font lines are 3 pixels wide (vs the KTs 2 pixels), so they appear more massive and generally less fine.

Last edited by Psykhe; 10-07-2012 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #3
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Unfortunately I down-scaled the the PW screen shot to make it appear apprx the same size as the Touch screen shot, so use the attached screen shots below which are not scaled (actual size).

EDIT: I just looked at both in Photoshop at 15x magnification and the PW is definitely much better IMO. The extra pixels and rendering make a lot of difference. Unfortunately the light can negate some of that if it is set high and so can a bad screen.
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Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	PW-Caecilia-Condensed-size4.png
Views:	566
Size:	36.0 KB
ID:	93617   Click image for larger version

Name:	Touch-Caecilia-Condensed-size3.gif
Views:	568
Size:	34.8 KB
ID:	93618  

Last edited by jswinden; 10-07-2012 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for taking the time to post this. To my eyes the Touch looks better in what you posted. Playing with my Touch and the Paperwhite side by side the Paperwhite wins by a small degree.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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Well here is a comparison of the full size images scaled up 15x to show individual pixels. The PW sample is on top the Touch example is on bottom. In actuality the resolutions are different so the PW pixels really are somewhat smaller than the Touch pixels, but I show them here the same size so I don't have to scale anything.



PW looks a lot better IMO. Clearly better as a matter of fact.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:12 AM   #6
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Thanks for taking the time to post this. To my eyes the Touch looks better in what you posted.
Same here.
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:43 AM   #7
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Old 10-08-2012, 03:24 AM   #8
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Okay, I don't think you guys are looking at the full size of the image I showed. You have to click the image to bring it up in a separate tab or window and then click again to get full size. That is a bit much I guess. So I cropped out a full size section to display below. The PW text is on the left and the Touch is on the right. Everyone has their own tastes of course, but I think the PW text is better because it has a heavier weight and thus is darker.

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Old 10-08-2012, 04:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psykhe View Post
Comparison of two "b" letters from that image (PW left, KT right).

Seems Amazon needs to do some font scaling optimizing for the new resolution, the PW has far too many "soft" (aka grayscale) borders.

/edit: Updated with the screenshots below. Upscaling issues are now by far not as pronounced (although IMO still there). THe major issue now is that at that font size (and style) the PWs font lines are 3 pixels wide (vs the KTs 2 pixels), so they appear more massive and generally less fine.
I agree with this. The PW fonts are unnecessarily light along the borders. In terms of readability, there's no reason to use lighter shades of gray along straight lines. All that does is make the font blend into the background along that edge.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
Okay, I don't think you guys are looking at the full size of the image I showed. You have to click the image to bring it up in a separate tab or window and then click again to get full size. That is a bit much I guess. So I cropped out a full size section to display below. The PW text is on the left and the Touch is on the right. Everyone has their own tastes of course, but I think the PW text is better because it has a heavier weight and thus is darker.

No, I was not looking at the full size image indeed (I am a bit of a dummy, I'll admit it), so thanks Jack for your new post.

But... I still like the Touch text better. It looks to me higher defined. Does that make sense ?
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:33 AM   #11
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When I compare my k3 and pw (bright room, front light "off", so both background are about same to make text comparison fair) my k3 text looks more like the pw in your pic and my pw looks more like the touch in your pic, except the difference is even more pronounced. The k3 text is both thicker stroked and darker, with less anti aliasing. The pw text is finer but faded, by which I means the black is grayer, almost like text color on kindle 2. The pw is better only in darker room, where its light makes the background lighter so my eyes feel like it's not working as hard.

Sorry, I don't have a decent camera or your skills, so I can't post pictures.

Btw, I personally don't think the touch is the gold standard for non lit eink. Ive seen two touches in person and both had darker background than my k3. There's a lot of variability with the k5 I think. It'd be interesting to hear from folks with the 2012 k5b.

Edit: looking again, I can see why some prefer the touch. The contrast is the same, but the pw has thicker strokes and more anti aliasing. It's almost like what you get if you set CSS text-shadow: #888 0 0 1px (grey shadow from center with 1px blur radius)

Last edited by Barty; 10-08-2012 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barty View Post
When I compare my k3 and pw (bright room, front light "off", so both background are about same to make text comparison fair) my k3 text looks more like the pw in your pic and my pw looks more like the touch in your pic, except the difference is even more pronounced. The k3 text is both thicker stroked and darker, with less anti aliasing. The pw text is finer but faded, by which I means the black is grayer, almost like text color on kindle 2. The pw is better only in darker room, where its light makes the background lighter so my eyes feel like it's not working as hard.

Sorry, I don't have a decent camera or your skills, so I can't post pictures.

Btw, I personally don't think the touch is the gold standard for non lit eink. Ive seen two touches in person and both had darker background than my k3. There's a lot of variability with the k5 I think. It'd be interesting to hear from folks with the 2012 k5b.
Neither do I but it was the only other eInk e-reader I had to which to compare the PW. Sounds like the gold standard is the new K4B.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:58 AM   #13
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Well everyone has different tastes. To me the PW rendering is better because it has a heavier weight (bolder, darker) and the anti-aliasing is stronger. I think in real world use where the fonts are rendered much smaller than they appear here on our large monitors, that thinner but sharper Touch rendering becomes more difficult to see and appears to my eyes as a lighter shade of text. When I compare my PW and Touch side by side with light level 0 on the PW, then the PW rendering is indeed better for my eyes, though only marginally. As I crank up the light level the PW rendering is still better but it seems to suffer more degradation the higher the light level.

The thing I liked most about the K4S was the ability to add our own font choice without jailbreaking. I was able to find a heavier Caecilia on FontPark.net that had a normal text weight about half way between the Kindle Caecilia's normal and bold text. If that makes sense. Reading where all the text has been bolded was a bit difficult, but reading where the normal text was semi-bold seamed just right. Substituting a custom font worked a lot better than modifying each book to make it display all bold text.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:00 PM   #14
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After all this time I still haven't a clue what a K4S or K4B is.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:05 PM   #15
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After all this time I still haven't a clue what a K4S or K4B is.
Kindle 4 silver (2011 model of the basic Kindle) and Kindle 4 black (current model of the basic Kindle).
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