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Old 01-02-2013, 07:55 PM   #1
malarkey
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iPad Mini user -- Help me choose an e-ink reader?

Hi all. I'm a current iPad Mini user, and while I'm fairly comfortable with the Mini, I suppose that I don't like holding an LCD screen as closely to my eyes as I do when I read -- however, I've had a run of bad luck choosing an e-ink reader with a screen that satisfies me.

I've looked at three e-ink readers: the non-touch Kindle from 2011, the Kobo Touch and the Kobo Mini.

- The Kindle has been my favourite by far, but I found the buttons cumbersome and found that it was too light -- it seemed fragile in my (rather large) hands.

- The Kobo Touch was almost on-par with screen quality, and I greatly preferred the concept of a touch-screen, but I had too many issues with the screen being unresponsive and the firmware in general being bloated, slow and ineffective.

- The Kobo Mini was terrible. I used it for two hours, stuffed it back in its box, and began lamenting that the store I purchased it from doesn't allow change-of-mind refunds. It's far too small, I couldn't make the text clear and sharp no matter how I adjusted it -- it's too small, the text is too grainy, and frankly it seems more like a toy than good technology.

Considering the Kindle was my favourite, I'm thinking of getting another Kindle. I'm leaning towards the Kindle Paperwhite (it's not available in my country, but American relatives may ship it to me) as the thing I've loved the best about the iPad Mini (and, before that, the iPad 2) has been the ability to read in the dark without an external light source. I also feel as though the added weight when compared to the Kindle that I had will make the device feel "sturdier".

I'm concerned about the responsiveness of the touch interface, though. I did not like the way that the Kobo Touch handled it, and I'm honestly a bit worried that all of those extra layers between my eyes and the e-ink on the Kindle Paperwhite will cause degradation of text quality. I don't want another device with the screen of the Kobo Mini. What particularly confuses me is that Kindle and Kobo use the same e-ink technology.

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Old 01-05-2013, 03:09 PM   #2
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There are not "extra layers" on the Kindle touch devices. The touch is done with infr-read light that is cast as a grid over the screen. You can't see it and it isn't a physical layer on the screen itself.

As for the kindle being "light"... yes, that's the point. As far as it being "fragile" I really don't think it is.

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Old 01-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #3
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There is an extra layer on the Paperwhite, as it uses a capacitive touch screen, not the infra-red that the others use. It does appear to make the touch screen more responsive, and there doesn't seem to be much of an issue with the degradation of the text quality. The problem you might have with the Paperwhite is getting one with a 'good' screen, as there are a number of people unhappy with pink or green hues noticable on the screen (and many others that maybe have minor discolouration but don't really notice it). If you get one with a good screen though, none of the concerns you have about the screen should be an issue.

Have a look at the customer photos on Amazon (link here to UK site as that's the one I use!), and you'll see some pics showing the problems but also those showing perfectly good looking screens.

The Paperwhite (and the newer Kobo, the Glo) use a higher resolution screen than all the other ereaders, and while many people have said they are happy with their Kobo Mini's it does use a slightly lesser quality pearl screen. I've had a play with three different Paperwhite's in shops and the screen has looked pretty good on all of them to me. Then again, while also being quite impressed with the Kobo Glo in a shop, the Mini next to it didn't look to bad to me either!

The Paperwhite is a bit heavier than the Kindle NT you had (and the Kobo Touch) so possibly will feel that bit more substantial.

Last edited by soulfuldog; 01-05-2013 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:25 PM   #4
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There is an extra layer on the Paperwhite, as it uses a capacitive touch screen, not the infra-red that the others use. It does appear to make the touch screen more responsive, and there doesn't seem to be much of an issue with the degradation of the text quality. The problem you might have with the Paperwhite is getting one with a 'good' screen, as there are a number of people unhappy with pink or green hues noticable on the screen (and many others that maybe have minor discolouration but don't really notice it). If you get one with a good screen though, none of the concerns you have about the screen should be an issue.

Have a look at the customer photos on Amazon (link here to UK site as that's the one I use!), and you'll see some pics showing the problems but also those showing perfectly good looking screens.

The Paperwhite (and the newer Kobo, the Glo) use a higher resolution screen than all the other ereaders, and while many people have said they are happy with their Kobo Mini's it does use a slightly lesser quality pearl screen. I've had a play with three different Paperwhite's in shops and the screen has looked pretty good on all of them to me. Then again, while also being quite impressed with the Kobo Glo in a shop, the Mini next to it didn't look to bad to me either!

The Paperwhite is a bit heavier than the Kindle NT you had (and the Kobo Touch) so possibly will feel that bit more substantial.
Thank you. I think, given the potential for getting a faulty screen on a Paperwhite (and the hassle that a return would be, given I'd need a relative to purchase it and then ship it to me), that I'll stick with the iPad Mini or buy a bulkier, lighted case for the Kindle NT. I might take the plunge on the Paperwhite in the next generation.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
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There are not "extra layers" on the Kindle touch devices. The touch is done with infr-read light that is cast as a grid over the screen. You can't see it and it isn't a physical layer on the screen itself.
This is true for the Kindle Touch, but the Paperwhite screen isn't IR it's capacitive (which IIRC is a chemical layer that's 'painted' onto the screen).


As for the devices feeling too light. A nice cover like one from Oberon can take care of that and add some weight.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #6
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As for the devices feeling too light. A nice cover like one from Oberon can take care of that and add some weight.
Thank you.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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honestly, it sounds like you're doing the best thing ... picking up and playing with a bunch of the ereaders.

can you ask your friends if any of them have ereaders that are currently sold to see what they feel like? or go to an electronics store? i spent a lot of time in curry's (an electronic goods store) playing with their models to see how they looked and felt before i decided on my purchase. i even stopped by a B&N when i was in the states to see what the nook was like, since it wasn't yet in the uk at that point.

it sounds like you have some pretty clear ideas in your head about screen responsiveness and resolution that are best decided by your own experience of the devices.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:25 PM   #8
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honestly, it sounds like you're doing the best thing ... picking up and playing with a bunch of the ereaders.

can you ask your friends if any of them have ereaders that are currently sold to see what they feel like? or go to an electronics store? i spent a lot of time in curry's (an electronic goods store) playing with their models to see how they looked and felt before i decided on my purchase. i even stopped by a B&N when i was in the states to see what the nook was like, since it wasn't yet in the uk at that point.

it sounds like you have some pretty clear ideas in your head about screen responsiveness and resolution that are best decided by your own experience of the devices.
I've actually tried going and playing with live models of the Kobo Glo, since that's the front-lit variety sold here -- and all of the stores I've found with live models haven't bothered to set them up. They've turned them on, plugged them in, and left them at the screen where you choose either wireless setup or computer setup.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:10 AM   #9
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Get a Kindle Paper White. Amazon are always one step ahead of the rest.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:12 PM   #10
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Get a Kindle Paper White. Amazon are always one step ahead of the rest.
Right...

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Old 01-19-2013, 05:06 AM   #11
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Right...


So? no big deal, still miles better then the others out there. Your not going to get it perfect, and it's hardly distracting at all. Your always going to get some shadow, or uneven lighting, your not going to get away with any at all, not yet anyway.

It looks pretty good to me, after seeing the others, Kindle does a far better job. The others do a poor job compared to Kindle, to bright and you start getting eye strain, So kindle have a good balance, not to bright, but bright enough to not cause eye strain and gives good contrast, and nice and white, so are ahead of the pack.

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Old 01-19-2013, 03:06 PM   #12
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So? no big deal, still miles better then the others out there. Your not going to get it perfect, and it's hardly distracting at all. Your always going to get some shadow, or uneven lighting, your not going to get away with any at all, not yet anyway.

It looks pretty good to me, after seeing the others, Kindle does a far better job. The others do a poor job compared to Kindle, to bright and you start getting eye strain, So kindle have a good balance, not to bright, but bright enough to not cause eye strain and gives good contrast, and nice and white, so are ahead of the pack.
One word: Delusional.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:44 PM   #13
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One word: Delusional.
Photographs of e-ink screens displayed on LCD screens really don't do a good job at conveying reality. You need to see one in person.

Solution: buy a PW from Amazon and try it. You have 30 days to return it if you don't like it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:53 AM   #14
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One word: Delusional.

If your so negative, then why do you have one? Still think it's the best Ebook reader around, nothing is perfect.

It's still miles better then trying to read from an ipad, or tablet, which are just to eye straining compared to E ink.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:08 AM   #15
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I would agree with the recommendation for the PW. The small shadow cones at the bottom of the screen caused by the LED lighting are not noticeable at all in the "real world".
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