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Old 01-10-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
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What's up with the bad contrast ratio?

I like the design, the form factor and the uniform lighting but what's up with the bad contrast ratio?

Sony PRS-T2, 13:1
Bookeen HD Frontlight, 11.5:1
Kindle Paperwhite, 11.5:1
Kobo Glo, 10:1... same as the +3 year old Kindle DX.

I think I will cancel my Kobo Glo backorder (my first e-reader) and do some more research before buying.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-15-2013 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:42 PM   #2
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Kobo and Amazon seemed to use the same HD screen, so they should have pretty much the same contrast ratio. I haven't paid attention to what fiddling with the font weight does to the pictures in a book, but it makes the text considerably darker than the Kobo in that last picture.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:47 PM   #3
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I don't understand the technique for comparing the Glo and the Paperwhite - the Paperwhite light never goes off, so if the Glo light is off, it's not apples and apples; and the Glo light doesn't go down to the minimum that the Paperwhite light does, so if they're both at minimum, that's not apples and apples either. In addition, in the text shot, the photographer hasn't even bothered to set them up with the same font, font size, sharpness, etc, so eyeballing is useless.

Methodology matters - without knowing who took these photos and how, we can't assess them.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:43 PM   #4
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Changing the font weights does indeed change the pictures as well. Obviously, I cannot tell by looking at the pictures that Butcher has posted, but I can say for a certainty that even at it's default font settings, the Kobo Glo does not look like that. The only thing I have to compare it to is my Jetbook Lite and my Kobo wireless, and it's contrast is much better than either of those. Depending on where you're at, I don't know if you're in Germany or not or if that's just the website you're seeing this at, you should be able to find one to look at for yourself and judge.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:13 AM   #5
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@Butcher, I don't think the Glo is as 'sharp' contrast wise as it could be.

For info:

weight the text, Georgia, as full dial

Sharpness - full dial

Last edited by Lynx-lynx; 01-11-2013 at 04:16 AM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:49 AM   #6
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I was playing with several of them in the store today, as my beloved Sony 505 died after four years of hard service without a hiccup! I looked at Kobo Touch and Kobo Glo, two models of Sony, the PRS-2, PRS-350, and PRS-650 (I think...,) Kindle Fire and Kindle Paperwhite, and two other brands that I can't think of right now.

After 30 minutes spent converting them all into English... so I could navigate though the various menus, I immediately put back both Kobos... I was NOT impressed with what I saw on the screens. The Kindles looked good as did the Sonys, and I really couldn't see much difference between them. I guess they must compete on function, but as I have no need for anything more than a 'dumb' reader, for me the competition was by price. Sony won. If I were buying this week, I would have bought one of the Sonys.


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Old 01-11-2013, 04:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NNolan View Post
...so they should have pretty much the same contrast ratio.
But they don't. 11.5:1 vs 10:1 is a huge difference in contrast. Kobo Glo has the same contrast ratio as the +3 year old Kindle DX. That's just terrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by meeera View Post
In addition, in the text shot, the photographer hasn't even bothered to set them up with the same font, font size, sharpness, etc, so eyeballing is useless.
Pointless. Does not change the contrast ratio. But here you go:

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcecreamLtDan View Post
I can say for a certainty that even at it's default font settings, the Kobo Glo does not look like that.
See the images above. Look at the washed out blacks and ghosting on the Kobo and look at the deep blacks on the Kindle and Sony.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
@Butcher, I don't think the Glo is as 'sharp' contrast wise as it could be.

For info:

weight the text, Georgia, as full dial

Sharpness - full dial
Weight, different fonts etc. does not change the contrast ratio of the screen.

Last edited by HarryT; 01-15-2013 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Butcher View Post
See the images above. Look at the washed out blacks and ghosting on the Kobo and look at the deep blacks on the Kindle and Sony.
It was the incredible ghosting on the Kobo made me disqualify them so quickly. I understand that they refresh after every four page turns, but even putting up with it for one page made reading uncomfortable for me.


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Old 01-11-2013, 06:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
It was the incredible ghosting on the Kobo made me disqualify them so quickly. I understand that they refresh after every four page turns, but even putting up with it for one page made reading uncomfortable for me.


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You can set the refresh rate to every page if you wish but by default it is at 6 (the least frequent refresh). So you may have disqualified it for ghosting needlessly...
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:55 AM   #10
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You can set the refresh rate to every page if you wish but by default it is at 6 (the least frequent refresh). So you may have disqualified it for ghosting needlessly...
There must be some reason why their developers thought someone would want to see that for more than a page. I imagine it drastically changes the power consumption, especially if the default is 6 pages. I always got two full weeks of daily reading with my Sony, reading 2-4 hours a day. I wonder if the Kobo set to refresh on every page would give me the same?

In any even, although I did play around with contrast setting of the different readers, I couldn't make either of the Kobos look as clean as the Kindles or Sonys, so it really would be a mute point.


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Old 01-11-2013, 08:05 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stitchawl View Post
There must be some reason why their developers thought someone would want to see that for more than a page. I imagine it drastically changes the power consumption, especially if the default is 6 pages. I always got two full weeks of daily reading with my Sony, reading 2-4 hours a day. I wonder if the Kobo set to refresh on every page would give me the same?

In any even, although I did play around with contrast setting of the different readers, I couldn't make either of the Kobos look as clean as the Kindles or Sonys, so it really would be a mute point.


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I have a T1 and a Mini and battery life is similar (at 2 pg refresh). On the Kobo selecting a different font or changing the weight of a font will make the screen look sharper. Kobo offers a lot of customization for fonts. But of course that is also a moot point if you have a preference for the other brands..
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:26 AM   #12
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I have a T1 and a Mini and battery life is similar (at 2 pg refresh). On the Kobo selecting a different font or changing the weight of a font will make the screen look sharper. Kobo offers a lot of customization for fonts. But of course that is also a moot point if you have a preference for the other brands..
I wouldn't be willing to read every other page with ghosting. That would be a deal breaker for me. I'm only brand-loyal because of what I saw today. When I change font size, it's to make it larger or smaller for comfortable reading, not to make it sharper or more clear. No matter what size the font is, it's always sharp and clear.


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Old 01-11-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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If ghosting is your worst nightmare, set the Kobo to refresh every page.
(FWIW: I have mine set to refresh every 6 pages and I never see any ghosting unless I'm reading outside in the cold.)

I'm not trying to say "The Kobo is the best reader" -- just that you seem unnecessarily hung up on this ghosting thing.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #14
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There must be some reason why their developers thought someone would want to see that for more than a page.
Choice is good? I have my Glo set to refresh every 6 pages, and I see no ghosting at all - but maybe that's my soon-to-be-50yo eyes.... YMMV.

Quote:
I imagine it drastically changes the power consumption, especially if the default is 6 pages.
A bonus, then. Frankly, if I had to look at that contrast-flash with EVERY page turn, it would drive me a bit batty. Again, YMMV.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:14 PM   #15
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Manual white balance, reviewers should really try to use it.

Kobo Glo in complete darkness.

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