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Old 11-30-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
MrFinch
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A question about eInk screens

Howdy all!

Just a quick question for your experienced minds, because I cant seem to find a straight answer anywhere. Some of you may have seen my post regarding the BeBook and my dissapointment with the eInk screen.

My question is, are the screens from the BeBook and the Sony Reader the same? Or are they different, and made by different manufacturers?

Thanks in advance for your help folks, appreciated as always.
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:50 PM   #2
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I own the Hanlin (same hardware as the Bebook). The only difference I can think of about the Sony and Bebook is that the Sony has 8 grays and the Bebook 4, but I think there aren't many more differences. My girlfriend told me that a job mate has a PRS-505 and apart from the graphics displaying nicer, she said the screens looks the same. She likes the Hanlin better, in fact.

I think both displays are made by the same company, but I'm not sure. Both are Eink Vizplex technology, so if you didn't the screen of the Bebook, the Sony screen isn't going to be that much better for you.

What did you dislike about the Bebook? (or point me to the thread you refer to).
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Old 11-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #3
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My main beef with the BeBook (well, my only beef really) was just the quality of the display. The background was much greyer than I thought it would be, and the contrast and sharpness of the text was just awful.

I read with a Nokia 770 which has an amazing screen, perhaps I'm just spoiled! I was seriously underwhelmed with the eInk display though....was hoping that perhaps the Sony was 'whiter' and more paper-like.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:00 PM   #4
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All the current crop of 6" screens are from the same source (PVI) and use the same Vizplex E-Ink film.
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Old 11-30-2008, 06:06 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. Well, thats one more purchasing decision taken care of...
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
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All the current crop of 6" screens are from the same source (PVI) and use the same Vizplex E-Ink film.
Correct, however there are differences in the controllers used to control the display. iREX uses there own which support 16 gray scales levels. Sony uses an advanced one that support 8 gray scale while everyone else is using the original controller that only supports 4 gray scale levels.

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Old 12-01-2008, 12:45 AM   #7
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I'm curious if font choice makes any difference in the perception of sharpness. I have a Kindle so I only have the one font but I've read a couple .tpz books with embedded fonts and it seemed to me that they were not as crisp but I just don't know that much about the matter. Any comments from owners of readers that have multiple fonts?
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:59 AM   #8
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Even on the Sony reader you can read multiple fonts.
Mine look pretty crisp.
It probably depends on what fontsize and font type you use.
Anything that looks good on an 800x600 resolution on a monitor should look good on a reader.
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I'm curious if font choice makes any difference in the perception of sharpness. I have a Kindle so I only have the one font but I've read a couple .tpz books with embedded fonts and it seemed to me that they were not as crisp but I just don't know that much about the matter. Any comments from owners of readers that have multiple fonts?
I've had the same experience with Topaz formatted books. In one book the letters were incomplete and fuzzy. I returned it.
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Old 12-01-2008, 05:50 AM   #10
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I'm using Openinkpot now on my Hanlin. Font I use is DJVu Seriff. The developers gave me a .deb that disabled bytecode for fonts and this font looks great. Nice contrast. If the display doesn't do it for you, I don't think there is a display that you'll like at the moment. Maybe the next generation will have a whiter base.

For me is more than enough. Anyway, I can understand that you don't like the contrast. The other day I picked up a p-ebook (15 days with the Hanlin and haven't picked a p-book since I got it :-) ) and the paper and font have way more contrast than the E-ink display, but I don't find the E-ink display unbearable. I really like it and I don't miss the p-book contrast much.

Cheers,
Javier.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa View Post
I'm curious if font choice makes any difference in the perception of sharpness. I have a Kindle so I only have the one font but I've read a couple .tpz books with embedded fonts and it seemed to me that they were not as crisp
TOPAZ embedded fonts are a bad example, because they don't seem to be anti-aliased and are often awful.

The font choice does make a difference, and I tend to go for a heavier (bolder) font on EInk than on a LCD screen. When available, it is worth trying the "always bold" option (not available on the Kindle unfortunately).
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:44 AM   #12
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It's also a good idea to choose a font that's specifically designed to be used on the screen, rather than on a much higher-resolution printer. I use the "Georgia" font, which has these characteristics.
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Old 12-01-2008, 10:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
TOPAZ embedded fonts are a bad example, because they don't seem to be anti-aliased and are often awful.

The font choice does make a difference, and I tend to go for a heavier (bolder) font on EInk than on a LCD screen. When available, it is worth trying the "always bold" option (not available on the Kindle unfortunately).
Thanks for the explanation. I actually do quite well with the Kindle native font. It's quite sharp. I do up the size if the lighting isn't strong but, all in all, I think they made a good choice with their font. I would like it if they added more font support in firmware but the lack of it is not a big detraction for me.
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #14
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Same experience here: very disappointed at first by the greyness of the screen of my BeBook. But since there will not be any better scree in a small device for the coming months/year, I chose to adapt: I bought a daylight bulb: 6500K, 1200 lumens. It makes the screen whiter than regular light bulbs. Sunny days also make it whiter than cloudy days. Next spring/summer, I am sure I will loooove this screen!
Besides a whiter screen, I also want it to offer 300 dpi. 160 dpi are not enough with many PDFs even in ladscape mode.
I also want the format of the screen to be 16:9 or 16:10. And 7 inches in diagonal, not 6. It would help a lot when trying to read PDFs. All that without the device being bigger, of course.
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:59 AM   #15
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I've found that the Gentium font is easier for my eyes to distinguish some letters. I have difficulty seeing the difference between "c" & "e" with many of the other fonts, particularly Times Roman.
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