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Old 11-13-2009, 03:39 AM   #1
angelbleu
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Question How much better is eInk from grayscale LCD screens?

I started reading eBooks in 1998, on the Palm m100. It had a 160x160 grayscale LCD, that was capable of displaying 16 scales of gray. I recall that they gave me a very pleasant reading experience.

I was leaning very heavily towards getting a Kindle, but suddenly the question struck me: How much better is a dedicated eReader that uses eInk technology, when compared to a grayscale LCD?

I mean, I can get a second-hand Palm Zire21 for around $30, or a $VX for around $15. Even after all these years, their batteries last for almost a week on a single charge. Since they use grayscale LCD, they don't have the nasty "glare" effect that plagues color LCD screens.

They are rather hard to read under sunlight, but most of my reading will be done indoors anyway.

So I'm starting to seriously consider whether a Kindle would be worth hundreds of additional dollars.

For people who have used a grayscale PDA (or a previous-generation eReader such as the Rocket Reader or eBookWise), why do you prefer a current-generation eReader with eInk display?
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:10 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by angelbleu View Post
For people who have used a grayscale PDA (or a previous-generation eReader such as the Rocket Reader or eBookWise), why do you prefer a current-generation eReader with eInk display?
In terms of eye strain, I don't think they are terribly better. It does feel a lot more like paper, but the problem is generally one of varying brightness between the reader and the surroundings which, obviously, is not an issue when there is no light.

The much bigger page size, the higher resolution, and the better rendering of fonts is more important to me (I end up converting all of my reading files in either case so that's not an issue).

I had a 320x320 monochrome Sony (SJ20) that I absolutely loved (especially since I like small fonts), but, like almost all my Palm devices, the screen cracked in my pocket.

One really nice advantage of the Palm devices, though: built-in light for nighttime reading. If you are on a budget and willing to put up with using a legacy device with little-to-no support for modern systems, I'm certainly not going to talk you out of it.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelbleu View Post
I started reading eBooks in 1998, on the Palm m100. It had a 160x160 grayscale LCD, that was capable of displaying 16 scales of gray. I recall that they gave me a very pleasant reading experience.

I was leaning very heavily towards getting a Kindle, but suddenly the question struck me: How much better is a dedicated eReader that uses eInk technology, when compared to a grayscale LCD?

I mean, I can get a second-hand Palm Zire21 for around $30, or a $VX for around $15. Even after all these years, their batteries last for almost a week on a single charge. Since they use grayscale LCD, they don't have the nasty "glare" effect that plagues color LCD screens.

They are rather hard to read under sunlight, but most of my reading will be done indoors anyway.

So I'm starting to seriously consider whether a Kindle would be worth hundreds of additional dollars.

For people who have used a grayscale PDA (or a previous-generation eReader such as the Rocket Reader or eBookWise), why do you prefer a current-generation eReader with eInk display?
First off, I've never noticed any glare on my colour LCD screens...

The reason people buy e-ink is because it has very good contrast even in lightened surroundings. You can only get a similar contrast on a LCD screen if it's either transflective (often used in the better quality colour PDA's) or reflective (the Jetbook for example). The reflective doesn't have a backlight, the transflective does.

I personally like both. I use my e-ink Mini for daylight reading, or reading in a well-lit area and my JE100 (LCD, non-transflective) for night-time reading or reading in a darker area.
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