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View Poll Results: What do you NEED for Display?
I'm a PURIST (e-Ink only) 98 41.18%
It GLOWS, It BLOWS (e-Ink or Transreflective only) 57 23.95%
I'm Organic (AMOLED is ok) 5 2.10%
Just Stop Flickering! (LED backed LCDs are ok) 17 7.14%
I'm Easy (I can and will read on anything) 73 30.67%
I'm Complicated (explained in comment) 8 3.36%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 238. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #1
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Display Technology and Eye-strain

I find the discussions here about display technologies as they relate to reading quite fascinating. What is constantly brought up is that eye-strain seems to be an overriding criteria.

What is your stance?

1) Has to be eInk.
2) Can't be anything that glows (which allows for eInk or transflective displays like PixelQ/Mirasol)
3) Can glow if it is direct light only (which means AMOLED screens are ok)
4) Can glow if the backlight doesn't flicker (which means LED backed LCDs are ok)
5) I can read on anything.

And how do your reading habits affect this? Are you flexible about the above for casual reading? Or is it all reading?

I know that a lot of this is subjective, but there are studies showing that CRT displays and LCD displays with fluorescent backlighting can cause eyestrain, because of the flickering (especially, but not just, in environments where background lighting was also fluorescent). I haven't seen any studies that addressed the glowing issue directly, or that tested AMOLED, or LED backed LCDs, but obviously people have that sensitivity.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:32 AM   #2
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Why didn't you make a poll?
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
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Why didn't you make a poll?
ahahaha..i didn't know how
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:38 PM   #4
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ahahaha..i didn't know how
Just ask one of the poll fairies!


All I can say for myself is that I love eInk! The more time I spend on my laptop the worse my eyes feel and it also gives me headaches. I really do enjoy my laptop, but I couldn't spend too much time staring at its screen.

My Sony is such a HUGE blessing!
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:46 PM   #5
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I can read on almost anything. Computer monitors with refresh rates below 75 make my eyes twitchy, but other than that, I'm happy to read on a bright backlit screen.

My main concerns for an ebook reader are portability & battery life; everything else is secondary. (Including filetype support. I read nothing but .pdb files on a Clie for a couple of years before I got fed up with the battery dying mid-book.)
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Old 01-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #6
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I like e-ink and really like my Kindle. But eye strain has never been a huge issue for me. I've gotten used to it being tied to computers for most of my adult life (and before--since high school really).

And especially the LED monitors are much easier on my eyes than the old LCD ones. Add in that I seldom read for more than 30-120 minutes and I can pretty much read on anything.

I'll keep my Kindle around, but I'm very interested in something like the iPad once they get the kinks worked out, there's something similar with stylus handwriting etc. I may still keep the Kindle around for novel reading, but I'd do my work related reading on the tablet.

So I'd say I like e-ink a lot, but I'm not completely wed to it like many as my eyes aren't that sensitive and I'm not a super avid reader to the point where it really matters anyway.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:03 PM   #7
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I /can/ read on pretty much on any TFT, and on high quality CRT's too.
But I /also/ can tell the difference between high and low quality screens after a while.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebarnmom View Post
Just ask one of the poll fairies!


All I can say for myself is that I love eInk! The more time I spend on my laptop the worse my eyes feel and it also gives me headaches. I really do enjoy my laptop, but I couldn't spend too much time staring at its screen.

My Sony is such a HUGE blessing!
Found the setting!
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:28 PM   #9
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I'm not married to e-ink but for me it has the best reading properties I've seen to date.

I have a theory that the eye strain is more related to the optical noise then back light. The light source has a big factor in this but it's also the ongoing screen refresh. If you've seen a photograph of a LCD you know what I mean. My theory is that our conscience mind filters this out so we don't notice it but our optic nerves are working hard because of it. Some people are just more sensitive to it.

The ability to read in sunlight is also important to me.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:33 PM   #10
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I bought an e ink reader because I wanted longer battery life and the ability to read in sunlight, but the iLiad turned out not to have such great battery life and I found I wasn't actually spending much time reading in sunlight. Now I read on an iPod Touch and I'm perfectly satisfied.

I'm sure the screen issue is real for some people, but it hasn't bothered me.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebarnmom View Post
Just ask one of the poll fairies!


All I can say for myself is that I love eInk! The more time I spend on my laptop the worse my eyes feel and it also gives me headaches. I really do enjoy my laptop, but I couldn't spend too much time staring at its screen.

My Sony is such a HUGE blessing!
Totally true!
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:03 PM   #12
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I bought an e ink reader because I wanted longer battery life and the ability to read in sunlight, but the iLiad turned out not to have such great battery life and I found I wasn't actually spending much time reading in sunlight. Now I read on an iPod Touch and I'm perfectly satisfied.

I'm sure the screen issue is real for some people, but it hasn't bothered me.
Yeah I have a K1. The battery life is great. But I don't mind having to charge something every night or two anyway, so it's not a deal breaker.

Sunlight reading isn't something I care about as I pretty much never read outdoors. I'm just an inside guy, it's almost always too hot or too cold outside (and I hate being hot or cold), I sunburn easily, I'm a magnet for insect bites etc.

If anything the non backlit screen has been an inconvenience more than a convenience as I've found more times where I don't have enough light to red comfortably (and didn't have a clip on book light with me) than I have times I was under the sun.

But it is super easy on the eyes in proper lighting, so I do love it for reading novels as I'm almost always doing that beside a lamp.
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:52 PM   #13
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I've read dozens of ebooks on my pda and smartphone. So I don't think I have a problem reading on backlighted screens (even small screens).

But I do find reading with e-paper is more comfortable.
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:15 PM   #14
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I look at a computer screen all day. My kindle is so relaxing. I tried reading books on my laptop when I was between kindles. The problem is reading to relax before going to bed. The backlit screen does something that prevents you from reading yourself to sleep. That is my favorite way to end the day. So eink for me.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:14 PM   #15
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I love my EZ Reader, and use it for most of my pleasure reading, but there are times when I'll choose to read on my laptop over my reader, and I generally don't have much of a problem with eyestrain from it. The only time I notice eyestrain caused by my laptop screen is when I'm already tired, and then I'm very grateful to have an e-ink display to use - my eyes handle it much better.
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