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Old 02-23-2010, 09:01 AM   #1
jibril
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Let's talk about different screens for the iPad and if they made the right choice?

I'm a layman on screens, so I'll just talk from direct experience rather than be an authority on the subject. I don't find LCD screens horrible compared to e-ink: people talk about looking into a lightbulb, but in both cases photons have to hit your eyes for you too see anything. In one case (LCD), they originate from the screen while in the case (e-ink), it gets reflected from the screen.

Now, LCD screen have a few considerations with reading. One major one is that you should have the area lit up comparable to the screen in my experience. It hurts my eyes to have to read a bright screen in a dark room, or a dark screen in a light room. E-ink avoids this, by always being at the same level as the room, but then, you don't read a book in the dark, do you? My desktop monitors I have to manually adjust a lot, but Mac Notebooks and iPhone have a light sensor, so will the iPad I'm sure.

IPS: This is the type of LCD screen Apple chose. It's supposed to have wide angle of viewing, and vivid colors. Never seen such a screen that I know of. Can't comment.

E-ink: The other technology I tried was e-ink with the 6" Kindle 2 and a Sony e-Reader. It had a dark grey (but not quite black) text on light grey/beige background. I hated the contrast. I like the promise of the technology but it needs work. E-ink also takes a while to transitition, not appropriate yet for video or anything but static text.

OLED Screen: I only viewed this on a mini-screen with my Smart Pulse Pen. Microsoft's Zune HD has this as well, but I never got to see it in person. It looks awesome - unlike traditional LCDs that are backlit (go into a dark room with the screen on but black - you still see light being emit) is that the pixels light themselve up. Blacks are truly black. The contrast is awesome and out of this world. But I believe the cost is still extremely high and there might be an issue of some colors degrading faster than others within 1000hrs of use, creating a tinting issue. This would have been my preferred screen.

PIXEL QI: A sort of hybrid. A jack of all trades. Never seen one in person, don't know if it looks good. Energy use is it's strong point. I think one reason Apple may have shied away is it's a 1st generation product, and on top of that, they moved from PPC chips to Intel not just due to speed, but because IBM just wouldn't supply them with enough, creating problems for Apple. Pixel Qi also may not have a sufficiently strong supply chain Apple requires.

OLPC SCREEN: This was a hybrid screen as well. It was made earlier last decade in consideration of making LCDs as cheap as possible. It's sunlight readable (becomes B/W). In fact, Mary Lou Jepsen design it, who also worked on the Pixel QI screen, there may be a lot of overlap in concepts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OLPC_XO-1#Display

Anybody actually look at these alternatives in real life and have an opinion? I'm most interested in the OLPC and OLED concepts myself.
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:44 AM   #2
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They chose the screen they did because at this point in time it does what's needed, and is the most cost effective. In a few years the technology will change as prices of the newer technologies drop.

So they made the right choice FOR NOW......
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:01 AM   #3
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From the photos, I assumed it was the same sort of screen as with the iPods. Nice, bright, clear, and colorful. Is this not true?
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Old 02-23-2010, 12:07 PM   #4
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The iPhone and the iPod Touch both use IPS screens. The reader software apps for the iPhone all have a night mode that is very comfortable to read in complete darkness. The reader software is also very easy to read outside in the FL sun.

I also have a Sony Reader that uses e-ink. At first, I loved it and then I found it to be somewhat hard on the eyes unless there was a lot of light on the screen.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #5
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IPS is a relatively expensive LCD screen technology, which has only recently become common on high end monitors. See for example Desperately Seeking Quality LCDs. Now that IPS is being used in the iPad I expect it to become more common on ~10" LCD screens.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:21 PM   #6
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I'd say for now it's fine. I don't want an e-ink tablet as in a device this size I want full internet, video, games etc., not just a dedicated reader.

IPS seems the best option in color screens right now, OLED is great but too expensive at this size. Other things like PixelQI, Mirasol etc. are still in development and will have a lot of kinks to be worked out, but may be better down the road.

But for now, I think they got it right for what they want the device to be. It might not be great for avid readers--but Apple didn't make this device for that niche.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
... The reader software apps for the iPhone all have a night mode that is very comfortable to read in complete darkness. The reader software is also very easy to read outside in the FL sun.
...
I didn't know this.
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:16 PM   #8
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The iPhone and the iPod Touch both use IPS screens. ...
This is not true.

These are 18-bit LCDs. Unless I am missing something, they are definitely not IPS screens. Where did you get the information for such claim?
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Old 02-23-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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