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Old 04-07-2010, 04:20 PM   #31
Lemurion
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I personally think that in many cases the phrase "LCDs cause eye-strain" is really a short-hand way of saying that using many LCD devices often leads to eye-strain.

Like many members, I own multiple devices - and have read on both LCD and E-Ink devices as recently as today.

One thing I've noticed is that all three of my main LCD devices have much smaller screens than my Sony, which means I have to go with smaller text if I'm going to get a reasonable number of words on the screen at one time. Smaller text generally means that I'm either squinting, or I'm holding the device closer to my eyes.

The end result is that I just can't use any LCD device I own for sustained reading as easily as I can my Sony 505. It's just a better device for me to read novels on. Comics are better on my Droid, despite the size of the screen, but not prose.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:47 PM   #32
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schmolch - Then you've really not followed the previous threads on this.

Also, there tends to be a considerable difference in light spectrum between daylight and backlights, just as with most artificial lighting. The effect this has on people is highly variable, of course.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:55 PM   #33
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Fact is, just plain reading can lead to eye-strain... if it is done too much.

I've worked in front of computers for the last 20 years, 8 hours solid at work, then 2-4 hours a night after work... and over the last 20 years, I've had to get progressively stronger glasses. Most anyone who reads anything that much can expect that to happen.

I have occasionally experienced eye-strain on the way home from work, reading on the train, and had to close my eyes for a rest. These incidents happened as often when I was reading from a standard paper magazine, as on an LCD screen. In all cases, it's because I had spent the entire 8 hours previous, reading. Didn't matter what source. Simply put, I tired my eyes out. It's just muscles in there, folks... they're not invulnerable.

I have read on LCD screens on PCs, PDAs and smartphones, since there have been PDAs and smartphones, and I never experienced eyestrain that couldn't be attributable to an extended length of time just reading. The same goes for CRT screens and paper... read too much, and my eyes got tired. Changing light levels in the surrounding area could also cause the apparent light on the screen or paper to change, forcing your eyes to work harder to compensate for the differences (yes, even those reading a magazine can experience variable light levels on the page, depending on what the ambient light is doing).

LCD screens, like CRTs, have the benefit of being adjustable, so you can minimize the brightness and contrast factors that force your eye-muscles to work harder, adjusting and refocusing, to compensate for the differences (the true cause of eye-strain). But most people simply do not know how to adjust their screens properly (or at all), so an improperly-set screen acerbates strain.

And many others, including many on this forum, simply don't step back and take breaks from reading often enough. Perfect screen or not, paper, e-ink or LCD, too much reading will affect your eyes.

Having said that... since everyone's eyes are different, there's really no point in trying to declare one media or another "good" or "bad." It's the activity that causes the eye-stain, not the media... the media just affects the amount of strain, to differing levels for different people.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:20 PM   #34
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I do, because it lets you solve problems.
Do you want to be limited to a e-ink reader for the rest of your life because you have not figured out the cause of your eye-strain?
No, but I can (and have) tried different stuff and found what works for me. Which is about anything honestly as long as I can adjust the brightness. I've never had much issues with eye strain personally.

I don't need to get online and bicker over science, argue with lovers of certain screen types. I can try stuff for myself and find what works for me and not bash things I don't like or the people that prefer other technology.

I just don't get all the bickering that goes on. Every discussion of e-ink vs. LCD, eyestrain etc. just ends up with arguing and eventually insults from diehard fans of the various technology.

It all has it's pros and cons, and it's great that there's such a wide variety of stuff to choose from with more stuff on the way with Pixel QI, Mirasol etc.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:24 PM   #35
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The entire point is that different people find different preferences in screen type and lighting which work for them, but you can't dismiss the fact out of hand that many people do prefer reflective screens because they work for them, and hence there is a decent market for devices using said screens!
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by DawnFalcon View Post
..but you can't dismiss the fact out of hand that many people do prefer reflective screens because they work for them, and hence there is a decent market for devices using said screens!
Yep, nobody should be dismissing anyone's preference, opinion etc.

Read on what you prefer and let others do the same!

There's plenty of room in the market for e-ink devices, phones, pdas, tablets, netbooks etc. that can display e-books.

It's not some zero sum end game where only one type of device can emerge victorious. E-books are very simple files, there will always be a wide array of devices that can display them.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:35 PM   #37
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To those who say that LCDs are fine: just turn down the brightness and sit closer when trying to read a page on screed. Do you know, I bet most users have actually tried that? I certainly have, it seemed pretty obvious. I have pdfs that I regularly want to read, and it's not exactly rocket science to adjust the brightness and lean in.

For my eyes, there is absolutely no contest. Reading on the eInk device results in far less strain. It's not even close. I don't even register that there might be strain.

I'm happy to believe that there are those who are perfectly happy reading off both screens, but I'd be very surprised if anyone found there was more strain involved in reading off eInk, assuming there was sufficient ambient light (I'm OK with the idea that many would prefer LCD in a dim room).

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Old 04-07-2010, 05:45 PM   #38
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I'm happy to believe that there are those who are perfectly happy reading off both screens, but I'd be very surprised if anyone found there was more strain involved in reading off eInk, assuming there was sufficient ambient light (I'm OK with the idea that many would prefer LCD in a dim room).

Graham
I'd agree with that. Reading on my Kindle is 100% easier on my eyes than reading on some LCD device. But any strain is minimal on LCD as I seldom read for more than 60 minutes at any one time, and my eyes just don't tend to get tired very easily period.

For me, I'd prefer something like the iPad in the long run as it can do a lot more than just read (I'm not really an avid reader, Kindle was an impulse buy) and I'll take maybe some extra eye fatigue when reading over the slow page turns etc. of e-ink readers.

Others read a TON and e-ink is more advantageous for them. Different strokes for different folks and all that. Everyone has their own reading habits, own preference, and own set of eyes, so there's not right or wrong answer to what's best. All that matters is finding the device(s) that fit your individual needs.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #39
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Computer Screen Glare (like apple ipad) can damage eyes.
http://visionresearch.myblogtrade.co...nd-eye-damage/
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:04 PM   #40
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:45 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by schmolch View Post
Eye-Strain is caused by:
- too much brightness. Your screen should not be much brighter than your Surroundings.
That's strange because I find a super bright LCD is easier for me to read without eye strain!
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:50 PM   #42
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That's strange because I find a super bright LCD is easier for me to read without eye strain!
It's probably not too bright for the surroundings though. Reading on my girlfriend's iPad I had to adjust lighting a few times. Brighter when it was day and the apartment was pretty bright, turn it down when it got dark an all I had on was a lamp etc.

I find that a strength of LCD devices personally as it's easier to adjust brightness on the device than making sure you always have enough ambient lighting to read e-ink or paper. Clip on lights work, but get annoying fast.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:48 PM   #43
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Eye-strain is not caused by the fact that a screen is backlit.
A Paper-Book shines light into your eyes the same way, by reflection.

Eye-Strain is caused by:
- too much brightness. Your screen should not be much brighter than your Surroundings.
- other bright Light-Sources in your viewing area. Bright Lights should be above you or behind you and shine straight down only. Look at Office-Lights, they have Grid-Reflectors for this reason.
- Wrong Distance to monitor. If you have read alot of Books, your eyes might have permanently adjusted to this small Distance for reading (thus the eye-glasses to correct this) and reading at a bigger distance requires eye-muscle work and those get tired quickly causing the sensation of eye-strain.

Eye-strain is always a muscle-issue, there is nothing else in your eyes that could cause this sensation.

I had huge eye-strain issues myself and even gave up Desktop-PCs completely (Laptops were fine) until i noticed the importance of all these 3 Factors.
I've always made sure that things weren't too bright, and often read with things as dark as possible, yet still get eyestrain from LCDs. Heck, often large white areas on the screen hurt my eyes. In my experience it isn't complete bull, just not as bad for some as it is for others.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:01 PM   #44
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Interesting, we have people who say lcd doesn't bother them and people who do. It looks though that majority of people in lcd hating crowd are spending more time at the screen. I am spending 8 hours at work looking at backlit screen, there is no way I will read from LCD for pleasure, that will kill my eyes.
So please don't say LCD screens are fine if you don't see the problem, by spending 2 hours a day with them. They don't bother you -- that's accurate.
And yeah MD, PHD means very little without the study materials that you can examine and see if it's even publishable by academic standards and even then there will be another study coming out disproving the first one.
These MD might be orthopedics for all we know.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:08 PM   #45
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Do you want to be limited to a e-ink reader for the rest of your life because you have not figured out the cause of your eye-strain?
I don't like this statement. It implies that anyone who has issues with LCD displays only has them because "they're doing it wrong."

I use both E-Ink and LCD devices, and yes the LCD does cause me more eyestrain than the E-Ink device. Maybe I could fiddle around with the settings on the LCD to eliminate eyestrain - but it's easier just to pick up my PRS-505, and the reading experience is more satisfying. And that's discounting the fact that no amount of fiddling would make the screen any bigger or make it easily readable in bright daylight.

This is a good LCD, too. It's on the Moto Droid and one of the best LCD screens I've ever seen. It's simply not as good for extended prose reading as the E-Ink display on my PRS-505.

But that's okay, different screens have different uses. It's no different than different paper stock. When I buy a graphic novel, it's usually printed on very glossy paper - most fiction is printed on paper with much more of a matte finish.

There's nothing wrong with acknowledging that some people find one kind of display technology unsuitable for certain uses. It doesn't mean they're doing something wrong, nor does it mean they are permanently wedded to the display technology they currently use. What it does mean, is that if they do move away from devices based on their current technology, they're more likely to move to a third alternative than go to the one they've already rejected as unsuitable.
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