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Old 04-12-2010, 07:11 PM   #91
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But again, a big problem with laptops and desktops is that it's just near impossible to get the ergonomics right as you just can't get the screen the proper distance from the eyes for long-term reading like you can with an e-reader or tablet or paper book.

Do I think light emitting devices probably lead to more eye strain even in ideal ergonomics, lighting etc. when compared to e-ink or paper? Probably so.

But again, as I said above, at the end of the day all that really matters is reading on what works best for your eyes.

I find e-ink a tad easier on my eyes than my girlfriend's iPad (which is vastly better than reading on my desktop or laptop monitor). But I'd give that up any day for having a color screen that can do video, internet, magazines, comics etc. as I'm just not an avid reader and don't really need the benefits of e-ink. And I spend a lot more time on those other activities than reading as I'm much more into movies, sports, TV, video games etc. than reading--and I get burnt out from having to read a lot for work and often don't want to do much leisure reading.

The Kindle was an impulse buy that I kind of regret now since I paid $200 for my used K1 and couldn't get much out of it now since used K2's are pretty common to find now. I'll probably just end up giving it away when I settle on a tablet down the road, be it a 2nd gen iPad or some other type of tablet.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:14 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by dwanthny View Post
For anyone to believe that eyestrain caused by backlit LCD monitors is a myth or just misunderstood by the ignorant masses is in itself ignorant. To assume that it could easily be avoided by all with properly applied ergonomic techniques is an assumption based in the world of make believe.
Simply put, your experience is not the experience of everyone. That's why those of us keep pointing out that making such statements is inaccurate and counter-productive.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:50 PM   #93
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Certainly, pointing out that different people have different opinions and reactions to screens in eyestrain terms to your own and results will vary is certainly inaccurate and counter-productive. Oh, wait...

*shrugs* Certain parts of the mainstream media have a hatred of e-ink which tends to colour many people's perceptions if they haven't done their research.

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Old 04-12-2010, 08:56 PM   #94
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Simply put, your experience is not the experience of everyone. That's why those of us keep pointing out that making such statements is inaccurate and counter-productive.
Yep, like most everything, discussions (especially on the internet) go better when people stick to speaking for themselves, simply expressing their opinion an avoid making broad statements about what's "best" etc.

Everyone is different and there's no reason for anyone to care about something so petty as what type of screen someone else prefers to read on, or worry about what science says about what screen is best. Just read on what you like and let others do the same.

I think there's a lot of worry from the e-ink crowd about the tech dying off from the media running stories about "Kindle killers", people posting threads about e-ink dying or being replaced by iPad like tablets etc.

That's a bunch of hogwash. There's a decent sized niche of people who want dedicated readers with reflective screens, and we live in a capitalist global economy. Every sizable niche has a company willing to put out product to make money off of it. Dedicated readers will be no different. Regardless of how many iPads and other tablets sell, some companies will not turn down the chance to make money off of people who want dedicated readers.

At least until we have screen tech that can do a reading mode comparable to e-ink, as well as doing video etc. At that point dedicated reading devices might become pretty scarce since the advantage of dedicated readers is mostly lost--beyond simplicity and lower price.
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:29 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by dwanthny View Post
For anyone to believe that eyestrain caused by backlit LCD monitors is a myth or just misunderstood by the ignorant masses is in itself ignorant. To assume that it could easily be avoided by all with properly applied ergonomic techniques is an assumption based in the world of make believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Simply put, your experience is not the experience of everyone. That's why those of us keep pointing out that making such statements is inaccurate and counter-productive.
If you're saying my statement is not accurate then it sounds like you are saying everyone, without exception, can avoid eyestrain if they just follow proper ergonomic guidelines.

You're not making this claim, are you?
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:57 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by dwanthny View Post
If you're saying my statement is not accurate then it sounds like you are saying everyone, without exception, can avoid eyestrain if they just follow proper ergonomic guidelines.

You're not making this claim, are you?
I guess it's possible they're saying that...but I don't think so. What is more important to me is that they're not telling everyone to buy an LCD.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:46 AM   #97
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If you're saying my statement is not accurate then it sounds like you are saying everyone, without exception, can avoid eyestrain if they just follow proper ergonomic guidelines.

You're not making this claim, are you?
Can't speak for him, but I don't think I or others have implied that.

I think proper ergonomics and lighting conditions are crucial to minimize eye strain regardless of whether ones reading on e-ink, lcd a paper book or anything else.

Whether there's inherent difference in eye strain across types of devices even with the optimal ergonomics and lighting is debatable. Science aside, it seems reasonable from a common sense standpoint that light emitting devices would tire the eyes a bit faster than reflective ones due to more light entering the eye.

Whether that's truly the case I don't know, and frankly don't much care. Again it all boils down to reading on what feels best to your eyes and/or suits your need the best. And not caring what others think is the best to read on.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:57 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
Again it all boils down to reading on what feels best to your eyes and/or suits your need the best. And not caring what others think is the best to read on.
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Old 04-13-2010, 08:17 AM   #99
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Heck, reading causes eyestrain . I was well on the road to my current -11 prescription before the LCD was invented. In fact, it's slowed down since then, but there might be a small matter of age involved there.

Regarding the idea eyestrain is caused by too much light entering the eye - this is obvious if you've ever been snowblinded, but I wonder whether the intensity differences involved here are significant. Sunlight can be literally a hundred times as intense as light in a well lit office, and totally swamps out a PDA screen, but isn't the ability to read outdoors considered one of e-ink's advantages?

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Old 04-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #100
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If you're saying my statement is not accurate then it sounds like you are saying everyone, without exception, can avoid eyestrain if they just follow proper ergonomic guidelines.

You're not making this claim, are you?
Knock it off. You know what I'm saying.
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:22 AM   #101
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Here's my take: a backlit LCD very easily can cause more eyestrain than an E-Ink screen simply because of the backlighting.

I don't believe there's any significant disagreement with the idea that reading from a screen that's brighter than your surroundings is hard on the eyes for many people. Because E-Ink works entirely on reflected light it - like a paper book - is not going to be brighter than the surroundings unless it's being directly illuminated. This is not the case for a backlit LCD, which can easily be brighter than the room.

Another factor to remember is that the majority of complaints about LCD devices aren't directed toward reflective LCD devices such as the Jetbook. Complaints about the Jetbook have historically focused on points like value for money, format support and battery life - not eyestrain.

LCD displays may not directly cause eyestrain, but enough people have issues with backlit LCD devices that it is something to consider when looking for a new device. But as always, the best option is to look at something first, before buying it so you can decide what meets your needs.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:18 PM   #102
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Here's my take: a backlit LCD very easily can cause more eyestrain than an E-Ink screen simply because of the backlighting.
On the other hand, in low lighting conditions e-Ink can cause eyestrain simply because of lack of backlighting. Aaaand, we're back to square one.

Again, the eyes only care if you have light. It doesn't matter to the eye whether it is projected or reflected... only that it is at the right brightness. Too much or too little for too long, and you get eyestrain. And this can happen as easily with e-ink, or with paper, as with LCD.

(Discussing this subject is a lot like watching a tennis match, isn't it?)

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Old 04-13-2010, 01:49 PM   #103
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On the other hand, in low lighting conditions e-Ink can cause eyestrain simply because of lack of backlighting. Aaaand, we're back to square one.

Again, the eyes only care if you have light. It doesn't matter to the eye whether it is projected or reflected... only that it is at the right brightness. Too much or too little for too long, and you get eyestrain. And this can happen as easily with e-ink, or with paper, as with LCD.

(Discussing this subject is a lot like watching a tennis match, isn't it?)
I have three reading devices on my desk as I type this - two of which have backlit LCDs (iPaq and Droid) while the third has E-Ink. I no longer use the iPaq much, but I use both the others regularly.

As for eyestrain in low-light conditions, I'm not going to deny it, but it's hardly unique to E-Ink, one can suffer exactly the same issue for the same reasons with reflective LCDs or even paper.

My point is not that backlit LCD and only backlit LCD displays cause eyestrain, but that people generally suffer eyestrain for a different reason when reading from a backlit LCD than from reflective media and so their established coping strategies don't work.

I'm also taking exception to the undertone I've got from some of the posters in this thread that anyone who claims to get eyestrain from a backlit LCD is simply doing it wrong. It's too reminiscent of a "blame the victim" mentality and I don't care for it.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:34 PM   #104
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I'm also taking exception to the undertone I've got from some of the posters in this thread that anyone who claims to get eyestrain from a backlit LCD is simply doing it wrong. It's too reminiscent of a "blame the victim" mentality and I don't care for it.
It's true, and we're trying to avoid that undertone (I am especially). Thing is, there is no proof outside of anecdotal evidence that there is any difference between reflective and transmissive light, as many posters continue to insist, and professional medical statements to the effect that there is no difference to the eye between equal amounts of light either transmitted or reflected.

Some of us are trying very hard to emphasize that everyone's eyes are different... nevertheless, it's hard to avoid that sort of tone you mention. I mean, I doubt it would help if we took the tone that some people's eyes are just deficient compared to others. But without concrete evidence, we can't say one media is deficient compared to the others, either.

So how do we address a clear difference in how one person's eyes react to viewing media versus another person's eyes, when there is no scientific proof that one media is superior or inferior to the other?

All we can do is state which media work well for ourselves, and avoid making blanket statements about the quality or superiority/inferiority of the media.
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Old 04-13-2010, 02:43 PM   #105
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I don't believe there's any significant disagreement with the idea that reading from a screen that's brighter than your surroundings is hard on the eyes for many people.
Which again gets back to the point that it's crucial to turn the brightness up or down to match the ambient lighting when reading on an LCD or other backlit screen.

Just like with paper or e-ink it's crucial to have enough light--and not too much (especially if it's bright white paper) to minimize eye strain.

Any type of reading can strain the eyes, the key is to get the ergonomics and lighting right to minimize eye strain, and from there it's just a matter of what each person prefers and what feels best to their eyes.

I do think a lot of LCD haters have only read on laptops or desktops, which isn't really a fair way to judge LCD screens for reading as they 1) probably didn't adjust the brightness and 2) Even if they did, it's near impossible to get the ergonomics right for reading in terms of distance from the eyes etc. vs. using a tablet that you can hold and read just like a book or e-reader.

That said, it's again a matter of what people prefer, but people should be softer on bashing LCD reading if they've only done it on computers and not tablets, PDAs etc. that can be held properly, easily adjust the brightness etc.

And I'm not saying that everyone who hates LCD has done that and is "doing it wrong" etc. It's just not that many people have owned PDAs, Tablets etc. as reader devices, and I don't think there's really a "right" way to read on a laptop, netbook or desktop as the erogonomics/form factor are just terrible for prolonged reading.

The only way to really make a fair comparison is to read on a book for x hours one day, then an e-ink reader for x hours one day and an lcd tablet for x hours one day and compare your experience. Making sure you read in the same positions and adjusted ambient lighting properly for the first two and the backlighting is adjusted properly on the lcd tablet.

Otherwise, one can't really have an informed opinion on what works best for them if they have tried all 3 and compared them for themselves.

For me, Paper books are best, e-ink comes in second, and LCD tablets (iPad) are a close 3rd. But it's all close and at the end of the day I'd go with the LCD tablet as I don't do prolonged reading all that often and would rather have all the other functionality over the e-ink screen and long battery life.

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