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Old 04-21-2010, 05:00 AM   #1
neilmarr
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iPad V e-ink devices

A fascinating in-depth comparison today of backlit iPad and 'traditional' e-ink readers under all lighting conditions. Personally, the piece reinforces my liking for e-ink, but -- horses for courses -- this is a handy review for those still trying to make up their minds. Best wishes. Neil

http://blogs.zdnet.com/perlow/?p=12719
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:23 AM   #2
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Pretty unfair to take the iPad to task for not working in daylight when it's not designed / marketed for such.

If one wants a device to use outdoors, then one should pick a screen suited / designed for such --- an e-ink or transflective LCD (I just picked up a Fujitsu Stylistic 4121 w/ indoor/outdoor screen and am finding it has transformed how I used my Tablet PC).

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Old 04-21-2010, 09:16 AM   #3
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My biggest gripe with e-ink is needing so much light to read at night in bed or in any low light situation.

I think when someone considers a device, they should look at their own habits and buy the device that fits their habits.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:16 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
Pretty unfair to take the iPad to task for not working in daylight when it's not designed / marketed for such.
On the other hand, the iPad is being marketed as (among other things), and being touted by media pundits and other proponents, as an e-reading device.

If it's going to be marketed as an e-reading device it certainly is not unfair to compare it to other e-reading devices; and that includes e-reading device screens.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:20 AM   #5
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Fair enough. To clarify, I'm not complaining of comparing it to other e-readers, just think it's ridiculous to complain of it doing something Apple has never indicated it could do.

FWIW, I can't help but wonder if the plethora of SKUs at launch isn't intended to:

- ease initial availability difficulties (the 64GB model is the only one available at the local Best Buy)
- inure retailers to a large number of SKUs so that they'll be able to cope w/ an enlarged iPad family which (I hope) will include 7" (smaller) and 12" (largest) screen sizes, and (hopefully) a choice of screen types which includes transflective LCDs

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Old 04-21-2010, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
My biggest gripe with e-ink is needing so much light to read at night in bed or in any low light situation.

I think when someone considers a device, they should look at their own habits and buy the device that fits their habits.

Exactly. I NEVER , EVER read in direct sunlight. I read often in pretty dim lighting.

I also seldom ever read for more than an hour or two a day.

So for me, while I like my Kindle, a tablet device makes a lot more sense for my needs. Better for dim lighting, can do more than read so it's more useful to someone like me who's not an avid reader compared to most on this site etc.

For others who read more, read in sunlight etc., e-ink and other reflective screens are best.


So I don't think it's silly to complain about lcd devices not being good in direct sunlight, but to be objective such reviews should also note that e-ink devices aren't great in dim lighting and require hassling with clip on lights etc.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:07 PM   #7
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My e-ink device won't even work properly in direct sunlight. Most of the screen looks washed out and it's totally unreadable. If I'm in outdoor light I have to shade the screen when I turn the page to make it legible. So I'm not so sure the "e-ink is readable in sunlight" argument holds a great deal of water. While I can read it in sunlight, I can't turn the page in sunlight.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:12 PM   #8
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I do think that is just a problem with certain e-ink screens in certain devices has since been fixed.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillAdams View Post
Pretty unfair to take the iPad to task for not working in daylight when it's not designed / marketed for such.
You could equally say that it's unfair to take eInk devices to task for not being able to read them in low light conditions, but this is often given as one of the key advantages of the iPad as an eReader.

I think that if a comparison is being made of all devices which offer eReader functions then it's perfectly reasonable to point out the conditions where they work well and those where they might have issues.

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Old 04-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
I do think that is just a problem with certain e-ink screens in certain devices has since been fixed.
I have an onyx boox bought just a couple of months ago. I would hope it's been fixed but there are at least some displays that act like this out in the wild.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamara View Post
My biggest gripe with e-ink is needing so much light to read at night in bed or in any low light situation.
The 3rd generation screens that PVI is starting to preview will help with this. They have improved the contrast from 6:1 to 10:1 or better... supposed to go into production later this year. Not sure how long until we see new models of our favorite ebook devices with this gen screen though.

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Old 04-21-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
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Pretty unfair to take the iPad to task for not working in daylight when it's not designed / marketed for such.
Exactly. The iPad was not designed to be an eBook reader, and eBook readers are not designed to be multimedia tablets. These are two different products with two different markets. Might as well write an article comparing eInk readers with a laptop.

Why people keep trying to compare apples with oranges is beyond me, other than just the latest craze of comparing Apple's shiny new gadget with anything and everything they can think of. I guess such articles bring in lots of blog hits, maybe that's the only real reason.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:15 PM   #13
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If it's going to be marketed as an e-reading device it certainly is not unfair to compare it to other e-reading devices; and that includes e-reading device screens.
It's not being marketed as an e-reading device. It's being marketed as a multimedia tablet which also happens to include an eBook app. It's definitely not it's primary function, and was never meant to be. It would be like saying that your PC is marketed as an MP3 player, just because it comes with Windows Media Player installed. Does that mean your PC is in competition with an iPod?
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:31 PM   #14
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It's not being marketed as an e-reading device.
From Apples own website under their short list of "iPad at a glance":

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...US-KWG-iPad-US

they are hyping it as "A new way to read and buy books" and claim that it's "More than a great ebook reader, it’s also an amazing place to browse and shop for books."

That sure sounds like marketing talk to me.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #15
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The iPad is being marketed with e-reading being one of its main features.

So I see no issues with discussing how well it does at that task. Most everyone I know that has or is interested in an iPad is interested in the e-book function. Maybe not as their main reason--as like me none of them are bookworms--but people are aware of the function. They show the iBook app a few times in the TV commercial etc.

So I see no problems about articles discussing that feature and how it compares to the other options for reading e-books. I do think such articles should be fair and point out the advantages the device has in terms of all the other functions it can do.

Because let's face it, the vast majority of people don't read enough to have much interest in shelling out $200+ for a dedicated e-reader--so for the mainstream being multifunction is a big selling point.

I want a tablet, and I will read on it. But I'll no doubt spend more time surfing the net, watching videos, playing games etc. based on my experience messing around with my girlfriend's ipad.

In a same token, there's no need to be so harsh on eyestrain etc. as the average joe isn't reading for hours a day like the people on this site. I seldom read more than an hour or so in a give stretch so I can read on pretty much anything. Articles should mention that eyestrain is really only a concern for most if they're doing long term reading etc.

But that's just a problem with any reviews/articles etc. as they're all just one person's biased personal opinion, so people shouldn't make to much of them nor waste time arguing over them. In the end of the day the only thing that matters on gadgets is your opinion on them and whether they fit your needs or not.
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