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Old 05-10-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
eiku
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Problems when refreshing the e-ink screen in sunlight

Hello. I have noticed that when I refresh the screen in bright (direct) sunlight, the electronic ink seems to become paler.

I first wonder how it comes (I am of a curious nature). I also worry (is it harmful for the device?).

Does it mean that my ebook (a Cybook Gen*3) has a defect? Is it the same for every e-ink device?

On every advertising for e-paper devices they mention that “it is possible to read in direct sunlight”. In fact, before posting I tried to search google for this but there was too much of that to get relevant search results.

I also remember having read on some paper shipped with the device (maybe the user manual) that it shouldn’t be exposed to sunlight (among others like extreme temperatures, water, etc.). Those who made the ads probably didn’t read that, and I personnaly didn’t pay much attention to it until now.

I’m waiting for your explanations/experience/advice… Thanks in advance!

P.S. I found another post related to this problem/phenomenon, but apparently in a device-specific section.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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The answers that are from the device-specific section you're mentioning are probably still valid since all e-ink screens are currently made by the same manufacturer. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) I understand that some e-ink screens fade in direct sunlight and some don't.

How long have you had your Cybook? Maybe they will replace it for you.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #3
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This is a known issue. It's probably not device specific, but related to something in the current eInk technology.

I've never seen any official explanation for why it happens, or what is causing it.

There are lots of speculations out there by various forum members, but nothing based on real information.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:11 PM   #4
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My first Kindle had this problem. I exchanged it and the new one (same model) does not. I don't see complaints about this any more on Kindle forums, so somehow they seem to have taken care of the problem through some quality improvement or better calibration. So at least Amazon considered this a defect (and I would also).

It was definitely not a problem with temperature extremes (which might well cause some other problem): I had a problem with the very first page turn after exposure to direct sunlight. There's a physical phenomenon known as the photoelectric effect where electrons are emitted from matter when exposed to UV radiation. I suspect that might be at the root of this problem, but that should be the subject of a science project.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banjobama View Post
The answers that are from the device-specific section you're mentioning are probably still valid since all e-ink screens are currently made by the same manufacturer. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) I understand that some e-ink screens fade in direct sunlight and some don't.

How long have you had your Cybook? Maybe they will replace it for you.
LG made a bad batch of eink screens and those are the ones that can fade in direct sunlight.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:06 AM   #6
eiku
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Thank you for your quick answers. My eBook is a little less than one year old. I will try to have it replaced, then (besides, there is another problem: the battery is totally empty when the indicator says it is at 40%, and this is much more annoying than any eInk-in-sunlight fading).
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