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Old 03-23-2011, 10:45 AM   #1
butterbescotch
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Does it hurt the eyes?

Forget me from my ignorance but does the ereaders like kindle,sony,smartphone etc hurts on the eyes?

I am just really curious is it the same as a computer's screen?
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:47 AM   #2
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no it's not the same, they're created to mimic a books pages and you can read for hours.
smartphones though usually have led or glossy screens that are like a computer screen but ereaders in general have a whiter look with black ink as if you were reading pages from a book.

edit::
best would be if you could go to a store near where you live and check one out in person.
before i bought the kobo i could handle it and see how it worked and looked.

most places have them on display.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
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LCD displays, as found in smart phones can have the same issue as your computer display. However, most eReaders such as the Sony Readers, Kindle, Kobo Reader, original nook all use eInk that doesn't use backlight and does hurt any more than printed paper does. In fact eInk displays, as mentioned, try to mimic printed paper.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butterbescotch View Post
Forget me from my ignorance but does the ereaders like kindle,sony,smartphone etc hurts on the eyes?

I am just really curious is it the same as a computer's screen?
An electronic ink display, such as the Kindle uses, does not shine light from the screen like a computer screen. In fact, you need a light to read in the dark just as you would for a book. You read by light shining on the screen rather than the screen shining light in your eyes.

You can find a slightly technical explanation on electronic ink at Wikipedia. Basically, the screen has capsules that contain pigment. The pigment is electrically charged. The screen charges the capsules to show their pigment or not. Light shines on the pigment just as light shines on the ink in a book.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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My experience with my Kindle3 has shown that it can't be compared to a computer screen. Mind you, I have to admit to not using a screen to read a book though the sheer volume of data on the screen would be daunting.

The beauty of the Kindle technology is that you can sit down somewhere comfortable, curl up or whatever you like, and read in perfect comfort. And, if you are relaxed, that lack of tension makes reading less stressful on the eyes especially as the Kindle has no screen glare.

I have just switched from reading an old paperback version of Stephen Donaldson's "Wounded Land" from the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, to reading it ebook format. The print on the screen is much easier to read than the old printed typeface, especially as I can alter the font size and style to suit my mood. Also, you don't have the problem of having to fold the book's spine right back to read to the end/start of the line!
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:26 AM   #6
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Btw, why is the background of eink type display so gray? While it may not be desirable to have it completely white, the gray is hardly optimal and must be an inherent limitation at this stage of development.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #7
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I agree there is no comparison between the LCD screen and the E-Ink screen of the Kindle. The Kindle screen gives you a sharp readable text without the effect of shining a flashlight in your eyes (i.e. Jeff Bezos) while you do it. Sometimes you can also borrow an ereader from your local library to test out how you like it before buying as well. That's what I did.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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Any screen can cause eyestrain if you stare too long without blinking and looking away to focus on distant objects every few minutes.
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Old 03-23-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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"Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

1. There is no scientific proof or extensive testing that shows any difference in terms of eye strain due to display type, whether it is e-Ink, LCD, OLED, backlit, sidelit, or a sticker stuck on the front of the device
2. There is plenty of anecdotal/personal experiences from users preferring one type over the other. Some just cannot use one type at all without pain, others can for many hours at a time.
3. You really need to try them yourself to decide what is best for how you read.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:27 PM   #10
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I have a Kindle and it doesn't hurt my eyes. It really looks like a book. I was impressed the first time I actually saw one. I don't know how the other eReaders do, but the Kindle is great.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:32 PM   #11
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I have tons of floaters in my eyes, and I work on a computer monitor all day. It is way more annoying to read a backlit screen, because it makes the floaters very much more obvious. However, my e-ink Kindle screen doesn't bother me at all (the floaters are much less obvious). The difference it in the backlighting. Many people find that they don't mind reading on a backlit screen, though. It may help if you adjust the brightness and contrast, too, if those are options, as they are on most computer monitors.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barty View Post
Btw, why is the background of eink type display so gray? While it may not be desirable to have it completely white, the gray is hardly optimal and must be an inherent limitation at this stage of development.
Limitations of the technology. As said, there are capsules of pigment that are charged negatively or positively. Positive charge shows white pigment, negative shows black pigment. However, sometimes a capsule doesn't entirely lose its charge, and will be stuck for a bit, ending up with a greyish color being apparent. You sometimes will see a faint "ghost" image on a display of text that was previously there. Newer displays are better about this. Also, another limitation, is that due to containing both color pigment capsules in a transparent substrate, light will sometimes shine through and reflect off the color pigment that is being hidden. Again, this has also been improved with newer displays.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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Your computer monitor almost certainly has a lower quality display than the iPad. Cheap tablets will also have lower quality displays. This may be in terms of brightness, viewing angle, or contrast... and most good tablets will have high quality LCD displays. (I pointed out the iPad because it's still what everyone knows).

Smartphones will also vary widely in the type of display used. Some smartphones I've used have pretty horrible displays while some are bright and crisp.

e-ink ebook readers don't vary as much. Everything looks like it's printed on paper... though the newer ones may look more like a paperback's printing while the older ones look more like a newspaper's printing.

A display hurting your eyes may be due to eyestrain from trying to focus on a hard to see display (such as an LCD in sunlight, or one with poor contrast), or it may be because the display is too bright. Any number of factors may cause reading on a device to be uncomfortable. I know people who read comfortably on ancient, low contrast palm devices while others can barely stand the best LCDs. Most people seem to agree that e-ink does give the best reading experience though.

The iPad and other tablets $500 or more tend to have good quality LCD displays.
Smartphones vary widely, but the display is one of the more expensive components, and is often indicated fairly well by price.
The Kindle, Nook, Sony readers, and many others are e-ink.
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:18 PM   #14
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My experience has been that I can use the screen on my e-reader for hours at a time, without any of the attendant aches or strains that would be induced by using my laptop screen for a similar period.

That said, I suspect most of the advantage to the e-reader comes from being able to readily change posture and position. The lack of back-lighting is a secondary consideration.

Having correctly-prescribed spectacles (if required) is also essential, as is of course sensible lighting.

However, I would (and did!) find it impossible to use an old CRT display for anything like the periods of sustained use that I can give to a laptop screen or an e-reader.
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Old 03-23-2011, 06:16 PM   #15
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Thanks I pretty much get the idea but I have one more question.
Since I cannot buy an ereader immediately, Can I make any actions to enjoy my reading experience in the PC?
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