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Old 10-09-2011, 01:26 PM   #46
Clawdia
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One thing I found interesting - I wanted a small Kindle to go with my DXG. So I went about trying to decide between the K3 and the new little K4. I checked Amazon reviews and found that about 10% of the reviews of the K4 were 1 star reviews, while only about 5% of the reviews of the K3 were 1 star reviews. I certainly didn't read all the reviews, but it seemed a good many of those I did read that were negative about the K4 referred to screen contrast. All in all, a 5% higher rate of 1 star reviews seemed significant.

I bought a K3, and found when it came that the screen background appears lighter than that of my DXG, and the font - the sans serif at any rate - is darker than that on my DXG. So, I'm very happy with it. I'd bought my daughter a K3 a couple of months ago and my new one seems to be a twin of hers. The DXG doesn't have the sans serif font option, which is the biggest fault I've found with it in the past 14 months.

Of course, I tend to usually buy year old tech as opposed to 'new and improved' - when I've upgraded my laptops, I always wait until Apple releases a new product line and then I buy one of the prior year's models refurbed. That's always worked out great for me.

I hope Amazon does continue to improve the Kindle, but at this point I'm happy with my choice of what's now known as the 'Kindle Keyboard'. I've a feeling they may phase out this model, so I'm glad I bought one when I did, and I think the $20 price difference from the K4 is fair for the increased battery life and other features. I don't use the keyboard much, but it's a good place to rest my fingers while holding the Kindle. Also, I was having a hard time just dismissing that article from Tom's Hardware, because it makes a lot of sense that all screens are not created equal.
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:55 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Barty View Post
I don't know much about toms, but they're a pretty big site, not exactly random blogger.
Well, random like Engadget or Anandtech or Techcrunch or ZDnet or CNET Art Technica...or half a dozen other tech sites. And as opposed to someone like Walt Mossberg or David Pogue.

Quote:

Sure they could have just made that up, but why? Wouldn't eink just say "wait a sec we never told them that. That's a total lie". Or at least say they were misquoted, or the person saying it was misinformed.

It's easy to spread misinformation on the net, but it's also easy to get correction. You don't need to trust a particular site, just the system's ability for self correction.

Yes companies make electronics of different grades (not necessarily on purpose; the manufacturing process doesn't guarantee the same quality at all times) and it's not something they would trumpet. Doesn't mean that's what happened here. But you can't blithely dismiss it.
I'm not blithely dismissing it. I'm dismissing it after careful reflection. Particularly because it is only one data point, because we don't really know the context of it, and it seems to contradict what we know about e-ink screens on e-readers.

To be concrete, I should state that I do not believe that there are different grades of Pearl screens. I know that there are different grades of e-ink screens - Pearl vs. non-Pearl, for example. And the e-ink used in flexible displays or watches or phones may be a different grade from that used in e-readers, not to mention Pearl e-ink readers. But I don't believe that there are different grades of Pearl screens used in e-ink readers.

(And this appears to be supported by the fact that many people are reporting that their K4 Buttons have better screens than their K3 Keyboards.)
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Old 10-09-2011, 02:00 PM   #48
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Don't need any fancy equipment or a microscope to see that the quality of these screens is different, contrast ratio is clearly better on the e-Ink pearl screen on the right.

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by log View Post
Don't need any fancy equipment or a microscope to see that the quality of these screens is different, contrast ratio is clearly better on the e-Ink pearl screen on the right.

Maybe you don't. But for people who want accurate data and understand how light affect the color/shades we see, we do.

I wish people would stop taking a picture and eyeballing the differences then put it on the web as a "prove" of A is darker/brighter than B. Cameras are such inappropriate tools for this task. In your example, it's very obvious that there was a single light source very close to the left side of the K4. Based on the picture, you could even argue that the left side bezel on the K4 is brighter than its right one. Light intensity could fall off rapidly depending on how close the light source is to the object, which makes the K4 on the left side appear to be much lighter than the Sony ereader on the right. This can be calculated using the Inverse-Square Law(in case you're interested http://tinyurl.com/3q3us5o). Assuming you actually own a K4 and took the picture and didn't just copy it from some website and speculate, you'll be surprised to see how the result would differ and most likely reverse if you swap the two readers position, and make sure you use the same aperture, iso, lens & shutter speed setting for the camera at the exact same distance.

Just saw the pearl display spec on the eInk.com(http://www.eink.com/sell_sheets/pear...ll%20sheet.pdf):
White State: 70 (minimum)
Dark Sate: 24 (maximum)

If the above spec applies, all 3 ebook readers I've tested are well within the spec for the max dark state with 18.3 for K4, 21.5 for K3 & 18.8 for NookSTR. In the end, they're all fine, I myself couldn't reliably tell which one is better than the other as the viewing condition changes just by eyeballing them.

Edit: updated dark state stats with hi-res mode reading(more accurate)

Last edited by shinew; 10-10-2011 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:34 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by log View Post
Don't need any fancy equipment or a microscope to see that the quality of these screens is different, contrast ratio is clearly better on the e-Ink pearl screen on the right.

I watched Lisa's review on the T1 and it does have amazing contrast that I haven't see on any other eReader. It also has a contrast setting to make the screen lighter or darker which was a big sell point for me.
I am getting a nice black shiny one for my birthday!
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by shinew View Post
Just saw the pearl display spec on the eInk.com(http://www.eink.com/sell_sheets/pear...ll%20sheet.pdf):
White State: 70 (minimum)
Dark Sate: 24 (maximum)

If the above spec applies, all 3 ebook readers I've tested are well within the spec for the max dark state with 18 for K4, 22 for K3 & 20 for NookSTR. In the end, they're all fine, I myself couldn't reliably tell which one is better than the other as the viewing condition changes just by eyeballing them.
Since these three devices use the exact same screen you have kindly shown us there is variation amongst Pearl e-ink. If the device we receive doesnt seem contrasty enough, try another for better quality.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:32 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Andrew H. View Post
To be concrete, I should state that I do not believe that there are different grades of Pearl screens. I know that there are different grades of e-ink screens - Pearl vs. non-Pearl, for example. And the e-ink used in flexible displays or watches or phones may be a different grade from that used in e-readers, not to mention Pearl e-ink readers. But I don't believe that there are different grades of Pearl screens used in e-ink readers.

(And this appears to be supported by the fact that many people are reporting that their K4 Buttons have better screens than their K3 Keyboards.)
I don't think grade means what you think it means. I wouldn't call pearl a different grade of eink, I'd call it a new generation. I'd imagine grade refers to variation among screens with the same technology.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:53 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by log View Post
Don't need any fancy equipment or a microscope to see that the quality of these screens is different, contrast ratio is clearly better on the e-Ink pearl screen on the right.

That is a pretty startling difference. Amazon have clearly stated their marketing strategy is to aim for the low-end, so I wouldn't be surprised if the images are an accurate comparison. I'd life to see more T1 / new K comparisons. The K3 keyboard was an inelegant solution, but it was a classy device. The new Kindle non-touch seems to be not quite as nice. In fact it seems a bit cheap. On the hand, it seems there are some buggy batches of T1's about. Choose your poison
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:55 PM   #54
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For what it's worth, I received my Kindle 4 over a week ago and the screen was noticeably less contrast-y than my Kindle 3. The difference was subtle enough that I was willing to live with it, but then I noticed a black spot (stuck pixel?) in the middle of the screen that wouldn't go away. So I sent it back to Amazon and ordered a second one. The screen on the new Kindle 4 is perfect and actually seems superior to my Kindle 3. I haven't taken any pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it. All of this proves to me that e-ink screens vary from device to device, not generation to generation.

Oh, and for the record, I cannot go back to using my Kindle 3 after using the Kindle 4. The build quality, size, simplicity, and feel of the device makes for a much more pleasant experience and it just feels more "high end." And the on screen keyboard is surprisingly not THAT clunky to use... especially since I hardly ever need to use it.

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #55
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For what it's worth, I received my Kindle 4 over a week ago and the screen was noticeably less contrast-y than my Kindle 3. The difference was subtle enough that I was willing to live with it, but then I noticed a black spot (stuck pixel?) in the middle of the screen that wouldn't go away. So I sent it back to Amazon and ordered a second one. The screen on the new Kindle 4 is perfect and actually seems superior to my Kindle 3. I haven't taken any pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it. All of this proves to me that e-ink screens vary from device to device, not generation to generation.
You nailed it .
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:17 PM   #56
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I don't think grade means what you think it means. I wouldn't call pearl a different grade of eink, I'd call it a new generation. I'd imagine grade refers to variation among screens with the same technology.
I don't believe that there are different grades within the same technology. Therefore, grade either means different generations, or it is made up.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:20 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by Cooling1978 View Post
For what it's worth, I received my Kindle 4 over a week ago and the screen was noticeably less contrast-y than my Kindle 3. The difference was subtle enough that I was willing to live with it, but then I noticed a black spot (stuck pixel?) in the middle of the screen that wouldn't go away. So I sent it back to Amazon and ordered a second one. The screen on the new Kindle 4 is perfect and actually seems superior to my Kindle 3. I haven't taken any pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it. All of this proves to me that e-ink screens vary from device to device, not generation to generation.

Oh, and for the record, I cannot go back to using my Kindle 3 after using the Kindle 4. The build quality, size, simplicity, and feel of the device makes for a much more pleasant experience and it just feels more "high end." And the on screen keyboard is surprisingly not THAT clunky to use... especially since I hardly ever need to use it.
I had the same issue with contrast on my first K4. The screen was gray and the text was dark gray so much it ghost white lines everywhere. The replacement Amazon sent me is much better. It's light gray with black text. Not as good as my K3 but darn close.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:26 PM   #58
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My co-worker just got his new Kindle, and we compared the screens for S-and-G's... To us, we couldn't really make out too much of a difference. They both look fine.
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:45 AM   #59
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After seeing this well known optical trick (for those who don't haven't seen it yet, A et B squares are the same color), I don't trust my eyes only, so factual numbers as posted by shinew are very welcomed .
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:52 AM   #60
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I checked Amazon reviews and found that about 10% of the reviews of the K4 were 1 star reviews, while only about 5% of the reviews of the K3 were 1 star reviews.
Keep in mind that the kindle 3 is available longer and has much more reviews.
When a device is just released, there are likely to be more negative reviews than a year after release, because of bugs that need to be sorted out in the begining. When the kindle 4 gets more (positive) reviews after that, the percentage 1 star reviews will lower.
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