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Old 09-24-2012, 07:19 AM   #1
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Confusion about the Kindle PaperWhite

I have read a lot of information about the Kindle PaperWhite but some questions remain.

I do not intend to use the included light so will it be 'paperwhite' even if the artificial light is disabled? Does it have an improved eink display or does the higher contrast come from the artificial light?
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:20 AM   #2
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The screen is still light grey, but the manufacturer states a 25% contrast improvement over a Pearl screen.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:21 AM   #3
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Bear in mind that I don't think anyone has actualy got their hands on one to test yet, but I think that with the light off the eInk screen is no whiter than the current Pearl eInk screens.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:21 AM   #4
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And now you see why we'll have to wait for actual shipping units!
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #5
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And now you see why we'll have to wait for actual shipping units!
Remember that contrast is measured with a photometer - it's a purely objective measurement.
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Old 09-24-2012, 07:31 AM   #6
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And now you see why we'll have to wait for actual shipping units!
You're right. My 'cannot wait eInk weakness'.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:51 AM   #7
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Remember that contrast is measured with a photometer - it's a purely objective measurement.
I agree that contrast is an objective measurement. I'm just not convinced that Amazon is an objective measurer, especially as there's been no announcement from eInk about an improved eInk version with 25% increased contrast.

I would be delighted if it were true.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:47 AM   #8
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Even the unlit kindle eink looks much more white with much blacker text (i.e. higher contrast) when viewed in direct sunlight, so internal lighting built into the Paperwhite should too.

Regarding a 25% increase, we must remember that eye sensitivity is non-linear (logarithmic), which must be taken into account when measuring perceived contrast differences. It cannot have improved contrast in all lighting conditions, because the internal lighting would be swamped by bright ambient or direct lighting, such as sunlight on the screen. In fact, the new capacitive touchscreen MUST detract slightly from the contrast (but perhaps not enough to be noticed by most people). Even the "microprinted light guide" must detract somewhat for some viewing conditions just because it is in the viewing path.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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Even the unlit kindle eink looks much more white with much blacker text (i.e. higher contrast) when viewed in direct sunlight, so internal lighting built into the Paperwhite should too.

Regarding a 25% increase, we must remember that eye sensitivity is non-linear (logarithmic), which must be taken into account when measuring perceived contrast differences. It cannot have improved contrast in all lighting conditions, because the internal lighting would be swamped by bright ambient or direct lighting, such as sunlight on the screen. In fact, the new capacitive touchscreen MUST detract slightly from the contrast (but perhaps not enough to be noticed by most people). Even the "microprinted light guide" must detract somewhat for some viewing conditions just because it is in the viewing path.
Hi geekmaster,

I have an iPad 2 which my brother gave me a year ago. It's a really good product for entertainment, but I've found it too heavy & big for reading purpose. I'm going to buy an Amazon's e-reader, so would you mind giving me an advice? Is the Paperwhite worth the money, or should I just buy a $69 version?
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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Hi geekmaster,

I have an iPad 2 which my brother gave me a year ago. It's a really good product for entertainment, but I've found it too heavy & big for reading purpose. I'm going to buy an Amazon's e-reader, so would you mind giving me an advice? Is the Paperwhite worth the money, or should I just buy a $69 version?
The Paperwhite will ship in October. Nobody here has held one in his/her hands yet.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:42 AM   #11
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@binhnt: The Paperwhite may get the same annoying bright spots on the display as the Nook Glowlight gets when the screen surface gets dented. I am getting one mostly so I can test my code on it (not for reading ).

Here are some photos of what to expect from a minor light guide surface damage:
http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...he-new-nooklit

I am hoping that the Kindle Paperwhite has a harder surface and will not have the same problem as the Nook Glowlight. I will treat my Paperwhite with care and respect, just to avoid any possible problems such as that.

Just for reading, the $69 kindle seems like a great deal to me. It is even reported to have a much nicer screen (better quality control?) than the $79 K4. But only you can make that decision.

Last edited by geekmaster; 09-24-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 09-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #12
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I agree that contrast is an objective measurement. I'm just not convinced that Amazon is an objective measurer, especially as there's been no announcement from eInk about an improved eInk version with 25% increased contrast.

I would be delighted if it were true.
The same figure is quoted by eInk - it's in the "News" section of their site - so I'm sure it's true. It would be too easy to disprove if not.
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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Since the paperwhite has yet to be released... How can the person be making a True assement?
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:11 AM   #14
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eInk manufactured the screen, so they can measure its contrast.
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Old 09-24-2012, 12:03 PM   #15
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The same figure is quoted by eInk - it's in the "News" section of their site - so I'm sure it's true. It would be too easy to disprove if not.
If you mean the top item on this page, that's just a copy of Amazon's press release.

If you mean the quoted text on this page that's just quoting from Amazon's press release.

If you mean this customer showcase, that's also clearly quoting the Amazon press release.

Note the bit that says "Uses E Ink Pearl Active Matrix Display". Follow that link and you can find the technical specifications for the Pearl display which have not changed.

I think the 25% increase in contrast is some tricky wording by Amazon. I think that without the front light, the eInk screen will have the same contrast as the entry level Kindle without a touch screen.

I would, as I say, be delighted to be wrong. But if E Ink really did have a new scren with 25% more contrast, they'd be shouting it from the rooftops, and it would be appearing in other manufacturers' devices, or they would be talking about an exclusive supply to Amazon.

That neither has happened makes me think it's marketing speak, not technical improvement.
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