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Old 02-08-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
ElspethB
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Older adults read faster on a backlit tablet

...according to a study published in PLOS ONE that compared speed and comprehension when reading similar texts on a paper book, a Kindle, and an iPad. Here's an overview.

And here's the study itself.

The researchers attribute the difference to the greater contrast on the iPad screen, which makes me wonder how a front-lit e-ink device like the Kindle Paperwhite would fare.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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Well, I'm only a very few years away from being in their older adult category and I definitely read better with e-ink. My eyes DON'T like a lot of contrast, I find that paper books read in sunlight bounce too much light into my eyes. The gray of the e-ink screen is just right with decent light or sunlight and I read faster.

Further, most tablets do not have enough resolution for me to read comfortably. My Note is just barely there at 288ppi.

I advise anyone and everyone to do what is best for YOUR eyes and take research like this with a grain of salt.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:23 PM   #3
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This study seems already dated, as the move among manufacturers of devices that use eInk screens seems to be toward front-lit screens, which apparently weren't considered in the study.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:02 PM   #4
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I wonder too if they adjusted the settings on the e-ink screens at all to darken the contrast, like many of us do, or just used the default settings, which for me are too thin and washed out. That adjustment alone could have made a big difference in the outcome of the study.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #5
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It's an interesting study, but I think its biggest weakness is that it was limited to passages of about 200 words. Meaning that even if the study is otherwise flawless, it may not be applicable for 200 pages.

Last edited by Andrew H.; 02-09-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:04 AM   #6
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I wonder too if they adjusted the settings on the e-ink screens at all to darken the contrast, like many of us do, or just used the default settings, which for me are too thin and washed out. That adjustment alone could have made a big difference in the outcome of the study.
How do you do that? I just checked my Kindle and my Kobo and neither have a setting that directly mentions "contrast". Is it something to do with the font chosen?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:31 AM   #7
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It's a choice on my Sony where you adjust contrast and brightness. Those adjustments make the text thicker and darker. I just assumed all readers would have some way of doing it, but no idea how on the Kindle or Kobo.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
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Maybe we read faster because we have had more practice.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:10 AM   #9
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Maybe we read faster because we have had more practice.
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Nah, older people are more aware of mortality, must read faster!
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Well, I'm only a very few years away from being in their older adult category and I definitely read better with e-ink.
Quoted to show that eInk was compared to:

Quote:
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Further, most tablets do not have enough resolution for me to read comfortably. My Note is just barely there at 288ppi.
Last time I've checked, all eInk displays were (way) bellow 288ppi.
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Old 02-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #11
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At 64 I'm one of the "elderly" group. I use my iPad with iBook, Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Spreadsong's Free Books for iPad. To one degree or another I can make adjustments to facilate ease of reading on all of these apps. I find myself making adjustments as my evening wears on as my eyes tire. I love the printed page but cannot afford "books" both due to price and sheer weight of my eBook holdings if in paper format. I've close to 500 titles in my library and carry them one-handed. That's right good for a disabled old geezer.
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:37 PM   #12
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...according to a study published in PLOS ONE that compared speed and comprehension when reading similar texts on a paper book, a Kindle, and an iPad. Here's an overview.

And here's the study itself.

The researchers attribute the difference to the greater contrast on the iPad screen, which makes me wonder how a front-lit e-ink device like the Kindle Paperwhite would fare.
I would read slower on a Kindle (with the default font) then I would with my 650 and the font of my choice. They didn't take that into account. For most people, the Kindle has one font and that's it take it or leave it. I choose to leave it because I don't like it. But I know on a Kindle Touch and PW, I can change the font to one of my choice and I would read fast in that case.
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #13
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At 64 .... I've close to 500 titles in my library and carry them one-handed. That's right good for a disabled old geezer.
You go girl!! um.....ah.... guy!

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Old 02-09-2013, 06:11 PM   #14
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Even if this older adult could read faster on my backlit Kindle Fire, it wouldn't be for long since it gives me a headache and a feeling of eye strain (as does a print book after 2 or 3 books in a row). But I can read happily for days on end on my front-lit Glowlight or even my lamp-lit K4 (the contrast is not as good on the KTouch, so I now use it for Audible books).
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:06 AM   #15
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You go girl!! um.....ah.... guy!

FA = Field Artillery
1SG = First Sergeant
L = (L)yons

Being a retired Army Field Artillery First Sergeant w/Lyons as surname
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