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Old 04-18-2008, 03:53 AM   #16
brecklundin
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Originally Posted by JWLaRue View Post
Out of curiosity, what was the lighting (levels) like in the Borders where the Sony was located? In the two Borders near me, one display is located in an area that is not well lit, while the other is right out in the main aisle and very well lit. As it happens, I first saw the Sony at the store without the good lighting and was disappointed in what I saw. But after seeing it at the second store, I was very happy with the display.

It became no surprise to me, after reading the various comments posted here, that the perceived contrast on these e-ink screens is highly dependent upon the ambient lighting.

-Jeff
Actually the lighting was good as the display was at the store's "center counter" where you can get help or what not...it's the main help and whatever counter not one of the off in a side isle kiosk/computer stations.

I would say the lighting was what one would find in a typical library or office. Plus the store has large windows though they are tinted and so I don't think they add much lighting.

I can agree with others that are more zealous eink users and supporters, the brighter the lighting the better the contrast would be...so, if I wanted to read outside or even sitting in front of a nice big window eink wins over the N800 hands down.

I will add that "perceived contrast" is everything. Isn't it? The major short coming, perhaps the only real short coming, of eink is the NEED for brighter lighting to increase/improve contrast.

Perhaps because I am more conditioned to inside reading I find the display on both devices I have now at least as easy on my eyes. Eink screens simply are not comfortable to MY eyes. So for those who comment that the eink "blows away" LCD I feel such comments are, perhaps, painting with a bit too broad of a brush.

I do, however hope the next gen of display's will have better contrast in low lighting using either a built in LED lighting system or some other fix.

Sure, I would be OK with a Visplex device but based in screen readability alone, eink is not yet even be close to my first choice...additionally I would need to alter when and where I read to improve the contrast enough to for my eyes. So, everyone is different. And as I suggest to everyone, if possible compare or at least look at an eink device before deciding. It might be better for a fair number or people to wait a few months to a year to see what shakes out by the next CES in Vegas. And do not assume eink is the solution for people with vision issues. Only way to know for sure is to test, and if adding a bright reading lamp improves the contrast then GREAT!! Then again a brighter light might not improve contrast enough. Same goes for LCD display's....TEST them for yourself first. I do suggest if you look at LCD devices do try and get a transreflective LCD based device, as it can only help in brighter light. I can read my Clie nx73v with reasonable ease in outdoor conditions. Still, I think an eink reader would be the obviously superior choice for outside in sunlight.

It's just not as cut and dried as one being vastly superior to others because these things are subjective, varying between individuals. It's a shame there really are not many places to compare side by side. At least Amazon and Sony seem to have decent return deals.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:18 PM   #17
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So for those who comment that the eink "blows away" LCD I feel such comments are, perhaps, painting with a bit too broad of a brush.
I think that is true; in fact, the expectation of being "blown away" by eInk, fostered by many comments here and elsewhere, led to some disappointment on my part when I finally saw one.

Even so, I did purchase a Cybook and have found that I have come to adjust to the strengths and limitations of eInk. Overall, I like it and prefer it to my Clie for long reading sessions (I love it outdoors, but don't do a huge amount of reading there).
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Old 04-20-2008, 05:44 AM   #18
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The guy on the desk opposite me at work has a couple of Nokia N800's that he's using in a project at the moment, so I'm pretty familiar with them and the screens.

I'd have to say that comparing an E-ink screen and the widescreen aspect backlit LCD of the N800 is like chalk and cheese. The N800 does have a lovely screen; great for graphics and UI elements, but it's not something I'd want to stare at for hours on end. I've also got high end Dell and Silicon Graphics LCD displays on my desk and even though they are fantastic and a massive improvment over old CRT's with their visible refresh, you will always end up with a certain level of eyestrain because of the backlight and their /seemingly/ imperceptible refresh.

The no-refresh, non-backlit E-ink display is totally different; it has no active lightsource, so it's a much more natural looking image. But it's also unlikely that E-ink technology will be used for anything involving high motion or mainstream gui's in the near future.
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:20 AM   #19
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I owned an N810 for a bit and used FBReader a lot while I did - actually, FBReader was the hardest thing to give up when I decided to get rid of the N810 becuase of what I felt were flaws in the hardware and OS that were unacceptable in a $400+ device. The N810 is a terrific ebook reader to my eyes, and I could read it for hours on end without problem. When reading on an LCD screen I tend to set the background to black and text to white and find that this makes reading a lot easier.

The downsides of the N800 series for ebook reading, as others have noted, are the battery life and ability to read outdoors. So far the SR 500 I just got is far better on both of those counts. For my reading habits I like being able to charge up my reader once a month and not worry about making sure it's got a fresh charge every morning as I head out the door. And reading in the park, on the beach and other outdoor locations is one of the main reasons I wanted to get an ebook reader, so the SR 500 works best for me. Then again, I don't need a lot of contrast since I started reading ebooks on a Palm III, and the SR 500 reminds me of that experience.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:02 PM   #20
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I own both a sony 505 and a nokia n800.

I used the n800 extensively as an ebook reader before I got my sony. I find the sony far easier to read off of. Way less strain on my eyes overtime. I work on computers all day, every day. I have worked on computers for over 12 years, and it has damaged my eyes. The lack of a refresh in the display of the e-ink is a god send to me. The n800 also didn't hold comfortably like a book.

As some one said its chalk and cheese. Dont' get an ebook reader for an internet tablet, and don't get an internet tablet strictly for an ebook. The ability to read books off the nokia is nice for short amounts of time. However, where I can "curl up" with my sony reader for hours, I can't handle the n800 for more than 30 minutes or so.
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Old 04-29-2008, 03:10 PM   #21
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I don't have a problem with reading on my computer (which has an LCD screen). However, I probably wouldn't have gotten a Cybook if the experience wasn't so similar to reading an actual paper book...
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:13 PM   #22
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But, while reading at the computer may not be a problem, it's got you stuck at your desk to read. With a PRD you can read on the go and away from your desk. That's what I like about my 505 is the ability to not be stuck reading at my desk to read.
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Old 05-09-2008, 03:35 PM   #23
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But, while reading at the computer may not be a problem, it's got you stuck at your desk to read. With a PRD you can read on the go and away from your desk. That's what I like about my 505 is the ability to not be stuck reading at my desk to read.
Absolutely. And true for me even though I have a TabletPC -- while I can read away from a desk, I can't read for all that long due to battery life. For technical/professional reading (largely PDFs), a PC or the tablet is preferred. For leisure/pleasure reading, I prefer my Cybook or even my PDA.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:15 AM   #24
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I owned an N810 for a bit and used FBReader a lot while I did - actually, FBReader was the hardest thing to give up when I decided to get rid of the N810 becuase of what I felt were flaws in the hardware and OS that were unacceptable in a $400+ device. The N810 is a terrific ebook reader to my eyes, and I could read it for hours on end without problem. When reading on an LCD screen I tend to set the background to black and text to white and find that this makes reading a lot easier.

The downsides of the N800 series for ebook reading, as others have noted, are the battery life and ability to read outdoors. So far the SR 500 I just got is far better on both of those counts. For my reading habits I like being able to charge up my reader once a month and not worry about making sure it's got a fresh charge every morning as I head out the door. And reading in the park, on the beach and other outdoor locations is one of the main reasons I wanted to get an ebook reader, so the SR 500 works best for me. Then again, I don't need a lot of contrast since I started reading ebooks on a Palm III, and the SR 500 reminds me of that experience.
I have to pretty much agree with your comments. I too expected much more from the NIT. But since I spent around $200 I am happy with it serving me for web access on the fly as well as a good ebook reader. I would not recommend the N8x0's for the none tech sort of person. I opt'd for the N800 over the 810 because I did not care for the built in keyboard. I also preferred the significantly higher memory potential, up to 64GB, on the N800. That is if if you can afford the 32gb SDHC cards... Still I have now 32GB of space on my N800. Had I been aware of the N810's display being transreflective I would have at least looked closer. But the memory thing would tend to sway me more toward the N800.

For my background when using FBReader I don't often use a black background but rather a more paper like off-white color with black text. BUT, after reading your post originally, I have used a black background at night when I did not want to bother my 'better half' with the light from the display on the N800. Works GREAT. and I can make the text green so it feels like 1985 all over again...

For me the N800 works for my needs with the added bonus of a display that is easier for my eyes than any of the eink devices. BUT, I just read something that makes me want to open another thread. About whether current eink displays lose their contrast over time. If so that sure would explain why I was underwhelmed by trying the demo Sony 505...but at the same time it would sure keep me away from eink for the time being.

Started a thread about eink displays losing contrast here:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...712#post183712

Figured it would be better to keep that a seperate question.

Last edited by brecklundin; 05-15-2008 at 05:23 AM.
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