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Old 10-17-2013, 03:22 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Your eyes don't care whether the photons they receive are emitted by a screen or reflected from it;
I seriously doubt that's true. (At least in any real world scenario where reflected light pattern and directions differ from a direct light.)

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it's nonsense to say that LCD screens are "inherently" more liable to cause eyestrain than eInk screens, IF the LCD screen can be set at an appropriate brightness level.
The problem is that you can't achieve the text contrast needed on an LCD screen on a low light level, which can cause eyestrain. Also, the contrast between a lit screen and dark surroundings is higher than with a non-lit screen and an external light, further causing strain.

And again, I doubt it is true a light shining into your eyes or reflecting towards it are the same thing. I guess the jury is out on if backlight or frontlight are any different in this regard, but a top-down light does act differently.

Last edited by fearindex; 10-17-2013 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 12:44 AM   #32
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So far I'm torn whether or not to try clip-on lights for the DXG. It was an impulse buy. I'll keep it, of course, but I don't know what its use is going to be yet.

In the Kindle DX thread (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=50) ThomasC shared this tip as a good one for the big DX screen:

Dick Smith LED e-Reader Flexible Kindle / Booklight
http://www.dicksmith.com.au/ereaders...ght-dsau-s4182

.
I use my DXG for .pdf books, for instruction books for music. I bought some .mobi music books that I want to convert to .pdf, but not sure how Calibre will handle it. It never has worked for me to convert to .pdf. Or .pdf to .mobi.

Yes, I saw the light that you referenced, unfortunately not here in US. I wish the light had variable settings on my cover, but the masking tape over the lens is working for me. I have always done that on my clip on book lights too. The goosenecks always go limp after so long. You always have to adjust them too. I should have bought the cover with the light long ago for the K3, they stay in the same place, no adjustment each time. Too bad they don't make those for the DXG.

The DXG is a nice reader, but I am hooked on the K4BNT for now.

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Old 10-18-2013, 05:13 AM   #33
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Thanks to some friends/relatives, I had a chance to briefly check side-to-side four $69 Kindles in black (aka Kindle 5 or Kindle 4B to some folks). As some have had different experiences as to how black the $69 Kindle text actually is, I thought it would be useful to see what the variances are - so people can adjust their expectations and understand where others may be coming from. There are some differences between late 2012 and late 2013 models, at least if these samples are anything to go by.

Differences between late 2012 and late 2013 $69 Kindles:

- Late models have 2013 copyright on the box and a smaller Kindle logo on the box (like Paperwhite 2)
- Not sure if this is a model or U.S. vs. international model, but out of these the 2012 model has a B023 and 2013 models 9023 serial number
- All the 2013 models have slightly warmer screen backgrounds and little less black text than the 2012 model, 2012 is blackest/coldest

All of these Kindles, in isolation, are perfectly fine screen-wise. But it is in comparison that one can see the difference.

Here is a photo, the 2012 model in the bottom left corner which has visibly the blackest blacks.

The camera/ambient lighting makes the two top Kindles look a little more grey texted than they actually are, but all three 2013 models do have greyer text than the 2012 model:



Bigger image: http://imageshack.us/a/img11/8638/tv6e.jpg

Even larger image: http://imageshack.us/a/img41/4633/a8vr.jpg

Of course, even in the grey $79 Kindle aka Kindle 4 launch in 2011 some were reporting contrast issues, so these may be overall variances - or they may be year-to-year differences. But it is good to understand that some contrast variance will be part of the game even on the $69 Kindle. Like I reported on the lighted Kindle covers LED differences, some variance is there too.

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Old 10-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #34
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There is definite variance between e-ink screens, and the lighted screens just seem to bring it to the fore even more. Nice to see some photos of a few together, and it does show that they are all reasonably good! Possibly just a coincidence that the 2012 model has darker text, the only certainty is that the black Kindle 4's are an improvement on the grey Kindle 4's, I think Blossom can give you a run down on her woes with the very grey screens of the original grey models!

Incidentally, they are Kindle 4's every time! Anyone that refers to them as a Kindle 5 is just wrong. It was the Kindle 4 when first released, an updated version of the exact same model was released the following year at the same time as the Kindle Touch (Kindle 5), but that doesn't mean it too is a Kindle 5?
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:39 AM   #35
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Incidentally, they are Kindle 4's every time! Anyone that refers to them as a Kindle 5 is just wrong. It was the Kindle 4 when first released, an updated version of the exact same model was released the following year at the same time as the Kindle Touch (Kindle 5), but that doesn't mean it too is a Kindle 5?
Eternal debate. Not wanting to take sides, but I do believe it warrants a mention that some do call it the Kindle 5. Wikipedia, for example, lists the $69 black Kindle as Kindle 5 and the name is used on some forums.

Officially I don't think there *ever* was a Kindle 4, either. It was just the Kindle. It was labelled as 4 by people, just like the black 4 was labelled as 5 by some people due to change of color (and maybe rear material?) and the fact that it was a visible member of the fifth generation launch.

I do acknowledge the topic is controversial, though.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:41 AM   #36
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These aren't "official" names, but they are the names we use here at MR, which are based on firmware versions. It'll just confuse people if you don't follow the convention that we've adopted. Here, a K5 is a Kindle Touch, regardless of what it may be called elsewhere .
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:43 AM   #37
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These aren't "official" names, but they are the names we use here at MR, which are based on firmware versions. It'll just confuse people if you don't follow the convention that we've adopted. Here, a K5 is a Kindle Touch, regardless of what it may be called elsewhere .
I have changed my profile (on the left) to reflect the local tradition and do think I use wordings that can't be confused to anything else. In this case it was just a side-note in parenthesis.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:50 AM   #38
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My post was in no way intended as a criticism - I hope it didn't come across as such.
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:57 AM   #39
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My post was in no way intended as a criticism - I hope it didn't come across as such.
No problem. And I do think it is an interesting question anyway!

I can certainly see why some feel the basic black Kindle is just a variant of Kindle "4" and thus something more accurately labelled as Kindle 4B. That is a very valid argument.

Just to ponder this a little further. I'm not so sure about the firmware version number angle, though...

To me, calling Kindle Touch as Kindle 5 does make very little sense. It is, after all, Kindle Touch - why call it by any other name. PW also runs 5 firmware, why isn't it called the Kindle 5 too? Is PW2 also Kindle 5?

Calling the black $69 Kindle the Kindle 5 has a generational logic behind it, the product name is "Kindle" and it was announced in the fifth-generation with notable changes compared to the previous generation - it is the fifth product named Kindle, hence Kindle 5. Kindle Touch is the first product named Kindle Touch, so it is Kindle Touch or Kindle Touch 1 if a successor ever arrives by the same name. Just like calling the new PW the Kindle Paperwhite 2 makes sense because it is the second product called Kindle Paperwhite.

To me the PW1/PW2 examples seem to indicate that the firmware numbering logic simply wasn't reflective of the way Amazon thought of their products and thus, maybe it could be changed. At least in hindsight it seems like calling Kindle Touch the Kindle 5 would be the most confusing road to take.

This probably has been discussed to death here by the locals and I respect the fact that I'm an outsider ignorant of past debates. Apologies for that.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:35 AM   #40
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Don't be sorry, I'm probably just being a bit of a pedant and since I only read this forum, don't care what others mistakenly call their Kindle's.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #41
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Don't be sorry, I'm probably just being a bit of a pedant and since I only read this forum, don't care what others mistakenly call their Kindle's.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:11 AM   #42
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Finally got the international PW2 to compare. I'll post my first-impressions PW2 review on MobileRead as well...

Following my PW1 review, here goes - Kindle Paperwhite 2 (2013) aka PW2 vs. Kindle Paperwhite (2012) aka PW1:

The box:

PW2 comes in a similar black box as PW1, there are a little differences in the font sizes and logo layout, e.g. the Kindle Paperwhite logo on the side is on a single line in PW2, on two lines in PW1 (both boxes call the product just the Kindle Paperwhite though, no number 2 is officially used in the sequel), but nothing major. The USB cable also is now black (with a slightly reshaped connector), instead of white, but of similar quality to my eye.

The looks:

Externally the PW1 and PW2 are almost indistinguishable from the front, except for small cosmetic differences in the Kindle logo. PW2 has a little bolder Kindle logo. On the back the difference is clear, PW1 has a Kindle logo embossed on the soft plastic rear, PW2 has a glossy Amazon logo in the same place, although rest of the rear looks like the same soft plastic. I think PW1's rear logo is more subdued and nicer, but for most users this of course is insignificant as they use case or don't look at the back anyway. If you tend to fondle the middle of your PW's back though, the PW2 will feel different in the hard/glossy logo area, where as PW1 simply has a recessed logo there.

My PW2 is slightly skinnier than PW1, as the former has lost a little weight and the latter is also 3G, always a little heavier than Wi-Fi. The PW2 Wi-Fi weights 208 grams under my measurement, PW1 3G is 220 grams, so 12 grams difference. (On paper the difference should be 206 g vs. 222 g aka 16 g difference, roughly 9 g for 3G and 7 g generational weight loss.) Even though small, this is not an insignificant loss of weight as the minute I picked up the PW2 it did feel a little lighter.

I tested, the PW2 fits very nicely into my 2012 official Amazon Kindle Paperwhite leather cover and the cover's on/off functionality works as before.

Before we proceed, note the following obvious screen defects on my PW2:

- Crooked screen, top left is higher than top right but also top right is not quite glued onto the frame making it sort of caving in a little (crooked in different direction than on my PW1 which also has a slightly crooked screen, PW2 is unfortunately worse than PW1)
- Two specks: one light-shining pin-hole quite center in the bottom quarter, a grey speck in the the top quarter (checking my PW1, I recall it might have had one speck too, but looking at it now it has nothing as obvious as the two on PW2), the specks don't come of with cleaning

Both of these issues are quality control issues that seem fairly common on front-lighted e-ink readers, probably to do with the difficulty of mastering so many layers of screen materials perfectly, but are also easily considered as defects by most people. I may consider a replacement, but it is a bit of a gamble whether or not that is an improvement. Anyway, in the following review I will not consider these points further as they may go away in a replacement.

The screen:

PW1 on the left, PW2 on the right - with lights at maximum and lights at minimum (neither light is ever fully off):



Bigger image: http://imageshack.us/a/img405/2264/ypiu.jpg

Even larger image: http://imageshack.us/a/img580/7025/rpuo.jpg

The most interesting comparison between PW1 and PW2 is, of course, the screen. As can be seen from the pictures, the PW2 certainly can blast a much brighter picture. PW2, obviously, also has a much more yellow color to it, both lights up and even lights down, where as PW1 is more traditional e-ink grey. It is hard to say if either has blacker text, in the photographs PW2 does seem to have blacker text, but in side to side comparisons with plain eye they seem to deal some even blows. I think the PW2 text is blacker though and/or its background lighter (but yellower). Either way, both are clearly inferior to the text blackness of my 2012 $69 Kindle, which is inky black.

As for the evenness of the lighting, PW2 is an improvement. The LED shadows on the bottom have been greatly diminshed on the PW2, so far that I don't consider them any kind of issue anymore. There is a lot of light bleed on all the borders, though. The borders are much brighter than the middle of the page. For example the grey top bar in the menus looks quite blotchy due to unevenly bright light hitting it. The middle of the page is in a shadow and could be considered somewhat splotchy, but is probably an improvement over PW1 still - if you like the more yellow color, that is.

The photographs, taken in daylight, even out quite a bit due to ambient lighting. As with PW1, to me, the front-light is much easier to accept if you read in lighted situations than in absolute darkness. Reading in darkness and on lower light levels than full blast, the unevenness of the middle of the PW2 screen does show a lot more. Unfortunately the unevenness is not just bright borders and a less bright middle, the middle is also uneven, so that the margins of the page and the bottom quarter are more brighter than an oddly shaped area in the middle of the top three quarters. There may also be some orange/green splotching going on, looking carefully.

In conclusion, PW2 does have a more even light than PW1, especially the LEDs on the bottom are "hidden" better. However, the lighting isn't completely uniform - something problematic especially for picky eyed readers, who prefer to read in the dark. In daylight, adjusting the light just so or even turning it off, none of these unevenness issues show. It is in the dark when the issues arise. Of course, the less than stellar contrast and text blackness can be an issue no matter the light level.

The software:

PW1 may eventually get, in an update, many of the PW2 features and I won't try to cover them all here, but there are some nice improvements in the software. On the home page, Cloud now displays all your books, not just those not on the device. In the Settings under Reading Options a Vocabulary Builder toggle has been added. If this is enabled, the home screen now also shows a book entry for Vocabulary Builder that has recorded your dictionary searches when reading - you can then view definitions and even quizzing flash cards of them and remove them once you have mastered the words.

When reading, the first thing you notice is that View & Notes has been moved to a button on the top bar - also bookmarks are now added by clicking the top right corner (which brings out a virtual bookmark image), instead of through the menu. Reading Progress has a new fourth option: Page in book. Select that and supporting books show the current real page number on the top left corner instead of Location in book, Time left in chapter or Time left in book. You can also still toggle all these by clicking the bottom left corner. If you use the Time left feature, it will show in the bottom left corner: "1 min left in chapter" instead "Time left in chapter: 1 m", which is a nice little improvement. Bottom right corner still shows the progress percentage only.

The greatest improvement, to me, is the navigation of books. First, in Go To, you can find a tab called Notes that allows fast-forwarding to various private and public notes within the book. The big thing, though, is Page Flip - something you can bring up by swiping from the bottom when reading. Page Flip allows you to browse the book, page by page, chapter by chapter or by dragging a bar and preview the page in a small window. Then you can either choose to go to that page by clicking it - or return to the page you were reading by clicking outside the window or clicking its close button. Finally, footnotes now open smartly into a window instead of taking you to a different part of the book, which is a really useful improvement.

All the software improvements work as well as you'd expect and a somewhat snappier processor in PW2 does make progress just a little bit smoother. They say touch is also improved, but since I haven't had any issues with either, it is hard to confirm. Touch works fine on both, for me. The limiting factor, speed-wise, is still the e-ink screen, and I wouldn't call the PW2 experience smooth - but its software works well for an e-ink reader and looks nice. I think software is by far the PW2's strong suit, it is a really a nice piece of software. Only thing I miss is an option to display the basic Kindle progress bar in books - that one is still missing.

The verdict:

I may exchange the unit due to the faults on the screen, especially the crookedness and the dark (dust?) speck are bothersome. The light-leaking pin-hole is so small that I could live with that. That said, I'm not sure PW2 still is for me anymore than PW1 is. The light isn't completely even and reading online reports I don't expect it ever will be - some units are better, some are worse, but I doubt the front-light technology is there yet for completely even results this year. And even if the light was even, it still makes the text look a little milky and the contrast to dark surroundings rather high when reading in the dark. A regular e-ink reader with an integrated light, or perhaps even a PW2 with a clip-on light, do seem like a better solution for me still.

Anyway, I'll give the PW2 some time to see how I like it and whether or not I will exchange the unit. I do like the software it runs, it would be nice to be able to enjoy that. Maybe an another go with that clip-on light idea? Then again, the poorer text blackness is still an issue there. Maybe I'll just go back reading books on my excellent $69 Kindle with the official lighted cover...

Last edited by fearindex; 12-02-2013 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:32 AM   #43
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Thanks for the detailed review. I'm sorry yours has issues, I know how frustrating that is. Best of luck with your next one if you decide to exchange it.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:38 AM   #44
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Not true for HDX 2013

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The problem is that you can't achieve the text contrast needed on an LCD screen on a low light level, which can cause eyestrain. Also, the contrast between a lit screen and dark surroundings is higher than with a non-lit screen and an external light, further causing strain.

And again, I doubt it is true a light shining into your eyes or reflecting towards it are the same thing. I guess the jury is out on if backlight or frontlight are any different in this regard, but a top-down light does act differently.
The Kindle Fire HDX 2013 has a dulled screen and ends eye strain from direct lighting as on the HD 2012. Plus, it absorbs glare rather than reflecting it.

If some have problems with the fonts on the PW 2013, then the HDX 2013 would definitely solve them. The HD 2012 has a more reflective screen causing glare in bright light.

I use the PW 2013 in bright ambient light and the HDX 2013 in dimmer light but I also use it where I need my AcroBible like in Church. The PW 2013 does not run the AcroBible.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:53 PM   #45
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I wish some one would line them up & name them in OrderI sooo BTW while I like the term Baby for the smallest Kindle it makes me think its the 1st Kindle Made so I not sure now Which it Really is!
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