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Old 05-23-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
thegrendel
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500/505 backlighting problem: another alternative

I know you fellas and gals won't want to hear this, but maybe the best answer to using
the PRS in dim light is ... simply not to use it. Instead, get a REB1100 as a backup reader
and use _that_ in dim light.

Yes, the classic REB1100 is more than adequate in poor ambient lighting, or even in the total dark. It's great for reading in bed without disturbing a sleeping bedfellow <g>.


Used REBs can be gotten on eBay and elsewhere for under $100, not all that much more than an expensive hi-tech LED lighting system for the PRS. And the REB is better designed ergonomically, in my opinion, than the PRS, despite being quite a bit heavier.
I still get about 15 hours of battery life per charge on my REB, and that at 20% backlighting (original battery!).

Well yes, the PRS has quite a number of advantages, being a later generation of tech,
but in some ways it's a step backwards. Sony, take note.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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...or buy an Ebookwise unit for $109.

I have one working REB 1100 - and I use it all the time - It's great to read in dark light, at night, on the beach at night, etc.

However, I would have to disagree with you that the PRS and all e-ink devices are somehow a step back. If that's the case, then Sony should also take note that books printed on paper also are also not backlit.

Don
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrendel View Post
Well yes, the PRS has quite a number of advantages, being a later generation of tech,
but in some ways it's a step backwards. Sony, take note.
Not in any way. I've never once read a backlight book. Be that as it may... the biggest flaw with your plan is that you can't share books between a Sony and eBookwise devices unless they are non-DRM and even then you have to have a different format for each.

BOb
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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I used to read on my Palm--it was backlit. Don't know how it compares to the REB backlighting though. I noticed a lot more eyestrain when reading on my palm as opposed to reading on my PRS505. Even though it's a bit of a pain, I much prefer using a booklight in bed with my Sony as opposed to back lighting.

I agree with Bob as well--since the formats are not compatible, it would be quite a pain to try and pick up where you left off on your other device. I'll stick with my $5 booklight

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Old 05-23-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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Lets be clear here: eInk cannot be backlit. If it were possible, then Sony probably would have done it.

Honestly though, I have no trouble reading my '500 with just a cheap 10 Dollar clip on light.

Last edited by Dylrob; 05-23-2008 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:07 AM   #6
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Lets be clear here: eInk cannot be backlit. If it were possible, then Sony probably would have done it.

Honestly though, I have no trouble reading my '500 with just a cheap 10 Dollar clip on light.
True, and ditto.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:55 AM   #7
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Lets be clear here: eInk cannot be backlit. If it were possible, then Sony probably would have done it.

Honestly though, I have no trouble reading my '500 with just a cheap 10 Dollar clip on light.
It could be lit though similar to the way a cars analog displays are lit. Of course, the displays on cars are made with a reflexive material so only a small amount of light makes the very visible.

BUt, I could see a series of LED lights put along each side of the screen. It would make the reader a little bit wider, but not by much. This would be similar to an LED watch when you press the light button... also some LCD calculators are light like this.

It certainaly is possible to do it, no it won't be "back light".

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Old 05-24-2008, 08:20 AM   #8
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I can envision the side-led lighting system with a thin plexiglass screen to spread the light (as in the LightWedge) but I can also see an incredible drop in battery life, and potentially the need for a larger battery to provide the power necessary to power the LEDs. It may well be that the power necessary for the e-ink technology and the processor in the 500/505 is very small and not capable of powering any sort of lighting device (the fancy blue light on the 500 which lit when setting or removing the bookmark notwithstanding).
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:13 AM   #9
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We don't need another thread on backlighting.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9362

Just read that and we can stop this thread.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:08 AM   #10
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I'm currently saving money for a pair of night vision goggles
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:00 AM   #11
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Good idea! A thread on night vision goggles would be fun! I love the idea of the things but they're just way too expensive for me to get a pair.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:07 AM   #12
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I constantly keep hearing this "it has no backlight" argument.

If the PRS-505 came with backlighting by default, I wouldn't have bought it. Backlight causes eyestrain (like staring at a bloody light bulb) and I seriously don't see the need for it. Dead tree versions of books (the same ones you've been reading all your life) don't have it, and they don't need it. If it's too dark to read, you turn on the light .

I think this stems from the fact that the Reader is an electronic device, and everyone wants all their usual electronic features on it. Like a calendar, internet access, audio playback etc. If more people realized that the Reader is just a very VERY good alternative for a p-book and tries not to be anything more (ok, it does--mp3 playback, who uses that?--but it shouldn't), we would have more happy people.

It can store lots of books, and it can display them for comfortable reading. That's it. It's all it needs to do.

You can turn on the light if you need it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #13
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actually, a backlight would also drain the battery quicker too.
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Old 05-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Not in any way. I've never once read a backlight book. Be that as it may... the biggest flaw with your plan is that you can't share books between a Sony and eBookwise devices unless they are non-DRM and even then you have to have a different format for each.

BOb
Well if someone were to write a Python class for the device support for calibre, it could probably done pretty easily.
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Old 05-29-2008, 08:32 PM   #15
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I'm currently saving money for a pair of night vision goggles
LOL!!!!
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