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Old 09-14-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
brecklundin
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Why does the page refresh on eink devices bother people so much?

I see the flashing as no different than turning the page in a book. It takes a moment and then it's done. I have a K1 and it's as slow as any device might be in that area and I hardly notice it...

I realize some simply can't accept it in the "it's just how it works" category. Others can't not focus on it, but how do these people read books? You have to turn pages, right?

And when I do actually use my K1, I do not even notice the flash/page-turn, I am thinking about what I am reading just as I do when reading a book.

Not asking about this to be inflammatory but rather to understand why it is such a big deal.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:28 PM   #2
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I suspect eBook reading devices are seen as basically being a different sort of iPod or Palm Pilot, and so people expect the same sort of response rates they have come to be used to on those devices.

Hence the page refresh flash making them feel like the device is somehow primitive or "broken".

Or so I am guessing.

- Ahi
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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Doesn't bother me. After the first few pages of the first book I read I was used to it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahi View Post
I suspect eBook reading devices are seen as basically being a different sort of iPod or Palm Pilot, and so people expect the same sort of response rates they have come to be used to on those devices.

Hence the page refresh flash making them feel like the device is somehow primitive or "broken".

Or so I am guessing.

- Ahi
I think you're correct, Ahi. It's similar to how a cow-orker of mine couldn't get over the fact that I have to plug in my Sony Reader to transfer books. In his mind, book purchasing is done wirelessly because that's how the Kindle does it (never mind that he doesn't own one or have any experience with one). At the same time, he has zero qualms with plugging in his iPod to transfer music or plugging in his camera to transfer his pictures. It's all about what a person's expectations are.

Just look at that survey where the main feature that was wanted from "ebook readers" was longer battery life. From that, it's very clear that few (if any) of those surveyed actually had any experience with dedicated ebook readers. Expectations don't necessarily have to have anything to do with reality.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:42 PM   #5
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It drives me crazy that I can't quickly skim across pages. In addition to 5+pps flipping for proximal navigation, there's twice that rate for global navigation, and about half of that for casual local skimming. None of that is really possible with readers, excepting the sad joke they do in some situations if you hold the page-next key or whatever. If all you do is very slowly and linearly drag yourself through a text and only flip pages when you are ready to repeat a slow, methodical drag through the next page, then it's not a problem. I have to force myself to read novels that way on my reader, and it drives me nuts if I've just come back to the reader from reading a paperback. I much prefer viewing pdfs on my desktop screen and scrolling through 2-page leaves with the scroll wheel of my mouse.

The flash is actually probably a positive thing considering it is a form of visual feedback, even if delayed. Eliminating that while keeping the same geologically-slow refresh rate would doubtless be even more maddening.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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I like my reader. I'm really enjoying it since I got it. I can't say as the flash or slowness, in general, bothers me. But...

I'm not looking for an "experience" when I read; I'm not looking for something that mimic's a paper book. I'm looking for something that I find comfortable to read on that let's me read the way I want to read. The screen inverting between page turns just doesn't seem natural to me.
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Old 09-14-2009, 02:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
I see the flashing as no different than turning the page in a book. It takes a moment and then it's done.
For page turning one at a time while reading sequentially through a book it's no problem at all.

For multiple page turns and when navigating menus or library screen it's a
big inconvenience.

Any similarly readable and low power screen technology that has a refresh time less 0.1s will wipe the floor with eInk. There just isn't one yet.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brecklundin View Post
I see the flashing as no different than turning the page in a book. It takes a moment and then it's done. I have a K1 and it's as slow as any device might be in that area and I hardly notice it...

I realize some simply can't accept it in the "it's just how it works" category. Others can't not focus on it, but how do these people read books? You have to turn pages, right?

And when I do actually use my K1, I do not even notice the flash/page-turn, I am thinking about what I am reading just as I do when reading a book.

Not asking about this to be inflammatory but rather to understand why it is such a big deal.
If I wanted to watch Hi-Def movies via broadband in 1080p on my e-ink reader, I *might* be rather miffed at the refresh rate. However, as I only desire to read my vast collection of novels, I'm also quite happy with it.

Derek
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #9
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It doesn't bother me at all. I find the flash less disruptive than turning the page of a p-book.

As far as jumping ahead, I like the feature on most of the Sony devices that let you use the # keys to enter the page you want to jump to. And on the touch models you can zoom ahead by altering the page swipe motion. If that feature is on the Cybook, I've never found it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #10
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I suspect it mostly concerns people who only see e-ink readers in passing, and they wonder if they could get used to it.

I think I recall one person here at MR say that the black flash annoyed them so much they returned their reader, but other than that, almost everyone says, "I noticed it for two minutes when I first got the device, and never thought about it again."

However, page turn rate for trying to skip past multiple pages is annoying. It never bothers me when reading (except for some badly-formatted PDFs, where the reader can take upwards of 5 seconds to flip the pages), but it can bother me when I'm trying to find a section. (I suppose a reader with search would fix that. Hm. May look into Aztak's Pocket Pro soon.)
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:01 PM   #11
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I have the EZreader basic and the screen never goes black on the page changes and once is has changed pages it never needs to refresh.

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Old 09-14-2009, 06:12 PM   #12
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After reading some thousand pages I find the flashing still somewhat annoying and would be happy if e-Ink technology could get rid of it some day.

For the time being I choose to either deliberately blink while the page is turning or look up for a second somewhere else - something I do too while reading books.

I can fully accept that some people rather prefer the comparable higher strain of a LCD display to the eye to the flashing of an e-Ink page turn.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:21 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
I think I recall one person here at MR say that the black flash annoyed them so much they returned their reader, but other than that, almost everyone says, "I noticed it for two minutes when I first got the device, and never thought about it again."
That would be me only I didn't return it I gave it away. I can put up with the amount of time it takes to turn the page (that's just a matter of knowing where in the text to hit the button for it to turn just as you finish the last line) but the length of the flash on the PRS-505 was just too long for my liking. I'm happy to say that isn't a problem with my new reader as the screen flashes black for a much shorter time and I'm happy to say is acceptable and hasn't caused me any problems.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:51 PM   #14
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I have to say that I found the screen flash to be pretty weird when I first saw it, I was just too used to normal lcd screens, but it is something I don't pay any attention to these days.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:17 PM   #15
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In most cases I don't even usually notice the screen flash on my PRS-505.

The only time I do is if I go to read somthing in the morning on a winter or early spring day. Seems the cold temperature really slows down the refresh process. And by cold I mean ~2°C or lower.
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