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Old 01-04-2010, 04:52 AM   #1
dh003i
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360, 301, 302 vs. Sony PRS-300 & PRS-505: contrast levels?

Does the 5in Pocketbook 360 & 6in Pocketbook 301 have the same contrast as the Sony PRS-300 & PRS-505? What about the 302 touch-screen?

I mean the level of difference between the white background (which is quite white for PRS-505 & PRS-300) & black text.

I read elsewhere in the MobileRead forums that the Sony 300, Cybook Opus, BeBook Mini, etc all have the same screen manufactured same place, so should have same contrast (several users attested).

From this Youtube, the Pocketbook 360 & Sony PRS-505 appear to have the same contrast-levels, although its difficult to tell from videos.

IF that's true, does the PRS 302 have the same contrast as the 360, without the contrast & glare issues that the Sony PRS-600 has from the added touch-screen layer over the eInk layer?

I really wish someone would just make a nice device like the Kindle 2 with its keyboard, but also with a bright white-background & features like what the 360 has. (physical keypads are very nice for entering data, more tactile than touch-screen keypads).
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:18 AM   #2
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Hello dh003i!

According to the review of pocketBook 302 on http://www.the-ebook.org/?p=2623 "Impression on quality of the displayed image: even it is better than existing models of competitors. Quality is much better, than at Sony PRS-700 with the touch screen and is not worse at all than at PocketBook 301 or popular Sony PRS-505"
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
I read elsewhere in the MobileRead forums that the Sony 300, Cybook Opus, BeBook Mini, etc all have the same screen manufactured same place, so should have same contrast (several users attested).
Absolutely right, they are the same screen, and if anyone tells you that they have different contrast, I suggest that you beat them mercilessly with a rubber chicken until they admit that they're wrong.

Different manufacturers do use different fonts, of course, and some use bolder or larger fonts than others, which can look "blacker", but the individual "dots" making up the font are just as "black" on all devices.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:35 PM   #4
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Absolutely right, they are the same screen, and if anyone tells you that they have different contrast, I suggest that you beat them mercilessly with a rubber chicken until they admit that they're wrong.

Different manufacturers do use different fonts, of course, and some use bolder or larger fonts than others, which can look "blacker", but the individual "dots" making up the font are just as "black" on all devices.
Well, yes, but my question is if the 360, 301, & 302 use the same screen as the PRS-300 & PRS-505, respectively.

It does seem there is some differences between the different manufacturer's devices, as Amazon's Kindle 2 clearly has a grayer background than the Sony PRS-505, for example.

From this youtube video, it seems like the Pocketbook 302 has a screen that is just as susceptible to glare as the Sony PRS-600. That's too bad. The way to avoid this seems to be to use a magnetic-based touch-screen (which goes behind the eInk layer) and/or to use a keypad. Outside of the Kindle 2, only the Hanvon WISEreader N526 & N520 seem to have this, but they aren't out for sale yet (and I'd imagine are very expensive). The iRiver Story also has a keypad, but it seems to get poor reviews.

Last edited by dh003i; 01-04-2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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As far as i know, there is only one manufactur for the e-Ink displays and they have released one type of display till now, so they should all have exactly the same contrast.
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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As far as i know, there is only one manufactur for the e-Ink displays and they have released one type of display till now, so they should all have exactly the same contrast.
Yet, despite that, the Amazon Kindle 2 seems to have less contrast than the Sony PRS-505 & PRS-300. And that isn't even a touch-screen, which adds the extra layer. So even without touch-screen, some devices seem to have more contrast than other devices (backgrounds that more white, as opposed to gray).
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
Yet, despite that, the Amazon Kindle 2 seems to have less contrast than the Sony PRS-505 & PRS-300. And that isn't even a touch-screen, which adds the extra layer. So even without touch-screen, some devices seem to have more contrast than other devices (backgrounds that more white, as opposed to gray).
I thought the background of the e-ink screen depended upon the type of light source you are reading under - ie the background appears grey in dim light but when I read in my fav spot in our bay window with sun coming through, the background then appears almost white and therefore the contrast between the text and the background is excellent.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
Yet, despite that, the Amazon Kindle 2 seems to have less contrast than the Sony PRS-505 & PRS-300.
As pointed out above, the difference stems mostly from the font in use.
Kindle2s use a rather thin font and compound the issue with antialiasing. The problem disappeared with the (now-disabled) font hack that allowed the use of darker fonts (Georgia, for example.) There is also a bit of a perceptual contrast issue because Kindle (and many of its imitators) use a bright white case instead of a gray or black case.

The Pocketbook 301 and 360 models let you use any truetype font, they let you enable or disable anti-aliasing, and on top of it they feature an embolden option that slightly emboldens all fonts (without disabling italics or bold text attributes).

My exposure to the Sony 505 is limited (just an hour or so of use) but I saw nothing special in the display when I set it side by side with my BeBook. There is theoretically a possibility that the glass and antiglare coating used by a particular ebook reader might have a minimal impact on contrast but none of the models I've seen "in the flesh" are significantly different.

YMMV but I'd worry more about about the software (especially font and embolden support--to say nothing about parser quality and stabiliy) than the hardware issues. At this point in time there really isn't that much difference in the screens. That *will* change in the near future as PVI's role as the universal eink supplier is challenged but if you're buying now you're getting a choice of exactly five screens: a 5 incher, an 8 incher, a 9.7 incher, and two 6 inchers.
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:52 AM   #9
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Thank you for your help everyone. I ended up going with the Sony PRS-505, but mainly because I found such a great deal on it. I'll stick with that for a while while the devices mature.
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Old 01-05-2010, 04:52 AM   #10
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Thank you for your help everyone. I ended up going with the Sony PRS-505, but mainly because I found such a great deal on it. I'll stick with that for a while while the devices mature.
that is often the most important consideration...congrats on a nice new reader. still follow what happens for Pocketbook as well as other brands because this week things are going to change for the better...the new large format panels from Plastic Logic and also the came out of nowhere LG panels look very impressive from the prototypes shown so far. A lot of the perceived contrast is as mentioned the temperature of the ambient light and also the overlay layers on top of the EPD (the screen itself). Slight variations in the color of the glass or plastic used can be one source of the reported variations in early devices. I suspect that differences reported these days are simply due to the color temperature and power of your reading area's ambient lighting. A daylight (~5000K-6000K,, bluer light also called truer white light) bulb with affect perceived contrast differently from a "soft white"/warmer (more yellow) bulb in the (~2700K-3000K) range.

One reason some readers look better in the store than home is most retail stores use lighting in the 4000K to 4500k range but when people get them home under a softer incandescent or CFL bulb the contrast seems lower. Take the same reader out into bright noon sun and the thing will seem perfect. But within all of that, every single person perceives color and contrast differently.

That all has to be why some of us have no problem reading on an LCD panel and others find them impossible and people like me do not care for the Vizplex panels under normal soft white lighting found in most homes...but since I have switched to all daylight CFL bulbs the K1 seems much improved. And under 5500K LED lighting the contrast is just spiffy as can be.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dh003i View Post
Well, yes, but my question is if the 360, 301, & 302 use the same screen as the PRS-300 & PRS-505, respectively.
Yes, they do.

Quote:
It does seem there is some differences between the different manufacturer's devices, as Amazon's Kindle 2 clearly has a grayer background than the Sony PRS-505, for example.
Sorry, but when I compare my Kindle 2 to my other 6" devices, the screen background colour looks exactly the same to me. If you're just going from videos, bear in mind that the apparent background colour of an eInk screen varies drastically with the lighting conditions; in full daylight it will appears almost white; in dim artificial light a dull grey.
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