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View Poll Results: What do you NEED for Display?
I'm a PURIST (e-Ink only) 98 41.18%
It GLOWS, It BLOWS (e-Ink or Transreflective only) 57 23.95%
I'm Organic (AMOLED is ok) 5 2.10%
Just Stop Flickering! (LED backed LCDs are ok) 17 7.14%
I'm Easy (I can and will read on anything) 73 30.67%
I'm Complicated (explained in comment) 8 3.36%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 238. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:32 PM   #16
LDBoblo
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I prefer to do most of both my casual and professional "reading" by window light (probably 50%), and that's where the advantage of reflective displays comes in for me. During other times (perhaps 30%), I'm in strong enough ambient indoor lighting that I can manage with a reflective surface, but would be equally happy with an emissive display. The other 20% would be in relatively dim or poor lighting, where emissive displays have an enormous advantage.

I have no problems whatsoever with eye strain related to viewing quality backlit surfaces for hours, and my only hesitation with reading on a monitor in front of me is that it is a fixed vertical surface.

However, my percentages above are merely preferences, rather than absolutes. If I'm stuck with an EPD/E-Ink device or paper, I'll force myself to use more time in daylight or bright indoor light, and if I'm stuck with an emissive LCD, I'll force myself to spend more time indoors.

I still use paper as my dominant medium, as it has better daylight readability than both EPD and LCD, and has better low-light readability than EPD (but LCD still has the advantage, obviously, in low light), as well as speed and responsiveness that I can't get from reflective screens yet.

I use LCDs often too though, but primarily because they're often attached to keyboards, and my work requires a lot of creation as well as consumption. Nothing really horrible about backlighting, but a reflective option would put me in my preferred lighting conditions more often. Also with research and long documents, keyword query is handy, and multi-page display with quick scrolling at high resolution is practically the equal of flipping through pages to visually locate content in a book.

EPDs like E-Ink don't have the quality or speed to usurp the practical roles of either my backlit screens or my paper. What they do allow is for me to take some of my frivolous reading (novels) into my preferred lighting conditions while helping me preserve space at home and in my bag. For me, the tradeoff of quality for portability and convenience is acceptable for relatively unimportant reading.

That said...I think it's pretty obvious why I'm rather eager to see some Pixel Qi devices come to market, along with better/faster e-papers. Such things are much more in tune with my preferred usage scenarios.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:48 PM   #17
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I look at a computer screen all day. My kindle is so relaxing. I tried reading books on my laptop when I was between kindles. The problem is reading to relax before going to bed. The backlit screen does something that prevents you from reading yourself to sleep. That is my favorite way to end the day. So eink for me.
The way a laptop limits your posture while reading may be part of this (neck muscle strain rather than eye strain), but I think you're right about very bright screens impacting the ability to fall asleep. I've seen studies showing a correlation between exposure to blue light and lower melatonin (the sleep hormone). That's a big part of the reason I have my reading defaults set to amber text on a black background, and it does seem to help.

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I prefer to do most of both my casual and professional "reading" by window light (probably 50%)
Lucky you! We don't get that much natural light at this lattitude, especially this time of year. If I could only read by window light I think I'd get about 5 hours of usable time per day.
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Old 01-29-2010, 02:40 AM   #18
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My main concerns for an ebook reader are portability & battery life; everything else is secondary.
Agree with this, but also that e-ink readers are one of the only technologies that can be 'forgotten' like traditional media. I can leave my 505 sitting around on a desk and pick it up any time, like it was a book. I charge it every couple of weeks depending on what I'm reading. It's that ease of use, that real world forgetting of the device that I haven't seen replicated on anything else yet.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:46 AM   #19
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I prefer e-ink, but any reading surface that works via reflective light for me. I find that kind of surface easy to read on, and looking at light emitting screen grows tiring on my eyes over time.

Another factor is the battery life. With e-ink, and to a lesser degree a non-light-emitting screen, battery life rarely imposes upon my reading. This was not the case when I was using my PDA as an ebook reader.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:48 AM   #20
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I personally don't really care what screen it uses, as long as the resolution is high enough.

I have two readers, two technologies. I use the e-ink for those well-lit areas and the LCD for those dim and dark areas.

In summer, the e-ink sees more use, in winter the LCD. And in bed I'll only use the LCD as I hate those clip-on reading lights (they are always shining the wrong way and are annoying when you turn around).
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:56 AM   #21
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I'm so jealous of you people that find reading on a LCD screen fine, it absolutely kills me. Sometimes after a day spent hunched over a computer screen working away I get worried about driving home because the eye strain can get so bad I'm nervous about my vision (can't read number plates within 20 yards of me etc).
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:17 AM   #22
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I can read on anything, but I must admit that E-Ink has spoiled me. As far as I am concerned, all it needs is better contrast (I want that background to be white, not gray) and somewhat better resolution, something like 300 dpi.

Colour would be nice, but not essential. The prototype Liquavista display I saw on TV yesterday looked awfully sweet, though (colour video on a purely reflective screen...)
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:25 AM   #23
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I'm so jealous of you people that find reading on a LCD screen fine, it absolutely kills me. Sometimes after a day spent hunched over a computer screen working away I get worried about driving home because the eye strain can get so bad I'm nervous about my vision (can't read number plates within 20 yards of me etc).
My take on this is that if you used e-ink in the same way then you would also feel the same.

Its not the screen technology but the position, your position and how long you stare at it.

I bet if it were researched the reason most people here get less eyestrain when using a e-ink display is due to shorter stare times(time between looking away fdrom screen even if for a few seconds) better posture, used for a less stressful reason! etc etc

the eye cant be strained by looking at LCD that is a fact! if you stared at a piece of paper it would have the same effect.

what is actually happening is people are using LCD screens completely differently to eink its not the screen its the way its used.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:42 AM   #24
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I thought I was fine with LCD until I discovered eInk. Now I only read on LCD when I have no other choice.
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Old 01-29-2010, 06:41 AM   #25
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I can leave my 505 sitting around on a desk and pick it up any time, like it was a book. I charge it every couple of weeks depending on what I'm reading. It's that ease of use.
Agree.

Purist here. eInk is the only acceptable solution for my eyes today.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:04 AM   #26
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the eye cant be strained by looking at LCD that is a fact!
Not a fact, unless you have a good study to back it up. I could easily see how a bright LCD could cause eyestrain. I wouldn't be so quick to discount someone else's experience, even if it doesn't match your own.
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:35 PM   #27
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I'm intensely curious about this question. In many of the pooh-poohing reviews of/responses to the iPad, I see a lot of them that tread ground similar to this:

Quote:
No eInk? Backlit LCD? What is this, 2004? Talk about a complete FAIL for a reading device--good luck with that. One-way trip to headache and eyestrain city. Jeez, Apple will foist anything on their sheeple customers. Why would anyone buy one?
I'm one of those apparently lucky folks who doesn't seem prone to eyestrain from backlit displays. I'm also someone who prefers to read in dimmer light, which tends to be fine for actual paper and LCDs, but terrible for all the electrophoretic displays I've tested (PRS-500, PRS-505, Kindle 2, Kindle DX, Nook) thanks to their comparatively low contrast, and, sometimes, proclivity toward screen glare.

Of all the e-reading devices I've owned (been reading ebooks--many dozens--on backlit devices since my original greenscreen LCD Palm 5000 in 1998ish), my absolute runaway favorite is my iPhone 3G. As a result, an iPad, being a larger implementation of the same hardware and software combo, is likely to hit me right where I live, and I can't wait to grab one.

I'm very glad to see a few others here who are like me and don't have a problem with backlit LCDs for reading. I do wish I could find some sort of study re: propensity for headaches, eyestrain effects, etc., and that corrected for ergonomic factors like posture and ambient lighting.
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:17 PM   #28
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I've never, fortunately, suffered from eyestrain or headaches from reading on a screen (CRT or LCD), but I find it much more comfortable to read on eInk than on a backlit display, not to mention battery life, heating, etc. Something that does trouble me, nevertheless, is reading on a backlit screen in an otherwise dark environment, I find it extremely annoying. An unlit screen forces me to turn on the light, which is a good thing
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:13 PM   #29
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I know that a lot of this is subjective, but there are studies showing that CRT displays and LCD displays with fluorescent backlighting can cause eyestrain, because of the flickering (especially, but not just, in environments where background lighting was also fluorescent). I haven't seen any studies that addressed the glowing issue directly, or that tested AMOLED, or LED backed LCDs, but obviously people have that sensitivity.
Some people do. How many is very questionable as the threshold at which it becomes either noticeable or objectionable varies. I used to read on 60Hz CRT monitors. No flickering that I noticed, and little eyestrain in a reasonably well-lit room. (Seems strange that the background lighting should affect a light-generating screen, but it does-for me. Probably indicates that there are subliminal effects-but those are *very* hard to pin down since, by definition, you can't rely on the users' reports.)

Most tests are similar to benchmarking tests-they show measurable differences without determining whether or not those differences are noticeable. IOW, bragging rights rather than something I pay any attention to.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:13 AM   #30
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i can't read pbooks under bright lights or use any kind of lit monitor for reading for more than a little while without getting eyestrain. on a monitor set of default, you can literally watch my eyes turn red and swell - one sales guy at fry's found that fascinating. and the lower the refresh rate, the worse it gets. this makes eink ideal for my eyes.
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