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Old 06-13-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
lillfjant
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Sustained academic reading: Eye fatigue?

So I'm shopping around for an academic e-reader and have recently (actually only like the past 5 minutes) been thinking if I should give the ipad a try even though there's no e-ink.

What I'm most worried about is that I'll get eye fatigue since I usually get it when reading on a normal laptop screen. So I'm looking for your experiences in this department, especially from the ones of you reading a lot of academic (mathematical) PDFs.

I heard about a white text on black background featured which I think sounds like something that would lessen eye strain. But how does this work with mathematical texts with graphs etc? Does it come out well and easily readable still?

Lastly (and I understand I will get a biased opinion from you guys), for purely academic reading, would you recommend an ipad or Kindle DXi?
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:34 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lillfjant View Post
So I'm shopping around for an academic e-reader and have recently (actually only like the past 5 minutes) been thinking if I should give the ipad a try even though there's no e-ink.

What I'm most worried about is that I'll get eye fatigue since I usually get it when reading on a normal laptop screen. So I'm looking for your experiences in this department, especially from the ones of you reading a lot of academic (mathematical) PDFs.

I heard about a white text on black background featured which I think sounds like something that would lessen eye strain. But how does this work with mathematical texts with graphs etc? Does it come out well and easily readable still?

Lastly (and I understand I will get a biased opinion from you guys), for purely academic reading, would you recommend an ipad or Kindle DXi?
eye strain is primarily caused by over brightness of a screen and by sitting with the eyes focused at one distance for a long duration.

eink tends to reduce this to nothing because it isnt bright(however reading e-ink in dim light can cause fatigue) THE main benefit that reduces eye strain is the way we read e-ink as it is on a portable device the distance to our eyes moves and we tend to look away more and can sit more comfortably thus allowing our eye muscles to not get strained from staring at a fixed distance.

The iPad if you set the brightness right has many of the benefits of e-ink and so far i have suffered no eye problems in MANY hours of reading.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:00 AM   #3
Bremen Cole
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I also think it's a personal matter. For me eInk brought eye strain. I was in a constant search for the "right" light. The iPad is for me the best ever, no strain (I adjust screen brightness as needed) at all.

But, there are other folks that are the exact opposite, and still others that read fine on all screens. If you can afford to gamble $50 do what I did. I got my 16gig WIFI iPad at the Apple store, and had two weeks to return it with only a $50 restocking fee. If it works for you, you have a great reader, as well as note taker...etc. If it does not work for you, simply return it, and move on.
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Old 06-13-2010, 09:25 AM   #4
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I have poor vision. I read everything reversed to white on black, then Flip it back to regular for everything else. I have read more since getting my iPad than I read in the past year altogether with e-ink. I could hardly read om it at all. Get what you like, because any reader or paper book comfort depends on how you use or overuse it. I hope this helps.
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:41 AM   #5
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you're going to get as many answers to this question as people you ask. it is simply a matter of personal preference and usage. there are no studies proving one display type of sufficient quality is better or worse than another when used under proper conditions. what you will find is some display technologies have some advantages over others. eInk has great visibility under direct sunlight, but is useless in a dim or dark room without a backlight, the IPad's LCD has a much faster refresh rate and doesn't suffer from ghosting.

my suggestion, figure out what conditions you will spend the majority of your time under, choose a device that works well under those conditions, and try and demo it for a few hours or days if possible (beg to borrow a friend's device). it is the only way you'll know if that device is right for you. if you can't, try to buy from a place that has a generous return policy.

good luck!
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:52 AM   #6
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One other consideration for academic reading is color. Will you be reading texts with color illustrations or that use different colors in the text to differentiate symbols or words? If so you'll need the iPad. The DX can render illustrations fairly readable - but all in gray tones.
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