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Old 06-25-2010, 06:31 PM   #1
tapar
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why no built in lights?

I wonder why there are not more ebook readers with e-ink style screens and built in LED lights (external not for back-lighting) to light that screen? Why have a clunky clip on light to deal with, it feels like it should be part of the device. If I had to guess I would lean towards the trend of making them thinner and thinner, but I would gladly sacrifice a bit of thickness for some convenient lighting.

I vaguely remember there was a unit with some lights around the edges of the screen, I think it was a sony model but I am not sure. I don't have a clue how well received the feature was. I am also wondering if other brands have built in lights and I just never heard of them.

I love my kindle v1 and I have wanted to upgrade to the v2 model. I held off originally because I thought it was a downgrade to loose the removable battery and SD card support. I used my mom's v2 kindle and changed my mind and have been itching to upgrade ever since. I just feel like I need to hold on till the v3 comes out, especially since it is rumored to be in August.

I picked up an iPad as well and have been surprised to find myself using it for reading more often than I would ever have guessed. I have been gravitating towards using it more than the kindle lately and am confused as too why. I honestly think the e-ink display is way better. I prefer epub to mobi, but with caliber I can bounce to whatever I need so it is not THAT big a deal. The iPad's weight is annoying, but I seem to be adapting to that fairly well.

I have been wondering if part of the problem is the lighting I read the kindle in, I have a low watt light behind my recliner that gives off soft lighting. I can see fine, but I do need to angle the kindle towards the light a tiny bit. I wonder if that has been competing subconsciously with the iPad's back-lit screen.

If my feet were in the fire and i was forced to pick one thing to explain my recent gravitation towards reading on the ipad, I would probably pick UI speed and layout. It is easier to scroll down a list to find what I am looking for rather than page through lots of e-ink screens. Navigating to the specific book you want is just plain easier on the iPad...though not displaying if you have read it or where you are in the book (on the book selection menu) like the kindle does is a negative. If you are reading a book series with many books in it, it is easy to forget which book you just read if you weren't paying enough attention to the tittle.

In any event all the iPad use has me questioning the criteria that I should use to pick my next ebook reader. That is what made me wonder why there was a lack of built in lighting. I dislike using e-reader covers so the slick lights built into some case's are not the solution I would prefer. They do seem functional though and nearly convinced me to use one.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:37 PM   #2
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I wonder why there are not more ebook readers with e-ink style screens and built in LED lights (external not for back-lighting) to light that screen?
Sony tried it and it was not well received.
Just run a web search on PRS-700.
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Old 06-25-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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Sony tried it and it was not well received.
Just run a web search on PRS-700.
Have you taken a look at this in action? It sounds like a good idea in theory, but maybe they really messed up the execution.
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Old 06-26-2010, 04:13 AM   #4
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What happened with the Sony is that the "gap" produced by the lighting strip between the eInk screen and the outer plastic screen had a significant impact on image quality. The actual lighting worked well enough; but the impact it had on using the reader without the light was not at all good.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:28 AM   #5
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8 words: Do you really read books in complete darkness?

I mean... I don't think even people that make black masses do it!

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Old 06-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info on the sony, I think the main reason I didn't want that particular model was that it was touchscreen. The iPad has made me a bit less against that on principle, but I still prefer buttons for page changes. I was particularly against it on the 700 because I kept reading that it affected the clarity of the e-ink screen to have the touchscreen layer.

lol I don't read in darkness often, but I do often read in low light situations. I like the room to be low light but the screen to be well lit. I watched some youtube videos of the sony prs-700 and the lighting system looked a bit weak. Then again, it is hard to tell about that kind of thing from video.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:44 AM   #7
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lol I don't read in darkness often, but I do often read in low light situations. I like the room to be low light but the screen to be well lit. I watched some youtube videos of the sony prs-700 and the lighting system looked a bit weak. Then again, it is hard to tell about that kind of thing from video.
It sounds as if what you need is a good reading light. The halogen "spotlight" ones with a white light spectrum I find to be very effective.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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What happened with the Sony is that the "gap" produced by the lighting strip between the eInk screen and the outer plastic screen had a significant impact on image quality. The actual lighting worked well enough; but the impact it had on using the reader without the light was not at all good.
Ok I watched a few videos of it on youtube and yeah....the lighting looks kind of weak and not so attractive. They definitely could have done a better job with that "strip." I imagine even a little led light that flips out and leans above the screen would have made a better light source.
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Old 06-26-2010, 06:27 PM   #9
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The light would be a negative when I didn't want to use it, adding bulk and weight. And I wouldn't want to run it off the built-in battery. The only time I would want to use it would be when I'm reading while my wife tries to sleep, so a little clip-on appeals to me more.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:47 PM   #10
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Um, if you want to read in dim light, and the iPad is too big, buy a PDA (used, even). They work great. When I don't want to use a reading light, that's what I use. I have two old ones that were replaced by a smart phone. I would suggest getting one with a 3.2" screen or larger, though. The 2.8" screen on my smart phone is just a hair too small for comfortable reading.

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Old 06-26-2010, 10:18 PM   #11
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Y'know, a little battery-powered LED light that plugged into the mini-USB port on most devices (but didn't use the internal battery) would be a useful device.

Either a small gooseneck, or something that snapped into various positions.

Clips are ugly and awkward.
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:07 AM   #12
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no lights, because imagine using your cellphone on an extremely lighted area. Its very hard to read.

probably to make the built in backlight to work, maybe the function could be turned on/off. since the backlight makes the reader unreadable at sunny conditions.

hope i make sense.
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