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Old 07-22-2010, 10:18 PM   #1
sweetbabyjames
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Exclamation DX Graphite display quality differences (with pics)

I happen to have three Kindle DX Graphites on hand, and I am noticing that all three exhibit different degrees of quality in their e-ink display with regard to saturation of "speckles" and effect on overall contrast. I've picked out the best and worst performer for the attached comparison photos. In particular, the top right quadrant seems to have the most variability, so I've focused on that area. The difference is most obvious against a dark background, still noticeable with a blank background, and more subtle with text, but still there. I'd describe the resulting effect as similar to turning up the ISO on your digital camera. For me, it really puts a damper on the "All New, High Contrast E-Ink Screen".

This doesn't really come as a surprise to me after having seen large display quality differences across different devices in both the Kindle and Kindle 2. But some of those could have been explained by later production runs which might have introduced better quality displays. The three devices I have on hand are presumably from similar runs, as the Graphite was just released. Now I'm starting to think Amazon is either not aware that there's a problem (doesn't seem likely...), or doesn't care enough to weed out the lackluster displays from their supplier, E Ink Corp. I believe the DX is priced high enough and its screen a big enough selling point that QC should be much better than it is.

(better quality display on the right. sorry about the lower exposure in the second pic...sun was going down)
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Last edited by sweetbabyjames; 07-22-2010 at 10:24 PM. Reason: describe attached photos
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:44 PM   #2
Osiyo
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Interesting, and a little disheartening. Wish I had more than one to compare.

On a side note, since this is kinda my "thing," have you noticed any ghosting on those Kindles?
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:46 PM   #3
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Do you have any other eInk readers that you could take similar comparison shots for? Specifically, I'm trying to see how the Graphite compares to the Sony PRS-505 or the 300, both of which have a similar quality screen.
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fafaforza View Post
Do you have any other eInk readers that you could take similar comparison shots for? Specifically, I'm trying to see how the Graphite compares to the Sony PRS-505 or the 300, both of which have a similar quality screen.
I don't, unfortunately.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Osiyo View Post
On a side note, since this is kinda my "thing," have you noticed any ghosting on those Kindles?
Nothing out of the ordinary for me--meaning "some" ghosting. All the Kindles I've ever used have suffered from ghosting effects, but never to a degree that was ever a show stopper for me. Also, I usually only notice it in non-critical parts of the screen. For example, after looking up a word and then changing the page, ghosting from the dictionary definition persists in the status bar. My understanding is that ghosting is more of a software issue than anything else (given e ink tech limitations): we could have a ghosting-free experience if Amazon thought we were willing to wait an extra ~.5s for a more thorough page refresh. I'm sure I'm simplifying this a bit, though...
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Old 07-23-2010, 02:54 AM   #5
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That first shot is quite disappointing, as I had alyays had high hopes for this technology.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:16 PM   #6
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How does the worst of the DXG screens compare to the K2? Is it still better? I'm just about ready to order a DXG, which would be my first e-reader, but after reading about this variable quality I'm having second thoughts. Since I'm in the UK, I'd rather not have to potentially go through having to return a defective unit. Incidentally, do international customers get the same 30 day return policy as US customers?
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fafaforza View Post
Do you have any other eInk readers that you could take similar comparison shots for? Specifically, I'm trying to see how the Graphite compares to the Sony PRS-505 or the 300, both of which have a similar quality screen.
I own two 505's and a 300 and the DXG is far far superior in readability and contrast. Not even close.
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:28 PM   #8
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I feel pretty lucky as my DXG screen is much better than any of those in your photos. I went through the fading in sunlight problem with my first K2 and had to have it replaced, so maybe a dodged a bullet with the DXG. I just got mine this week and it has a serial number beginning with B009 if that helps you compare when it was manufactured. I suspect they get screens from more than one supplier, so that could play a part. Also they might get damaged in shipping to the warehouse or to the customer.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:33 PM   #9
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does the one on the left in the first pic always look like that? or could it be a result of a bad refresh?
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeckledJim View Post
How does the worst of the DXG screens compare to the K2? Is it still better? I'm just about ready to order a DXG, which would be my first e-reader, but after reading about this variable quality I'm having second thoughts. Since I'm in the UK, I'd rather not have to potentially go through having to return a defective unit. Incidentally, do international customers get the same 30 day return policy as US customers?
The overall contrast of the worst DXG screen is still better than my K2. Even in that top right quadrant where the problem is most evident the text still "pops" a lot more than on the K2. If you're on the fence because of this issue I say give it a shot. You may get a good unit or the problem might not bother you. I couldn't find anything on the Amazon US or UK sites that disqualified international customers from the 30 day return policy.

Quote:
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does the one on the left in the first pic always look like that? or could it be a result of a bad refresh?
It always looks like that. I performed multiple Alt-G force refreshes to ensure I was getting consistent results.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetbabyjames View Post
The overall contrast of the worst DXG screen is still better than my K2. Even in that top right quadrant where the problem is most evident the text still "pops" a lot more than on the K2. If you're on the fence because of this issue I say give it a shot. You may get a good unit or the problem might not bother you. I couldn't find anything on the Amazon US or UK sites that disqualified international customers from the 30 day return policy.
OK, thanks for the info. I shall probably go for the DXG. I've been waiting for the new batch of large screen readers from ASUS etc, but they don't seem to be in any hurry to actually ship anything.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:41 PM   #12
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I would return the one on the left. Yuck.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeckledJim View Post
OK, thanks for the info. I shall probably go for the DXG. I've been waiting for the new batch of large screen readers from ASUS etc, but they don't seem to be in any hurry to actually ship anything.
Asus was waiting for an issue with Sipix to be worked out. That manufacturing problem has been fixed http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20100713PD211.html . But, Sipix displays have less contrast than regular Vizplex so will be well behind the new Pearl displays. Of course Sipix display devices are supposed to be cheaper...
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:03 PM   #14
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Yes, I did read something about the SiPix screens being some way behind the Pearl, that was a factor in going for the DXG instead.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:09 PM   #15
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I don't know how to ge the boot screen up so I can photograph it, but here is my DXG with text in a similar pose as yours. My screen looks good.

BTW, the screen background is not that white in reality. I guess I used too much lighting to take the photo. In reality it is a light grey.

The second photo is using a better camera and more accurately depicts my DXG screen.
...
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Last edited by jswinden; 07-23-2010 at 07:23 PM.
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