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Old 06-09-2011, 02:19 PM   #15
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Posts: 826
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Bay Area
Device: kindle keyboard, kindle fire hd, S4, Nook hd+
Originally Posted by crich70 View Post
I remember in the Charlie Rose interview Jeff Bezos did about the Kindle he compared the LCD screen to trying to read with a flashlight shining in your face. Certainly I have noticed that if I read on my netbook for too long my eyes suffer some strain and that I don't get that strain while looking at the Kindle page.
Most decent tablets these days have night-reading modes in which the text is illuminted but the background is black. Night-reading mode is actually less bright than the book lights for ereaders. Night reading mode looks like this:

Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
I love my lighted cover. I love that the light gets its power from the Kindle, so I don't have to worry about batteries or charging it. I love that the light disappears into the cover, such that people aren't even aware it has a light. I love my cover's apple-greenness even.

But, yes, I would have to concede its actual lighting is not optimum for me, in the way described, though not intolerable.

In all my years of reading (pbooks inclusive) I've never had much luck with book-lights. Their weight, build quality, globe-lifetime, light colour, light's all been a frustration that would easily be solved with my bedside light if it wasn't such a disturbance to The Loved One. ~sigh~

[EDIT: Oops, I'm at risk of derailing the conversation towards a purely book-light discussion. Please don't follow my lead, people! Sorry, spellbanisher ]

I should report you to the mods!

Originally Posted by mr ploppy View Post
I've never understood this switch to shiny reflective screens, but my old laptop has a matt screen that you can view at any angle under any lighting conditions. It's actually less reflective than my Kindle's screen, which needs to be held at a specific angle to avoid glare from a bedside lamp.
Hmmm, I'd like to blame Apple for this one. My Dell Laptop, which is five years old, has a matte screen. Almost all the Dell monitors at the college I went to had matte screens. All the computers my brother owns (he owns two desktop computers and two laptops) all have matte screens. The first glossy computer monitors I ever saw were the mac computers. The Ipad also has a glossy screen, as does the Ipod and the Iphone, and now it seems that all tablets and phones have glossy screens, even though matte makes much more sense for a portable device. Maybe I'm wrong there. Does anyone have experience with glossy screens on pc's that are older than five years?

Here is the difference between glossy and matte:

Originally Posted by
Glossy screens produce an image that's generally regarded as "richer." Admittedly, that's a nebulous term, but essentially it means there is more color depth and vibrancy. On the downside, glossy screens are more susceptible to glare, reflecting light from windows and light bulbs. And they tend to show fingerprints and smudges more readily, especially when they are off.

Matte screens tend to handle glare better, due to a polarized coating over the glass that diffuses ambient light. A side effect of the matte finish is a slight blurring, reduced contrast and a narrower viewing angle.

Read more: LCD Monitors: Glossy vs. Matte - Popular Mechanics
Some comparisons between glossy and matte. In both shots the glossy is on the left.

The one indisputable advantage that eink has over lcd is that in brighter conditions, eink has greater contrast, whereas lcd has reduced contrast, although I think there are now reflective lcd monitors.

Here is the co-founder of eink going into more depth as to why he thinks eink is better than LCD for reading.

While LCDs are adequate for reading, E Ink was invented and engineered for the best possible reading experience. Your readers might like to hear about a few technical factors that are not well known and contribute to the difference:

1. Ambient brightness
Over the years many people have told me that reading an emissive display is bothersome to them while E Ink is not.

I think one reason is that as you read, your eyes skip along the lines of text, dwelling for a fraction of a second on small groups of words. Your eyes are constantly moving ? hundreds of times per minute. So it is very important that your eyes be able to refocus on the surface of a screen within a split-second.

Emissive displays are ill-suited for this. While you are reading a book, you see a lot more than the screen. Your field of vision is wider than the page alone and your eyes often glance off the page. With a backlit screen, every time your eye switches from a bright screen to the dimmer ambient room, your eye muscles must make an adjustment. And the more adjustments, the more chance for eyestrain.

With paper or E Ink, the page is the same brightness as everything else in the room. Your eye needs less adjustment effort to go back and forth. You can see and understand information more immediately. Paper is the ultimate “glanceable” display and that helps improve comprehension and maximize reading speed.

2. No parallax / closer to the eye

Have you ever gazed at a calculator display and noticed a bit of a shadow? That is parallax. The same thing happens on your emissive LCD. The white color is actually coming from a backlight behind the LCD; the black color is coming from a shadow cast by the liquid crystal material in the middle of the LCD glass sandwich. So black and white are different distances from your eye. This degree of shadowing changes with the viewing angle. There are also two sheets of glass and multiple polarizer films between your eye and the white background, which creates a slight feeling of separation between screen and real world.

In an E Ink display, the electronic ink contains black and white particles that are both moved physically by electrophoresis to the front of the display. So both black and white are exactly the same distance from your eye. Furthermore, both are at the front pressed up to the top layer of glass. This greatly contributes to the feeling that the information is printed on the top of a page.

3. Less glare

All E Ink display surfaces are treated to be matte like a printed page. Most LCDs are not. This is not an obvious feature when you buy the product, but it makes a huge difference to legibility in some settings.

4. Same contrast across the entire page

Although modern LCDs have greatly improved their viewing angle uniformity, there is still a detectable difference in contrast ratio across the page. These differences in contrast make it just a tiny bit harder to resolve images as your eye skips along the page. As the screen gets larger or closer to your eyes, as with a handheld book, this angular difference is increased.

5. No aperture ratio loss

The pixels on LCD screens do not have a full aperture ratio, because each pixel must be separated by a black border. The border hides the underlying transistor and separates the areas of the color filter. There are actually 3 sets of borders per pixel, since color LCDs have RGB subpixels. This all adds up to tiny black gaps between each pixel. As LCDs reach higher resolutions there are even more dead gaps as a percentage of viewing area.

E Ink screens have a 100% aperture ratio. There is no black mask and no black border between pixels. When two neighboring pixels are white on an E Ink screen, the pixels merge to form a solid block of white. Therefore the blacks and whites on an E Ink screen are uniform, again improving image quality.

Russ Wilcox, co-founder E Ink <– absolutely biased in favor of E Ink! =) ‘
I think most of the points were addressed by sweetpea; in general, LCD screens have the problems noted by Russ Wilcox, but higher end LCD screens probably do not have these problems. Personally, I've never had a problem with lcd, for the most part, but I prefer eink for aesthetic reasons. I have an ebookwise 1150, and I never experienced eye strain with it. The only problem, and it was a huge problem for me, was the screen glare, which made it difficult to use the reader in all but very low light conditions (or in the dark).

Last edited by spellbanisher; 06-09-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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