Grumpy Old Man
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: L.A., Euro ex-pat
Device: Kobo, Nook Classic,Color,ST/Glow, iRex DR1000, Sony 505, REB1100&1200
Hmm, I've been reading books on electronic devices for many years now, but I have to say the Sony Reader (and by extension eInk technology) is not exactly the bee's knees.
It *is* dark grey on light grey, esp. as I am looking at a 'real' book next to it right now. The font in the real book is smaller, yet eminently more readable. And in both cases, if I want to read in a darkened room, I have to attach a doodad to either one to have light directly on my text, as opposed to my almost 10 year old REB1100 with *backlight*... 2 steps forward, one step back... The REB is readable in the shade outside, and the times I have tried to read in full-blast bright sunshine are few and far inbetween, so that improvement has rather limited practical impact.
The resolution is still not quite high enough for comic/manga reading, esp. the text in the bubble. To some extent, it was working out better on my old REB1200 at 640*480, mostly because the color helped defining the text, like MS's Cleartype or Apple's solution.
Now don't get me wrong, I think, unlike the initial post, that the Sony Reader is usable, but it's mostly a trade-off. It's OK, I can live with it, but it's not nearly as great as some people here make it out to be.
It is a sad state of affairs when companies are experimenting with flexible displays, color and other gimmicks when they have, after all these years, not even managed to produce ONE SINGLE simply BLACK & WHITE (!) truely *large size* *high-resolution* *high-contrast* display readable in daylight AND with decent backlight in low-light conditions... in other words, like the books we've had for centuries with at least one notable improvement (the ability to read in the dark without additional light)
And I won't even get started on the software end of things, where things could be much better since there hasn't been any technological hurdle for years, and yet we're stuck in DRM-babel without even a frickin' search function or dictionary lookup, which I have enjoyed almost 10 years ago (!!) on my REB1100/1200...
Since a rant would not be complete without reminiscence, attached is the image that gave me hope of improvement. It took several *years* since to get a consumer version, without the double page format, and in reality not looking as nice, and without the software features I took for granted back then...