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Old 03-12-2020, 10:21 AM   #61
4691mls
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Since we're discussing front lights, may I ask a question?

Like many here back-lit LCD screens cause eye strain and that's the main reason I prefer e-ink. I've never tried a front-lit screen but my intuition is that this won't affect me in the way that LCDs do (perhaps because the intensity is less). I'm keen for my next e-reader to have a front-light.

But, my experience suggests that one of the main issues with lcd screens is a mismatch with ambient light. i.e. the screen is either brighter than it's surroundings or too dark. This is an issue of contrasting light.

Has anyone found a front-lit e-ink screen, when read in a completely dark room causes these contrast problems?
I have two front-lit e-ink readers - a Tolino Shine 2 (an older reader I bought used) and a Kobo Clara. The Shine doesn't have color temperature adjustment. The Clara does. The color temperature adjustment is helpful to me when reading in a dark room. It doesn't seem like quite as much of a contrast with the room if I set it more toward the orange end of the scale.

The Tolino recently got an update that allows reading white text on a black background. I understand that there is also a way to get white on black on Kobo readers - you can ask in the Kobo forum - but I haven't messed with that because I don't like white on black. However, this would probably make less contrast with a dark room if that is important to you.

Of course the overall brightness level is adjustable so you can set it to the minimum that works for you (on the Kobo the brightness level and the color temperature are two separate controls.)

A front-lit reader is useful in daytime if you're in a room where lighting is poor.

I haven't experienced vision difficulties with front-lit ereaders the way I did with reading on my phone.
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Old 03-13-2020, 03:04 AM   #62
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A third screen category is the monochrome LCD screen as used in the Ectaco Jetbook Lite and Aluratek Libre Pro ebook readers. These have a 5" B&W not illuminated LCD screen and are about 10+ year old technology. Not a bad reading screen experience indoors in good light but I have yet to try one in bright outdoor sunlight. The Ectaco is still available new from the original distributor for about $99 and for a lot less on ebay from a couple of sellers that are offering school surplus NOS versions based on what I have bought. The Ectaco Lite is the only reader I know of powered by 4 user replaceable AA batteries. It can use NIMH, alkaline or Energizer lithium batteries. It has USB 1.0 mini interface connector and no wifi.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:48 AM   #63
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More like 25 year old technology!
See 1990s Palm PDAs, though most had a much smaller screen. By 2005 they had illuminated colour screens.
The first successful Nokia Communicator, was mono in 1998 Nokia 9110 with optional backlight. The colour version came out late 2000 or early 2001 in Ireland. I had the 9110i I think in Jan 2000. It had a second outer screen that worked in sunlight.
I got the colour Nokia 9210i in about 2002. It had a second mono screen on the outside that worked in sunlight. It was a true smartphone.
The Nokia E65 had a special backlit colour screen that became a mono reflective screen in full sunlight. Though later it was a huge step backwards being based on S60 GUI.
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:00 AM   #64
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Quoth;

I based my 10 year estimate on when the Ectaco Jetbook Lite was introduced by the seller, per Wikipedia. The original Jetbook with lithium ion battery built in was introduced 2 years earlier, in 2008 per the same source. Maybe not current technology when introduced but inexpensive compared to most of the competition at the time. Currently way overpriced compared to the current competition IMO, the base level Kindle reader, particularly when on sale or refurbished.

Last edited by Richwood; 03-13-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:31 PM   #65
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People often release new products using older technology. Actually MOST new products have no new technology.
Amazon can sell the Kindle at near cost. No-one else can sensibly do that.
Also genuinely new technology is rare. Most "new technology" is really product development.
The primary lithium cell was in widespread use by the mid 1980s. The rechargeable Lithium ion cell was discovered/invented/developed in 1970s but not commercialised till the 1990s. NiCd and NiMH was still common to power laptops up till late 1990s. Common use NiCd dates from the 1940s and NiMH about 1990.
Wet Lead Acid rechargeable are from the middle of the 19th C and by 1932 plastic cased gel types were used in portable 2V valve radio sets, though glass & wet acid still used in table models till 1949.
The AA pen cell was developed before 1914 to make a fountain pen sized torch. The D cells date from 1890s.
Pocket valve radios using 1 torch cell and 1 x 45V pack in plastic cases existed in USA & Japan from mid 1950s. The transistor was too expensive till 1959, though I think Sony made a transistor set in 1956 or 1957. The first was a USA model in 1954.

The original IBM PC was almost entirely made from older electronic parts easy to order from a catalogue. It was very backward compared to the ACT Sirius 1 / Victor 9000. No HW clock, old 5.25" low capacity drives, text only low resolution screen. CGA and later EGA were optional already obsolete graphic standards.
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