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Old 05-22-2020, 09:12 PM   #1
TheRealJohnAdams
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Have you ever stained an ereader screen? If so, how?—I would like to stain mine.

I know the thread title sounds ridiculous, but hear me out. The light gradient on my Kobo Forma is subtle but it's driving me crazy. I thought I would get used to it, and maybe I still will, but I don't think I can until I've satisfied myself that I've tried everything I can to mitigate it.

The gradient on mine follows the usual pattern. There is a light bar next to the buttons, which doesn't bother me. Next to that light bar is a large darkish patch. With the screen light on, it looks almost like a faint bruise. (See diagram.) My thinking is that there is no way to get rid of that "bruise." But if I can stain the rest of the screen, I can at least make the screen even, which is all I really care about. (See diagram 2)

I have accomplished something like a proof-of-concept already. Using some ballpoint pen ink and a cotton swab, I darkened the brightest areas of my kobo screen pretty effectively. The effect is a marked improvement over the status quo. Unfortunately, the effect is not permanent—it can be worn away using a cloth or even a fingertip. (The longest I've given it to "set" is a half hour—maybe it would become permanent if I gave it longer?)

One possibility that I am considering is darkening the screen and then putting a screen protector on to hold the ink in place. Any other suggestions?
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Old 05-22-2020, 10:30 PM   #2
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As you had to preface your post with a "hear me out", I have to preface mine with an assertion I mean what I am about to say without snark.

This is my favourite post ever in this forum and I hope that someone who works for Kobo gets to see it.

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Old 05-23-2020, 01:01 AM   #3
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Since you mentioned not being bothered by the sidebar of suck, which I previously assumed was your main issue with the device, random requisite remark that an uneven *vertical* gradient is grounds for requesting a replacement device.

(As opposed to an even but slight *horizontal* one, which makes sense given the tech, and is nonexistent to extremely faint on Formas in my experience).
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:17 AM   #4
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This makes no sense if you are using the reader in higher ambient light. It's only valid if you have no electricity.
A separate removable overlay stained on the underside is the way to go.
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:32 AM   #5
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I'm thinking some kind of nail polish, but then I don't wear it so I can't comment on the efficacy or lack thereof.
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
This makes no sense if you are using the reader in higher ambient light. It's only valid if you have no electricity.
A separate removable overlay stained on the underside is the way to go.
Maybe I'm just overly sensitive to it, but I notice the lighting gradient even under reasonably bright light. And besides, I like to read at night with the lights off, which is one of the reasons I like ereaders so much.

I think you are right about an overlay being necessary, but I think I will need to apply the stain to the Kobo anyway—the screen protectors all have an adhesive on the underside. To stain the underside, I would have to rub a cloth or brush against the underside, which would not work well with the adhesive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
I'm thinking some kind of nail polish, but then I don't wear it so I can't comment on the efficacy or lack thereof.
I considered that (and some related possibilities like translucent glass paint, or even spray-on window tint), but I think nail polish and paint create a layer on top of the thing being painted. This means that they can flake off, have a different texture and sheen, and probably will interfere with the touchscreen. I think we need something akin to wood stain, which gets into the wood itself and changes the color of the wood, rather than sitting on top of the wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiLuJe View Post
Since you mentioned not being bothered by the sidebar of suck, which I previously assumed was your main issue with the device, random requisite remark that an uneven *vertical* gradient is grounds for requesting a replacement device.

(As opposed to an even but slight *horizontal* one, which makes sense given the tech, and is nonexistent to extremely faint on Formas in my experience).
Sorry for the miscommunication, then. Do you mean that a "vertical gradient" of the kind in my first diagram (where there is a big dark patch that happens not to extend all the way up and down the screen) is uncommon? I probably will not do the replacement program, because I don't want to go without an ereader for a month. But I may just buy another one from Walmart and return the one I have.

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Old 05-23-2020, 12:38 PM   #7
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If you're serious about this, I'd suggest buy a cheap and/or busted e-reader to test it on first.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:44 PM   #8
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Since an overlay seems necessary, why not 2? Apply the stain/tint to the nonadhesive portion of a screen protector, then apply a 2nd screen protector on top of the 1st so the stain/tint is sandwiched between 2 protectors and you are free to adhere the bottom layer to the e-reader.

2 possible problems with my suggestion:
1. Not sure if it is possible to stain the screen protector
2. I'm not sure what having 2 screen protectors would do to the responsiveness of the touch screen.

I also considered tinted sheet protectors, but I think they would not be translucent enough to reduce your gradient.

Of course, there is always the possibility of requesting a new device if you are still within your warranty period, as a previous poster recommended.
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:47 PM   #9
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You could also test it by applying a graphique process to an image then opening it in the reader. This will give you an idea how effective it would be.
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