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Color E-Book Displays Coming From E Ink Next Year 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-spectrum-of-displays dept.
waderoush writes "E Ink, which makes the monochrome electrophoretic screens used in the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Sony Reader line, and other e-readers, is gearing up to supply manufacturers with the first color versions of its displays by early next year, according to an Xconomy interview with T.H. Peng, a vice president with Taiwan's Prime View International, which bought E Ink last year. Peng argues that E Ink has nothing to fear from the e-book apps on the Apple iPad and other devices with color LCDs, which, in his view, produce more eye strain and aren't as suitable for digital reading. Nonetheless, the company says its first color screens in 2011 will have newspaper-quality color, followed within a couple of years by improved versions that can handle magazine-style content."
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Color E-Book Displays Coming From E Ink Next Year

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  • by 2obvious4u (871996) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:42PM (#31484394)
    Yeah, I bought a palm pilot and then one month later they announced the color version. I'm not getting bit by that again. I'll just wait for the color this time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by 91degrees (207121)
      Yes, early adopters often get shafted. Rapid obsolescence is one of the costs of the bleeding edge.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vanderhoth (1582661)

        That being said, if it wasn't for early adopters, who end up getting screwed, I don't think some technologies would have taken off.

        DVDs for example might not have been, or have gotten, as big as they are now if it wasn't for the people that went out and spent thousands of dollars on the original players and hundreds on the original DVDs.

        Some companies use early adopters as their statistics to either continue or discontinue production of a product.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by vlm (69642)

          DVDs for example might not have been, or have gotten, as big as they are now if it wasn't for the people that went out and spent thousands of dollars on the original players and hundreds on the original DVDs.

          DVDs were substantially better than VCR tapes.

          On the other hand, e-ink vs LCD, a big "eh".

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)

            On the other hand, e-ink vs LCD, a big "eh".

            Seriously? I have a Nokia 770 and an iRex iLiad. The 770's TFT is 225dpi and is one of the nicest LCD's I've ever used (the nicest was an IBM monitor that was also 225dpi but was 23"). I can read books on it, but my eyes start to feel tired after an hour or so. Using it in direct sunlight is also a problem - the screen just looks white. The iLiad's eInk screen is only 166dpi, but it's significantly better. I can read outside in the sun for several hours without my eyes feeling at all tired.

            This is

      • Eh no? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:59PM (#31485644) Journal

        He was a LATE adaptor. If he had bought his palm pilot at the beginning, then he would have had one for a long time before the color version.

        And if you buy an E-ink device now, you are also a late adaptor. Bleeding edge was passed long ago.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Belial6 (794905)
        There is also the problem of some technologies always being bleeding edge. CPUs being the most obvious example. If you waited until CPUs stopped becoming obsolete in a few years, you might just now be considering your first computer. Display screens...Not so much of a problem. Although, that will depend on how much they scale. If the manufacture scales as well as CPUs have...

        You can skip the black and white while waiting for color.
        You can skip newspaper quality color waiting for magazine quality col
    • Yeah, I bought a palm pilot and then one month later they announced the color version. I'm not getting bit by that again. I'll just wait for the color this time.

      I think it will be a while for a color Kindle. Admittedly I skimmed the article, but they sound vague about when E-Ink will have a color version available. On one hand, they're saying the color version screen will be available at the end of the year, but then they say:

      X: What can you tell me about your technical ideas for creating better color displays? Is adding color simply a matter of tweaking the company’s existing microcapsule technology, or do you have to go back to the drawing board and approac

      • You can get colour eInk displays now. The problem is the resolution. A black and white eInk display is around 166dpi. A colour eInk display is also 166dpi (actually, it tends to be a bit less, but not much). The problem is that with a black and white display, one dot is one pixel. With a colour display, one dot is 1/3 or 1/4 of a pixel (depending on whether you have CMY or CMYK). This means that a colour eInk display give around 55 pixels per inch, which is pretty terrible. That's why, currently, the
    • by SimonInOz (579741)

      I bought a mono Palm pilot. Later they made colour one. I bought one of those, too.

      But.
      Here we are years later - the mono one still works. It has amazing battery life.
      The colour one had horrible battery life and eventually got dumped somewhere.

  • Bendable (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tsa (15680) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:43PM (#31484410) Homepage

    A few years ago I saw a demonstration by Philips on TV of a bendable e-ink screen. I think bendability is more important than colour. If the screen is bendable it can behave more like a real book.

    • Unfortunately the bendable screen doesn't solve the non-bendable motherboard, CPU, battery, and case problems..
      • by snooo53 (663796) *
        I don't see the problem. Books have a spine that isn't bendable; all they have to do is put the electronics in a rigid part of the device and let the rest be flexible.
        • by tsa (15680)

          Exactly. Or you print the electronics on the other side of the screen. The only thing you can't make bendable is the holder for the memory card (and the memory card itself of course). An e-book that behaves like a book is so much nicer than the ones that are for sale now!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      If they make an e-ink screen that smells like an old book, I'll buy it.
    • Re:Bendable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 15, 2010 @03:06PM (#31485748) Homepage

      A few years ago I saw a demonstration by Philips on TV of a bendable e-ink screen. I think bendability is more important than colour. If the screen is bendable it can behave more like a real book.

      I'm not sure how much I care about the ability to bend my books.

      Yes, paper bends... As I turn a page it bends... But bendability isn't really something fundamental to the function of a book. A book's primary purpose is the display of information.

      I mean... Is a magazine somehow better than a 500 page novel just because it's more bendable?

      Are hardcover books somehow inferior to paperbacks, simply because they're less bendable?

      I have a nook, and I read plenty of books on it. And I have never, ever found myself thinking you know what would make this ereader perfect? If I could just bend it...

      • by tsa (15680)

        A book fits better on your pillow when reading in bed, because you can bend it a bit. As long as you use paperbacks, that is.

    • by jank1887 (815982)

      the point of a bendable book is so you can turn the pages. how many pages do you think your e-ink book needs?

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:44PM (#31484426) Homepage

    How about you first find a better process for making monochrome e-ink displays so the devices that use them aren't ridiculously priced?

    • by grahamsz (150076)

      I have a feeling that increasing their desirability will increase their market share and that will inevitably reduce the price.

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:47PM (#31484480) Journal

      No one makes money on Niche products by making them less expensive. They could find a way to cut a dollar off production costs and they'd still charge you an arm and a leg.

    • by perpenso (1613749) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:09PM (#31484888)

      How about you first find a better process for making monochrome e-ink displays so the devices that use them aren't ridiculously priced?

      Why? Mono is probably a dead end technology. It may be better to get to color as quickly as possible and then concentrate on process improvements. A color Kindle would be a much better commercial product. It is difficult to imagine textbooks moving to electronic media without color. Regarding the possibility of reduced eye strain with mono, perhaps a reader app on a color device could choose to only show black and white for pure text content.

      --
      Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator, fractions, complex numbers, RPN

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        Chances are the availability of color devices will drive the selling price of the monochrome ones after they are on the market for a little bit anyway...but I think they would watch the market grow a lot faster if the price of entry wasn't as high as it is. At this stage in the technology's life though, you may be right about it being pointless to invest further in monochrome displays.

        Still, I know they are trying, and I know the market is doing decently well despite the high prices, but when you consider

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why? Mono is probably a dead end technology. It may be better to get to color as quickly as possible and then concentrate on process improvements. A color Kindle would be a much better commercial product. It is difficult to imagine textbooks moving to electronic media without color.

        I'm sure black text on white background will look so much better on color screen!
        Really now, you forget what *ebook* readers are meant for.

      • Why colour? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rix (54095)

        How many books have colour in them anywhere other than the cover? I'm not going to pay a premium for that, so monochrome readers will continue to dominate until there's negligible price difference.

        Textbooks are unlikely to factor into the mainstream readers, which are optimized for reading novels.

        • How many books have colour in them anywhere other than the cover? ... Textbooks are unlikely to factor into the mainstream readers, which are optimized for reading novels.

          E readers are in their infancy, we can't draw many conclusions from such a small market primarily populated with early adopters. The public at large has not "voted" yet. A reader that offers textbooks (elementary, high school and university) would probably become the mainstream reader. Color is used quite heavily in textbooks and a mono device essentially forsakes this market.
          --
          Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator, fractions, complex numbers, RPN

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      Because you can show pictures in color! B&W movies are not that much appealing to people. Color screens can sell as better photo frames, while better B&W screens may not have more market than the one it currently has.
  • by perpenso (1613749) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:49PM (#31484518)

    Peng argues that E Ink has nothing to fear from the e-book apps on the Apple iPad and other devices with color LCDs, which, in his view, produce more eye strain and aren't as suitable for digital reading.

    E Ink certainly has less to fear from Apple since E Ink could sell their screens to Apple just like they sell to Amazon, Sony, etc. If the eye strain issue becomes a concern Apple could simply offer an iPad version, or a new product derived from iPad that is more focused as an eReader and not a gaming/multimedia platform, with an E Ink screen. I think it is premature to say that Amazon and Sony has nothing to fear.

    --
    Perpenso Calc [perpenso.com] for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator, fractions, complex numbers, RPN

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by symes (835608)
      An Apple version of E ink? You mean iEink? That sounds wrong, like pain or something
    • by vlm (69642)

      E Ink certainly has less to fear from Apple since E Ink could sell their screens to Apple

      Perpenso Calc for iPhone and iPod touch, scientific and bill/tip calculator, fractions, complex numbers, RPN

      Oh the irony, oh the irony. E-ink display would kill your app. Nice app, gotta love a RPN calculator, but using your "20 digit precision" I don't want to go click / one second while the screen flashes a couple times / click / delay / click / delay on an eink display.

      Heck, I could probably add and subtract in my head faster than your calculator could update a slow eink display.

    • Indeed. They also have nothing to fear from a device that doesn't even exist yet. The more obvious factor would be netbooks and existing tablets, which have already sold tens of millions, but nonetheless there's still a market for dedicated readers with e-ink displays.

      To be honest, it's sad that it's only because of the Ipad hype that he even needed to make that argument. Before, it was well understood the advantages of e-ink devices, and how an LCD wasn't in the same market. Consider how, on Slashdot, ever

  • by Orga (1720130) on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:57PM (#31484654)
    We'll be able to physically feel and turn the pages of these color books. Makes notes in the margin and who knows, with advances on the DRM front be able to actually pass these books onto our children!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Shados (741919)

      I know you're joking, but taking notes in the margins has been there for a bit. Some of sony's e-readers have touchscreen display (which sucked in their first incarnation, but are better now), and let you annotate books at will.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TheMidget (512188)
        Yes, and with DRM, your notes will be gone as well, when they decide to pull the book.
        • That isn't true. Even with the 1984 incident on the Kindle, the user's notes were still intact. The other thing is purchasing DRM'd books is a choice. I don't understand the e-reader hate here on slashdot. Nobody's forcing anybody to buy DRM'd content. Think of an e-reader like an MP3 player. Sure, it can display DRM'd content if you so choose, but it will display DRM free content if you choose to go that route as well.

          Instead of boycotting an entire class of devices because they can display DRM'd con

    • with advances on the DRM front be able to actually pass these books onto our children!

      Now you're just dreaming!! Don't be so greedy! jk ;)

  • by Space cowboy (13680) * on Monday March 15, 2010 @01:57PM (#31484660) Journal
    Am I the only one who *doesn't* get eye-strain reading text on LCD's hour after hour ?

    I'm beginning to wonder whether the difference is actually Mac vs PC and the font rendering [codinghorror.com] technologies. I use a Mac all day, reading text on LCDs, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Perhaps it's because the fonts look nicer (yeah, I know, it's an opinion, not a fact) to my eye on the Mac. I've lost count of the number of times I've spent days poring over PDFs and somehow managed to not notice this 'eye strain' that LCDs apparently cause. I actually *prefer* to read documents on the screen rather than printed out on paper...

    I'm also pretty convinced I'd get a lot more wound up over the slow refresh of the e-ink displays than the supposed eyestrain from LCDs...

    Simon.
    • by buruonbrails (1247370) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:09PM (#31484868) Homepage
      Just read from E-Ink screen to feel the difference. I was skeptical about E-Ink too before having tried it out. It looks almost exactly like the real paper. So, now I can't imagine using LCD for prolonged reading when you can use E-Ink device or (even better!) good old paper book.

      By the way, another key advantage of E-Ink is energy consumption: it doesn't use battery when static, and uses quite a small amount of energy to redraw the page. Due to this feature, eBooks can run for weeks or even months on a single charge.
      • by Piranhaa (672441)

        By the way, another key advantage of E-Ink is energy consumption: it doesn't use battery when static, and uses quite a small amount of energy to redraw the page. Due to this feature, eBooks can run for weeks or even months on a single charge.

        As much as I'd like to back this up, it's not entirely true. The "screen" doesn't use any energy in a static state and requires very little power to redraw. However, the device itself stays in a "standby" state and does use (very little) power 24/7.

        I have a Sony PRS-505 and absolutely love it. It does drop to half power if I turn it off for 2-3 weeks (there's a REAL way to turn it off, but it takes too long to boot), but that is still much better than the HOURS battery life that the iPad, laptops, and netbo

      • by TheMidget (512188)

        By the way, another key advantage of E-Ink is energy consumption: it doesn't use battery when static, and uses quite a small amount of energy to redraw the page. Due to this feature, eBooks can run for weeks or even months on a single charge.

        This technology would be perfect for digital picture frames. Anybody aware of any e-ink based picture frames?

      • by vlm (69642)

        I was skeptical about E-Ink too before having tried it out. It looks almost exactly like the real paper.

        Yeah, if everything you print on real paper is dull dark gray on dull light gray.

        Been there, tried it, couldn't stand the ultra low contrast, the flickering screen, the 1 Hz (or so) refresh rate. Also the lack of a backlight really sucked.

        Kind of like going back to a 1992 laptop after you've been using a 2010 laptop for awhile.

    • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:21PM (#31485068)

      After an hour? No. After 12 hours a day, 5 days a week? Yes. If I've been sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours and close my eyes I can feel the muscles unwinding. It's not something I'm conciously away of until I look away from the screen, but the muscles of and around my eyes are constantly tense when reading off a monitor.

      As for the refresh rate of e-ink, for me it is almost exactly equal to the time it takes my eyes to travel from the bottom to the top of the page. The only time I notice it is if I need to go back/forward several pages, then the slow refresh is frustrating since you have to wait for a page to display before you can move to the next one.

      • The only time I notice it is if I need to go back/forward several pages, then the slow refresh is frustrating since you have to wait for a page to display before you can move to the next one.

        On some readers (definitely Sony, dunno about others), press-and-hold on the back/forward buttons will make it start going through pages without doing a full page refresh.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by vlm (69642)

        After an hour? No. After 12 hours a day, 5 days a week? Yes. If I've been sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours and close my eyes I can feel the muscles unwinding. It's not something I'm conciously away of until I look away from the screen, but the muscles of and around my eyes are constantly tense when reading off a monitor.

        Visit an eye doctor / optometrist please. Seriously. People with healthy eyes don't have that problem. The problem is inside your eyeballs, not the monitors display technology.

        You can wait, like my grandma did, of course she's blind in one eye now. Or you can get it taken care of before you're permanently disabled. Annoying as starting glaucoma eyedrops might be, it beats the hell out of blindness.

        I'm serious, stop posting to slashdot about how wonderful e-ink would be, and fix yer eyes. Once you're b

        • Are these symptoms actually consistent with glaucoma, and do you have sufficient field knowledge for giving this advice?

          If not, it seems like kinda an irresponsible thing to do to say that, because you'd be unnecessarily freaking out/wasting the time of a large number of people who read Slashdot and get vision fatigue, including me. I actually visited an ophthalmologist over my eye strain and eye tiredness from using computers all day, and he said at the time it was fairly normal. If this is seriously somet

        • After an hour? No. After 12 hours a day, 5 days a week? Yes. If I've been sitting in front of a computer screen for several hours and close my eyes I can feel the muscles unwinding. It's not something I'm conciously away of until I look away from the screen, but the muscles of and around my eyes are constantly tense when reading off a monitor.

          Visit an eye doctor / optometrist please. Seriously. People with healthy eyes don't have that problem.

          It's called eye strain [wikipedia.org] and it's a real thing. When you focus on relatively small and close things, like text, the muscles around your eyes tighten. Any muscle, when worked for long periods of time, tires out. This doesn't mean you've got some horrible disease. It isn't a sign of impending blindness, or glaucoma, or a cataract. It's just muscle fatigue.

          Sure, yes, random problems with your eyes can be indicative of something bigger... But if you spend all day long helping your friends move and wake up t

    • by digitalhermit (113459) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:23PM (#31485094) Homepage

      Hmm.. Could be eye strain caused by looking down your nose at the PC??

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I a programmer, so naturally, I spend all day looking at the computer. My eyes don't get tired looking at an LCD all day long. I really don't get it either. I've ready plenty of books on my laptop. No problems there either. Oh, and I use a PC, so I don't think it's the font thing.
      • Same with me on both Windows and Linux machines. The only thing that really stops me is the portability factor.

    • Am I the only one who *doesn't* get eye-strain reading text on LCD's hour after hour ?

      I'm beginning to wonder whether the difference is actually Mac vs PC and the font rendering [codinghorror.com] technologies. I use a Mac all day, reading text on LCDs, and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Perhaps it's because the fonts look nicer (yeah, I know, it's an opinion, not a fact) to my eye on the Mac. I've lost count of the number of times I've spent days poring over PDFs and somehow managed to not notice this 'eye strain' that LCDs apparently cause. I actually *prefer* to read documents on the screen rather than printed out on paper...

      Well, I guess YMMV and all that...

      I personally spend a good amount of my day reading text on an LCD. But it isn't the same as reading a novel recreationally.

      When I'm reading stuff at work I'm not generally staring at pure text on an LCD for hours at a time. I'm generally being interrupted by phone calls... Or having to answer an IM or an email... Or I'm switching between multiple documents... Or I'll be navigating through something's GUI... Or a co-worker will stop by to ask a question...

      Normally none

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      I get eyestrain from LCD's. For me, it reminds me of a long day standing on concrete. Most days, it's not really that bad, but it's never as good as standing on turf. When I read a book, with proper lighting, it is never as bad. Like the foot strain analogy, I'm aware that it affect some people more than others.
      Now, I wouldn't give up the benefits of search and portability to reduce that eyestrain. But if I could reduce eyestrain while keeping those benefits from an electronic device, I'm interested.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bonius_rex (170357)
      In my experience, the eyestrain thing seems to be correlated with age. When I was a younger man, I read all sorts of e-books on my palm pilot with no problem. That was maybe 10 years ago. Now that I'm a wizened old geezer (35), I can only read on my droid for maybe half an hour before my eyes fee like they're starting to melt, but I can read on my Kindle for hours and hours with no problem. The fonts on the Kindle aren't especially good, so I doubt it's font-related.
    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      No.

      I spend hours straight reading off LCD screens. I don't get eye-strain, headaches, etc.

  • by Caue (909322) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:00PM (#31484722)
    The reasons I love printed books are still overseen by the manufacturers: lendability, durability, exchangability, highlightexability, pencilnoteability, trashability (when I simply don't enjoy the book, like reading dan brown for the first time.. urgh.)
    • by darjen (879890)

      Everything except portability and storage...

      • by vlm (69642)

        And freely shared digital copies of everything. Ooops, did I just say that?

        Seriously though, isn't the ratio of legit vs illegit content slightly better on ebooks than ipods due to project gutenberg and friends? But the ratio is not going to be dramatically different.

        So you'll have poor kids with million book library collections, and clueless execs claiming that's a "loss" of a million times the cost of a book, if not more. Yet regardless of that, apple, or someone, will have a billion dollar ebook store

      • Search also sucks. And making copies of your notes (in case you lose the book) is terribly time consuming.

  • Comics (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kenshin (43036) <kenshin&lunarworks,ca> on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:01PM (#31484750) Homepage

    This is now the ideal platform for comics. If content is moved to this format, you won't have to deal with horrible collectors if you want to read back issues.

    • Re:Comics (Score:4, Interesting)

      by grahamsz (150076) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:08PM (#31484854) Homepage Journal

      s/comics/porn/g

    • From the VHS player forward, the establishment of a new medium relied upon how well it handled pornography: what it looked like on the device, what was available for it, how anonymous the purchase/distribution could be.

      Adoption of E-books like the Kindle has been slow to catch fire NOT because people could not read Batman on them...

      • Not true. Beta failed because of VHS was cheaper. HD-DVD failed because of the PS3 blueray penetration. .gif failed because of licensing. DVD didn't really have any competition...
        • DVD didn't really have any competition...

          So VCD and Divx weren't competition to DVD?

          • DVD didn't really have any competition...

            So VCD and Divx weren't competition to DVD?

            that's not a real question, is it?

        • by Yvan256 (722131)

          I think one more reason why VHS won over Beta is the fact that a VHS tape could hold more hours of video.

          PS3 Blu-ray penetration. I see what you did there.

          GIF failed because of licensing? GIF failed?! In my universe, this event never happened. PNG still can't replace GIFs for animations because MNG failed to catch on.

    • I doubt you'd ever see comics (DC and Marvel style) move to a digital format. Part of their appeal and value is that over time only limited copies survive. The chance to be the owner of the fist superman for example would loose its value if it was a digital version that can be infinity copied. I completely understand where you're coming from, I believe comics are written to be read and for someone to buy and original copy, seal it up and lock it away where no one can ever see it again is a real crime in my

      • Sorry for the spelling mistakes. I clicked preview and nothing happened. I clicked it a second time and the post was made.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      If content is moved to this format, you won't have to deal with horrible collectors if you want to read back issues.

      Worst. Comment. Ever. - Comic Book Guy.

  • by TrippTDF (513419) <{hiland} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:33PM (#31485242)
    There is obviously going to be some class of device that is part ereader, part computer and part media center, but, just as the smartphone market too years to take shape, the accepted version of this device is still years away, so don't waste your money on an iPad or Kindle just yet... wait for the market to mature.
  • by RapmasterT (787426) on Monday March 15, 2010 @02:37PM (#31485308)
    "Peng argues that E Ink has nothing to fear from the e-book apps on the Apple iPad and other devices with color LCDs, which, in his view, produce more eye strain and aren't as suitable for digital reading. "

    LCD's aren't suitable for digital reading? You mean the LCD's I read off of 10 hours a day at work are completely unacceptable for reading now? I have a Kindle which uses the wonderful to read e-ink display and the low contrast, washed out grey text on lighter grey background, with no backlighting, slow page draws, and previous page ghosting, is NOT a superior reading experience to a decent LCD. Not even close. To claim otherwise is just bald faced LYING.

    I do a LOT of ebook reading on my iphone, and on my kindle, so I actually do know the difference. e-ink displays excel in battery life and that is the ONLY category they are better than modern LCD
    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday March 15, 2010 @03:45PM (#31486460) Homepage

      You mean the LCD's I read off of 10 hours a day at work are completely unacceptable for reading now?

      Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinions and preferences and whatever else... And there's certainly room for individual variation in how your eyes perform at different tasks...

      But, from what I've seen, most of the folks who claim that they're reading for 10 hours a day at work, aren't actually reading for 10 hours a day at work.

      If you actually look at their workflow, it doesn't generally involve staring at a screen containing nothing but text for a full 10 hours. Usually it involves looking at a screen running some kind of GUI that contains text elements. Usually it involves navigating through that GUI in order to display different text elements. Normally it involves looking at various images and diagrams in addition to text. Normally it involves periodic breaks to type or click buttons or answer the phone or speak with a co-worker or whatever.

      Which is actually pretty similar to what my workflow looks like. And in the average day I don't have any problem working off my LCD at work for 10 hours either. But that's a very different experience from when I'm curled up with a good book and reading for fun.

      When I'm reading for fun I'll attempt to remove as many distractions as possible. I will, hopefully, not be distracted from my book for many hours. I might very well spend 10 hours staring at text.

      I've been reading ebooks on various devices for years now. First a Handspring Visor... Then a Palm PDA... Then an assortment of netbooks and laptops and desktop computers... And now I'm reading them on a nook...

      And I'll tell you right now that when I wind up reading something engaging - literally staring at text for multiple hours with no distractions - on an LCD I definitely experience eyestrain. There have been days when I wound up doing literally what you suggest in your post - staring at text for 10 hours straight - and by the time I get home in the evening my eyes basically refuse to focus. It becomes impossible to read much of anything.

      No, I don't have some kind of degenerative eye disease... It's just eye strain, nothing more. And it can happen reading off of paper or watching TV or anything else. It just so happens that for me an LCD causes more strain than printed paper, or an e-ink display.

      Now, I'm not going to call you a liar simply because I disagree with you...

      And I personally agree that the Kindle has a less-than-wonderful display - which is why I bought a nook, which has better contrast in my opinion.

      But I suspect that you don't spend quite as much time staring at text on a screen as you suggested in your post.

    • I would like to know what mechanism he attributes to the extra LCD eyestrain to.

      You can just as easily argue that having a fully adjustable back light allows you to reduce eyestrain by always having access to ideal illumination levels.

      FUD

       

  • Low frame rate on those things so power use would be almost negligible. I wonder if you could almost power something like that with solar panels from the florescent lights in my building (no clue how much power you can capture from those).

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