“First of all: doctors say that reading on a screen won’t cause any harm.,” Nick Bilton reports for The New York Times. Yet, “there is a lively debate among fans of e-readers and paper books about which type of reading experience is most friendly to the eyes. It turns out the answer isn’t as black-and-white as we might assume.”
“Doctors and researchers note that in most instances, paper can offer more visual sophistication than a screen. But certain types of paper, including inexpensive newsprint and the paper in softcover books, can actually provide an inferior reading experience for our eyes than the electronic alternatives,” Bilton reports. “With e-readers, there are currently numerous display technologies available, from the black-and-white E Ink technology found in Amazon.com’s Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook, to the coming full-color IPS LCD display that will come built into Apple’s iPad. And then there’s old-fashioned paper. Does one offer a better reading experience than the others?”
“Michael Bove, director of the Consumer Electronics Laboratory at the M.I.T. Media Lab, says different screens make sense for different purposes,” Bilton reports. “‘It depends on the viewing circumstances, including the software and typography on the screen,’ said Mr. Bove. ‘Right now E Ink is great in sunlight, but in certain situations, a piece of paper can be a better display than E Ink, and in dim light, an LCD display can be better than all of these technologies.’
“Apple’s latest IPS LCD screens include extremely wide viewing angles, but the reflective glass on the screen could be a hindrance in brightly lit situations,” Bilton reports. “Carl Taussig, director of Hewlett-Packard’s Information Surfaces Lab, said the 120 Hz refresh rate typical of modern screens is much quicker than our eyes can even see. ‘The new LCDs don’t affect your eyes,’ Mr. Taussig said. ‘Today’s screens update every eight milliseconds, whereas the human eye is moving at a speed between 10 and 30 milliseconds.'”
Full article here.
Kit eaton reports for Fast Company, “E-ink’s position as the key display tech in e-readers may be brief, simply because Apple’s newest gizmo is going to drive some serious multi-purpose innovations into the tablet PC/e-reader market… and portable devices with an e-ink screen just won’t match up.”
Full article, “Will E-Ink Go the Way of Plasma? iPad Bets Yes,” here.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple iPad’s LED-Backlit IPS (in-plane switching) display is a high-resolution (132 pixels per inch) 9.7-inch screen that’s remarkably crisp and vivid. Due to its use of IPS, iPad has a wide 178° viewing angle, so users can hold it almost any way and still get a brilliant picture with excellent contrast and color.