Back lighting in ebook reader

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Back lighting in ebook reader

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1crazybatcow
Août 31, 2009, 7:13am

I'm expecting to get a Sony reader for Christmas. I just noticed in another post that it is not back lit, and that some people like it better this way.

Does this lack of back lighting mean that you have to be in a lighted room to see the screen, or that the light comes from the side, or something? (I.e. could one read in a car at night?)

Is there a specific reason against back lighting? (or is it just that some people don't like it because it's less like traditional reading?)

2WholeHouseLibrary
Modifié : Août 31, 2009, 12:31pm

Backlighting means the light comes from inside. The LACK of it means that you would need an external light source to read the device, just as you would a codex.

I have an 1150 (2 actually) eBook reader, and I can read it virtually anywhere because back lighting is infinitely adjustable. It causes a little eyestrain, I suspect, although I haven't had that problem at all. The edges of the letters are not as sharp as with eBooks that have eInk technology, though.

Edited for clarification...

3bluetyson
Août 31, 2009, 11:44am

Lit screens use huge amounts of power, so you get battery life in hours, rather than weeks (if only reading).

One of the points of eink is to use very little juice.

4WholeHouseLibrary
Août 31, 2009, 12:29pm

True. Really? You can read several hours a day for weeks without a recharge? That's great!

My older 1150 reading device is easily 9 years old, gets between 15 and 22 hours on a single charge, depending on the brightness and contrast, and I haven't had to replace the batteries yet.

5Helcura
Août 31, 2009, 1:49pm

The absence of backlighting also makes a difference from the eyestrain perspective if you read for many hours at a time. I read on both a Kindle (not backlit) and on my Palm (backlit) and I find that for sessions of more than an hour or so, the Kindle is much more comfortable. I've read for eight to ten hours on a Kindle and had no more of headache than reading that long in paper books.

6reading_fox
Sep 1, 2009, 9:10am

The Sony505 handily has an optional 'LightWedge' cover, which uses 2AA to provide an LED light.

Without this cover there is no light, and the screen will be no more (and possibly less) readable than paper in the same light conditions.

#4 Eink screens claim about 7000 page turns between charges. Pageturn includes going back and forth between menus, turning on etc. I found in practical terms it's about 1-2 weeks of a few hours reading per day, but only about 2000 book pages.

7tames
Sep 11, 2009, 3:29pm

You can get all kinds of LED book lights that clip on. I just ordered the prs600 (backordered), and just got the case without the light. They wanted $30 more for the case with the light. I am going to try a couple of the book lights I already have on the regular case.

8rfb
Sep 11, 2009, 4:32pm

Hasn't anybody else ever wondered about the irony that Amazon chose the name Kindle for an eBook reader that uses eInk and no (back)lighting?

9KLmesoftly
Nov 12, 2009, 3:10am

I read ebooks on my iPod and very much appreciate the backlight--though it is a drain on power, depending on whether I listen to music while I read. Ipod has a variable brightness setting, which I normally have at 31% (which gives me 20 hours or so of reading between recharges). I assume most dedicated readers have this sort of control as well?

10reading_fox
Nov 12, 2009, 5:56am

#9 "I assume most dedicated readers have this sort of control as well?"

NO. Most dedicated Ereaders, are E-Ink, which gives 10-14 days use between recharges. But has NO brightness setting, or any backlight at all. See above. It looks like grey paper. If you couldn't read a book without a light, you wouldn't be able to read an Ereader.

11Phlox72
Nov 12, 2009, 7:07pm

#9...I do the same thing, and I really like to read in bed at night with all the lights out. The backlighting enables that, so I wouldn't want an e-reader without that feature.

I have wondered if I could be damaging my eyes by reading this way, but so far my eyesight seems not to have deteriorated ( I usually get my eyes tested once a year).

12WholeHouseLibrary
Nov 12, 2009, 9:54pm

Some people complain about eyestrain with backlit screens.
That has never been my experience, though. (Ref. #2)