E-Ink vs. OLED/LCD - Real World Use

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Dr.Buzz, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. Dr.Buzz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    #1
    When it was first revealed that the iPad would not have some half-$%# version of an e-ink screen (think Pixel Qi), I was growing concerned my eyes would pay the price with strain looking at an LCD. Since then, as a doctor, I did some research on the subject of eye strain. Thing is, it doesn't matter if you are sitting in the sun with an iphone or a book that is reflecting bright glare from its pages, brightness is brightness, regardless if backlit or reflected. The big concern is actually font size. If too small, the vision strains to read it accurately without discomfort. The second issue is contrast, for example, watching TV in the dark. There is no real proof that LCD causes eye strain in standard reading conditions. If you like to read in the dark, any glare will "tire out" your eyes, even light reflected off of book pages. But in the plain light of day, LCD should not threaten anyone's eyes any more than staring at a glossy magazine on the beach would. You still want to wear sunglasses either way... on that note....

    As I sit on vacation on Kauai, I'm reading my iphone in direct sunlight with easier clarity than my paper book. The book pages are standard, but are reflecting so hard I need glasses. The text on my iphone almost exactly looks like an e-ink screen in direct sunlight. I can't even find an angle that I cannot read it with ease. Would I watch a movie in direct sunlight? No. But reading is actually quite easy - like with an e-ink screen. Outside of the obvious power advantages, I now see OLED or LCD as the clear choice for any multi-use tablet. E-ink is marketing hype, with no credible data that LCD increases strain. Look, if you sat in the dark with one spotlight brightly over your e-ink kindle, your eyes would still start to hurt because of the contrast between the dark room and the bright source light - same as if you were in a dark room with any type of backlit monitor.
     
  2. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    #2
    It's kinda funny you mention viewing the screen in direct sunlight, because OLED screens are actually horrible in outdoor use. I know, who knew? I thought OLEDs were better than LCD in every way until I discovered this…

    [​IMG]

    ^ That's a picture of the OLED screen of the Zune outside. What, you think it's turned off? Look closer…

    I used to be disappointed Apple went for this halfway house of LCD with IPS. Why not get with the times and give us an OLED screen on the iPad Apple?? But then I found out about the above, and have decided Apple probably went with the best option.
     
  3. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #3

    I watched a video today of the Samsung phone with AMOLED (or is it "super" AMOLED) and the claim is that it is "20%" brighter than previous AMOLED's and the video purports to show it's bright enough to be seen outside. However, the video is overexposed, so I'm not sure I believe their claims. I'd have to see one in person. I like how my Storm2 and touch are visible outside--something I can't say for other screens on devices I own like cameras and laptops. (i have never owned any OLED type of screen)
     
  4. rittchard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2007
    #4
    I know Kindle users swear by their eInk being "easier on the eyes" for extended durations. I've seen the Kindle in action and it does look good, but then when I read on my iPhone Kindle App - particularly if I change to Sepia mode with the largest font, I can't imagine reading being significantly easier on my eyes than that. I think a lot of it is psychological.
     
  5. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #5
    yep--my wife and I both read on our Touchs--full novels. We read til we get sleepy--not stopping because it hurts our eyes, which it never does.
     
  6. Dr.Buzz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    #6
    Wow, that imagine of the OLED makes a great point. Thanks. LCD it is then until they fix the OLED problem. It's always so interesting. We get on the bandwagon for new technology before we know all of the setbacks. I imagine the only reason Amazon when with e-ink is because 1. someone actually told them LCD is bad for eyes 2. its obviously less expensive 3. power consumption was a major priority.
     
  7. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #7
    Sorry Doc but I humbly disagree.
    I find reading eInk on a Kindle a lot easier on my eyes than light producing screens of any kind (LCD, OLED, etc.).
     
  8. EssentialParado macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    #8
    I find the Kindle's version of the New York Times harsh on my eyes :p

    [​IMG]
     
  9. dave1812dave macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    #9
    I bet u don't read photo mags or books, books on art or travel, on your Kindle. B&W rendering of such content blows. The first thing I did after installing the kindle app to my Touch, was to download a book on photography. The images looked awesome! They would be lame on a kindle.
     
  10. 4DThinker macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    #10
    The physics of glare are easy to manipulate to make any screen tech with glass in front look bad. All you need is a brighter reflection off the glass than what's illuminated behind the glass. I have three devices with OLED screens and can read the screens outside so long as I have the reflected image off the screens darker than the screen's output. I can also set up conditions so any backlit LCD screen is washed out by reflected glare. Yes, backlit LCDs have more light potential. They also require more power. What OLED allows is considerably longer battery life. My Cowon S9 lasts for an average of 50 hours between charges. The iPad may very well have had a 20 hour rating if it had come with an OLED screen. It would have been a few hundred more expensive too.
     

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