Flash! Amazon’s E-Ink 101

 Flash! Amazon’s E-Ink 101

We know that one of the big dividing points (and there are many) between the Kindle and the iPad is the E-Ink screen on the former.

But when you say that to people, it just sounds too techie for some of them.  They like the idea that they can read a tablet in the dark without an external light.  Why, they wonder, is E-Ink such an advantage?

In this

announcement thread

Amazon lets us know that they have added a big section to the Kindle 3‘s product page to compare E-Ink to a backlit screen.

I think they’ve done a very nice marketing job on it.  I love the side-by-side of a Kindle screen magnified 300 times and an LCD screen magnified 300 times.  The LCD is unreadable.  Of course, unless you are Scott Carey in the Incredible Shrinking Man or you read through an electron microscope, you aren’t ever going to see them looking like this.  😉

The bar graph showing the battery life  of various devices is also striking.  The Kindle’s bar is green…the others are some kind of orange or something.  That proves it’s better, right?  🙂  Just kidding…the graph is very clear.

Interestingly, you know what it doesn’t say?  That the backlit screen causes more eye strain.  That’s always been one of the tenets of the pro E-Ink argument, but there hasn’t been a lot of data to back it up.  It absolutely seems logical, but I think most of the studies haven’t differentiated backlit screens versus reflective screens…it’s just been “reading on screens”.  That will change over time.  They do cite an LA. Times article that reading on a backlit screen right before sleep interferes with sleep, saying, “…Kindle is better for your sleep.” 

It’s interesting to me that the comparison now has to include backlit screens, as opposed to paper (which is how the Kindle ads started).  Reading e-books on a portable computer just wasn’t a market force when the Kindle was introduced, although it was happening.  Now, you can’t just compare Kindles to paperbooks…you have to include comparing them to backlit devices.

This is just part of the information on the Kindle product page, which has added more features.  There is (logically) more about the actual content and the accessories.   This holiday gift-giving season, there will be a lot more people who already have Kindles…and you are looking for something to go with it.  Wait until they make the appearance of gifting Kindle content better! 

Anyway, nicely done, even if it doesn’t tell you much technically.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog


2 Responses to “Flash! Amazon’s E-Ink 101”

  1. tuxgirl Says:

    sounds to me like they are getting ready for nook color….

    • bufocalvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, tuxgirl!

      That certainly could be true…presuming the rumored NOOK is LCD. It’s rather expensive (if the rumored price is true) for an LCD screen, but hard to say.

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