The evolution of e-ink through the eyes of Jeff Atwood

Original author: Jeff Atwood
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Now all smartphones and tablets get all the ads, and they deserve it. But if you put next to the first mass-produced device on eInk from 2007, Amazon Kindle , next to the modern model, the evolution of devices on eInk is amazing.

Both devices have a screen diagonal of 6 inches. Everything else is fundamentally different.

8 "x 5.3" x 0.8 "
290 g
6.4 "x 4.5" x 0.3 "
179 g
6 "eInk display
167 PPI
4 level greyscale
6 "eInk display
300 PPI
16 level grayscale
256 MB4 GB
400 Mhz CPU1 GHz CPU
$ 399$ 199
7 days
USB battery
6 weeks
cellular battery

Compared to smartphones, devices are primitive, but this is part of their charm. It's like a scooter compared to a motorcycle. Not so versatile, but as a simple transport - it is radically simpler, cheaper and more reliable. This is an example of how you can discard the excess and leave only the essence.

EInk devices are paradoxically pleasing in that they are bad for everything but reading. At first, it does not look like an object of desire, but then you notice how you constantly switch to Twitter, Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat, or wherever, while reading. And eInk devices allow you to escape from the world and immerse yourself in reading as a whole.

I myself believe that electronic devices are cooler than paper books. Of course, we can read on any device that is now with us, and which can show words and paragraphs. And the appearance of retina screens made reading more enjoyable on tablets and smartphones.

But the idea of ​​very cheap and widespread devices on eInk, replacing very cheap and widespread paper books, which I absorbed as a child, I am very attracted to. I can’t refuse it. Reading is the foundation of everything .

That's why I will buy, without looking, every new Kindle device on eInk. I was smart enough not to buy the first one (just look at it), but since the third generation from 2010 I have all the models.

I also tracked the cost of devices to find out when they drop to $ 49 or lower. While this is not -The simplest reader , which, compared to the first device from 2007, still looks cool, is now sold for $ 59.

But back to the flagship device, the Kindle Voyage . It is trying to be not cheap, but cool. Firstly, this is the first device with a resolution of 300 PPI (also known as retina) from Amazon. If you are aware of how the iPhone 4 has changed the world of smartphones, you should already line up.

When you see 300 PPI in eInk, it really seems to you that you are looking at high-quality printing, not a matrix of RGB pixels. Yes, it is still black and white, but awesome. Here are some screenshots from my device.

Due to the vagueness inherent in eInk, the image resolution seems even higher.

Finally, the resolution allows me to choose a thin rather than a thick font, namely Caecilia .

The backlight was presented in the Paperwhite device, and it delivered a lot of toothache. But the third time is magical, and they achieved a good backlight, which improves the overall contrast and allows you to read at night. Voyage also received a light sensor, so it adjusts the backlight automatically, whether you are on a clear day on the street, or in a dark room. It's like auto-adjusting the brightness of the headlights - one less setting for manual adjustment.

Voyage also returned the page turning buttons, or rather the touch areas on the case. I admit, it took me a long time to adapt to them, and I really thought that it would not work out - but now I am their adherent. The ability to turn the page almost without moving a finger - a light touch is enough, to which the device responds with a light tactile vibration, adds pleasure to reading. But I had to learn and get used to it.

In my experience, eInk devices are more fragile than tablets and smartphones on average. Therefore, you will need a case to automatically turn on and off and protection such as "throw a book in a bag." But unfortunately, the original case is terrible. Do not buy it.

Previous original covers were expensive but well made. Case for Voyage is expensive and disgusting. Strangely develops, hangs, destroys the idea of ​​how the book should open. I recommend a simple case for $ 14.99 , which works with automatic shutdown and opens normally.

Well, not all the device has roses and songs, of course. Problems with text formatting have not gone away - but I would like to expect more from a huge company that deals with books. And which has a gigantic budget and a bunch of smart people on a salary.

If you have already used devices on eInk, or are waiting for a better device for this, then you can easily recommend Kindle Voyage . So far this is the best device. I recommend, I would buy it again, and I will probably buy all future models on eInk, because I am addicted to them. Addiction to reading. Reading is the foundation of everything.

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