Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Backlit LCD vs. E Ink, which is better?

Consider this part 2 of my ebook reader review. I have a friend who is still torn between an LCD reader and an E Ink one so I decided to write this follow-up to my previous review.

The big question is, which one is better? There's no straight answer to this, unfortunately. Whether one or the other is better depends on what you need it for.

I have listed down several questions that helped me decide which one to buy. If you were as confused as I was a few months ago, try to answer these questions. It should help you decide what's best.

Question #1: Why am I buying this?
Do I need it to surf the net, or update my status in all my social network sites? Uhm, no. I had a laptop for that as well as my trusty old iPhone. When I'm at home or out with my friends, I don't even look at my cellphones, let alone post Tweets. I needed a book reader, plain and simple.

Question #2: How light is the gadget?
One reason why I never even thought of wanting the iPad is its size and weight. It might look cool but it's simply too big for my purpose. I needed a gadget that is small and compact and the iPad is definitely NOT that. Even the B&N Nook Color is a bit too big for me. I read in bed so having to hold up 1.5 lbs as I try to read is not my idea of relaxation. I wanted something that I can carry on long flights or out of town trips without breaking my back with its weight.

Question #3: Do I really need to read in color?
My answer is no. I literally have hundreds of books and very few of them are picture books. The picture books that I do have, and I'm particularly proud of this, are from my collection of children's books. Frankly, if you're interested in the type, I highly recommend actually buying the children's books. They don't really make great ebook material. I don't read comic books or magazines either. So that means, whether I'm reading a hardcover book, trade paperback or just a mass market one, I'm used to reading in black and white.

Question #4: Can my eyes stand staring at it for hours on end?
I'm going to give you a 'for instance.' My primary reason for choosing E Ink is the length of time I will use it every day. I've already mentioned in my previous blog that I am a heavy reader. On regular days when I'm working, I read for about 2 - 3 hours before I go to sleep. On weekends that number gets doubled. I could read up to 16 hours in one go if I really like the book. It's not unusual for me to finish reading 2 books a night, from cover to cover.

All these questions made me realize what I needed. I might have been tempted with the look of the Nook Color but it doesn't really suit my purpose. All the extras are just fluff since I already have other gadgets that can do everything that a tablet can do. E Ink was the best fit for me.

...so I bought the Nook and I've been happily reading ever since.

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