EDM Kindle vs. Nook – Round 1: E ink Screen Dithering

Posted on December 18, 2009

eReader Death Match (EDM)

Round 1: E ink Screen Dithering

On the surface, the Kindle 2 and Nook seem to sport the same e-Ink screen. Both eReaders use a E Ink® Vizplex™ electronic paper display. The Nook also has a color LCD navigational screen but for our comparison will only review the E Ink screen on each device.

Click Photo to Enlarge

I uploaded a grayscale photo (see above) on each device and viewed it at full screen. If you enlarge the photo you can clearly see that each eReader renders grayscale shades differently. The photo on the Nook is clearly more pleasing to the eye when it renders the different shades of gray. The Nook display also seems to have higher contrast which makes text look darker and easier to read.

Now look at the different shades of gray on the kindle display (look at the clouds in the sky). The kindle shows a distinct contrast (hard edges) between the grayscale shades. The Kindle also has an option to turn dithering on or off in a photo but I could not see any difference in quality.

I am not exactly sure why the Nook renders photos better, especially since they are using the same type of screen.

My first thought: I have an original Kindle 2 which may use an older production version of the E Ink screen which they might have improved in the newer Nook.

My second thought: the devices use different operating systems and the eReader software renders the photographs slightly different which is the result shown above.

Round One Winner: Barnes & Noble Nook


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