e-Reader technology has certainly changed in 2012 and many companies are releasing front lit devices. How exactly do they work and what makes them different from tablets? The Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo Glo, and Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight all use LED lights that project the light across the screen. The Nook has them on the top of the bezel facing downwards and most others have them on the bottom of the bezel facing up. This makes screens easier on the eyes because the light is not emitting from behind the screens, as is the case with tablets, smartphones, and monitors.
e-Readers that employ the front lit technology have a number of benefits. In the past, if you wanted to read at night, you would need a book light or ambient light in the room. The new breed of e-readers does away with bulky accessories and puts it all in one lightweight package. Most e-reader light settings can be augmented by using a slider bar to control the luminosity. You can either turn the light completely off or find that sweet spot depending on how light or dark a room is.
2013 will be a big year as Ectaco, and Pocketbook have both announced front lit e-readers using e-Ink Triton 2, to give you control over the built in light and also give you full color e-ink. The future looks bright for e-readers right now.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.