I am sure everyone has run into the situation where you need to hunt around for a bit of shade and get out of direct sunlight to read on your phone or tablet. LCD screens tend to reflect light like nobodies business because the average screen has multiple layers. Serious readers often turn to their trusty Kindles or Nooks because E Ink enabled displays are easily readable even in direct sunlight because the electronic paper reflect light like ordinary paper.
People tend to think that smartphones, tablets and e-readers are the same thing if you read on the device. This is simply not the case and there is a a fundamental difference between an iPad and a Kindle. The Apple iPad for example, has in-plane switching (IPS), light-emitting diode (LED), liquid crystal display (LCD) that produces crisp, clear colors under normal conditions. It’s not laminated the same way the iPhone screen is, so it’s even slightly more reflective when it catches rays.
E Ink technology relies on reflected, not emitted, light. This ensures text looks natural in any lighting condition. We have conducted many reading tests in direct sunlight with tablets and it is basically unreadable.
How does an e-reader perform in direct sunlight? Today, we have a series of videos that demonstrate how a few six inch and a 9.7 inch e-reader fare when reading outside. As an added bonus we show you exactly why tablets are bad for reading in the sun. We show you the iPad Air, iPad Mini 2 and the iPhone 5 all together.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.