Ebook readers and e-paper – what is it?


An e-book reader is a device where you read books.

You ask, what for? Especially for reading books? Can not be on the computer screen?

We have a lot of e-books today. The thing is that reading them is as convenient as reading ordinary books. Therefore, the readers are winning with computers. People have enough to look at the monitor.


We start with e-paper

However, there would be no readers if it were not for electronic paper.

If you have never seen such a paper, you will probably be surprised. Electronic paper is a display that looks similar to a traditional book. Sometimes there is almost no difference.

It’s really difficult to explain what e-paper is to someone who did not have to deal with it live. Does your friend have an e-reader? You’ll meet someone on the bus or cafe with a reader – ask him to let you hold him. Read a few sentences. Go to the next page. But be careful, it draws you!


How does e-paper work?

In a nutshell – e-paper is a small ball of ink, which, through electrical impulses, is arranged in pixels. So we have a bright background and dark ink that shows the text. Here are the differences in paper and LCD screens in enlargement:

E-paper does not shine in itself, so it requires external lighting, but more and more readers have built-in lighting, which we use only when, for example, on the train it is dark, because it is not needed in the sunlight.


The advantages of e-paper readers:

The screen does not shine in our eyes (even if it has additional diodes, they illuminate the screen from above), so it does not strain the eyes, just like with the LCD monitors.
The text is readable from any angle.
The screen does not shine and does not reflect strong light – so you can read in full sun. The more the sun shines on the screen, the more comfortable it is to read! Here a suggestive comparison of the e-paper screen and LCD.

Long battery life. Electricity is mainly used for switching pages. Most Amazon readers can withstand up to 10 days of internet connection, and up to 30 days off. With intensive use it is shorter, but the time counts in days, not in hours as in the case of tablets.
The readers are light and small. Most readers weigh 170-250 grams and have a pencil thickness. This is what:


There are some disadvantages:

To read, you need a light source, so if it is dark, we must light the lamp. Well, no one says that this is a flaw in a paper book. For some time now readers with built-in lighting, for example Kindle Paperwhite, are available, as it looks in practice, read in our review of this model.
Weaker – compared to real paper – the contrast of e-paper displays, although better with each model. The Pearl / Carta displays used in the new readers are really good.
No color. Better readers have 16 levels of gray, worse 4-8. Photos look just like in black and white newspapers.


How does the e-reader work?

On the reader, we have to upload our books in the form of files.

There are formats specifically created for electronic books, such as EPUB and MOBI. In these formats, books are sold by Polish bookstores.

If we have a book in a „normal” format (eg DOC, HTML), some readers read them directly, but we can easily convert them to e-book formats. Free programs such as Caliber are used for this.

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