Eye Health

05 June 2013

Illuminated ebook readers comforting for eyes

Readers of ebooks aren't just enjoying a good book, they're giving their eyes a break, thanks to the high contrast of the display, which is good for the eyes.

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Readers of ebooks aren't just enjoying a good book, they're giving their eyes a break, thanks to the high contrast of the display, which is good for the eyes.

Indeed, readers who want to take even better care of their eyes - even while reading in the dark - should think about models with background lighting.

Overall, wear and tear on the eyes is reduced the more the reading settings of a device are set to an individual's needs, reports Stiftung Warentest, a German consumer products tester after checking out 13 readers.

The four highest-ranking ones all had display lighting.

Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite, starting at 129 euros (R1658.20) in Europe, earns the highest score because of its high quality display and ease of use. If used about two hours a day at medium lighting, its battery can last 31 days.

People and the internet

However, Kindle users are walled off from the rest of the internet, since Amazon only allows its customers to use its ebook format, whereas other manufacturers use the open Epub format, which allows a wider choice of stores and access to public libraries, for example.

The Tolino Shine scored a close second place, priced at 100 euros (R1285.42) with 27 days of battery life. The Kobo Glo (130 euros) R1671.05 had 23 days of life. Further back was the Sony PRS-T2 (119 euros) R1529.66, which has no background lighting, but had a battery that could last 91 days with two hours a day of use, the longest time recorded.

The testers said tablet computers aren't a great alternative to ebooks, since their contrast generally isn't good enough to allow outdoor reading in the sun and because the smallest tablets still tend to be larger and heavier than the average ebook reader. dpa/tmn av sir ncs jbp

 

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Optometrist

Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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