Could Your E-Reader Impair Your Eyesight?

Could Your E-Reader Impair Your Eyesight?

Taryn Williford
Feb 16, 2010

Remember all that thinking and legwork you put into finding an HDTV with the perfect resolution and dimensions for your living room, all to keep your eyes in tip top shape? Wouldn't it suck to find out that you're reversing all that good eye karma with your e-reader?

After Apple's announcement of the iPad, it's clear that tablet-style e-readers are bound to be a staple in every techie household. But with so many varieties of readers, the Kindle and Nook with their E-Ink and the iPad with a full-color LCD display, which one is best for the eyes? And is any of it better for your peepers than low-tech ink-and-paper?

The New York Times asked Michael Bove, director of the Consumer Electronics Laboratory at the M.I.T. Media Lab, and it turns out that there's no clear answer:

"It depends on the viewing circumstances, including the software and typography on the screen," said Mr. Bove. "Right now E Ink is great in sunlight, but in certain situations, a piece of paper can be a better display than E Ink, and in dim light, an LCD display can be better than all of these technologies."

What really matters is you, not your screen. The same rules you use for setting up your computer monitor can apply to your handheld e-reader. Don't get too close to the screen and make sure to keep it a few degrees below eye level with the top of the screen tilted a bit further back than the bottom. And make sure you blink. Most screen-related eye strain comes from our un-blinkable focus, not the glow.

Via New York Times

(Image: Flickr user zachholman under license from Creative Commons.)

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