In one of my earlier notes, I suggested that Amazon made an error by making the screen surround bright white. The eye judges brightness relatively, roughly based on the average brightness of the scene being observed. This is how things look (more or less) the same whether we're in a room lit dimly or brightly.
By putting a very white area surrounding the screen, it makes the screen look even darker than it is.
When I heard of the "DecalGirl" skins for the Kindle, I jumped at the opportunity and bought one of the black skins (the Kindle 9000). The transformation is amazing! I know that my screen is exactly the same as it was before, but against the inky black surround, it seriously looks like the screen is glowing and back-lit! And with the Might Bright light, illuminating it, it looks almost paper-white.
Yes, this is a trick, because nothing has changed. However, engineers (I'm one, I've managed many) have a tendency to think in numerical terms, not psycho-physical ones. The brain interprets things in very relative ways, and by taking advantage of this, we can do things to make things look "better" or "worse" than they are by the numbers.
I encourage others to experiment. It's clear that many of us believe in this technology but are underwhelmed by the screen contrast. Here's something that can help. Good luck!
I too bought the kindle 9000 Skin. My background was always bright enough for me, but taking away the white frame of the kindle did improve the view for me. seemed to take away a brightness that was distracting my eyes. Glad I bought it, Love the kindle!
I was called to the school once because my son was too talkative. My suggestion of moving him away from his friend fell on deaf ears so I asked if they'd tried "Duct Tape" [jokingly of course]. The looney bins looked at me like I was crazy - they thought I said "Duck Tape" and were aghast [at the thought of making tape from ducks, I suppose]. Good one dog!
In all seriousness, I think that is a terrific piece of info!! Many of us would never have given that a thought. I have the burlwood skin; just haven't put it on yet. Now, I must give it a try! Thanks for the tip. This is definitely a possible solution for a lot of people. We should keep 'bumping' this post to the top of the list in order to spread the word.
Wow! Duct tape on a nice looking item! Not for me. I think too many neurotic ideas float in among these comments. Oops. sorry to sound like a psychologist. I guess some verbalizations belie our past or presnt trade! LOL Jerry
The all black skin on my Kindle did seem to give the illusion that the background is lighter and the text is darker, but it also causes a glare because it's high gloss. I wish they offered a non-glossy one.
Yes, I find that to be the one drawback so far. The MightBright reflects off the skin's shiny surface when I position it so that it doesn't reflect off the screen. I've been considering a carefully cut piece of matte electrical tape along the edge of the skin. I also seem to recall a matte finish spray coating that can be applied, from my photography days. Obviously, that would be done before applying the skin to the Kindle!
In all seriousness, look at virtually every other device where the screen is important, from televisions to the iPhone - the primary area surrounding the screen is black or at least quite dark. They've known this stuff for decades and the Amazon design team just made a rookie design mistake by making it bright white.
Thanks for all the info. I'm off to Decalgirl to buy a dark skin. I thought the screen was just fine, but after seeing some pics folks had uploaded, I have to agree, the skins make the screen look better.
What this illustrates is how distracting the white bezel can be! Why couldn't Amazon have just made the screen bigger - extending nearly to the edges. To compensate for this design flaw and the poor contrast (i.e., lighter text and gray background), I'm getting a custom skin from Skin It. Hopefully, it will make the device "disappear."
http://www.skinit.com/loadCustomizer.php (might not show up; try blending in a background color w/ a design)
I'm curious...Would using a skin that MATCHES the screen color (i.e., grayish), be any more effective than a black-framed skin? With my customized gray, I was trying to match the screen's color to create the illusion that the screen extended to the edges of the device.
Ted-san, I looked for contact info or an e-mail address for you on your pages but couldn't find any.
You were saying on your page that the screen image was lighter than what was showing, so I took your image and just removed the blue-green tint done by the camera (in your other pics with your Kindle, the screen looks nigh perfect) in case you want to use that. http://andrys.com/Ambient-dark-surround-r.jpg