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Well blow me down, I was just about to post that I thought this was a fault when I took a closer look at my Kindle 3 and found it does it as well! :-[

Where I see it most is when going from the book list, and picking a book that is part way down the page. If the book has a nearly blank title page (as a lot do), there is a noticeable grey shadow across the screen where the black highlight was.

I do see the effect on text as well, but it is not very noticeable to me, I'd have to look hard to say that there's a difference.

If you press Alt-G (which does a screen refresh) it goes away.

This is indeed just a characteristic of the e-Ink screen. Because of the way it works (techie explanation below) a solid area of black can cause this "ghosting" effect on the next screen. Amazon have put a lot of thought into the way they drive the display to minimise this effect - for instance, some people report it on their own screensavers if the image has solid blocks of colour, the dead authors are designed in such a way that there are no solid blocks only shades of grey. So I'm rather surprised they put this strange black selection area in the menu, especially since it does little except appear for a fraction of a second to tell you the book is loading.

In fact, I think that the way the black bar appears only momentarily is adding to the problem - see below.

carrock said:
I'm in two minds now... Is this how the K3 works or is it a problem? As my wife's K3 doesn't do this, maybe it's variable or a problem? Perhaps I should see what Amazon have to say on this?
My advice would be to ignore it, rather like the flashes of the screen changes you'll soon find you don't notice it. The discrepancy between your and your wife's Kindles may be a slight variable in build, or may be due to different books (if the book takes longer to load it may give the screen time to refresh) or it may be related to temperature if they're kept in different places - the Kindle slows down significantly when it's cold.

(Techie bit...)

The e-ink screen is made up of an array (600 x 800) of tiny clear dots each of which contains black and white ink particles, and it moves these to the top and bottom by means of an electric charge:


If the screen is just switched (as, for example, when you go up and down the menu), not all of the particles move so you get grey left behind (hence the ghosting).

When the Kindle does a page change, it actually does 2 or three changes and displays a negative image for a moment - this is why you see a white/black/white flash. The negative image is there to push the pigment around so that more of it moves than would do with a normal screen change. Effectively it bounces all the ink particles bottom to top to bottom and then puts them where it wants them.

Clearly here with the black bar it's not working quite perfectly, possibly because the line is still being displayed as the book opens ie it goes from the underline of the title, then you click to select, it puts up the black bar and loads the book, so there are a lot of screen changes going on very quickly.

Makes you feel sorry for the ink particles!
 
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