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In our initial test we looked at the same blocks of text using an iPad against my current e-Reader, the SONY PRS-700, which is a 8-grey scale Vizplex screen of the previous generation. My living room only had natural lighting coming in from the sides of our bay window. This is iBooks shown at approximately 50 percent brightness level. I found that anywhere between 20 and 50 percent was about as high as you want to go in daytime ambient natural light. While not evident in this picture, the Vizplex screen is very easy to read in ambient natural light indoors.
Here is Amazon's Kindle reader app shown against the PRS-700 in natural light. The Kindle app appears to have its lighting "Governed" in that it will not exceed brightness levels that will strain eyesight and appears to be a aware of ambient light levels in order to compensate.Click here to read more at ZDNet Tech Broiler
Sandy is a good friend of mine who is a hardcore Kindle 2 user who reads over 20 books a month. I first had her try the iPad in the living room. After about an hour of use, she started to experience eyestrain and wanted to stop reading it under these conditions.Click here to read more at ZDNet Tech Broiler