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Old 02-22-2012, 05:01 PM   #1
kaputnik
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My solution to the bezel glare problem

Discovered this site not long after I bought my PRS-T1 sometime in November, been lurking the forums since then. I'm really astonished of how helpful and nice everyone seems to be to each other here, so now, when I had something to contribute, registering and doing just that felt like a no brainer.

I guess every PRS-T1 owner has been wondering what Sony's engineers thought when they designed the E-reader in question with a glossy front bezel, the glare can be really annoying. Sure, there are cases that covers the bezel, but personally I rather attack the very root of the problem if I can

Found the service manual here on Mobileread when googling for instructions on how to disassemble the PRS-T1, and with that at my disposal, opening the reader and removing the bezel was pretty easy.

I made an opening tool as depicted in the service manual from a piece of ABS plastic. I wouldn't recommend metal, or anything else that's a lot harder than the material the shell is made of, it's probably made to be shock resistant, and that usually means its somewhat prone to plastic deformation. If you got a strong thumb nail, you could probably use that as well.

Insert the tool between the back side and the bezel. I found it to be easiest to do in a corner, just bend out the bezel a little bit to make room for the tool, and insert it. Run the tool along the side, and bend the back side slightly outwards where the service manual says there's a claw. I did it in the order suggested in the service manual, I begun with the top, then did the sides, and finally the bottom. In any case, do the bottom last, it makes it a lot easier to get the shell loose from the different connectors.

Once the back side is removed, you'll see the motherboard assembly. It's fastened to the front bezel with six small black Philips screws, three in the top and three in the bottom. Unscrew those and keep them somewhere where you won't loose them, they're pretty small.

Next you need to loosen the wlan antenna. It's a little white tab, maybe 5x7 mm or something like that, with a black coax cable connecting it to the motherboard. It's glued to the front bezel. Peel it loose, be careful not to damage it. Never pull the cable in any way.

Now you can start removing the front bezel, follow the instructions in the service manual. What the service manual don't tell you is that there's a strip of double-sided tape on each side of the screen, holding the bezel down to the motherboard assembly. Insert the tool between the bezel and the motherboard assembly, and turn it while lightly pulling the bezel away from the motherboard. Move it a bit further down, rinse and repeat. Don't use too much force, I don't think the bezel can withstand all that much abuse.

Hopefully you've now managed to remove the bezel in one piece, and it's time to do something about the gloss. Personally I used 380 grit valve grinding paste and a rag, but I reckon you can get almost as good results using fine grit water sanding paper, or perhaps even a Scotch brite pad. Cover the button row and the brushed aluminum piece with the Sony logo on it with tape for protection, and then start working the bezel with whatever abrasive you got at hand

Once done, clean the bezel thoroughly. And old toothbrush is very helpful when removing residues from the grinding lodged between the buttons. Personally I washed it with water and detergent.

Put it all together in the reverse order you took it apart. Snap on the bezel, replace the screws, attach the wlan antenna where it used to be, and finally snap the back cover back on. Done!

Here's how my PRS-T1 looks now. As I'm at sea for moment, I don't have my camera with me, so I had to snap the pic with my phone. I really hope the bad image quality is excused by the nice background view. You can even see a little dry bulk loader if you look closely
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Last edited by kaputnik; 02-23-2012 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:22 AM   #2
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Nice ! Do you have a picture taken in the same place before, to help us see the improvement ?
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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To me it looks good, the gloss is the one thing that almost made me go kindle instead but I really haven't really let the gloss bother me but I can't see Sony's logic there either I even mentioned it on my revoo review here .

Weird thing about that review is I had my only Sony crashes just a few hours before I made it and haven't had any since so I was perhaps harsher than I should have been.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #4
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You're a brave soul

I just got a decal from Decal Girl.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:09 PM   #5
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Thank you for such a detailed description of the disassembly. I gather from your description that the bezel and back cover just snap together without glue. Is that correct? Also, while you had it open, did you notice whether the battery can be easily replaced; i.e. would soldering be required, or does it just snap in too? Since putting it back together, is everything as tight as it was before, or is it looser now? Just curious.
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lbooker View Post
Nice ! Do you have a picture taken in the same place before, to help us see the improvement ?
Sorry, I haven't. It didn't occur to me that I should write something up until after I did the actual mod. Once I get back home next week and get access to my camera I can take better pictures though, it might help you to judge the improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avwriter View Post
Thank you for such a detailed description of the disassembly. I gather from your description that the bezel and back cover just snap together without glue. Is that correct? Also, while you had it open, did you notice whether the battery can be easily replaced; i.e. would soldering be required, or does it just snap in too? Since putting it back together, is everything as tight as it was before, or is it looser now? Just curious.
Yes, you're mostly correct. They snap together with claws that goes in corresponding recesses. As I mentioned, there is however strips of double sided tape along the long sides of the screen. You can loosen the claws along the sides before you loosen the tape though, there's no need to do them simultaneously. The narrow parts of the bezel is quite flexible.

The battery is connected with cables soldered to the motherboard. It would be an easy soldering job though, as long as you have some very basic knowledge of using a soldering iron, you'll be just fine.

Everything is just as tight as it used to be
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
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You're braver than me!

I just ordered a silicone cover, which should arrive tomorrow or Saturday. I would've ordered a DecalGirl skin, but I couldn't justify the cost (DecalGirl's are four times the price of the silicone cover), and this should be much easier to "install".

Last edited by AndrewH; 02-23-2012 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:09 PM   #8
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2 answers, a lot easier, and won't harm your warranty.....

1) Move the angle of the reader a few cms..

or

2) Masking tape.
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:23 PM   #9
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The red doesn't have a glare problem.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by AndrewH View Post
You're braver than me!

I just ordered a silicone cover, which should arrive tomorrow or Saturday. I would've ordered a DecalGirl skin, but I couldn't justify the cost (DecalGirl's are four times the price of the silicone cover), and this should be much easier to "install".
I'm interested in your impressions after you receive your new silicone cover. They also sell a bundle with car and home chargers that I'm considering.

I can't figure our how to insert the URL in my post and can't find any kind of FAQ or help system so would some kind soul please explain it to me (preferably in really simple terms).
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:15 PM   #11
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I'm interested in your impressions after you receive your new silicone cover. They also sell a bundle with car and home chargers that I'm considering.p
Will do!

Quote:
I can't figure our how to insert the URL in my post and can't find any kind of FAQ or help system so would some kind soul please explain it to me (preferably in really simple terms).
Highlight the text you want to link, click the "Insert Link" icon above the text window, and enter the URL in the window that pops up. Here's a helpful picture.

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Old 02-23-2012, 06:40 PM   #12
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Thanks for the information on URL's. It's so simple when you know how. Now how do I make it look nice instead of the acutal link?

This is the bundle I'm considering:

http://www.amazon.com/iShoppingdeals...ecc_rvi_cart_1
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Highlight the text with your mouse before hitting the Insert Link button.

Not to derail this thread too much, but those silicone covers also come in purple, pink, and white (which looks grey to me when it's covering a black ereader).
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:00 PM   #14
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To get back on track for the thread, I also am not brave enough to pry my reader apart to sand down the gloss. I do think a skin will work well but I didn't really want a decorative one like this one. Thanks again Andrew.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:53 PM   #15
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To get back on track for the thread, I also am not brave enough to pry my reader apart to sand down the gloss. I do think a skin will work well but I didn't really want a decorative one like this one. Thanks again Andrew.
I bought a skin to solve the glare problem. I also found it too annoying. You don't have to buy a decorative skin. You can order one in matte black.
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