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Old 10-14-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
delphidb96
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A Question of Temperatures!

I recently had someone ask an interesting question. Her question was, what is the operating temperature range of eInk readers? This is a very on-point question as she lives in Mojave, CA, and frequently spends time outdoors when the ambient temps hit 120F or higher - that's 49C for the rest of the world. And another friend of mine lives *and works* in Alaska where he can experience reading conditions at the *other* extreme -50F/-46C!

So, does anyone have experience or knowledge of how the average Sony PRS will deal with these ambient temperature extremes?

Derek
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:38 PM   #2
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Mine did not work the time it fell below about 45F.
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Old 10-14-2007, 02:09 PM   #3
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If I take mine to the beach the screen usually craps out after about 30 minutes. The air temp couldn't be more than 85 F, so it must be that the case warms up in direct sunlight. I'm not sure if the electronics don't like it or the properties of the fluid in the screen change, but it is pretty dramatic. You'll be reading and the screen text will lose 90% contrast and white lines will appear in the remaining text. Unusable until it cools down.
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Old 10-14-2007, 02:31 PM   #4
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Please post what model eink device you are using so we'll know. Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:01 PM   #5
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Please post what model eink device you are using so we'll know. Thanks!
My PRS-500 worked at 100+, but it hasn't been hot enough lately for me to 'stress-test' my Cybook. (The disadvantage of living in Central California. )
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Old 10-14-2007, 03:09 PM   #6
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It's not yet cold enough for me to test my 500. And by the time it is, I'll be using a 505.
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:09 PM   #7
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I take mine into a Sauna almost every day, (Dry Sauna) in a Aquapac bag.... I wasn't going to but then I got a second reader for 58 bucks so I thought who cares... Works fine and the temp is 115 to 120.. I think direct Sun messes them up.
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:15 PM   #8
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Supposedly the Vizplex screen doesn't have the sunlight issue. I'll find out soon. I'm opening the box tomorrow.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Supposedly the Vizplex screen doesn't have the sunlight issue. I'll find out soon. I'm opening the box tomorrow.
Drum roll please
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy White View Post
I take mine into a Sauna almost every day, (Dry Sauna) in a Aquapac bag.... I wasn't going to but then I got a second reader for 58 bucks so I thought who cares... Works fine and the temp is 115 to 120.. I think direct Sun messes them up.

I have had no "fade" or breakup problems with the 505 in direct sunlight like I did with the 500. Exposed it for over two hours last weekend to direct sunlight. Ambient temperature was about 74F so the unit did not have both heat and sunlight "stress" at the same time. So Far a significant improvement over the 500.
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Old 11-03-2007, 12:20 AM   #11
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A similar question was asked about the Cybook at Baen's Bar (E-Book Reader, First Time in Conference thread). Since I can't work out how to link to it from their "improved" forum viewer (which is terrible - I may give up participating at Baen's Bar because it is so bad), here is the reply post by delphidb:
Quote:
Here's Laurent Picard's (Bookeen) response:

Hi Derek,

The display operating temperature range is 0..50 °C (32..122 °F).
The display storage temperature range is -25..70 °C (-13..158 °F).
This is a significantly better than standard LCD screens.
The battery charging temperature range is 0..40 °C (32..104 °F).
Below 41 °F, batteries can present a shorter operating lifetime.

In a nutshell, though it can run outside this range, the recommended operating temperature range is 5..35 °C (41..95 °F).

I have personally used my Cybook last summer in the mountainside, under direct sunlight, with temperatures above 100 °F over few days and it ran just fine.

Regards,

Laurent
I assume the screen specs will apply to all Vizplex screens, but the battery specs may be Cybook (or PVI reference design) specific.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:02 AM   #12
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I had a slightly disturbing issue on the train this morning. My 505 had been in the trunk of my car on the way to the station, and it was cold this morning. Mid 30s. It was definitely cold to touch when I started it up, and for the first dozen page-flips it was behaving slightly odd, and instead of the quick fade to black, fade out with new page, it appeared to be displaying the two pages at once for a split second and then the second page would appear properly. There was no ghosting left behind, and it was perfectly readable, and then after a dozen page flips, everything returned to normal. Almost as if the Reader was "warming up".

And usually, I'm convinced that the text isn't as black as it can be until I've flipped three or four pages anyway.
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Old 11-09-2007, 12:22 PM   #13
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I just bought my Reader (505, silver) this week, and I've been using it on the train platform to and from work, in temperatures as low as 37°F, without any odd behavior. It may help that I'm only using the device for less than 15 minutes in these conditions, as the train runs (mostly) on schedule. I guess I'll have to follow Bookeen's recommendations, though, when it starts to get colder. Perhaps I can make some kind of insulated sleeve for it, using those little glove warmers that are so popular in Japan.
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Old 11-15-2007, 08:32 AM   #14
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I took my reader into a deer stand with me last week at 25 degrees. I had the same experience as anotherchance did above: the page turns showed both pages at once for an instant, then the second page appeared normally.

The text was also very hard to read for the first couple of pages, but the contrast improved with each page turn. After a dozen pages or so, it seemed to be operating normally.

I was a bit concerned that the cold might drain the battery faster than usual, but from what I could tell it didn't make much of a difference.
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Old 11-15-2007, 03:15 PM   #15
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Last night, while waiting for the train in some fairly high winds (outside temperature was probably around 40°F) I noticed the super-slow refresh phenomenon, and it didn't ease up until after I was on the train and the unit had warmed up for a few minutes. I didn't notice any problems with contrast, though. Looks like about 40°F is the unhappy point for my Reader.
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