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Old 10-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #1
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Bad news for the Kobo battery.

I was looking into Kobo as a viable reader and when I asked questions about battery replacement, I was told there is no option for this and Kobo will not replace the battery. She said that you are expected to throw it away and buy a new one every 3 years.

I guess you could just figure it is like a set of tires, but even Amazon will replace your Kindle battery for $60. Maybe I am getting old, but the idea of so many battery powered gadgets with a 3 year life until it is trashed just seems wrong.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:36 PM   #2
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I get that on a purely theoretical level--but given how the technology is changing and the price points we are seeing, I really doubt that I will want to use a 3 year old reader anyway.

PS: Spending $60 for a battery when one paid the price that Amazon was charging in 2007 was one thing. Paying it now, after getting 3 years of service out of it and given the price drop is just different.

Last edited by taming; 10-15-2010 at 07:43 PM. Reason: added the ps
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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In three years time I would expect to own a much different device than now, especially the way that ereader technology is changing.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:08 AM   #4
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How are you coming to a 3 year life of the Kobo? Given the batteries in most consumer electronics are calculated at between 300-500 charge cycles, IF you charge the Kobo once per week (worst case scenario), that equals 50 times a year. At worst you'd be looking at 6 years before the battery starts to decade (under ideal conditions).

If you take a look at the wiki here on the forums you'll see pics of a Kobo dismantled, so if in as you are saying 3 years the battery needs replacing, you should be able to dismantle the Kobo and replace the battery with relative ease. Provided the same voltage (and at least the same mah to keep good uptime between charges) battery is used you'd be fine.

Then again as others have pointed out with changes in technology etc, it is more probable you would have replaced it with a newer model because you want to rather than the Kobo is all worn out.

Ultimately if you are worried about battery replacement you could look at the Eco Reader, it uses a standard Nokia mobile battery, which is user replaceable.
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Old 10-16-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Solicitous View Post
How are you coming to a 3 year life of the Kobo? Given the batteries in most consumer electronics are calculated at between 300-500 charge cycles, IF you charge the Kobo once per week (worst case scenario), that equals 50 times a year. At worst you'd be looking at 6 years before the battery starts to decade (under ideal conditions).

If you take a look at the wiki here on the forums you'll see pics of a Kobo dismantled, so if in as you are saying 3 years the battery needs replacing, you should be able to dismantle the Kobo and replace the battery with relative ease. Provided the same voltage (and at least the same mah to keep good uptime between charges) battery is used you'd be fine.

Then again as others have pointed out with changes in technology etc, it is more probable you would have replaced it with a newer model because you want to rather than the Kobo is all worn out.

Ultimately if you are worried about battery replacement you could look at the Eco Reader, it uses a standard Nokia mobile battery, which is user replaceable.
I am using 3 years as the maximum life of these batteries, based on technical web sites devoted to batteries. They seem to have a useful life regardless of the number of charge cycles. They start to die from the date of manufacture whether used or not.

While many people will want to get newer stuff, I want to get more useful life out of what I have, and there just don't seem to be any real advances coming for essentially, that which is just one page at a time. I don't play with my eReader, I read it. I was also amazed that they told me that they assume I will throw it away when the battery wears out. It just struck me as a poor choice of words.

In any case, I found another nook that I can softroot, so I am fine, replaceable battery and all.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taming View Post
I get that on a purely theoretical level--but given how the technology is changing and the price points we are seeing, I really doubt that I will want to use a 3 year old reader anyway.

PS: Spending $60 for a battery when one paid the price that Amazon was charging in 2007 was one thing. Paying it now, after getting 3 years of service out of it and given the price drop is just different.
No argument, but $60 is the Amazon price. I can do it myself for $21. After 3 years, that might get some people to just keep using the same old reader. Remember, they want you to buy books, not readers. They have a totally different marketing plan.
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:17 PM   #7
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I am using 3 years as the maximum life of these batteries, based on technical web sites devoted to batteries. They seem to have a useful life regardless of the number of charge cycles. They start to die from the date of manufacture whether used or not.
A typical lithium ion battery will probably have lost about a quarter to a third of its capacity after three years. There are many people still using Sony PRS-500 Readers, which are now more than 4 years old, which still have an eminently usable battery life.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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If I am able to get that many years out of my nook or Kindle batteries I will be overjoyed. Unfortunately, I have not ever seen this with any Li-Ion battery so far. I am glad to hear that the Sonys are doing so well. They charge over $120 to change their battery.

Thanks for the info. I really hope you are right.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:20 AM   #9
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This is pretty unacceptable. A company should stand behind their product for life, within reason. three years is not a long time, especially for those of us without a lot of money to just buy new things all the time.

This is called planned obsolescence is is intentional.
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Old 10-23-2010, 12:51 AM   #10
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I'm not an electrical engineer, but let's see if I can help shed some light.

We use a lithium-ion polymer battery, which boasts a better degradation rate than Lithium-ion.

The numbers we received on the battery:

Testing shows 80% retentive capacity remaining after 300 charge cycles (charging it from 2.75V to 4.2V). That's about 5 years @ 1 cycle per week.

Slap some conservatism on there (say 60%) and you're left with 3 years to get down to 80% retentive capacity.
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:10 AM   #11
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In fairness, it's also quite likely that in 3 years (or say 1.5-2) if you're the sort that's not shy about opening electronics you can replace the battery yourself...

However, FWIW my original sony reader prs-500 (purchased ~2 weeks after they were released) had a usable battery life ) right up to when I sent it to sony for a firmware upgrade 33 days ago (however apparently something broke during the time that they apparently lost my reader resulting in me no longer wishing to support sony). So I'm not too worried about the battery's life. (hence why I just pre-ordered a wireless kobo ) Erm, sorry for the mini rant, I'm still annoyed by $ony.

Really, I'm just thankful that kobo has given us something to buy other than the reader for those of us that like the idea of using a public library...
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Old 10-23-2010, 01:41 AM   #12
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Slap some conservatism on there (say 60%) and you're left with 3 years to get down to 80% retentive capacity.
That's really not bad at all. I still think Kobo should have some kind of battery replacement program, hell you could even charge some amount for it and make the customer pay shipping. Still better than buying a new device.

Batteries are fickle and very greatly depending on the user's habits. Many people don't know how to use a device properly to maximize the lifespan of the battery.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:02 AM   #13
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I'm not an electrical engineer, but let's see if I can help shed some light.

We use a lithium-ion polymer battery, which boasts a better degradation rate than Lithium-ion.

The numbers we received on the battery:

Testing shows 80% retentive capacity remaining after 300 charge cycles (charging it from 2.75V to 4.2V). That's about 5 years @ 1 cycle per week.

Slap some conservatism on there (say 60%) and you're left with 3 years to get down to 80% retentive capacity.
I am also not an engineer, but every site that is full of engineers says that these batteries start to die from the date of manufacture. They add that you can shorten the life with heat, but no where do they say you can extend the life beyond what it is. You are commenting on the effects of charging cycles. This is not the life span based on the manufacture date.

In any case, I hope you are right as, otherwise, I would assume a lot of annoyed users.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #14
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I was able to purchase a replacement battery for my nine year old Palm on Ebay complete with itty bitty screwdrive for under $20 including shipping. And the new battery is working just fine for the past two or three years. So give it a year or two and I'm sure the third party market place will handle this just fine.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:34 PM   #15
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Is it my imagination of do these devices last longer with some people than other? I still have my first Sandisk Sansa MP3 player - still working in a slightly wonky way after being crushed and repaired at home with bits soldered on. The 2nd Sandisk still works perfectly and is over 3 years old. My ancient Nokia phone is now about 10 years old, we recharge it for use by overseas relatives when they visit Australia. Yet my lovely husband, a genius with anything mechanical, can reduce a phone or any electronic device to waste within about 12 months!
I'll bet my Kobo is still working in 5 years time. Oh, and I still have a working 1995 Cassiopaeia (but it didn't have rechargeable batteries).
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