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Old 09-24-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
anoved
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DIY replacement of a damaged Kindle 3 screen

Hello,

I thought I would share my positive experience replacing the screen on my Kindle 3, for the benefit of anyone else in a similar situation trying to decide what to do.

The background is that my Kindle's screen recently stopped displaying a strip along the top of the page (it was cracked in one corner). The Kindle was out of warranty so seeking a replacement from Amazon was not an option.

I searched for "kindle 3 replacement screen" and found a number of sources; I ended up buying one on eBay. I followed a very helpful disassembly guide found on YouTube and was able to swap the screens successfully in about an hour. You may be able to do it faster - I was just proceeding cautiously.

The only tools I needed were a very small Philips head screwdriver and a flat head screwdriver, which I used to help pry off the back cover as I did not have a "spudger" tool. The cover is held on with plastic clips around the edges, but I actually thought it was the hardest part to remove - I guess I'm just wary of snapping small plastic bits. It is helpful to have a couple small containers handy to keep the screws organized as there are two or three different sizes.

I posted a few photos, links, and more detailed comments here: anoved.net/2012/09/rekindled/

Jim
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:47 PM   #2
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Thanks a lot.
How much did you pay for the replacement?
Do you think it was worth it, I mean not buying a new one.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #3
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I paid US $63 (with free, albeit slow, shipping) for the replacement screen.

I am happy with how it turned out and satisfied with my decision to replace the screen instead of buying a new reader.

I admit it was not an obvious choice, since a new Kindle NT would have cost only a few dollars more than the replacement screen. However, other than the crack in the original screen, I knew my Kindle was in perfect functioning condition, so I thought it would be materially wasteful to discard it when a repair was possible.

In conclusion, if you take pride in fixing things and keeping them going, I would recommend the replacement screen route. On the other hand, I think it would be perfectly reasonable and defensible to put the money towards a new reader instead.

Last edited by anoved; 09-24-2012 at 08:38 PM. Reason: clarified that price is in US dollars
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anoved View Post
I admit it was not an obvious choice, since a new Kindle NT would have cost only a few dollars more than the replacement screen.
Yes, but, for my purposes, the Kindle Keyboard is better. I'd do this.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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Thank you for sharing this information. The information was very helpful and saved a lot of my time.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:21 AM   #6
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I also agree that the Kindle Keyboard has some definite advantages over the Kindle NT, especially if you have a 3G version, and I commend you on being environmentally conscious. I'm a fix-it kind of guy myself and it always feels good to not need to throw something out.

Last edited by AZImmortal; 09-25-2012 at 02:24 AM.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:32 AM   #7
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I compliment you on your decision to not throw away an entire device because of a single malfunctioning element. If everyone would think like that (and not update any device simply because a company has launched a very slightly modified one) we would be sitting on a considerable smaller amount of trash on this planet.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_obsolescence
http://www.storyofstuff.org/

Cheers,
Pismire
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for the kind words regarding the choice to repair things. The short lifespan of some gadgets (as measured by how quickly they are eclipsed by newer models) is conspicuous in contrast to more enduring technologies - this topic always makes me think of hand tools, as I've got a few that are practically heirlooms yet are as useful today as they ever were.

As an avid ebook reader, it's certainly food for thought, since I suppose a similar argument could certainly be made about ebook file formats and printed text.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:41 AM   #9
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It is heartwarming to see others repair what can be replaced in this disposable society. As others here have said, with most of our "toys" the cost of repairing is is more expensive than buying a new one, they get tossed out.

Especially with electronics, used to be one could see electronic repair shops in every town/city most of them were radio/tv repair shops. With the drop in prices for our electronics, the cost of parts and labor usually was more than a new one was. So out the door and into the landfill it went.

Good job on breathing new life in your kindle.
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Old 09-25-2012, 11:00 AM   #10
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It can cost more to pay someone to remove malware from a computer than to buy a new one. Some companies discard and replace infected computers, including the monitor and keyboard in some cases. Sad, really.... Great hardware going into a landfill like that....
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
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FWIW, when my DW cracked the screen on her Kindle Keyboard (WiFi, no special offers), Kindle support offered her a 1/2 price replacement even though the Kindle was well out of warranty. Given the cost of replacing the screen, I'd say it's about a tossup. And, of course, it came with Amazon's usual FAST shipping, even though we were in Canada. Only requirement was to ship the other back. Which they paid for.
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Old 09-25-2012, 03:59 PM   #12
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FWIW, when my DW cracked the screen on her Kindle Keyboard (WiFi, no special offers), Kindle support offered her a 1/2 price replacement even though the Kindle was well out of warranty.
Good to know. I didn't inquire about my options with Amazon, since I assumed there were none.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:38 PM   #13
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good to know
I have one with broken screen

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Old 09-25-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anoved View Post
I paid US $63 (with free, albeit slow, shipping) for the replacement screen.

I am happy with how it turned out and satisfied with my decision to replace the screen instead of buying a new reader.

I admit it was not an obvious choice, since a new Kindle NT would have cost only a few dollars more than the replacement screen. However, other than the crack in the original screen, I knew my Kindle was in perfect functioning condition, so I thought it would be materially wasteful to discard it when a repair was possible.

In conclusion, if you take pride in fixing things and keeping them going, I would recommend the replacement screen route. On the other hand, I think it would be perfectly reasonable and defensible to put the money towards a new reader instead.
For a few dollars more you could have just got a new one.
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #15
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As an avid ebook reader, it's certainly food for thought, since I suppose a similar argument could certainly be made about ebook file formats and printed text.
The environmental impact of ebooks vs printed books is definitely something that I've thought about and looked into, and although there are some obvious advantages to ebooks, I don't think that enough people (excluding you) consider the environmental disadvantages when they decide to upgrade e-readers every year since there's a lot that has to go into both producing and disposing of such devices. The Green Press Initiative has a pretty good document that outlines some of the things to take into consideration when trying to be green (although I question some of the numbers they use, such as saying that a Kindle's carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are higher than an iPad's).

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For a few dollars more you could have just got a new one.
He already explained why he didn't buy a new one in the very post that you quoted.
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