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Old 09-12-2012, 07:20 PM   #1
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Hard Metal Shelled Readers?

I've not frequented these forums for a while, but I still happily use my PRS-650.

However I'm aware that Sony have now gone through two product refreshes and it's obsolete.

It still does the job fine for me, it has a great screen, and I don't need wifi or browser etc.

What I am worried about is replacing it.

Are there any readers being made these days in hard metal shells like the 500, 505, 600 and 650 were?
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
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No, because all modern readers have WiFi, and radio signals can't get through a metal case. There's nothing inherently inferior about high-density plastic as a case material; indeed, it's better at absorbing impact than metal is. That's why modern cars have plastic, not metal, bumpers.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:00 AM   #3
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Plastic does not protect against torsion, it may well protect better against impact, but pressure against one corner or a twisting pressure will break screens, while a metal shelled reader will stay intact.

Now that prices are through the floor though it's perhaps not such a big deal though.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:08 AM   #4
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Plastic does not protect against torsion, it may well protect better against impact, but pressure against one corner or a twisting pressure will break screens, while a metal shelled reader will stay intact.

Now that prices are through the floor though it's perhaps not such a big deal though.
The best way to protect against that is to use a good-quality rigid case, to my mind. I always buy a good case for my readers, and in all the years I've been using them haven't had a problem.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:04 AM   #5
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Most readers have a metal core (onto which the electronics and display are mounted). Only the outer shell is plastic.

Metal does not protect too well against torsion either. You can only do so much for something that's thin and flat, and even metal bends. Hopefully the problem will vanish with the new flexible displays which new readers appear to be start using now (Kobo Glo advertizes the display not being made of glass, hope it's true, we'll see soon enough)
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:28 PM   #6
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The best way to protect is with a metal shell, metal protects a great deal more than plastic, even if there is metal inside it.

I've broken 3 plastic shelled reader screens in the two years I owned plastic shelled ones, and 0 metal shelled reader screens in the two years I've owned them.

But more importantly - why do I have to justify wanting a metal shelled reader? Why when I ask if any exist am I being argued with by people telling me I'm wrong and I shouldn't want one?
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:11 PM   #7
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Hm, Halk, I didn't read it this way. Of course you don't have to justify yourself for your preferences. But unfortunately it is the case that the most recent readers are all made of plastics. Both posters tried to tell and explain you this.

Has the Sony-650 a user replacable battery? If yes, then it could be a good idea to buy a used 650 in good condition as a replacement.
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Old 09-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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Harry's explanation was one that clicked - I hadn't thought of the wifi issue.

There's no user replaceable battery in it, sadly. I think I'd probably buy one second hand if I broke this one - however if the battery went I could most likely open it up and find an exact replacement somehow. My worry is accidentally breaking the screen.. of the 3 Cybook screens I broke one was when I fell asleep reading it, and my leg kicked when I woke up, sending it flying across the bedroom to smash. The other two broke by torsion. The one that sticks in my mind vividly is when I finished reading it in a cafe in Florida, closed the case up, put it in my pocket and walked back to the condo, took it out and it was broken. Inside any decent case it's as protected as it can be from impacts, however uneven pressure or twisting, unless the case is rigid, will apply pressure to the plastic case which will bend, and when it bends past a certain point the glass inside will shatter. Considerably more force would be required to contort a metal shelled reader to that point. Before I flung one of the Cybooks in the bin I decided to see how easy it was to damage. I took my thumb and index finger of each hand and placed them on opposing corners of the Cybook and twisted. Not much pressure at all was required to cause further damage to the screen. Clearly I'm going to strongly suggest that people take my word for it rather than try to prove me wrong, but if you have for some reason an old device that is going to be destroyed anyway, grab the top and bottom of it with your hands and twist, the screen will break.

It's also possible it was a design issue unique to Cybook Gen3s. Perhaps other readers in plastic shells are more robust or lack a design flaw which leads to this. It's not a very easy thing to test.

The flexible screens have been on the cards for years now, the Readius was supposed to have one, and then I saw a youtube video of a screen being battered in 2010 and not breaking. That's my best hope I think, that by the time my 650 shuts down for good there are flexible displays available.

All things considered though it looks that prices are heading downwards, so it's not the £200 nasty surprise when the screen breaks these days.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:47 AM   #9
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The CyBook Gen3 was an extremely flimsy device. All the modern readers I've used are an awful lot more rigid than the Gen3.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:21 AM   #10
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Well, that's encouraging - I had hoped the Gen3 was flimsy in comparison to other readers.

Stronger plastic readers, cheaper prices, and the prospect of possibly flexible screens on the horizon I think mean I'll stick with what I have, and not take any steps to prepare myself for a new reader.
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:06 PM   #11
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Sounds like a good idea!

I myself have the Gen3 since April 09 in almost daily use but perhaps and judging from many reports here I'm just lucky that it still goes strong and didn't break.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #12
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There's no user replaceable battery in it, sadly. I think I'd probably buy one second hand if I broke this one - however if the battery went I could most likely open it up and find an exact replacement somehow.
http://www.newpower99.com/Sony_PRS_6...%20prs-650.htm
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Old 09-20-2012, 04:00 AM   #13
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No, because all modern readers have WiFi, and radio signals can't get through a metal case. There's nothing inherently inferior about high-density plastic as a case material; indeed, it's better at absorbing impact than metal is. That's why modern cars have plastic, not metal, bumpers.
The 950 has a metal front like the 650 and has wifi.

OP, I bought a couple of back up 650's from ebay that have worked out well, but I got them for good prices. That might not be possible in Scotland.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:50 AM   #14
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Nice link on the battery, Dread Cth'reader. I think I'll get one of those at some point.

Ebay is possible in Scotland (I know what you meant!). However they're well over twice the price of that replacement battery kit.

I'm not naive enough to expect better battery performance from the kits, however should the battery ever start to fail then that's the solution.

I do need to make sure I don't leave it too late, to the point where the kits are no longer available, however they don't seem to be discontinuing the old stuff so I don't think a pre-emptive purchase is warranted. I was going to wait until I'm next in the states to order, but there's only 5 dollars of a difference in price to the UK rather than the US so I'll leave it and it looks that I'll be able to replace the battery with relative ease!
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:16 AM   #15
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Ebay is possible in Scotland (I know what you meant!).
I'm not slagging off Scotland and I am aware that you now have the internet in that cold and remote land I picked up cheap used devices from a seller in Canada. When I looked into getting one for a friend in the UK I was horrified at the shipping price. It was like over 100 bucks. Yikes. Basically, it seems really hard to get used units at a decent price at that end of the pond.
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