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Old 06-14-2009, 01:28 PM   #1
alanine
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will my screen crack further?

A few days ago, my wife was reading some novel using my iLiad, and she noticed a thin, white, vertical line appeared out of no where after a few page turn. I looked it over, yeap, the screen was cracked.

It didn't bother too much though because otherwise the iLiad is still useable, well, until today. I noticed the cracked line became thicker than before.

This is worrysome. I bought my iLiad back in late 2007, so the warranty is already over. The crack wasn't due to impact or drop or anything like that, it just appeared in the middle of a reading, all of a sudden.

My question is, will the screen degrade gradually and become completely unusable? Does anyone have any experience on situations like this?

Actually the incident had me wonder if my investment in e-ink devices is unwise. I was looking over Kindle DX the other day, but now I'm scared if such is the common quality of e-ink screen.
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Old 06-15-2009, 10:43 AM   #2
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A few days ago, my wife was reading some novel using my iLiad, and she noticed a thin, white, vertical line appeared out of no where after a few page turn. I looked it over, yeap, the screen was cracked.
Are you sure it's cracked? A thin, white, vertical line is usually a "line out" error. A crack usually effects large parts of the screen at once.

This is a cracked screen:
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Old 06-15-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply, but what is a line out error? Is it a failure on the electronic part? So my screen isn't physically damaged? Is there any way to fix it?

Here is a pic:
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Last edited by alanine; 06-15-2009 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 06-15-2009, 12:05 PM   #4
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Horizontal and vertical lines on the screen are generally indicative of a fault in the display controller - ie the electronics that "drive" the screen. If you've actually cracked the screen, it will look like the picture Shaggy's posted - far worse.

The display controller will need to be replaced by iRex, but it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a new screen.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Thank you both for the helpful info!

I'll contact iRexTechnologies to see if anything can be done, but I don't hold my breath given their customer (non-)service track record, and my expired warranty. I just hope it won't go any worse from this point onwards.
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Old 06-15-2009, 01:55 PM   #6
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That's definitely a "line out" error. It's a hardware fault in the display, not a crack of the screen. iRex says it's similar to what happens with an LCD screen where sometimes a line of pixels will stop responding. I'm not sure if it's the controller, or something else in the screen, but hopefully it won't get worse over time. Basically the eInk layer is "printed" onto a circuity layer that lays the screen out into rows/colums of pixels that can be controlled with voltages. The display controller then tells the screen how/when to use those voltages to activate the eInk material. What's happened to your screen is a line of those "pixels" has stopped working.

As far as getting iRex to repair it out of warranty, you can try and ask them, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Usually a repair/replacement of the screen is going to be really expensive.
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Old 06-16-2009, 01:20 AM   #7
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I also have those linings but i just don't mind them.

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Old 07-06-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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Ok, here I bring you an update:

1. I contacted iRex by submitting an online ticket from their website together with all unit information, and a photo.

2. I couldn't find the receipt, so I just said that my unit was bought in late 2007, and already out of warranty.

3. Surprise, surprise.. the representative looked at the photo, confirmed that's an lineout error, didn't mind the out-of-warranty status, and agreed to repair it in warranty.

4. The entire process from submitting the ticket, to receiving an empty box together with paid postage for sending back the faulty unit, to having it repaired and sent back to me took just 3 weeks. Very smooth and impressive indeed.

5. More surprises! They not only replaced the entire screen, but also the plastic body! The old one had paint chip-offs around the corners due to prolonged use, and now everything looks as good as new!

I have nothing but praises to say about the wonderful customer service experience I've had with iRex Technologies. I'm now a very satisfied customer, and I truly hope this is not just an individual case. Wish you all good luck, and wish iRex good luck in competing with new comers, Amazon, that is, in the e-ink game!
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:29 PM   #9
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I contacted iRex by submitting an online ticket from their website together with all unit information, and a photo.
I am quite interested in the so called "lineout" error. Would you post the photo? Thanx.
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
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I am quite interested in the so called "lineout" error. Would you post the photo? Thanx.
If you look a little higher they have posted it (smaller picture than the big busted screen).


alanine, that's great to hear! See, all you have to do is ask
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:08 AM   #11
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Sounds like they gave you a new iLiad. That's really cool, especially since it was out of warranty and they covered it anyway.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:58 PM   #12
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I want to add my recent discovery to this recent thread. I saw it yesterday for the first time, so things may still become worse or better:
I see a very small vertical line on the lower part of the index pages. It also crosses the page number of the index page.
But the strange thing is that I don't see it at all on book pages, not even through illustrations and not through the page numbers.
Any ideas about this?
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:54 PM   #13
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That's odd that it is inconsistent. iRex has said before that they've seen display problems that look like a "line out error" under low battery conditions, and that recharging can make them go away. That's the only thing I can think of to try.

If that doesn't help, contact their tech support and open a ticket. They'll probably want a picture of it.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:15 AM   #14
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Well I also have an out of warranty line out error and submitted a ticket to see what would happen. I was willing to pay a reasonable fee. However, they want 275 "service credits" or about $360 to replace the screen. Ya no thanks there iRex.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:43 AM   #15
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That's the standard price for a new screen.
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