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Old 05-09-2009, 07:02 AM   #1
pwalker8
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battery life and what to buy next

The battery on my Kindle 1 completely and utterly died this week. It won't hold a charge and the Kindle won't even turn on. Given that I've only had the Kindle since last September, this is not a good thing. Especially since both my original Sony PRS-500 and my Sony PRS-505 are still going strong. I have ordered two new batteries for it, but given the short time that I've had the Kindle and the fact that it's not my main reader (I use it to buy books and read topaz formated books, most of my reading is done on the 505), this really makes me hesitate to buy an eReader with a non replaceable battery from Amazon.

In general, consumer devices in a fast changing market such as the eReader, iPod, iPhone and cell phones in general have a rule of thumb life span of two years before they are bypassed by significant new offerings in the market. Of course, the older device still remains useful, but the newer devices tend to have enough of an advantage to make upgrading worthwhile. Laptops and computers use to be in that category, but the changes in computers has slowed down quite a bit over the last several years and the difference between by the macbook pro that I bought just over two years ago and what I could buy today isn't all that great.

With that in mind, I've been watching the eReader market with interest and see two possible eReaders that I'm interested in. The first is the just announced Kindle DX. While it would not take the place of the my more mobile PRS-505/500/kindle 1, it strikes me as a good size for reading at home. I think that it would be especially useful for history books that contain maps, since those maps tend to be too small to be useful on the smaller form readers. I will be interested to see what it's really like and how well normal books scale up when people actually start getting these devices.

The other possibility is the much rumored apple media tablet. If the rumors are true (basically an iTouch the size of a kindle) and if the iPhone apps will run on it (i.e. the kindle app), then it is certainly an intriguing choice. I read books on my iTouch/iPhone with no problem. June should be interesting.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:46 AM   #2
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The problem with maps in history books is not the size of the screen on your Sony or K1. But the size of the map in the eBook. I've borrowed from the library one of Winston Churchill's WWII eBooks from the library in Mobipocket format and found the graphics too small to be of any use. So if I need to have the graphics visible to understand something, I'm screwed as they are too small and fuzzy to see well enough. And the problem would be that on the DX, these poor graphics would be even smaller and harder to see even still.
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:04 AM   #3
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To reinforce JSWolf's point, see A Comparison of format limitations based on The Hobbit. The best map is the PDF version (which seems to have been taken directly from the printed book), and this is a recent ebook with relatively large MOBI images. Old MOBIs all have tiny images, and the LIT version is usually much better. Today, LIT or ePub is the best of the reflowable formats for images.

So my guess is that the Sony 9.7" is going to be an interesting device. For the KDX, it will be possible to buy Adobe Secure PDFs on a PC/Mac and then strip its DRM for use on the Kindle as a DRM-free PDF. This would also give you many more PDF Reader options on your Desktop (Adobe Digital Editions is a very feature-poor PDF Reader). The Sony 9.7" won't need Adobe's DRM removed, and will (presumably) reflow PDFs if you want. I still don't know why the current Sony Readers don't clip the margins of PDFs, and I am assuming that Sony can do better next time.

Last edited by wallcraft; 05-09-2009 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:18 PM   #4
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I haven't played around with the ePub yet. Since Amazon seems to have a better selection of books and since I can strip the DRM from azw books, but not lrx books, I've been buying from Amazon. I understand that current books may have a smaller image, the question is will future issues still have the smaller images or will they scale them up with larger devices available. I don't have much faith in the ePub format. While I do have some pdf programming books that I purchased from O'Reilly, I generally find pdf's distracting to read. So far, ePub just doesn't seem to have much momentum and probably won't until either sony or amazon moves to ePub as a default rather than simply as also supported.
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
The battery on my Kindle 1 completely and utterly died this week. It won't hold a charge and the Kindle won't even turn on. Given that I've only had the Kindle since last September, this is not a good thing. Especially since both my original Sony PRS-500 and my Sony PRS-505 are still going strong. I have ordered two new batteries for it, but given the short time that I've had the Kindle and the fact that it's not my main reader (I use it to buy books and read topaz formated books, most of my reading is done on the 505), this really makes me hesitate to buy an eReader with a non replaceable battery from Amazon.

In general, consumer devices in a fast changing market such as the eReader, iPod, iPhone and cell phones in general have a rule of thumb life span of two years before they are bypassed by significant new offerings in the market. Of course, the older device still remains useful, but the newer devices tend to have enough of an advantage to make upgrading worthwhile. Laptops and computers use to be in that category, but the changes in computers has slowed down quite a bit over the last several years and the difference between by the macbook pro that I bought just over two years ago and what I could buy today isn't all that great.

With that in mind, I've been watching the eReader market with interest and see two possible eReaders that I'm interested in. The first is the just announced Kindle DX. While it would not take the place of the my more mobile PRS-505/500/kindle 1, it strikes me as a good size for reading at home. I think that it would be especially useful for history books that contain maps, since those maps tend to be too small to be useful on the smaller form readers. I will be interested to see what it's really like and how well normal books scale up when people actually start getting these devices.

The other possibility is the much rumored apple media tablet. If the rumors are true (basically an iTouch the size of a kindle) and if the iPhone apps will run on it (i.e. the kindle app), then it is certainly an intriguing choice. I read books on my iTouch/iPhone with no problem. June should be interesting.
from what I've heard, amazon has been good about replacing defective batteries, did you try contacting them?
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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No, I can't say that I have. In general, time is the one thing that I have the least of and can never get back, so I tend to pick and choose my battles when it comes to dealing with various companies' customer support. Right now, my time is worth more than the $15 for a replacement battery.
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Old 05-12-2009, 01:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwalker8 View Post
No, I can't say that I have. In general, time is the one thing that I have the least of and can never get back, so I tend to pick and choose my battles when it comes to dealing with various companies' customer support. Right now, my time is worth more than the $15 for a replacement battery.
well the time it took to post your comments here you could have spent with Kindle Tech support.

in the very least they can refund you the cost of one of the 2 replacement batteries you bought.

if the battery dies again, you might have a defective kindle. its rare, but I've heard about that before
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