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Old 11-10-2006, 08:54 AM   #1
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Reader Lifespan (Longevity)

... or lack thereof.

Assuming an average user, that is to say average abuse, such that you keep it away from kids and pets, but may drop it once in a while, or may be bouncing around in a backpack,etc.
Assuming average use,....
What is the effective lifespan of Reader going to be? (again on average)

For instance, the LiIon battery should last at least 5 years, perhaps up to 10, who knows maybe more. The screen I would assume should last a long time. Now buttons I don't know. Not sure how robust they are, but should be safe to assume 3+ years, at least.

So without any special interventions so far I have 5ish years lifespan.

At some point someone is likely to come up with instructions on how to replace battery. Should buttons last, I supposed one could replace battery and get 10+ years out of it. Unless of course by then the screen is damaged too much, buttons are not responsive etc.

So what do you think? What is the effective lifespan of this gizmo?

Again, assume eBook format is Ok (I can use TXT and PDF for ever)

I am asking because $350 is too much for a 3 year gizmo. Now if it lasted 10 years then the price is fine.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:08 AM   #2
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One way of getting up to 4 years guaranteed (and it probably will last past that) is to buy an extended warranty...
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...2063#post42063, but on the high end, 4yrs including accidental handling will cost you about $100. I spent $45 for 2yrs of accidental handling coverage.

But while I want to use my Reader "forever", and hope to be able to keep it as a fondly remembered keepsake (like my old HP calculators), I expect that I'll be able to buy something even better as the technology continues to improve. Surely, in 10-20 yrs, we'll surely have a better ebook reader and for less than $100.
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:18 AM   #3
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I think we may be surprised at how long the Reader will last. My Rocket eBook that I bought when it came out is still going strong. As a matter of fact it has outlasted five computers.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:20 AM   #4
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If you take care of it as much as I take care of my books, that is 20 years, the time for a better machine to make it obsolete. Two years?
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:21 AM   #5
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Bob,
Of course there will be better version in 10 years. However, I usually don't throw away old gizmos when I purchase a newer version. This "older" Reader can still be used for its core function of reading stuff in 10 years as well as now. I may simply move some material and some uses to a new gizmo, while retaining "old" Reader for other simpler uses. Hence if it could live 10-20 years then I'd keep using it.

4 yr warranty $100 + $350 = $450 ouch
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:31 AM   #6
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Yep, I agree wholeheartedly. The Reader should continue to be useful for many years, even if better devices come out in the meantime.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:39 AM   #7
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When a new model comes out that compelling enough to make me replace this one. I'll give this unit to my parents like I do with all my old tech gear. Their house is full of my old TVs and DVD players.
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Old 11-10-2006, 10:44 AM   #8
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I give them to my kid...that's if they don't spit on them!
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob_ninja
$350 is too much for a 3 year gizmo. Now if it lasted 10 years then the price is fine.
I don't know...$10/mo sounds ok to me. I've gone through several ipods in the last 5 years (HD failures). A $1500 laptop probably has a usable lifespan of less than 5 years. If I get 3 problem-free years out of my Reader, I'll be satisfied.
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Old 11-10-2006, 11:49 AM   #10
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Ken:

If only it were $10/month. There's the cost of the books which we have been debating and flaming each other over for a month or so (or longer).

Further, if this expensive device lasts only three years, then the paper-pushers will have yet another reason to point out the failure of e-books.

However, if I only have to wait two or three years before someone decides to unload their Reader for the new e-hotness, I'll be eagerly waiting to snap it up off pricegrabber, freecycle, or ebay. ;-
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:31 PM   #11
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Ken,
$10/month is Ok compared to what? pBooks cost $0/month as medium (paper) is included in the pBook price. pBook doesn't need a warranty, charging, etc.
One of the primary Reader advantages is lower weight and volume per book contents. Once can load many books into a reader compared to much bigger pBooks. However, if it should fail and be thrown away after only 3 years then the advantage is lost. I am not going to waste my time loading a bunch of books onto a gizmo that lasts 3 years, of course. I am not sure I see any purpose for any eBook gizmo that lasts only a few years. pBooks at least can sit on shelf for many decades.
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:33 PM   #12
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You know the same thing is happening in the world of televisions.
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Old 11-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #13
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Went passed Fry's and look at the Reader on display... No soft cover.. decided to see if the screen was holding up. A lot of fingerprints but nothing that would impeed the display! Also the buttons worked...
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:00 PM   #14
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I think the lifespan of the battery is the deciding factor, since we can't replace those ourselves. How long before the battery needs to be replaced?
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Old 11-10-2006, 02:14 PM   #15
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Michele,

See:

http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/...LiIon+lifespan

He says, "I believe people are talking about 3-4 years."

So probably about 5 years (they are being advanced all the time, a lot of R&D)

We can replace them, but it may require some tools and skill. Moreover, new batteries can be hard to find and expensive as they often have a specific packaging.
This is what I find so incredibly annoying. They could have used a 4xAA bay. Reader doesn't really use much juice unlike PDAs that have to power their screens all the time. Then it would have been trivial and cheap to replace batteries at any time.

The main advantage of a LiIon pack is that it is smaller, can be made in a slim packaging that fits in the gizmo and takes minimum space. AAs are bit bigger and require more volume, which in a small slim gizmo such as Reader, they think, is a bad thing. In effect, you'd have a bump at the bottom for the extra space required by AAs. From my perspective it doesn't matter, but ....

So they use LiIon to keep a nice slim case design and ignore battery replacement issue. As many have said, a lot of users will toss it in 5 years to get a newer version.

As it is, I'll wait for a newer version using AAs. Otherwise like someone said, I'll purchase this Reader version from eBay in 5 years when people throw them away for $10 because of dead batteries. Then I'll get one for $10 and bolt on a custom made power supply using AAs.
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