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Old 06-01-2021, 11:13 AM   #1
elizilla
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Any issues with the rubberized finish on Forma?

I bought a Kobo Aura One right when they came out, and I have been very happy with it. But its USB port seems to have given up the ghost, so I am shopping again. I am willing to spend on premium eReaders since I use them so much. And I like what I am reading about the Forma. Except one thing: the reviewers are saying it has a rubberized finish.

I have owned other gadgets with rubberized finish, where somewhere around two or three years in, suddenly they become disgusting and sticky. Not my eReaders, but, for example, my MP3 player, and my fireplace remote. In researching what causes this, people online say it is that rubberized plastic decaying due to the oils from the users hands. But whatever the cause it is revolting and it would be horrible if it happened to an eReader that I want to hold in my hand all the time for years. Has anyone experienced this on the Forma? Alternatively, do your cases completely cover the rubberized area, so you don’t have to worry about it?
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Old 06-01-2021, 11:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by elizilla View Post
happened to an eReader that I want to hold in my hand all the time for years. Has anyone experienced this on the Forma? Alternatively, do your cases completely cover the rubberized area, so you don’t have to worry about it?
My Forma has not had the rubberized area get sticky though I had to take it out of it's case to check this.
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Old 06-01-2021, 01:11 PM   #3
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I have no issue whatsoever with the finish of the device's back.

The button area, however, uses a "soft touch" layer. That, because it happens to be glued on, I managed to kinda ruin a bit through excessive alcohol soaking ;p.
Not sticky, though, just wrinkled. Which just kinda gives it a grippy feeling, so, no real loss there.

EDIT: c.f., pic here.

(FWIW, they got rid of that on the Libra).
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Old 06-01-2021, 03:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elizilla View Post
I have owned other gadgets with rubberized finish, where somewhere around two or three years in, suddenly they become disgusting and sticky. Not my eReaders, but, for example, my MP3 player, and my fireplace remote. In researching what causes this, people online say it is that rubberized plastic decaying due to the oils from the users hands. But whatever the cause it is revolting and it would be horrible if it happened to an eReader that I want to hold in my hand all the time for years. Has anyone experienced this on the Forma? Alternatively, do your cases completely cover the rubberized area, so you don’t have to worry about it?
The back of the Tolino Epos 2 = Kobo Forma should be without coating, at least it has not shown any change so far, but the front, the part with the keys; there the disgusting coating has started to flake off on my device and I have then completely removed it with nail polish remover - now it is matte glossy and without company imprint.

There is no cover that covers this.
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Old 06-01-2021, 05:43 PM   #5
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I wish the Libra has the same finish as the new cheap one,, (Nia?) I really like that granite finish as an alternative to either 'plain plastic' or 'rubberized'
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:09 PM   #6
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I wish the Libra has the same finish as the new cheap one,, (Nia?) I really like that granite finish as an alternative to either 'plain plastic' or 'rubberized'
The back of the Reader makes no difference because all you'll be feeling is the case.
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:50 PM   #7
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The back of the Forma is just right, not sticky or tacky and a pleasure to hold - it's incredibly light!
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:06 PM   #8
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I have done battle with that awful rubberized finish on numerous household devices. The worst a Boston table radio, but have like you included remotes and two little Sandisk mp3 players.
My research says that it is a spray on finish that is used to coat hard plastics to give them a premium, comfortable hand feel. The stuff seems to break down with time, and more quickly with heat. Summer heat is enough to speed the process.

Besides the gooey uncomfortable surface there is also the question of what are you getting on your hands, it doesn't wash off with soap and water, but if you touch your face, or eat something, how much of it are you imbibing?
The substance can be removed with 91% rubbing alcohol. I haven't tried Ottischwenk's solution of nail polish remover, but that makes sense since that and alcohol are in the same family. It doesn't come off easily, but rubber gloves, paper towels, and some determination will defeat it.
Now you have a hard shiny plastic thing that the manufacturer tried to spare you from.
I'm not sure if it is going away in the marketplace, but I seem to see less of it being used. Maybe they have realized their mistake.
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:24 PM   #9
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P.S. Out of the ereaders I own:

The Kindle 3 seems to have some kind of coating on the back but it has not failed.
The Kobo Glo has slightly harder plastic that is hatched to soften the plastic, maybe no rubberization,
And the Kobo Glo HD has a rubberized hatched plastic back.
None of the three has failed.
The items that I owned that did fail began life with a softer more rubberier feel to them.
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Old 06-03-2021, 01:07 AM   #10
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Now you have a hard shiny plastic thing that the manufacturer tried to spare you from.
I then matted it with a 1500 abrasive material
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Old 06-03-2021, 08:28 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by elizilla View Post
I have owned other gadgets with rubberized finish, where somewhere around two or three years in, suddenly they become disgusting and sticky.
I've had a few devices where the rubber decomposed and became permanently gooey and liquidy.

But I think most of the time when it becomes sticky, its more like a bacterial film, and washing it off (soap, alcohol, being careful to not wet electronics) fixes the issue. I've fixed a couple of devices with this issue and restored the rubber to its original feel.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasethelight View Post
P.S. Out of the ereaders I own:

The Kindle 3 seems to have some kind of coating on the back but it has not failed.
The Kobo Glo has slightly harder plastic that is hatched to soften the plastic, maybe no rubberization,
And the Kobo Glo HD has a rubberized hatched plastic back.
None of the three has failed.
The items that I owned that did fail began life with a softer more rubberier feel to them.

This sounds similar to a problem in the 70s-80s, when many plastic type AC power cords (think lamps, etc.) would undergo a chemical change and became a sticky, gooey mess.

This also happened to the rubber coating on a remote for my McIntosh Integrated Amplifier, the premium MA7000. These remotes from that era (2011) for almost all their product line suffered from this issue. The company finally created new remotes for their audio gear and now the problem has been solved.
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Old 06-03-2021, 09:50 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Chasethelight;4126919]P.S. Out of the ereaders I own:


The Kobo Glo has slightly harder plastic that is hatched to soften the plastic, maybe no rubberization,


Sorry I misspoke here, I meant the old Kobo Aura. My Glo HD back does have something on it.
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Old 06-03-2021, 05:27 PM   #14
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Chasethelight, yes, that is the sticky I am talking about. My Sansa Fuze MP3 players all got it and like you I solved it by using isopropyl alcohol to completely remove the coating. More recently, the remote for my Heatnglo fireplace has developed the dread stickiness. Yuck.

Anyways, glad to hear that it has not been an issue on the Forma. Since my original post I succumbed to the allure of new tech, and pre ordered an Elipsa. But if I don’t like it when it arrives, I plan to return it and exchange for a Forma. One way or another I will soon have a new Kobo. :-)
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Old 06-13-2021, 04:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chasethelight View Post
The substance can be removed with 91% rubbing alcohol. I haven't tried Ottischwenk's solution of nail polish remover, but that makes sense since that and alcohol are in the same family.
In fact, rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover are very different chemicals. The latter is usually composed of acetone, which is a far more powerful solvent than alcohol.

You shouldn't let acetone near plastic : it will attack most varieties of plastics (if not all). Acetone is meant to clean metal, glass or similarly resistant surfaces.

Even alcohol will mar certain categories of plastic.

I have successfully used alcohol to get rid of the rubberized cover of a USB key, which had decomposed into a disgusting, sticky substance, just by the passing of time. But it took me ages, and a lot of rubbing. Never again.

The rubberized back of the Forma is one of the main reasons I decided against buying it, selecting the Libra instead, despite the larger screen.

This pseudo "high-end" rubberized plastic they put everywhere needs to die. It forces you to throw away otherwise perfect equipment.

Also note this comment by the reviewer of Tech Radar :

Quote:
The Forma’s soft-touch plastic begins to look shiny and oily within weeks of use, leaving it looking grubby and old.
That's long before any possible degradation into a sticky goo.
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