Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Dead Kindle


My Kindle just gave up the ghost. As you can see from the image, the failure mode is a strange one: it's not that I cracked the screen or did any physical damage, the screen just locked into a big black section and a black band, and nothing I could do would unwedge it. Even Amazon's tech support was stumped.

To be fair, this Kindle lived a hard life. It sat in my saddlebag as I rode across France, and got used extensively all through our two month Australia trip. I've dropped it (and there's a chip on the side where it landed) on cobbles in France. Portable electronics don't last very long under the best of conditions, and what I put it through, while not a torture test, is still pretty harsh. That's no excuse though, my Blackberry survived pretty much all the same trips plus a few more, and was still going strong when I replaced it because my employer switched providers.

Amazon's replacement policy for out-of-warranty Kindles is that you pay $180 for it. Given that used Kindle 1 units still sell for around $300, and an estimated of Kindle 2's manufacturing cost comes out to $185, $180 is a very reasonable replacement cost. I asked if I could pay an upgrade fee and get the Kindle DX, but no dice, despite the fact that at the time, they didn't project having a Kindle v1 in stock until July! (The DX ships on the 10th)

Needless to say, I didn't even consider the Kindle 2, since I consider it an inferior product to the Kindle v1, given the lack of an SD card slot and the non-user-replaceable battery.
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