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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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Unknown said...

Wow. Hopefully if my Kindle does something similar, it will be in the next few months while it's still under warranty.

Piaw Na said...

Yeah well, it was reliable all through the warranty period. :-) I think Amazon does offer an extended warranty, but since those are rarely good deals, I didn't take them up. Given that it's a 1st run product, maybe I should have...