Kindle 3 faulty screens
June 28, 2011 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I am sending back my 5th defective Kindle 3 because of screen faults--lines, not fully loading, not displaying properly. Amazon never says anything about why, but apologize for my trouble and agree to ship a replacement. But the damn things only last a month sometimes before the same problem happens. It's a nuisance not to have it work, especially when I'm off the grid on a trip or a vacation, and tedious to have to set up and transfer books and periodicals from old to new. Is there an alternative? Do others have similar problems? The last CR I talked to suggested I buy a thick leather cover (which the sell for $40) but declined to say the lack of a cover was the cause of the problem. Has anyone used a cover? Is it necessary? Is so why doesn't Amazon provide a cover. It would be cheaper than sending so many replacements.
posted by NorthCoastCafe to Shopping (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have had mine since December, no cover, never had a problem.
posted by citizngkar at 5:22 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I use a cover with my Kindle. I've never had a problem. Whether these things have anything to do with each other is beside the point, but everyone I know with a kindle carries it in a case. Some use slipcovers that they take the Kindle out of to use; others use the kind that the Kindle clips into. But nobody just has the thing naked all the time.

As for why Amazon doesn't provide a cover, well, if you never really take it anywhere, you don't need one, so why should you be forced to pay for one? What if you didn't like the one they provide? There are lots of different Kindle covers, not just the Amazon-produced leatherette option. You can get whatever one you want, or none. But it stands to reason that thin, plastic electronic devices may need a bit of protection, and I think most people who frequently take their Kindles with them in bags, etc, have something to prevent damage.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:24 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Basically, you're being sent refurbished lemons, not new devices. As you're past the third Kindle, maybe you should ask for a refund and try a tablet, instead.

An iPad doesn't have an eInk screen, but it will run the Kindle reader app and being able to touch the screen gives it IMO a better interface than the button-laden Kindle.

Amazon is also rumored to be releasing a touchscreen tablet of its own sometime by the end of 2012. This might also be worth investigating, when it comes out.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:25 PM on June 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm on my second Kindle: the first had its screen smashed by a coworker, who..... ahem, "volunteered" to buy me a replacement. Other than that accident, I've never had a lick of trouble with either one, nor have I heard of problems with any of the several other kindle owners I know.

But I would definately suggest you get a cover; in fact, I recommend the jackets that zip closed all the way around, both for bump & bang protection and to keep dust and such out. Sure, $30-$40 is a chunk of change, but for an electronic item that probably gets carried around in a bag with a bunch of other stuff? Worth it.
posted by easily confused at 5:27 PM on June 28, 2011

I am on my third kindle in nine months. The first two were the second generation, my new one is is third gen. I had the same problems as you. I am planning on getting a cover but I don't really think I should need to as the kindle is only ever used (carefully) in the house. It's not like I'm throwing it at walls or anything, I'm literally picking it up and setting it down and maybe carrying it from chair to chair. I think kindles can be pretty fragile, which is why I'm getting a cover, but I am irritated that it can't consistantly stand up to the most minimal of wear and tear.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:41 PM on June 28, 2011

If you're carrying it around, it should have a case. Few electronics survive being carried around without being in a case specifically designed for it.
posted by mleigh at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2011

No cover. I'm very rough on mine – it gets frequently dropped on hardwood floors (the two plastic parts sometimes come apart a bit and I have to click it together), it gets wet quite a bit – once it was actually in water – and I usually throw it in whatever bag I'm using with all kinds of other stuff, including sharp keys. No problems.
posted by halogen at 5:59 PM on June 28, 2011

I should add that I've had it since the day the third generation came out.
posted by halogen at 5:59 PM on June 28, 2011

Refurbished iPads are $350.
posted by mecran01 at 6:28 PM on June 28, 2011

I've had bad luck and trouble with my Kindles turning into Etch-a-Sketch wannabes: first, second and third G. I haven't had halogen's luck. In warranty, out-of-warranty, lost, misdirected (Amazon shipped a replacement to my brother by mistake and he was so delighted I didn't have the heart to take it back). I've got a silicone bumper on it, but can't get my wife to use a cover. She has learned to put it face down so the cat won't walk on it.

A second problem is the USB connector not being as robust as I'd like, especially when trying to read while charging. I've had a couple that became quite wobbly.

The Kindle app on my Mac laptop is decent and I like the iPad version quite well, although the iPad itself is uncomfortable for prolonged holding. Outdoors, nothing but the Kindle will do.

All-in-all -- treat it as somewhat fragile and think of them as semi-disposable is where I've come out.
posted by technocrat at 6:41 PM on June 28, 2011

E ink screens are fragile. I haven't had a problem in years but that's probably because I've started putting all my e-readers in cases. I don't have any readers left from when I went caseless.
posted by rdr at 6:43 PM on June 28, 2011

Have a Kindle, know five other people with Kindles, three of us have covers, three don't, none of us have had any of the issues you describe.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 6:48 PM on June 28, 2011

I have a Kindle, I always have it in a leather cover, and I have had mine for almost a year with no problems at all. Maybe try the cover. The kind with the built-in book light is nice.
posted by mudlark at 6:54 PM on June 28, 2011

I've had a 1st gen since the third month they came out, always in a case (the first gen came with a case), no problems. 3rd gen for about four months now, didn't have a case for the first month, now have a case, still no problems. I take it to work with me every day, dumped in my laptop bag. Take it to lunch, toss it in my glove compartment, etc., but all in the case. I never take either of them out of the case, because they're the kind that fold backward and is secured with an elastic strap.

I think they must be sending you refurbished replacements. Sorry to hear it! I'd try to get a supervisor on the phone if I were you.
posted by clone boulevard at 7:09 PM on June 28, 2011

There are also plenty of third party covers, most of them cheaper than Amazon's.

I have one of these -- as a bonus, it also works as a stand. Six months in and no problems with the screen.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:48 PM on June 28, 2011

I bought my hard, faux leather case on Amazon for around $10. I've had my Kindle for a few months and haven't had any problems. It lives in my purse which gets pretty beat up.
posted by TooFewShoes at 7:59 PM on June 28, 2011

The only problem I've had with my Kindle is when I tossed my iphone 4 on my bed and it landed corner down on the e-ink screen. So, you know, totally my fault.

I mean, you don't have to buy a cover, but clearly you're being rough with it. And this is from someone who lets her cats play games on the iPad. I am not super careful with my electronics.
posted by sugarfish at 8:51 PM on June 28, 2011

If you find Amazon's covers unappealing, plenty of Etsy sellers make beautiful, unique cases specifically for the Kindle.
posted by gentian at 9:07 PM on June 28, 2011

I keep my 3rd gen Kindle in one of these cases produced by M-Edge, and I've never had a problem with the Kindle itself. It stays in the case unless I'm using it (which, admittedly, is pretty often).
posted by Telpethoron at 9:30 PM on June 28, 2011

My first Kindle died a few weeks after I got it. Then I bought one of Amazon's covers with the built-in light and it's been great so far (7 months or so). I carry mine around in my backpack every day.

I definitely recommend getting some sort of padded case.
posted by DrumsIntheDeep at 9:54 PM on June 28, 2011

I have a third gen kindle with the cover. Never had a problem, and it gets near-daily use.
posted by zug at 10:23 PM on June 28, 2011

I've had the same Kindle for two years, jailbroke it, dragged it all over the place and it still works fine. I carry it in a padded envelope, which is not as fashionable as a leather (or Etsy) cover but definitely cheaper. The fact that you've had five go bad on you is really, really weird.
posted by hungrytiger at 12:18 AM on June 29, 2011

I had a kindle, treated it like a baby with an Amazon case and the screen still fractured and froze. Thankfully Amazon sent me another one, no problems. From the googling I did when it happened, it sounds like Amazon are having manufacturing issues.
posted by teststrip at 2:14 AM on June 29, 2011

hungrytiger: "The fact that you've had five go bad on you is really, really weird."

A lot of my friends and I and my wife have Kindles, I've never heard anyone complain about anything happening to their kindles, so I agree with hungrytiger.

You're not folding the corner of the kindle to keep your spot like in paper books, right?
posted by Grither at 5:29 AM on June 29, 2011

Mine is pretty fragile - there are stress cracks in the housing at the corners of the screen and by the forward button I use the most, the letters are rubbing off the keys, and there's a little spider-blot on one corner of the screen after a very minor drop. I've had it just about 6 months.

I keep it in a soft neoprene sleeve, but I'm considering a permanently-attached hard case, or even a ruggedized case like M-Edge Guardian.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:51 AM on June 29, 2011

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