Thursday, March 4, 2010

User Replaceable Batteries and type of battery

Once again I have received word that another person made the choice to buy the Astak over the Sony because of the User-Replaceable battery. People should realize (and that means REVIEWERS also) that this is growing more important.

Here is why. As prices for quality eBook Readers have broken the $199 barrier... the projection is that new chipsets now in development and new screens now starting development will bring the price down to the sweet spot of $150 for a basic E-INK machine. I don't know when... but likely later this year. This makes the User-Replaceable rechargeable battery that Astak has in ALL their models a major decision maker.

WHY? Let us suppose you buy a Fernley eBook Reader with a sealed-in battery. I use that name as purely fictitious BUT most of the major brands have sealed-in. This Fernley has sealed in. After a year the Fernley starts to hold a poor charge and the battery charge life gets awful. The end user calls Fernley and is told he must pay to mail it to Fernley. Fernley will charge him $80-$100 to replace the battery for their trouble. Fernley than charges him to send it back. The poor end user is left without a device for six weekls! Now he hates Fernley and he understands WHY USER-Replaceable rechargeable batteries make the Astak a great idea.

Now, every eBook Reader has different power requirements. It has to do with providing a long battery-charge life and powering all the features. One battery (maybe a Nokia phone battery) may not work well in all situations. Astak stocks spare bateries which cost very little. And they pop in and out with one screw. Maybe it is a 2 minute job to replace the battery. This allows two things: the swift and cheap replacement of a bad battery and the carrying of a fully-charged spare battery the user can pop right in for long trips. But, my point is that Astak also wishes all batteries can be as readily available online as the 6 inch EZ Reader. Unfortunately the wonderful Pocket PRO has Text-To-Speech and numerous other features that required a battery other than a phone battery. That is the way the factory designed it.

One end user did urge me to please try to use phone batteries in the future. This is an intelligent request; and we will try. But, fundamentally, the factories design the unit and its insides and they decide what battery is needed. Astak only can recommend and we will.

But, whatever Astak model you buy (or REVIEW) it has a USER-REPLACEABLE rechargeable battery and that makes economic sense. The Fernley and its real sister devices are out of step with economics!

1 comment:

  1. Just a quick comment Robert. While this may be true today in the near future batteries are going to be greatly improved. I have seen articles on Engadget that rechargeable batteries that have much longer useful life, we are talking 10years plus will soon be available.

    That said, I am happy that my Kindle classic has a user replaceable battery.


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