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Now you'd be lucky to find a tech product that didn't require a rocket scientist to replace the battery,  that is if you can purchase a new battery to replace the old [or the battery is not soldered in].

Which is the problem with the NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet.

The physical life of tech products, and the ability to change batteries in products like mobile phones, tablets, eReaders or mp3 players [and now laptops], is much shorter compared to those tech products we bought years ago. Tech product manufacturers are producing disposable products - paper weights. Granted, batteries last longer now, but they never outlast the physical life of the product. With a replaceable, rechargeable batteries, you might get dozens of years out of a quality tech device. That is, if you can get a battery and the manufacturer did encase it in a vault.

Why? Its a marketing scheme which makes the NOOK Tablet, and all other battery powered tech products, the Real Slim Shady. But don't take it personal, it not about you - its all about them - its just business.

Barnes & Noble [and all other tech product manufacturers] don't want you to use their tech product(s) for 5, 10 or even 15 years, which is why the battery in a NOOK Tablet [and NOOK Color] will surely not last 10 years [the battery is said to have only 300-800 cycles]. Barnes & Noble wants you to buy a new $250 NOOK Tablet in 3 years or less. Which is why most tech products are not supported [software updates, etc] after a few years. The ONLY reason they get away with it is the gluttonous consumer. We the consumer have been conditioned in a way that ensures we will keep buying expensive tech products and toss them in the trash in 2-3 years [how environmentally unfriendly is that].

In a time of inflation, stagnant wages and no jobs, corporations like Barnes & Noble continue to manufacture and market disposable tech products. You have to ask yourself, who is it they are marketing their products to?

To make matters worse, the Q&A on the Barnes & Noble website is confusing. The answer to the question, "Can the battery of the tablet be replaced?" The answer is, "No. The rechargeable battery in your NOOK can only be accessed and replaced by authorized service professionals." Authorized service professionals? The understanding I had when I spent $250 on the NOOK Tablet was just that, the battery could be replaced and I might have to take it to a local computer shop to have it replaced. Which, I thought, meant that I could purchase a battery. However, "Bob Weathers," Digital representative at NOOK chat told me that, "The batteries of the Tablet device are not replaced. We have to replace the device itself." Sounds great, right? Not so fast! If Barnes & Noble replaces your NOOK Tablet you will most likely receive a recertified/refurbished tablet that may or may not contain a new battery. And at what cost to the consumer? Bob went on to say that "I am sorry for that but the device is designed in a way that we cannot take the battery out and replace it." Ay, there's the rub! Barnes & Nobles makes paper weights.

Fact is, the battery in the NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet is replaceable. iFixit.com has a complete step-by-step tear down on their website. Barnes & Noble however does not sell batteries for NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet, as they had for the original NOOK. When your warranty expires, Barnes & Noble wants you to buy a new $250 NOOK Tablet - don't replace the battery, replace the tablet.

I realize that many people have no issue with tossing out tech products when the battery takes a dump, to each his own. However, not everyone can afford to purchase a new mobile phone, mp3 player, eReader or laptop when the battery expires. If you feel as I do about the issue, please tell Barnes & Noble that you want the option of buying and replacing in your NOOK Color and NOOK Tablet by making the battery available for sale on the Barnes & Noble website.

Sat May 05, 2012 at 1:45 PM PT: @rfall

You obviously did not read the entire post, nor could you have went to iFixit.com to view the NOOK Tablet tear-down. Had you done that, you would have seen how THIN the battery that is used in the NOOK Color/Tablet.

Any real engineer would know how far battery tech has gone just in the last 10 years alone. Batteries have become smaller and more powerful which enables them to be used in thin devices such as the NOOK Tablet, or the iPad, both of which contain a battery that CAN be replaced.

So ask yourself, as an engineer, if the battery is thin enough, and it can be replaced, why is it Barnes & Noble does NOT sell the battery, if not a marketing scheme?

Sat May 05, 2012 at 1:56 PM PT: @boophus

I too was under the impression that the battery was replaceable after reading the info on the Barnes & Noble website - so the info provided by Barnes & Noble is misleading. An "authorized service professional" could be any number of companies, including Best Buy's GeekSquad.

There is a reason why they didn't put all the info on their website.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sorry, as an engineer I have to disagree. (8+ / 0-)
    Its a marketing scheme
    Not being privy to all decisions made about all high-tech products, I can't answer for the Nook or any specific product, but I can tell you one thing.

    Producing a product with a replaceable battery raises its cost, makes it larger, and often makes it less reliable.

    Why?

    Several reasons:

    1. Designing a case which allows access to change the battery often comes at the expense of small size--the latches, screws, compartment, etc. required to enable access takes up room otherwise available to pack in a slightly larger circuit board with more memory, a faster processor, etc.
    2. Access from outside implies seals, screws and other openings in the case which can serve a places for dirt and moisture to enter, reducing reliability.
    3. Making batteries replaceable either requires an entire infrastructure supply chain to make those batteries available to the general public or at least to service centers.  This is reflected in increased cost of the product, since supply chain costs must be covered by product sales revenue.  (Using "standard" size replaceable batteries, for which supply channels already exist, makes things worse--the designer has to find a way to fit a standard battery size in a case where space, and the shape of that space, into an already tight fit.)

    As an engineer, it took many years to learn that every product contains a myriad of design tradeoffs.  Making those can be hard, and sometimes the tradeoff is wrong (which is why some products fail in the marketplace).

    But blaming this situation simply on a desire to screw the consumer is vastly oversimplifying the issue.

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:05:35 PM PDT

    •  not all cost is reflected in initial product cost (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, koNko

      there is the cost of the replacement battery as well as the possible supplemental charges for removal/installation, depending on the level of competency is required for battery access.

      if the design elements do not necessarily and *at least* double the initial cost, then it is primarily a marketing/profitability scheme.  

      in any case it is about market sizing and price tolerance.

      It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

      by Murphoney on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:32:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  True, but interestingly enough, the market (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quill, koNko, Odysseus

        ...is generally more sensitive to initial product cost, and much less sensitive to periodic servicing costs.

        Especially if the perceived life of the product is shorter than the expected timeframe for such servicing costs.

        The cellular companies figured this out long ago.

        As have most high-tech companies--like Apple--who know that by the time a new battery is needed in, for instance, an iPad, two new model generations will have been introduced, and the original model will no longer be of interest.

        Which, unfortunately (and as the diarist points out, correctly) that most of these modern products are not durable goods with long lifetimes, but are disposable items.

        Which has both good and bad aspects....

        "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

        by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:40:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, if you can kill a product's perceived worth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          faster than the product life span, you've won the marketing scheme -- but that doesn't mean it's not a rook to begin with.

          It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

          by Murphoney on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:50:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Define "product lifespan". (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib, koNko

            The length of time during which the hardware can continue to work, if properly cared for?

            Or, the length of time it's reasonable to expect that the infrastructure for the device--the network, servers, software, support, repair, etc.--can be maintained at a reasonable cost to the company providing the product?

            At some point, a product gets old enough that supporting it--in terms of customer support and repair, for instance, but also in terms of maintaining the entire infrastructure to allow the device to do its job--is not sufficiently profitable to justify its continued use.

            Sure, it's possible in any case that a company decides to "rook" the consumer by designing in planned obsolescence, but the truth of products becoming orphaned is often much more complex.

            "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

            by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:15:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but, would my choice of def really matter? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              IARXPHD, Odysseus

              the marketing cycle is decidedly shorter than either, by several orders, in my estimation.

              I realize that I am not a typical consumer and that the market segment who enjoys my ludditesque practicality is slender but, regardless, products are aggressively obsoleted nowadays far more often, and sooner, than they live out their usefulness, let alone outlive it.

              It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

              by Murphoney on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:51:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If by "product" you mean just the hardware, (0+ / 0-)

                ...I would be hard-pressed to disagree with you.

                If by "product" you mean the the entire infrastructure, including the hardware, which provides the service of interest to the consumer, I would likely disagree with you in most cases.

                "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

                by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:29:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  if by "infrastructure" you mean "support" (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  IARXPHD, Odysseus

                  then I would suggest that corps use redesign as an excuse to withdraw even the most passive support as a means to degrade and even destroy functionality of products that they want consumers to have to choose to either replace or exit the market, far more often than the share of the market holding vestigial products threatens profitability.

                  considering the profitability of consumer tech on initial sales, I'd be hard-pressed to worry about their margins.

                  I know that maintaining these ridiculous levels of profitability is their aim, but I don't support the style of business that wants to require me to support the tech-fetish lust that they need to imbue in de rigeur buyers in order to keep their jobs.  

                  soak 'em; if they don't come up with the flying car, I don't really care what color the new angry bird is.

                  It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

                  by Murphoney on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:21:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Marketing cycle (0+ / 0-)

                Is a seller thing.  

                Buy new toy, is a consumer thing.

                Consumers are actually in control. Use. Reuse. Repair. Recycle.

                Very simple, cheap and durable basic phones are available for those who want them.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:16:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Mobile phones (0+ / 0-)

                Used to cost at least 4x current (unsubsidized) market price and they have vastly more functionality.

                If you consider the usefulness of current products, I don't see how consumers have lost - rather, it is the producers who have raced to the bottom, in many cases, becoming insolvent and exiting the business.

                But consumers that don't want/need all that functionality can still purchase simple, basic, cheap phones with replaceable batteries, and these can last for years if cared for.

                Like:

                this

                or this

                or this

                or this

                Most people these days chose something "smarter" but the term is relative.

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 08:01:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  consumables (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Murphoney, rfall
          the marketplace...is generally more sensitive to initial product cost, and much less sensitive to periodic servicing costs.
          Which is exactly why tracII or Schick razor handles are cheap, while the blades are not.

          Or a Swiffer mop is cheap, but the replacement cloths are pricey.

          Or doctors will give away the devices that measure blood sugar....but the little litmus paper thingees are expensive.

          There is definitely a "school of marketing" the intersects with product design.

          "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

          by Keith930 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:40:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, in the case of many electronics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Odysseus

            The appliance is sold to the consumer at a loss.

            Mobile phones are subsidized, hence the "service contract".

            Gaming Consoles (sold at a loss) are vending machines for games (profitable SW).

            Ditto, readers.

            So built into the system is LOW COST.

            An interesting question recently is whether AT&T is making any profit from iPhones because of the relatively high cost of the subsidies.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:23:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Why do Android phones have replaceable batteries? (0+ / 0-)

          Obviously one can successfully market a device with a replaceable battery. If the issues you mention are universal, they should apply to all devices. Using your theory, one would predict that Android phones, with replaceable batteries, would be more expensive than iPhones. Yet the opposite is true. Explain.

          •  So do, some don't (0+ / 0-)

            Depends on the form factor. What we have discussed here is design trade-offs and every product has them, whether Android fanboys realize it or not. Only you seem to be saying things must be "universal".

            I have 4 phones:

            - iPhone 4S not "replaceable" (unless you remove 2 screws and pop the lid). It has great battery life, 2-3 days with moderate Smartphone use. Most useful and user friendly.

            - Blackberry Bold, removable battery/clunky design, moderate battery life, but the handset is a crappy POS I would never recommend (company issued) and after less than 1 year, looks like it's 5 years old. Works OK for email (just OK) but lousy for anything else.

            - Sony Experia Mini Pro Android - nice little pocketable Smartphone. And thank God/whomever the battery is removable because if you don't carry a spare, you may not make it through the day, that's the trade-off of the very small design - not much space for a decent battery.

            - Nokia E66 feature phone. Removable battery going to waste because this crappy phone, less than a year old, has a dead display because the slider cable has a defect. When I get time I will try to repair it, but this is the second Nokia phone with the same basic problem so I GIVE UP.

            Now let's talk quality and useful life. My personal notebook PC is a MacBook Pro. Battery is safely sealed in a nice rigid case that protects the inside from dust and spills, and is replaceable by removing screws, but after 2 years of daily use I still get 8 hours of use so ... I don't need to replace it.

            My last company issued ThinkPad had removable batteries, the standard that comes with it and the "longlife". In less than 2 years BOTH were virtually useless and about 1 hour of life each. Sure they are replaceable. Better be, otherwise the entire PC is useless. I handed it back to the company and now our IT Dept. can screw around with as many batteries as they like because they own it LOL.

            So if you can get, suppose, 3-5 years of use out of a battery sealed in a case and then remove 10 screws to replace it, what is the problem?

            Meanwhile, my Mac is rigid, solid and not falling apart because the unibody construction is a great, simple design made of recyclable aluminum.

            And that seems to be a good idea: look at all the Apple copies kicking around these days and look at the specs for the Intel "Ultrabook" form-factor, which is generic MacBook Air.

            And speaking of good design, this is a really excellent product, small, simple, tooless, plug and play.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:43:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'd rather pay 25% up front, than 100% again and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rfall, G2geek

      again and again and again.

      You bring up some valid points, but the bottom line is that they want to sell you a new one 2 years from now.

      WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

      by IARXPHD on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:39:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Of course they do. (0+ / 0-)
        You bring up some valid points, but the bottom line is that they want to sell you a new one 2 years from now.
        And you, as a consumer, want to buy one to keep up with the latest technological advancements.  Or so the market says, and so the product companies respond.

        As prices usually drop on technology products, this isn't quite accurate:

        I'd rather pay 25% up front, than 100% again and...
        It would probably be 25% up front rather than 75% or less in two years--the time value of money not factored in, of course....

        "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

        by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:43:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hate throwing away things that can work. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Murphoney

          And that's why this gluttonous cabal in the electronics industry makes me ill.

          We are society of slobs, plain and simple. Ooooh, oooh, a new bell, let me throw the old bell away.

          WTF!?!?!?! When did I move to the Republic of Gilead?!

          by IARXPHD on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:29:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have a color nook and was told the battery was (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IARXPHD

        replacable... That is the reason I won't buy another Iphone... And  as of now I will no longer buy any books from B&N. The feel of a real book is better anyway and I only really got it so I would be able to reread mag articles like Nat Geo without digging through stacks. No more. I will take the loss and move on without it. I was buying at least 10 to 15 nookbooks a month from them.  Going back to all real books. The B&N store has turned to crap too... too much sci fi that is really vampire and such mythical idiotic romanticizing crap...  

        Anyway this really fries me because I did ask... I should have asked him to show me the battery and him removing and returning it to its spot. I hate being lied to on something that would have made me look elsewhere.

        Proud Slut...Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:36:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  and this engineer disagrees. (6+ / 0-)

      (Oh goodie, a geek fight!, get your popcorn!)

      Telephone switching systems eng., 30 years in the industry, going back to the days when everything in telephony was designed to last 40 years and be repairable with hand tools.  

      There is NO excuse for building obsolescent shit that can't be serviced.  

      Every factor you mentioned is a matter of choice:  

      Pandering to "low first cost" at the expense of cycling nonrenewable resources to the landfill is a CHOICE.

      Pandering to planned obsolescence is a CHOICE.

      Marketing products based on "it's so small you can't repair it" is a CHOICE.

      Assuming that people are so stupid that they'll expose sensitive electronics to water and crud is a CHOICE.

      Failing to use proper design techniques that ensure product longevity is a CHOICE.  

      And all of those CHOICES are wasting nonrenewable resources, increasing our carbon footprint, and feeding an ecological catastrophe that will cost literally billions of lives during this century.  

      Don't make excuses for plutocrats whose CHOICES are going to make this planet nearly uninhabitable for your children.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:09:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The "choices" you mention all depend on the (0+ / 0-)

        ...market for its exquisite "invisible hand" feedback.

        A company can decide to build a large, easily serviceable, expensive, "immune to the elements" product, but if the market won't buy it, then it's a failure--and so, likely, is the company.

        Having said that--I agree with you in one particular way:  there are companies which are mindfully making the choice to find a way to make green products, and making a profit at it.  I'd like to see more of that.

        But, the diarist is making the mistake of oversimplifying the issue to one of "the big, bad companies are ripping me off for no good reason, every time".  I've worked on products, and had to make tough design tradeoffs ("choices" as you call them), and they're sometimes tough to make--and often appear to be wrong, given 20/20 hindsight.

        "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

        by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:20:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek

          Making portable electronic devices with non user replaceable batteries is almost always bad design practice. You don't need hindsight to see the obvious.

          Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

          by Kurt Sperry on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:26:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The engineers at Apple--and I know a few-- (0+ / 0-)

            ...would disagree with you.  I guess we'll leave it at that.

            "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

            by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:27:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ha, that's funny. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, Murphoney

              Apple used to build products that were as solid as Bell Telephones.  

              No longer.

              The MacBook on which I'm writing this, for example, suffers from "Mac Rot" whereby the top surface at the edge along the front of the unit is so thin that it simply crumbles away, leaving a ragged dividing line to the housing below.  

              Somewhere along the line Apple went from being a "computer" company to being an "experience" company (you can envision the word "experience" in flowing cursive).  I attribute it to Steve Jobs getting in bed with copyright fascist Sony: it started right around that time.

              Additionally the key caps are no longer even marginally removable (as in not once) for cleaning under them, and the user-replaceable hard drives we had in the old black Apple laptops are also no longer.  

              And how'bout an Ethernet jack that, when the teeny plastic catch in it snaps off, can't be replaced without replacing the motherboard, $1200 later....?   I had to fight Apple over that issue approx. a decade ago, and I won and got it done under warranty.  

              So no, you can't use Apple as an example.  If they ever dared release the OS to other hardware, other manufacturers would give them the run of a lifetime for their money.  And I'd be running MacOS on a Panasonic Toughbook.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:30:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My MacBook Pro (0+ / 0-)

                Is very well built. And even better is an iPod Nano, a nearly indestructible multimedia device that clips to your pocket. Very often miniaturized thingies are robust thingies.

                Although, I will agree, a Toughbook (which my company issues all persons with "Travel" in their job descriptions) are better simply because they are made to be dropped.

                The next iPhone will be a much more robust device. Search "Liquid Metal".

                What about my Daughter's future?

                by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:39:26 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Liquid Metal (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Odysseus, koNko

                  is a trade name for range of amorphous metal alloys.  The mechanical properties, while impressive in some respects, do not actually necessarily lend themselves to a better device case from a consumer's perspective.  What amorphous metal potentially does is allow complex high strength parts that once had to be investment cast or machined (both expensive processes) to be cheaply injection molded.

                  "Strength" which amorphous alloys impressively exhibit, usually defined as 'ultimate tensile strength' or UTS, is a useful mechanical property but only one of many such properties to consider.  Unfortunately, the non-ordered structure of amorphous alloys means that like glass they are subject to brittle fracture as there are no discontinuities in the internal structure of the parts made from them to inhibit crack propagation.  I have no doubt the engineers looking at the use of amorphous alloys will be aware of this and specify section thicknesses to compensate for the inherently brittle properties of amorphous material, but at that point the resulting product is mostly a marketing rather than engineering driven one.  There is huge potential for these engineering materials as a matrix material for MMCs, but we aren't there yet in terms of bulk production.

                  Conventional metal alloys are more than adequate and in some real senses better adapted for the task.    

                  Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

                  by Kurt Sperry on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:44:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think they know what they are doing (0+ / 0-)

                    Rumor has it the next iPhone will have a liquid metal case, so let's see if it does.

                    I will guess the attraction is it could be used to form a thin and strong unibody without much machining (other Apple aluminum unibody cases require extensive CNC machining).

                    The weak point of the current iPhone design is two sides of glass panels, which make it relatively heavy and vulnerable to breakage, although mine took a hard drop and only got a dented corner with the glass deformed (seems to be a laminate).

                    Samsung uses an injection molded unibody for the Galaxy S2, which is another approach.

                    Most Smartphones are, internally, collections of small functional modules connected by flexible circuits (ultra-thin) and in principle, if you make the case from metal, it can be very robust and long lived, better than plastic but heavier. Liquid Metal is one possible solution to reduce the weight, trading strength for thickness/mass.

                    Actually, I'm a materials scientist working in the microelectronics/photonics industry, so I have a basic concept of why a designer might chose that as a solution. What I wonder about is the cost and scaleability of the manufacturing process, most of the existing Liquid Metal applications tend to be high tech/low volume performance applications so they would have to invest in developing a high volume process.

                    What about my Daughter's future?

                    by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 10:07:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

            Sometimes it's the best, and most durable choice. See my comments elsewhere.

            BTW, if you want a really durable, rad-hard, secure Android phone, wait about a year and then buy the mobile phone Boeing is now developing.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:33:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  thanks but i'd rather have... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko, Odysseus, Murphoney

              .... a really durable, rad-hard, secure dial phone that puts 2 - 3 millimeters of air gap between the switch contacts that control the microphone, when the receiver is in the cradle.  It won't take my picture when I'm not looking either:-)

              IPod Nanos don't need keyboards or full-sized video displays.  But a 40-year-old Panasonic transistor radio will also play music all day and fit neatly in your pocket, and you can replace the battery.  And as long as you don't drop it on concrete, you can pass it down to your grandchildren and it will still work.

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:45:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Polymer Cases (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                koNko

                because of their relatively low modulus of elasticity actually attenuate transmitted shock loadings better than stiffer materials. Their lower densities mean that one can employ thicker sections without incurring a weight penalty relative to higher strength engineering materials.  They are also cheap to manufacture.

                Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

                by Kurt Sperry on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:58:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, but ..... (0+ / 0-)

                  The problems are SPACE, HEAT and RIGIDITY.

                  Metal can be a better solution for that reason, and devices like elastomeric gaskets used to attenuate shock & vibe.

                  When plastic is used for backbones and cases, you normally find a lot of metal plated plastic under the cover to accomplish EMI/RFI shielding, heat dissipation and increasing rigidity, and liberal use of metal cans on the PCBs.

                  The most common failures in handheld electronics are fractured solder joints due to (a) bend stress, or (b) drop shocks.

                  Plastic is good for (b) and bad for (a).

                  G2geek mentioned the Panasonic ToughBook notebook PC line. I agree with him these are really robust, durable designs, and if you study their approach it is "all of the above", i.e.:

                  - Metal clad, rubber gasketed display case.
                  - Composite metal cover/plastic backbone electronics case.
                  - Rubber bumper mounted hard drives
                  - Film sealed keyboards

                  Very intelligent use of materials.

                  What about my Daughter's future?

                  by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 11:01:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  as for the "exquisite" feedback of the.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, Murphoney

          .... Invisible God of the Invisible Hand, you know as well as I do that advertising is the force that shapes the consumer market, and advertising works by attributing emotions to brands and products.  

          If Apple wanted to build sturdy hardware again, and if any of these companies wanted to build products that lasted rather than landfilled, they could do it and sell them like hotcakes.

          And as for cellphones with non-removable batteries, they remind me of nothing so much as the Telescreens in 1984 that the Proles and the Outer Party members could not turn off.  

          Anyone who trusts software, rather than a hardware switch that turns off the power, to truly and fully shut down a device with a microphone, camera, GPS tracking chip, and radio transmitter, is just plain asking for a Stoopid Award.  Hint: NSA whistleblowers who met with journalists, made the journalists leave their cellphones in another room, outside the room in which they were meeting.  Why do you think that was, eh?  What do they know that Joe Average doesn't?  As for me I'm going to design an isolation box into which visitors can deposit their cellphones, to block the audio, video, and tracking, while they're at my house.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:40:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hate to be obnoxious (0+ / 0-)

            But I am.

            At least in the case of Apple, the batteries are swappable by removing screws, and the battery quality is good so it doesn't have to be done often. So I find this a bit of a theoretical or religious problem.

            I would also credit Apple, to some degree, with swimming against the tide in the sense they have one basic model of phone verses the usual proliferation of new models each quarter.

            There are some pretty robust phones available, but they don't seem to have mass appeal because they are generally bulky and not so fashionable.

            One exception is a Sony "sports" phone I linked, and that takes the approach of miniaturization and simplicity, combined with a small/strong form factor.

            Another aspect of this fine mess is economics; most phones are sold to end customers by service providers at a loss, subsidized by service contracts. This means the Phone Company wants cheap phones so they earn more - it seems a $100 phone given-away for free is more profitable than a $400 iPhone for service providers, but more customers like the $400 model. So I think if you flipped the table and proposed a really durable $600 phone, you would find that attached to 5 year service contract with few takers.

            And let's face it, for a lot of people, these gizmos are toys and status symbols they like to change once the next cool model is out.

            Addiction.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 11:28:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but ... (0+ / 0-)

        Both you know and I know that jumbo sized repairable stuff made to last 40 years comes in a big, reinforced concrete seismic box known as a "switch", aka, "local exchange building" .

        You can't strap it on your wrist, although I must admit you could strap your wrist to the building.

        But then, I can totally dig the apparent simplicity and quality of a cable plug in a highly durable beryllium copper jack manned by a pretty girl with shapely legs in roller skates! Geek porn.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:30:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  wasting nonrenewable resources - amen (0+ / 0-)

        not to mention toxic production and mfg processes

        It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

        by Murphoney on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 10:29:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have worked on products from all around (0+ / 0-)

      the world . Batteries should be replaceable in just about everything no matter what . Its not that hard . I'm looking at the power supply for my laptop , the cord is going bad , I'll have to cut open the case to redo the wires . Bad design to hide everything behind a molded plastic case .

      "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

      by indycam on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:13:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, but I disagree. (0+ / 0-)
        Batteries should be replaceable in just about everything no matter what.
        That kind of all-encompassing statement about what "should be" in terms of batteries is just not right in the real world.

        Take, for example, the latest Apple MacBooks--to get the battery to fit in the available space, with a reasonable lifetime, Apple had to have a specially-shaped battery designed for it, one which fills every available nook and cranny.  Making such a battery replaceable would have increased the cost, made the MacBook Pro heavier, bigger and more expensive, and thus cut into their sales.  A reasonable tradeoff, in their opinion--and, apparently the market's "opinion", too.

        "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

        by rfall on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:24:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am in the real world . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Odysseus, koNko

          I have been in the real world for a very long time .
          I suggest you get out into the real world where people want there things fixable .
          Should I put my power supply into the waste stream , buy another one and then put it into the waste stream when its cord goes bad ?
          I have a 1936 Leica , I can call the factory and still get parts for it .
          My lap top has a very easy to replace battery , I would not have bought it if it did not . I know from real word experience that batteries need to be replace and replaceable .
          I have work on things from different designers ,
          its amazing how well some designers do at making high quality / easy to work on products and how some do such foolish things .
          Get out in the repair field , hands on , and learn what it is to be a well respected designer .

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:36:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  To replace a Mac battery (0+ / 0-)

            You undo the screws, take off the back panel (which seats to the unibody making a nice waterproof seal and rigid case), dismount the battery, mount a new one (and recycle the old one) and replace the cover.

            It's really not all that hard.

            What about my Daughter's future?

            by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:46:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Buy a Mac (0+ / 0-)

        MagSafe power jacks rock.

        BTW, most of these "non-replaceable" batteries are actually quite replaceable if you have the tools or know the way to the service dept.

        And to revive an old Li ion battery, discharge it, put it in the freezer for a day and recharge. Magic!

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:43:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Let me add to and amplify this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus

      There are other considerations as well:

      1. Current generation Li ion gel batteries are typically custom designed flat slabs or even 3 dimensional forms that maximize volume (hence capacity) in minimum space. Take apart many thin form factor smart phones or tablets and you will find the batteries, while quite thin, are actually quite large. Typical smart phone designs place the batteries off-center toward the bottom (relative to the vertical axis) and sandwiched between the LCD display panel and a flex circuit that (bridges across the span of the battery) and the rear cover. I think few people really appreciate how much is packaged in such a small space so will post links at the bottom to give an idea.

      2. This not only makes the appliance thinner and lighter, but more rigid as no secondary housing and clearance gaps are requires. Typically, designers unitize the assemblies by (a) mounting them on a thin, 3D plastic spine (for example, Samsung Galaxy), and/or a 3D plastic or metal enclosure (for example, iPhone.iPad). Ditto, the snap-together or screwed case construction that fits tight and improves seal and rigidity. Bending leads to breaking.

      3. Batteries generate heat when charging and discharging, and the higher the power density (power/volume ratio) and charging speed, the more heat is generated. Since fans cannot be used to cool them, mounting the batteries snugly in a metal or thermally conductive plastic case spreads and dissipates the heat of the battery and active components (the hot ones are processors, baseband chip and power amplifier).

      4. Making them a service-replacement item facilitates RECYCLING or PROPER DISPOSAL. This is increasingly important as:

      (a) They contain toxic materials.
      (b) They contain rare and recyclable materials.
      (c) Improperly disposed, Li ion batteries are a fire hazard, particularly the type with surface contacts that can be shorted.

      I would ask my fellow Kossacks who love the earth: How many batteries have you tossed in the trash in your lifetime? And, would like to drink the water filtered through them in the city dump? Tisk-tisk.

      5. The power density of older type metal hydroxide batteries is simply not sufficient to supply the demands of smart phones and tablets; an equivalent capacity using NiMH cells would typically more the triple or quadruple the volume and weight required and these would be heavier "bricks" that the original Motorola cell phone.

      6. Most of these batteries are, actually, replaceable by service technicians of skillful amateurs with the right Torex screwdrivers and plastic pry tools. It's ridiculous to replace an appliance merely because the battery is dying, when less time spent at the service counter will get you a new battery.

      I think people really need to get in touch with their inner-geeks and understand how really complex and artfully designed these appliances are so hit the links and have a look.

      Oh, right, full disclosure. I cheated. I work in microelectronics and our company makes a lot of ever smaller and more functional (and power saving) parts for these annoying appliances so I know how densely they are packaged, and how may trade-offs have to be managed.

      Some examples:

      Samsung Galaxy S2 teardown

      iPhone 4S teardown

      iPad 4G teardown - check out the massive battery/room heater

      iPad Nano teardown - most of the volume is LCD & battery

      All of the above do things that used to require big boxes of electronic gear plugged into a handy electrical outlet and a power station. Now you can clip 16GB of music and videos and a radio and a watch to your shirt pocket or wear it ob your wrist and the batteries last for days - but not forever.

      They are replaceable. And recyclable.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:14:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The last time I went shopping (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, G2geek, Odysseus

    for a simple digital camera that used AA batteries, it was a lot tougher that I expected.  It seems as though nothing uses replaceable batteries these days.  For my camera needs, I'm often out in the field for work.  If the battery dies, I can always find a store that sells AAs, but it's impractical to carry a recharger.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:16:21 PM PDT

    •  It isn't find the batteries. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, rb608, koNko

      It's finding people who know how to install them. I've encoountered 2 or 3 people who didn't know how to install batteries in small cameras.

      •  When all else fails (0+ / 0-)

        Read the manual, right?

        I must admit I seldom get past the exploded drawing and button guide before testing my wit and daring, but usually find my way back at some point when I find myself in need of vague and misleading statements.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 11:42:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  New Cameras use Li-ion Batteries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, koNko

      that are easily changed, rechargeable many times and the batteries themselves are tiny like replaceable cell phone batteries.  Much, much, more eco-friendly than buying standard AAs for your camera.  They are so small and cheap (if you shop around) you can keep a couple charged in your pocket ready to swap out and hardly realize they're there.

      Advisors for President-Elect Barack Obama feared the new administration would face a coup if it prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a new report out this morning.

      by Kurt Sperry on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:23:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is really not true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608

      Most decent digital cameras use flat, replaceable Li ion batteries and popping in a spare takes about 30 sec.

      Cameras are one appliance that really do need replaceable batteries for the practical reason if you shoot a lot, particularly in cold weather, you may discharge the battery and fill up the memory so both a replaceable modules on most cameras.

      My Sony TX-100V is 16Mpx, shoots stills, video, 3D, panorama, has GPS and 4X optical zoom, and costs less about 1/8th of what I paid for my last 35mm film camera.

      You don't need to carry a recharger. Most cameras use very compact, flat, Li ion batteries that store in thin plastic cases and more than you would ever need fit in your pocket so you can charge them at home.

      I have 2 spares for my camera and that lasts at least 2 days of shooting a couple of hundred images per day.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 06:57:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I as a long time repair tech (0+ / 0-)

    check out the batteries / battery replacement before I buy an item .

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:08:32 PM PDT

  •  Should have bought a kindle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boophus

    I got lucky. Usually whatever I buy is already obsolete.

    •  Kindle Fire has lousy batteries (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BusyinCA

      One way to bring the cost down. Don't buy it, stick with the simpler models.

      My wife uses an older Kindle and a charge lasts for days. It's beat-up and ugly, but still works (like me).

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:00:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's what I got. (0+ / 0-)

        The old Kindle w/3G for my sweetie wife who loves to read an travels a lot. Best thing (other than a wedding ring) I have ever bought for her :) She loves it, and if it makes her happy, i am happy.

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