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Amazon and Barnes & Noble Jostle Over Battery Life Figures for Nook, Kindle

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the they-last-forever-in-heaven dept.

Books 160

destinyland writes "Amazon just doubled the reported battery life for their Kindle digital readers — but they did it by cutting the estimated daily usage in half. Monday Amazon's competitor Barnes and Noble released a new touch-screen version of their Nook reader, and C|Net notes that apparently Amazon 'took issue with how its competitor was calculating and presenting its battery life numbers.' When Barnes and Noble claimed that the Nook's charge lasted twice as long based on a half hour a day of usage, Amazon simply recalculated the Kindle's battery life using the same formula. By Wednesday, Barnes and Noble was insisting that the Nook's charge still lasted twice as long as the Kindle's. 'If that's true, then Barnes and Noble mangled the launch of their touch-screen Nook,' reports one Kindle blog, 'by botching their description of one of its main selling points.'"

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How About ... (5, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279252)

How about stating the battery life in actual hours of continuous use instead of estimated days based on estimated usage? Is that really so hard?

Re:How About ... (3, Insightful)

SquirrelDeth (1972694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279268)

Yes from a marketing point of view. It's a game to see who can come up with the longest battery time using the most convoluted methods to sell the product its better to sell a product and have a disappointed customer than not sell a product. Chances they wouldn't buy another product any ways.

Re:How About ... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279790)

I find it a stretch to believe that battery life would be the deciding factor for purchase on these devices. Once you pass one day worth of reading time (and they both have), who cares?

Re:How About ... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280078)

I think this is exactly it. There is a point of diminishing returns, once you're past that, you should be looking at other considerations, such as size, weight, useful features, etc. Recharging once a week is about a sweet spot for me. More often is annoying, any longer, and I might lose the charging cable.

Re:How About ... (1)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280086)

When it comes to comparing items, especially electronic ones, the numbers game is huge when it comes to consumer decisions. All else being equal, people will go for the bigger number.

Re:How About ... (1)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279274)

Do the math.
Wireless on: 30 minutes * 21 days = 0.5h * 21 = 10.5 hours
Wireless off: 30 minutes per day * (60 or 62) days = 0.5h* (60 or 62) = 30h or 31h.

60 accounts for the shortest possible two months (February (28) + either adjacent month), and 62 accounts for two 31 day months.

Re:How About ... (5, Insightful)

marga (455344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279388)

The math is not so simple as that, because these devices waste some battery while on stand-by. So if you don't turn them completely off (which is not usual, due to the painful amount of time it takes to start-up).

With my nook (first edition), I've found that I can read between 10 to 14 days of aprox. 1 hour a day (about 12 hours of reading), but I can also use it for 3 days of 8 hours a day (about 24 hours of reading) -only feasable on holidays, obviously-. All of this with wireless off, and none of it an exact measurement, just what I've experienced.

So yes, measuring battery life is hard, it depends a lot on the use you give the device. However, it annoys me that it wastes so much battery on keeping it on stand-by. Maybe they've worked on that for the nook 2, and that's why they are parading their 2 months estimate. Because, with the old nook, it's not true that you can double the amount of days the battery lasts if you halve the amount of hours you read.

Re:How About ... (3, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279416)

Yep. If I leave my Kindle unplugged, and unread, for 3 weeks the charge dies.

But if I leave on vacation for a full week on a full charge, read 4-6 hours/day in the hotel room/beach, and further read for 12 hours worth of flying + delays (the joys of overnight travel coast-to-coast via coach), I get back home with about 20% charge. Not bad, IMHO.

Re:How About ... (4, Insightful)

TD-Linux (1295697) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279286)

On eInk based readers, it's actually harder than that. How many times do you flip the page in an hour? The number of pageflips per charge seems like a better metric.

Re:How About ... (3, Interesting)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279360)

I don't have first-hand experience of this (yet), but my wife seems to get over 2 weeks between charges on her Sony PRX-650 reader (a birthday present from yours truly). And she gets through books at a prodigious rate - thousands of page-turns per week. It was mainly the fact that the device seems to offer just about the best multi-format support that was the biggest selling point, but power usage seems fairly impressive to me.

Re:How About ... (1)

lucian1900 (1698922) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279698)

I have a PRS 350, I get 1-2 weeks of usage, and I also read a lot. If I also use it for taking notes, a week or less.

Re:How About ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279746)

I have a first generation nook and I seem to get about the same battery life, roughly two weeks.

Re:How About ... (5, Informative)

Hope Thelps (322083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279290)

How about stating the battery life in actual hours of continuous use instead of estimated days based on estimated usage? Is that really so hard?

Pretty hard. The Kindle (and presumably the Nook?) doesn't use battery power to just sit there showing a page while you read it; it only uses power when you turn the page (or connect to WIFI or 3G). The rate at which you need to turn pages (and thus use power) is going to depend on a combination of your reading speed, the nature of the material, and the font size you've set. You can make assumptions for all that but it still really comes down to "estimated usage".

Re:How About ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279322)

Obviously three benchmarks are needed. One is how long you can turn pages at a given rate. Another is how long it can sit and play mp3s. The third is how long it can do both. This should cover the primary usage patterns...

Re:How About ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279464)

I just glanced at the Cnet review of the new Nook. Apparently the time you can listen to MP3s is zero hours and zero minutes (it doesn't play MP3s). You might want to doublecheck that fact yourself, because my reading retention is getting scarily poor, but I think that is what it said.

Re:How About ... (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279678)

If it doesn't do that then it doesn't need that benchmark. For the units that do, it's something they will commonly be used for... Thanks for being an anonymous douche.

Re:How About ... (0)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279330)

Correct. I believe this is posted for the Kindle, around 6000 page turns if memory serves me. Disclaimer: I used to work in tech support for the Kindle. When I started I was an avid Amazon fan. I hate and boycott them now for the shitty treatment they give their employees.

Re:How About ... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279440)

What sort of shitty treatment?

Re:How About ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279802)

The toilet paper in the bathrooms lacks aloe lotion. It really chaps their hides.

Re:How About ... (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279332)

I imagine it still uses a little bit to power some memory to store the page you're on, maybe some filesystem structures and such things.

Re:How About ... (1)

MasseKid (1294554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279876)

Does your thumb drive need power to store stuff? Kindles are not typical devices. They're designed from the ground up to be battery minimalists.

Easy then : (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280102)

"it only uses power when you turn the page (or connect to WIFI or 3G)."

Then provide the power consumption for 1000 pages turned , or for constant wifi usage. That way, you can do estimate.

Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (1)

GarryFre (886347) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279336)

If they did some easy to understand common sense metric it might reveal how much the battery life sucks. Sounds to me like they ALL are trying to hide something.

Re:Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (3, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279724)

I only have a Kindle, but I have yet to come close to its battery limits. It seems to have a pretty good battery/power draw combination. I imagine the Nook is similar.

This is, as far as I can tell, just a stupid pissing contest.

Re:Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279804)

Indeed stupid, since both readers have long passed the charge required for a full day's worth of reading. I can't imagine who cares beyond that.

Re:Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280072)

You would if you were going on a long trip in the middle of nowhere without power and wanted to do allot of reading every day! Base camp can be days away!

Re:Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279874)

I agree. My Kindle (WiFi only, no cell data) goes literally for months before needing a charge. I just don't worry about it. This is just a stupid testosterone fueled marketing war about something that is just not a factor for anyone.

Re:Shorter the battery life the harder it must be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280884)

I have a first gen Nook and I have to agree. Easily lasts a day straight without a recharge (especially with the wireless off). I'm never away from a power outlet so long that it really matters.

Same argument for the 3G. I'm never away from WiFi so long it matters and both devices have enough memory to store plenty of reading material between logins.

My most important consideration is available content. When I bought the Nook I pulled together my near term reading list and compared availability between Amazon and B&N for the books I wanted. Nook won at the time.

Now, with reader apps for Nook and Kindle on most platforms now not sure content even matters if you don't care about eInk.

Re:How About ... (1)

Jaktar (975138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279378)

It is hard when the number you'd have to put on the box is lower than the last generation you produced.

Marketing speak at its finest.

Re:How About ... (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279384)

My impression was that the Kindle and Nook both use technology that only uses large amounts of power when the page is turned. This means that hours of continuous use is not really a good metric, as they can just base this on a slow reader, say 15 page flips an hour.

What they should be doing is like the number for the iphone. Give expected battery life for different uses: some number of page turns, some number for web browsing, etc. Of couse, as this is only marketing, transparency and honesty has nothing to do with it.

Re:How About ... (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279414)

Do you often read for 48+ hours straight?

Re:How About ... (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279438)

Someone handed me Lord of the Rings when I was 20. I missed meals and classes for 2 days. /shame

Re:How About ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279418)

I'm sure the marketers could work around that one that as well... after all, power drain depends on what exactly the user is doing.

Re:How About ... (3, Funny)

ReptilianSamurai (1042564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279448)

How about battery life in percentages of Libraries of Congress that can be read on a single charge?

Re:How About ... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279486)

How about stating hard drive size in actual bytes sizes, instead of base ten math?

Marketing depts always get their way even if it is a lie.

Re:How About ... (2)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280410)

They do measure it in bytes - you just want them to divide it by a number divisible by 2 only, and the marketers divide it by a number divisible by 10. Frankly I could care less as long as they label the units clearly - if I care I can figure it out.

The battery life issue is a bit different, since they aren't measured in any kind of standard units that lets me compare claims easily. I'd be happy if they just declared how many joules the battery contains, what the steady-state wattage is when powered on, and the number of Joules consumed per page turn, etc. :)

Re:How About ... (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279570)

I just invented some tires that last twice as long as any other tires made today*


*Figure based on assumption that car will be driven straight with no stopping or turning.

Re:How About ... (1)

timothy (36799) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280240)

And I can double *that*! (Assuming driving only in a wheelie; when you reach the other coast, please swap front and back tires, unless your car can also do a reverse wheelie on the front tires ...)

timothy

Re:How About ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279650)

we're nerds here. How about stating the number of milliamp-hours the battery holds, and then stating the minimum, maximum draw of the device? (Or draw under most typical conditions, or with and without wifi)...

Re:How About ... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279816)

Exactly, i have no problem charging a device daily while i sleep... But i want to be sure that even under heavy use, that device will last the whole day should i choose to make such heavy use of it.

Re:How About ... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279832)

How about stating the battery life in actual hours of continuous use instead of estimated days based on estimated usage? Is that really so hard?

With an e-ink display, it isn't so much the number of hours in use... It's more about how many times the screen refreshes.

Of course the device will use some power just sitting there idle... But e-ink doesn't really draw power except when it refreshes the screen. So, if you're actively reading and flipping lots of pages, you'll burn through the battery. If you're somewhat distracted, or a slow reader, or if you're looking at a single page for some reason (a diagram, or something) it'll last longer.

And then you'll use more power if you're using the wi-fi... Like when you're shopping their ebook store, or downloading your purchases...

So they have to come up with a profile of how often they think folks use the wi-fi, and how often they turn the page, and how long the device sits there unused... And that profile can easily be tweaked to look better than the competition.

Re:How About ... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280120)

How about stating the battery life in actual hours of continuous use instead of estimated days based on estimated usage? Is that really so hard?

Would be unfair to any device that uses very little power while not in use vs. one that uses batteries while in use. I could have device A doing 24 hours continues and B doing only 20 hours, but device A running out after 3 days with 2 hours per day, while device B lasts 9 days with 2 hours per day. I'd most likely prefer B which would look worse according to your criterion.

In the beginning of MP3 players, everybody except Sony counted 1 song = 4 minutes at 128 Kbit for capacity of their players. Sony counted capacity with 48 KBit / sec compression..

Re:How About ... (1)

Tasha26 (1613349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280338)

Because they didn't learn from what happened to the laptop industry. Was it 5-6 years ago when the advertising regulating body told manufacturers to quote accurate battery life. Amnesia is very common in the tech industry... I guess it's only an amount of time before fines drill some sense into tablet manufacturers.

Less Is More (0)

petteyg359 (1847514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279256)

Does B&N offer 5GB per month, then advertise it as better than the competitor's unlimited option, too?

Who to root for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279266)

Amazon... Who filled the internet with ads, And was a little bitch over the wikileaks thing...

Or b&n... The provider of many many hours of enjoyable reading.

Tough call.

Re:Who to root for... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279278)

Given that the next page button in my original Nook broke just after the warranty period ended (which makes it a bit hard to use to read books, unless you like reading them backwards)...

Re:Who to root for... (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279466)

,i>Given that the next page button in my original Nook broke just after the warranty period ended (which makes it a bit hard to use to read books, unless you like reading them backwards)
I call troll on this one First of all, Nooks have two -- count 'em!--two! each of Fwd and Rev buttons. Second, once the LCD goes dormant, a swipe gesture will turn the pages for you.

Re:Who to root for... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280366)

I knew someone would bring that up. However, you most likely have a dominant hand. And, if you've ever used a Nook, you'll notice that: 1. You almost always hold it in one hand, and 2. it's nearly impossible to do the swipe gesture while holding the Nook in one hand.

Oh, and it's overly easy to accidentally hit the "n" and turn the touchscreen back on, which turns the "next page" gesture into a "do something random" gesture. (As hitting the "n" as part of the swipe gesture doesn't count as "next page.")

However, none of that really matters, because the next page button should never have broken in the first place!

This is like trying to excuse a keyboard where the left control routinely breaks by saying that "well, you always have the right control key, and you can just use sticky keys to emulate the control key." It's still a shoddy piece of crap.

Re:Who to root for... (2)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279324)

Because Amazon weren't the pioneers of hassle free reading (sarcasm)

Also, the kindle is available everywhere. Literally free 3g everywhere in the world.

I dropped my kindle once and Amazon replaced it, no questions asked.

Not saying the nook is bad, but the Kindle and Amazons' customer service just bought them a lifetime customer

Re:Who to root for... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279358)

Literally free 3g everywhere in the world.

Sure, if you ignore the fact that 3g isn't available everywhere in the world. Hell, I can drive through parts of major cities in the US and lose 3g.

Re:Who to root for... (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279602)

*most countries of the civilized world.

there, happy? :)

Re:Who to root for... (0)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279844)

Still doesn't address it being useless in the US, a primary market for the device. ;-)

Re:Who to root for... (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279916)

I said "most", not all. You're one of those where it's not :P

I don't live in the US, so I have no idea how good or bad it is, I know that in europe conditions are pretty sweet every country I've been in.

Re:Who to root for... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279506)

I take it you haven't actually compared the two in any sort of meaningful way. The displays are the same, the build quality on both are really good. But where Nook really shines over Kindle is in the little details like swipe to turn on top of the other sets of buttons, the micro SD card slot and the ability to buy books from pretty much everybody except Amazon. With Amazon being too much of a bitch to offer books in a standard format.

And Kindle 3G isn't free, the policy with that is identical to the one that B&N has over its 3G Nook, the 3G is only free when used to access the respective store and any other use can end with the owner being sent a bill to cover the extra cost.

Re:Who to root for... (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279670)

never charged me anything (granted, I don't browse the web with it, just the ocasional e-mail)

I was answering to this (that actually didn't compare anything)

"Amazon... Who filled the internet with ads, And was a little bitch over the wikileaks thing...

Or b&n... The provider of many many hours of enjoyable reading."

I have countless hours of enjoyable reading on my kindle, and amazon's service has been nothing short of awesome so far. That was my whole point.

PS: And if you want to use books in other formats you can. It already reads pdf's and ePub's can be converted to mobipocket with 2 clicks. That's a non-issue, I think.

100 years on a single charge!! (1)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279270)

(fine print: at 2 microseconds per day)

Half hour a day? (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279272)

I own the original Nook, and get in at least an hour, usually two or more, spread throughout the day. Do people buying dedicated e-readers (as opposed to color tablets) really only get in a half hour every day? I'd thought the market was mostly for readers like me.

Then again Amazon is no saint here either, with their "50% higher contrast Kindle 3!" which in reality only had 6% darker (to the eye) blacks.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279304)

Thanks. I was wondering if the new eInk screens are worth it with the advertised higher contrast. I also have an original Nook so I guess the new screen isn't different enough to merit an upgrade.

I don't get the obsession over battery life either. When I read I have airplane mode on. It lasts long enough for my use.

Re:Half hour a day? (3, Interesting)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279318)

Myself, I prefer the lower contrast of the Kindle specifically because it most emulates the faded, cheap ink and light bleached paper of your standard paperback novel. I can sit for 8 hour stretches and forget I'm holding an electronic device.

But that's just me.

Re:Half hour a day? (2)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279444)

Well, I bought a couple of Nooks last year (mostly for the kids before going on vacation); they've been great (despite my ethical problems with digital licensing and the occasional e-book that actually costs more than the digital version).

One of the selling points at the time was not so much battery life, but user replaceable batteries. With the Nook, you could walk into a B&N and buy a new battery and replace it yourself... with the Kindle you had to send it in, at your expense, to have the battery replaced.

If it's still the same, then an hour here or there wouldn't matter to me - in little more than a year I don't recall we've had any problems with battery life as long as you keep it charged.

I actually am not rooting for either side, I really don't care... nook won for me on a few tiny technical merits... I find it laughable that this is what it comes down to. I've also seen the color screens and wonder what the point is... they seem nothing like the e-ink screens, and I can't imagine wanting to read one for any length of time.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279546)

I find it laughable that this is what it comes down to.

Something that would set a reader worlds ahead of the others is proper typesetting. I want automatic hyphenation, good kerning, ligatures, hanging punctuation, and paragraph-optimized justification.

Should all be completely doable on a low-power device. This is the last great advantage that books have over e-readers. The first one to get these things wins, hands down. I fear it'll be a long time coming though, since a lot of these devices seem to be designed by people who don't actually read.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36281044)

The iPad does all this.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279898)

One of the selling points at the time was not so much battery life, but user replaceable batteries. With the Nook, you could walk into a B&N and buy a new battery and replace it yourself... with the Kindle you had to send it in, at your expense, to have the battery replaced.

That's one of the main reasons my wife and I bought nooks, instead of kindles.

She's got an old iPod... 1st or 2nd generation, I'm not sure which. It still functions just fine, but the battery is completely shot. Has been for ages. I don't think it actually lasted longer than a year. We still use the thing in a docking station, but it is no longer portable. It has to be plugged in to power to work.

I didn't want a repeat of that with my nook.

You can buy replacement batteries at B&N, as well as Best Buy. I'm sure they can be ordered on-line, and I wouldn't be surprised if there's some off-brand version as well. When my battery eventually dies I can replace it myself with no trouble at all. If I was really worried about battery life I could even purchase a couple extra batteries, charge them up, and swap them out when they get low.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

egranlund (1827406) | more than 3 years ago | (#36281124)

Thanks. I was wondering if the new eInk screens are worth it with the advertised higher contrast. I also have an original Nook so I guess the new screen isn't different enough to merit an upgrade.

I don't get the obsession over battery life either. When I read I have airplane mode on. It lasts long enough for my use.

The new e-ink screens are noticeably better from the old ones, but not worth the upgrade on their own IMO.

I went from a Kindle 2 to Kindle 3 and I definitely like the Kindle 3 screen a lot better - it's easier to read.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279868)

I own the original Nook, and get in at least an hour, usually two or more, spread throughout the day. Do people buying dedicated e-readers (as opposed to color tablets) really only get in a half hour every day? I'd thought the market was mostly for readers like me.

Yeah... That figure seems a bit odd to me, as well.

I bought a nook because I read a good amount. Reading is one of my primary timesinks. I'll easily put in half an hour over a lunch break... Another 15-30 minutes here and there throughout the day as I'm waiting for appointments or meetings or whatever to start... And then a good hour or two in the evening... And that's all during the week. On the weekend, or a holiday, I can spend 6-8 hours reading a good book.

I mean, if I only read 30 minutes a day, I don't think I would have cared enough about my books to buy a nook.

Re:Half hour a day? (1)

Lulu of the Lotus-Ea (3441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280882)

I can't speak to what Amazon measured as "50%" nor what PhrostyMcByte measured at "6%" ... they both sound like strange attempts to connote more than measure. However, I WILL note that I happened to buy my partner a Kindle 2 shortly before the Kindle 3 launch, and used the device enough to find it "pretty good, but I sure wish the contrast was better." This is subjective, but definitely what I found in the conditions in which I normally read (she used it more than I did, but I read enough on it to get a sense). Then that Kindle 2 had a hardware problem not related to the screen, and the helpful Amazon rep basically told her "get the Kindle 3 instead" ... and that change actually wound up costing a negative amount, since we went to Wifi only and returned the Kindle 2 within warranty for full refund. Anyway, with the Kindle 3, my subjective sense is "contrast is not an issue I need to think about."

So I don't know what quantitative percentage difference that is, nor exactly what a percentage would measure. But as a threshold thing, it went from noticeably lacking to nothing to worry about. I assume that the improvements to other brands of e-ink readers have crossed a similar threshold by now, and my guess is that they have all reached "good enough" (there are other things I would wish better: I have software freeze-ups on my Kindle DX that really suck; I wish the flicker on page turn was much less [and it could be with a smarter algorithm for pixels to change]; the interface could be improved; etc. ... but e-ink itself seems to have reached maturity).

This would be so easy... (2)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279312)

Just say "it allows for 20000 page turns"

That way it's not a relative time, but a real number people can evaluate.

It's like saying my Mac can stay on for 30 days and not mentioning the fact that it's on standby.

Re:This would be so easy... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279390)

It's like saying my Mac can stay on for 30 days and not mentioning the fact that it's on standby.

But can it? One of my machines has a bug that makes it use 10% of the battery no matter what condition it's in (unless it's actually off. But then it still leaks pretty good.)

Re:This would be so easy... (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279614)

that's the announced standby time for the macbook air :P. Just giving an example

Re:This would be so easy... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279514)

The problem is that all page turns aren't created equally. You'll get markedly less battery life if you use the software to enlarge or shrink the text. Not to mention that you'll get differing amounts of run time depending upon what type of documents you're looking at.

Re:This would be so easy... (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279684)

I'd say that the standard font size with the standard book would be an accurate measure.

When apple says a computer lasts 7 hours it doesn't mean you'll be playing a game for 7 hours. Just that you'll do some mixed web browsing and document editing.

Still way more exact than time. With every connectivity feature off and in busy months (less reading) I've used my kindle for over 2 months between charges :)

Re:This would be so easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279974)

OBVIOUSLY they don't mean you'll be playing a game.

Re:This would be so easy... (1)

TavisJohn (961472) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279710)

Yes, I think that "Page Turns" is a much better measure of battery life.

I think that Amazon fudging their battery life estimates less than 24 hours after the new Nook's battery life is revealed is rather scammy on Amazon's part.

Re:This would be so easy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279722)

>It's like saying my Mac can stay on for 30 days and not mentioning the fact that it's on standby.

That's fucking impressive. You could split your head open, be in a coma for three weeks, and when you're out of it, just open your mac and it's like "Where have you been bro?"

Re:This would be so easy... (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279920)

Just say "it allows for 20000 page turns"

Even that wouldn't be terribly accurate though...

Leaving the device idle draws power, too. So I could do 10,000 pageturns, and leave my device idle for a couple days, and then only have enough power for 5,000 more pageturns.

And if I'm using the wi-fi to download books, that number will go lower still. Or if I'm using 3G on the edge of network coverage, it'll be even lower.

Jesus Christ. (4, Funny)

Futile Rhetoric (1105323) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279328)

Whoever came up with this comparison chart will be first up against a wall when the revolution comes:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/kindle/shasta/photos/image-battery-life.gif [ssl-images-amazon.com]

Re:Jesus Christ. (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279470)

Two months' battery at half an hour of reading per day? Shyeah, who reads on that schedule?

Re:Jesus Christ. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279682)

maybe it's also 15 minutes of reading per page.

they'll create disappointed folk with that..

Re:Jesus Christ. (3, Funny)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279496)

Did you know the average human can lift their own body weight (on average about 150 lbs) but I can lift 15,000 lbs*


*My strength assumes lifting one pound at a time over a one year period.


By the way, that pic should be some kind of statistical goatse. It's disgusting.

Re:Jesus Christ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279516)

Month: less than eight days.

Re:Jesus Christ. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279980)

What's really depressing, to me, is that if I were a marketer, I could do better. For example, given the same data, I'd create a graph of '4-hour reading sessions per charge'. With the other devices getting 1,2,3, and kindle getting 8. (More than double! More than a week's worth of heavy reading on a single charge!). Let people extrapolate to their own reading habits.

Or use 'marathon 12 hour reading sessions per charge'. Competitor devices get 0, 0, 0. Kindle gets 2!

My battery life figure for Kindle (4, Informative)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279362)

I brought my Kindle 3 to China. It's a long flight, so I read a lot in the airplane. A couple of days I read only 30 minutes, and for three days, I stayed in the hostel because I got sick of something I ate. So in those three days, I read up to 6 hours per day. All in all, the holiday lasted 12 days and I had about 25% charge left at the end of the holiday.

FTC (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279426)

So, why do we have a consumer protection agency?

DO we even have a consumer protection agency? I'm getting the feeling lately we consumers are being pretty much abandoned, with Apple pulling all those dirty misleading walled-garden tricks, Google successfully using the tagline "do no evil", and now this.

Re:FTC (1)

dwillden (521345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279704)

How does a difference like this hurt you? The FTC is really there to prevent truly harmful practices. Bait and switch, dangerous items, devices that don't even begin to perform their advertised function.

Since usage is entirely reliant on how you actually use it, not some perfect world usage, that is virtually unachievable in real life. Unless you can prove that the real battery life is substantially different under similar identical conditions as advertised, there is nothing to protect against this.

Re:FTC (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280176)

So using your logic, the police should be putting all their effort in chasing the truly big criminals, and they should stop handing out traffic tickets.

It's about Standby Time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279442)

The big difference is obviously standby time. If the use pattern includes less standby time...the user pushing the next page button every minute continuously until the battery is dead...then the Nook gets far superior battery life. If the usage pattern includes more standby time...the user reads 30 minutes a day and leaves it off for a long time...the battery life is close to equal. The Nook has a far lower power page turn power cost than the Kindle. Either the standby power use dominates in the 30 minute-a-day scenario or the Kindle has superior standby time.

It doesn't make sense to spec the battery life on continuous use because no one does that. 30 minutes per day is far more accurate than continuous use. One could argue that 1 hour per day use is more accurate. Ironically, it's B&N that pushed the spec to 30 minutes rather than the 1 hour that Amazon chose. Basically, B&N tried to fool the less savvy buyers by appearing to have double the battery life in a different scenario. Amazon cried foul and pointed out that the battery life is equal in the exact scenario. B&N responds by saying they do really have double the battery life, but only in a ridiculous scenario.

I also greatly appreciate that Amazon makes the battery life with wireless on and wireless off easily available. B&N does not. My use model has wireless on all the time, so I care about that spec.

Re:It's about Standby Time (2)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279548)

It doesn't make sense to spec the battery life on continuous use because no one does that. 30 minutes per day is far more accurate than continuous use.

We spec light bulbs that way even though the frequency they are turned on and off has a huge affect on their lifespan. Tires are measured in total miles. One tire manufacture doesn't claim to last twice as long and then put in the fine print that it assumes you will only stop and accelerate some number of times that makes their tires suddenly last longer.

Spec continuous use and then let usage patterns derive from that. Don't start at usage patterns or you wind up in the marketing mess we're talking about.

Re:It's about Standby Time (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279730)

When standby time for a lightbulb or a tire makes up a significant component of it's overall wear, then I would expect the way the spec is delivered to change. Excluding cars that aren't moved very much, tire wear is dominated by road use. Even then, it's highly dependent on road conditions, weather, and driving style. When spec'ing tire wear the dominant cause of wear (driving on them) was chosen. Some reasonable constraints were placed on the conditions of driving. Is it "marketing mess" that they didn't choose Sebastien Vettel to test the tire life or my grandmother for that matter?

For an e-reader, the the typical use and dominant component of power draw is standby. That's proven by all the numbers published by everyone. Look at the numbers people are making up above. If you read 1 minute a day, you get X number of years of battery life. That's obviously not true. If you leave an e-reader in standby with wireless off and never touch it, it's dead in well under 3 months...probably pretty close to 2 months. The most useful non-usage pattern determined spec would be standby time and not number of page turns. The numbers given by Amazon and B&N are way more relevant than the totally dumb "number of page turns" spec. Quite frankly, that spec is more misleading than anything else.

Kindle battery life is pretty variable (2)

Nimey (114278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279456)

You have at least two or three variables, depending:

1) Is your wireless/3G on? That drains more quickly than just reading does.
2) How many page-flips?
3) Do you have the fancy cover with the pop-out LED light that draws from the Kindle battery, and how much do you use it?
4) How much time spend actually reading, vs. in standby? Not a whole lot of power savings in standby, but the CPU's at least in deeper sleep.

With the light and the wireless on, I can drain a battery in several hours' continuous usage, or (more likely) two to three days on my normal schedule. I don't normally leave the wireless on, though. I understand Amazon claimed a month of usage without wireless or light, but that obviously depends on how many books you'll read in a month.

Mines better than yours! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279460)

Well mines better than yours times infinity!

Android device for $139. (2)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279462)

This is an Android-based device for $139. It has an e-Ink display and a touch screen. I'm buying one the day after it's rooted.

Does anyone know enough about the touch-screen method this uses to tell me whether it can present two datapoints at a time? (Can the hardware be used to do multi-touch?)

Re:Android device for $139. (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36279936)

This is an Android-based device for $139. It has an e-Ink display and a touch screen. I'm buying one the day after it's rooted.

Does anyone know enough about the touch-screen method this uses to tell me whether it can present two datapoints at a time? (Can the hardware be used to do multi-touch?)

It is my understanding that the nook has already been rooted.

http://nookdevs.com/ [nookdevs.com]

Re:Android device for $139. (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280380)

This kind of looks like a completely different device. If it were essentially the same, then that would indeed be fantastic, as it looks like putting whatever you want on it would already be essentially done to the point of being sealed up with a bow.

Re:Android device for $139. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280114)

e-ink doesn't have a fast response time. I'm not sure how well things like "pinch to zoom" and other multi-touch gestures will work with a screen that can't keep up.

Re:Android device for $139. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36280704)

It uses ir, so as far as i know, no multi-touch.

Actress (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279478)

I like Amazon and Barnes & Noble Jostle Over Battery Life Figures for Nook, Kindle

Find us
http://www.bangladeshi-actresses.co.cc

Spam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279536)

This is add is just a plug for the Kindle in disguise. Sucks to have to filter through this junk to find legitimate news.

not so hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36279712)

Its not so hard. Take the battery's current capacity, devide it by the max current drain of the device. This will give a ballpark figure that is in hours, and is more reliable than any marketing figures for battery life. An individual can get an accurate figure for their personal use by writing down the times that they start and stop using the device (device turned off when not in use).

This # of days at x minutes per day is pure marketing BS! Take the minutes per day times the days, devide by 60 to get the total claimed run time in hours. Does it come cloise to battery capacity devided by max current drain?

A half hour a day? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36280378)

Umm then why bother even getting a reader?

Just tell us the mah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36281046)

Perhaps include metrics such as "4 page turns per minute averages 20mw". Don't try to trick us, give us real facts.

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