Watch A Kindle Drop Test

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Showing 1-25 of 36 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 15, 2009 9:29:31 AM PDT
Danny says:
This might be a "typical drop test," but does not reflect a "typical drop." Notice the dark pad being used to perform this drop test. The front corner is raised off the floor and even casts a shadow. This probably indicates some kind of cushioning beneath the dark square pad and the hard floor that prevents the pad from lying flat on the floor. When the Kindle hits the pad you can even see the corner of the pad compressing toward the floor and bouncing back up. Drop the Kindle on a hard floor, as is typical of most daily activity, and you'll have a better idea of its durability and survivability. After all, it's still an electronic piece of equipment with typical electronic parts.

Posted on Apr 16, 2009 2:42:57 PM PDT
But can it hold it's own with my 20 Month old daughter. With weapons ranging from Ice Cream Hands to the Cat?

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2009 12:15:35 AM PDT
kate says:
I agree this is not an accurate depiction of what happens to a kindle when it drops. Mine dropped form a much lower height yesterday and the screen is broken. This is not covered under Amazon's warranty.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2009 9:04:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 21, 2009 9:05:13 PM PDT
Linda says:
That's what happened to my son's Kindle. After watching the "drop test" I bought it for him. Yesterday it fell off his bed (less then 30 inches) and now the screen is broken. I think Amazon is using deceptive advertising with their drop test video. I wouldn't have bought it for $350 if I'd know it was that fragile. Amazon is going to charge $200 to fix it.

Posted on Aug 16, 2009 4:15:09 AM PDT
appymac says:
Misleading advertising represents the Kindle 2 as able to withstand a fall, when in fact the truth is just the opposite. My Kindle fell from apx 28" (yes, I measured, and less than their 30") and the screen's "E-Ink" is now "broken". It was not a hard fall or a throw, just an accidental slip from my hands as I was sitting down. The Kindle is now useless after only 2 months of use. My choices? Apx $200 replacement fee or I can keep my "brink". Plus mine was purchased right before the price dropped to $299. So instead $359 was wasted. I called Customer Service at Amazon and was give the same answer repeatedly, "We are sorry you are having problems with your device. We can offer to replace it with a refurbished Kindle for a fee." And according to the Rep, I was the only person she knew of with this complaint. (The Internet certainly implies otherwise.) The replacement fee was my "only option" according to the Rep, as damaged screens are not covered. I own MANY electronics and most are several years old, some more than 5 years old. Over the normal use of a device, drops will inevitably occur and I've dropped every device once at some time. And they ALL still work, no problems, no replacement fees. In this day and age a device should withstand normal expected use, especially when customers are shelling out $300-400.

If the defect is only the E-Ink, then that company should be stepping forward to correct the problems, and Amazon should be leading that request. According to E-Ink's website, their E-Ink technology is the "future of paper" ... unless you drop it.

I had been recommending the Kindle left and right, but now I am reversing those recommendations, advising them to not take a chance of wasting their money on this ridiculously fragile - though otherwise captivating - device. I LOVED the Kindle 2 more than any other gadget I had seen or heard of in the last 5 years and am SO incredibly disappointed with Amazon and E-Ink's approach to their customer service regarding this issue.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 2:07:52 PM PDT
Larry Cedar says:
Firstly, let me qualify the following critique by saying that I am a Kindle addict and, UNTIL TODAY, a devout Amazon loyalist, purchasing as many as 60 items a year through their site.

Since purchasing my Kindle in March of 2009 I've been thrilled with the ability to not only read and store numerous books and subscribe to various magazines and newspapers, but also to shop and buy new material on impulse via the Kindle Store (although I'm still baffled at the unavailability of certain early works by both historical and contemporary authors). Oh, I have the usual complaints, primarily that even in certain well lit environments the words on the Kindle screen can be difficult to decipher due to a low (and nonadjustable) screen contrast as well as a lack of back lighting. But then you can always increase the font size, and all in all, it's been a thrill.

No, my complaint is of a different nature, that being a case of PRODUCT MISREPRESENTATION.

When I first considered buying a Kindle I began by doing what we've all done a hundred times before; I went to Amazon's product website and began reading about the Kindle's various specs and features.

Half way down the web page, prominently displayed within Amazon's quite extensive promotional presentation was (and still is) a video called "WATCH THE KINDLE DROP TEST" showing a Kindle being released from a height of three feet onto what appears to be a hard black marble tile. The video is presented as a scientific experiment of sorts, complete with clean white surfaces, measuring devices, and slow motion repetition of the drop. The Kindle, needless to say, survives, seemingly INTACT (and presumably still working).

NOTE: There is no audio accompanying the video nor a written explanation. The viewer is left to draw his own conclusions which, in my case, was that the Kindle must be a very durable device. Common sense would lead most people to conclude the same. After all, it's not everyday that sellers of electronic devices (televisions, cameras, audio devices) can make the claim that their device can survive (i.e REMAIN FUNCTIONAL) after such a drop. So the Kindle had to be pretty tough, right? I was SOLD!

Nevertheless, since it's purchase I have been very careful NOT to drop my Kindle as I value it tremendously, and why tempt fate? Today, however, while trying to answer the phone my Kindle did slip from my hand and fell a distance of approximately ONE FOOT onto a wooden kitchen table. Instantly, the screen went haywire; the words became unreadable, the functions inoperable, and the device could not be restarted by any means (even the usual 15 second power switch solution).

After speaking with Amazon I was told that the would send me a refurbished device for $135. Furthermore, when asked about the "Kindle Drop Test" I was told that the video was never meant to imply that the Kindle would still be functional after such a drop, but rather that it would remain STRUCTURALLY INTACT (i.e. no cracks or sharp edges) and therefore "not a danger to other people around you". Wow, what a relief.

After laughing at the absurdity of this reasoning, I explained that the only concern of any average buyer of such a device is FUNCTIONALITY. The "Drop Test" video's implied selling point that the Kindle can "take a licking and keep on ticking" is one of the primary reasons for my deciding to buy the device. Without a written or audio explanation accompanying this video, the only logical conclusion to be drawn by anyone would have to be that a minor drop such as the one endured by my Kindle would be of little or no functional consequence or danger.

To date, Amazon has never mislead me in my purchases and my assumption was that, in light of the claims implied by their Kindle "Drop Test" they would replace my Kindle at no cost as show of good faith in their product and myself as a loyal customer. I was dead wrong. No replacement, no consideration, no good explanation for their falsely implied video claims.

In the case of the "Kindle Drop Test", Amazon is guilty of false and misleading advertising and should be held accountable through legal action along the lines of a class action law suit. I have ordered my replacement, but will be pursuing other options after consulting with the appropriate counsel.

The moral of the story. Don't be mislead by the "Kindle Drop Test". As far as functionality is concerned, don't think of your Kindle as any more durable than your average eggshell.

And you can say goodbye to any past illusions that Amazon is a completely honest company. In the case of the "KINDLE DROP TEST", what you see is definitely NOT what you get.

P.S. In asking to speak to a supervisor about the matter I was told that one would call me back immediately. They never did.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2009 8:02:28 PM PST
I would love to be informed if you decide to pursue a class action suit. I too bought the Kindle 2 after having seen the video. Recently, my Kindle fell about 18 inches and now is permanently damaged in the upper right corner. It's still relatively usable (for the time being), though it's impossible to see how much charge is left. Unfortunately, since buying the Kindle, I've become unemployed and I can't afford to pay for a replacement. After seeing how the Kindle reacted to a minor fall, I believe strongly that the video was misleading. If you have any further information or advice, I would love to hear it. Thanks!

Posted on Dec 20, 2009 8:40:55 AM PST
Janice Edens says:
I was just about ready to order a Kindle 2 until I read these comments. Though I'm very careful with my things, I've accidentally dropped my Blackberry several times, often on concrete, with no negative results. As I frequently read in bed, I was concerned about falling asleep and the Kindle falling to the floor and being damaged. Now I see that my fears are real and I'll need to reconsider moving from paperbacks to the Kindle.

Posted on Dec 26, 2009 12:32:37 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 26, 2009 4:10:05 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 9:34:37 PM PST
Alistair says:
I had a similar experience and reaction to appymac below. That is, my Kindle had a less than 30 inch drop onto a wooden floor and the upper quarter of the device is now unreadable. It should at least ship with a protective skin/cover or a fragile warning - which of course Amazon would not do as as it would not sell. I have also moved from being an addict (for a brief two months) extolling the virtues of the Kindle, to very negative and will warn anyone off it. Back to my paperbacks which are much more resilient - and why should I go to Amazon for them!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 24, 2010 1:50:41 PM PDT
Carla West says:
I just dropped my Kindle (in it's cover) at a height of less than 30 inches onto a rug and now the screen is broken. I am very disappointed. It just happened and I haven't looked into having it fixed. Bad news that it is so expensive. $200 is now more than the charge for a new Kindle. Dang.

Posted on Jun 25, 2010 11:44:50 AM PDT
VERY interesting. Well...I too just experienced my first Kindle drop. I was at a train station, reading in my car waiting for the train to arrive. When it came time to exit my car to go to the train, I closed my Kindle cover (Patagonia soft "padded" cover), but since I was just going to keep reading on the train, I just closed the cover over the Kindle and didn't zip it. Well, all I did was turn to get out of the car, and the elastic bands holding the Kindle in place gave way, and it went a hard asphalt parking lot. After experiencing a minor heart attack, I picked the Kindle up and was amazed to see the screen was still fine. It's slightly damaged - the plastic circular piece around the 4-way button is gone - but it's still working. Everything is functioning - I even downloaded a free book and hit an internet site to make sure the Whispernet was still working. Based on some of what I'm reading here, I am VERY very lucky.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 11:09:20 AM PDT
Yesterday, my wife was sitting in a lawn chair. The Kindle dropped off the arm - exactly 22 inches. It landed on one corner and now 25% of the screen does not work. A little web research shows that this is a common problem. Amazon should be notifying owners and making repairs/replacement.

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 1:42:21 PM PDT
Emily Conrad says:
Happened to me as well, when the Kindle was inside it's case. It dropped from my hands at 28" and the whole screen is wiped out. Sign me up for a class action suit.

Posted on Jul 8, 2010 8:01:11 PM PDT
This is a joke. I can tell you (as an avid Kindle fan until now) that the screen is incredible weak. There seems to be a design defect that renders the screen susceptible to damage with NO FAULT of the user. Even worse, Kindle will not replace it if it is out of warranty on this screen issue. I feel bad because it is a nice little device, but the way Amazon is approaching this issue is wrong and they should admit the issue and try to build further loyalty to the brand (as opposed to saving a couple of dollars by forcing us to buy a new Kindle -- which I will not do).

Posted on Jul 11, 2010 12:03:25 PM PDT
Husband bought me a Kindle for my birthday in May 2009 for $360.00. Slid off coffee table (while in its case) in July, 2009 and screen shattered. Was offered and bought what I believed was a new one for $200 in late July 2009. Did not drop again but in May, lines started appearing across the screen. Over the next few weeks, more lines appeared and now screen completely illegible. Called "support" and could barely understand the first tech due to loud background noise and really thick accent. After she told me could not help me unless Kindle was fully charged, I asked to speak with someone else. Placed on hold and no one ever came back on. Called again and second tech was much easier to understand but also asked whether Kindle was charged. When I told him "no" because I had let the battery run down since the Kindle was not useable, he became very short with me and said that it would work if I charged it. I get the impression Amazon takes the position that as long as the product charges and "functions", the Kindle is fine. The fact that you can't read the screen is a secondary, irrelevant issue that is simply not Amazon's problem. In order for the tech to help me further, he had to go down his checklist, including having me hold the on button for 15 seconds on a completely uncharged Kindle. Ultimately I was told that the Kindle was out of the warranty period. When I asked how that was possible, was told that the warranty runs with the initial purchase date (my husband ordered it in February, 2009), not the date of the replacement Kindle. Kindle's solution for me? Buy a replacement for $89.00 with no guaranties. No thanks. Given that the Kindle SCREEN isn't warranted and lasts less than a year, I'm going to go with an I-Pad.

Posted on Oct 9, 2010 5:38:25 AM PDT
ChicagoGirl says:
I agree with so much of what has been said here. My mother loaned me her kindle. I was startled the other day and the kindle flew out of my hands and hit the floor. The screen looks like Picasso painting with words and lines. Since it is not repairable for less than the original purchase point, it forces me to buy a new one for her. But I will not buy one for myself. The number of electronic devices so many of us own, that are dropped and dinged and sprinkled - surviving to serve us another day - are evidence that Kindle and Amazon COULD DO BETTER!!!! I'm done with it. My only problem is the books I bought that I have not yet read. Oh well. Cheaper to go buy the actual book!

Posted on Dec 6, 2010 3:56:27 PM PST
Stacey says:
I call BS on this. I just dropped my kindle from a short distance and now it has nothing but a black screen.

Posted on Dec 18, 2010 12:31:17 PM PST
My Kindle 2 was on it's charger and must have been bounced , as a result it fell to the floor and now the upper right hand of the screen is now broken , i just got this for my birthday in September and i am really pissed off right as now useless, one fall..just on fall..:-(

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2010 3:37:51 PM PST
Call 1-866-321-8851 and explain your problem (I think option #3 deals with broken devices). I just had the same thing happen to a Kindle I got 6 months ago (dropped it from maybe 2 feet onto a hard tile floor; screen busted), and they are sending me a new one. They must have changed their policy on this issue.

Posted on Dec 30, 2010 4:40:23 PM PST
Kindle screens are failing all over the place, and it is not because they are being dropped. I am very frustrated with kindle and wish I had never purchased it. I have an extensive library and wish I could transfer it to another provider. LOOK INTO KINDLE PRODUCT FAILURE BEFORE YOU BUY. I would not reccomend it. They will not replace it and it is less than two years old--well cared for and this is an all too common story. The screen fills with horizontal and veritical lines. Seriously, look into it before building your library with this product, or plan to buy a new one every other year.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 3, 2011 11:46:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 3, 2011 11:50:19 AM PST
I got my wife the Kindle 3G for Christmas, and it slipped out of her purse this morning and hit our kitchen tile floor. Like so many others, the screen was a mess. She called the 1-866-321-8851 number Maren gave, and the service rep said it should not break that easily, and is shipping out a replacement today. So it looks like they have changed their way of doing business regarding displays breaking from a drop. My wife's quote was "They were awesome. Kindle has my vote for the best customer service in the world....".

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 14, 2011 12:12:49 PM PDT
Jae' Gethers says:
I've had my kindle for two weeks and I put it in my purse this morning on my way to work. I turned a corner a little sharply and my purse fell on the carpeted floor, not very far. I didn't worry about it, but when I got to work, my kindle was broken. I called Amazon immediately and they are sending my replacement free of charge. I will get it tomorrow. I am thinking, though, that it's free because I bought all kinds of insurance for it. Would they replace so quickly otherwise? I don't know. Will take EXTRA precautions from here on out and treat my kindle like fragile crystal!

Posted on Apr 25, 2011 4:33:36 PM PDT
J.A. Schulte says:
Last night, while leaning over to put it on the nightstand, I dropped my kindle on an oak wood floor. It fell hard enough that the back top cover was almost completely off. It still had a picture screen, though, so I didn't think twice about it.

This morning, it had a hard time turning on from sleep mode and then going back to sleep. Suddenly, the screen turned white with a very faint grey-ish line on the bottom. I thought it was a goner....

until I tried what someone else posted. I held the on/off slide to the right for 30 seconds. (someone posted 15 seconds). I put it down in front of me on my desk and within 5 seconds, the screen started flashing black and white then the amazon 'tree' was displayed and it starting downloading something. After the download, the menu screen came up (no books listed) and then a few flickers later, all of my books were there!

It works! It's alive!!! I'm able to read anything I have and turn it on and off without issue! For anyone with the dreaded white screen, give it a try!

as a side note: I bought my daughter a kindle for her birthday along with a BUILT neoprene case. She has been a little careless with hers (tossing her backpack around, kindle inside) and I think the case has really protected it.

Posted on May 15, 2011 5:33:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2011 5:36:55 PM PDT
S.L says:
Shocking indeed. I saw this video some time back and assumed that I could safely bring my kindle to the gym. Today I dropped the device and my screen is now completely frozen. I called Amazon and they say that they apologize for the misleading nature of the video. I informed them that I will be posting a video to youtube where I discuss my experience and the misleading nature of their kindle drop video.

I also informed the representative that the kindle is a rather primitive device relative to today's technology and also largely a plastic solid state device, and that it makes no logical sense why the device would malfunction so easily after falling from under 2 feet unless it was designed that way on purpose. Imagine your SD card malfunctioning after being dropped from a desk, or you solar powered calculator malfunctioning, or even your Casio battery watch. This is the same level of complexity that we are dealing with in a Kindle when we throw in a wireless signal receiver. A designer could nevertheless design an SD card so that it would fail after being dropped, and do so so that the company can make more money.

I did have a kindle replacement mailed to me, but this is the last time I purchase this primitive device. I will look to a better designed device preferably a Android tablet. In all honesty, I felt uncomfortable anyway using a device that would only display books purchased at Amazon. History tell me that monopolies are not friend's of the people. If Amazon succeeds in driving all online stores out of business we might one day not be able to read certain books whose content are deemed inappropriate by Amazon. Indeed similar stuff to that has already happened with Apple in their apps store.
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