1. You need to log in to use this part of the site

    The B&N Nook SimpleTouch firesale rip-off

    Like a lot of fellow commentards, I was inspired by the recent firesale on Nook Simple Touches [hereinafter referred to as Nooks], as reported by this very organ:

    <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/05/01/barnes_and_nobles_slashes_nook_prices">Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves</a>

    Thinking that "for £29 a pop, you can't go wrong", I bought two of these gadgets and have had a month now to evaluate them. My conclusion is that, even for £29 a pop, you most certainly CAN go wrong:

    * On arrival, both Nooks revealed themselves to have been built in 2011, so had been sitting on a shelf in a warehouse somewhere for two or more years.

    * Far from B&Ns claim that the batteries will last for two months with half an hour's reading per day and a similar amount of WiFi use, I have found that on both my Nooks, the battery will run completely flat in about 3 or 4 days –even with WiFi turned off and the Nook being completely unused. That's worse battery life than my bloody iPhone! [Incidentally, both Nooks had vastly different serial numbers, so this is not a case of one bad batch here].

    * B&N have completely ignored two polite emails I've sent them, enquiring about having the batteries or the Nooks replaced. Their customer service seems non-existent.

    Has anyone else who thought they were snapping up a £29 bargain been similarly disappointed with what they received –or am I just exceptionally unlucky?

    If my experience is the norm, rather than an exception, I think there should be a pretty good case for bringing a class action against B&N for this "rip-off". It seems to me they've cleared out a load of old Nooks with age-degraded batteries at a bargain basement price, without informing customers that the Nook they would receive is effectively no longer fit for purpose.

    1. Mystic Megabyte

      Re: The B&N Nook SimpleTouch firesale rip-off

      I bought one at the same time as you and I'm quite pleased with it so far.

      Judging by the discharge rate I would guess that the battery would last at least two weeks, possibly more.

      I loaded it up with books and have read about six so far.

      Maybe yours will improve after a few charges.

  2. Phil W


    You seem to be overreacting a little here.

    The age of the device is irrelevant, it's still brand new in box.

    If you'd done your research prior to buying you'd know the model and spec hasn't changed since 2011 so the stock could well be that old. If you want something hot off the production line, then buy something that's only just been released.

    Your only actual complaint seems to be the battery life, and the fact they haven't responded to emails about it.

    I would suggest you call them on the phone, or write to them via snail mail, you are more likely to get a response.

    Also while I agree that the battery life does sound poor on your devices, 3 - 4 days does not make them at all unusable.

  3. You need to log in to use this part of the site

    @Phil W

    @Phil W

    You seem to be missing my point.

    I did do my research before buying. Like a lot of Reg-tards, I tend to get at least as much fun reading reviews and forum discussions about my toys before buying as I do from actually using them.

    So I was fully aware of the fact that the Nook Simple Touch was released in 2011. The age of the underlying technology is totally not the issue. My point is B&N did not state on their website that these ‘firesale’ Nooks had been sitting on a shelf somewhere for over two years before being sold and might therefore not perform as expected.

    If you do a bit of cursory research on the intarwebs, you’ll find there’s a consensus of opinion that Li-ion batteries are generally considered to have a useful shelf life of around three years and that Li-ion batteries begin to degrade from the date of manufacture IRRESPECTIVE of whether or not they are actually being used. Therefore, selling a Li-ion powered gadget that has been sitting on a shelf for two years is essentially the same as selling the same item with two years prior use.

    As regards 3-4 days’ battery life not making the device unusable, again you seem to be missing the point. The device is advertised as having a battery life of two months with moderate daily use. I’m getting 3-4 days on standby with no use at all. That’s about one fifteenth of the stated battery life.

    Now, pedantically speaking that may not make the Nook unusable, but it’s certainly not good enough for a gadget that’s sold on the fact you can charge it up and take it away on holiday with you, without worrying about it running out of charge [the very reason I bought an eReader].

    If that’s not enough for you, let me try a simple analogy:

    You buy a new Android phone [somehow, I’m guessing from your hostile attitude, you’re a *Nix user]. The phone is advertised as having 15 hours’ battery life with moderate use. However, in practice you find it lasts under half an hour on standby [proportionally the same as 2 months vs 4 days].

    Would you think you’d been swindled or –wary of being accused of over-reacting– would you happily consider your new purchase to still be “usable”?

  4. Phil W

    As I mentioned before I agree that the battery life should be in line with what is advertised.

    My point was not that B&N were faultless, or that the Nook (or your Nooks in particular) have no problem, clearly the battery is not performing as expected.

    My point was that you made out that a shorter than advertised battery life was the end of the world, and should result in legal action against B&N, which is a rather over zealous response. Any hostility you sense in my writing is simply a response to said over zealousness.

    You seem to have countered my point of the battery life not being a problem with a ridiculous analogy.

    Battery life of any mobile device, no matter the brand or OS involved, really only needs to be such that it lasts long enough to support use between opportunities to charge it. So whether a phone had 15 hours or half an hour of battery life I wouldn't buy it. (Galaxy Note 2 owner, my battery lasts 2 days even with moderate use and WiFi always on).

    I'm not sure what kind of holidays you go on, I suppose if you go camping in the middle of nowhere for a week then you may have a problem, but short of that I can't foresee many situations where you wont be near an electricity socket for more than 4 days and also want an e-reader.

    If you do find yourself away from power for such lengths of time, Nook battery life aside, I would suggest investing in a solar powered charger for your gadgetry.

    A further suggestion I'd make would be to turn it off completely rather than leaving it in standby (which is what you described you were doing). That is likely to make a significant difference.

    1. Phil W


      The jump to legal action after only a month of owning it with minor problems leads me to think you must be an American despite quoting the price in £GBP. If you are in fact British I would point out there is no such thing as class action law suits in the UK.

  5. You need to log in to use this part of the site

    B&N rip-off

    ...I'm not sure what kind of holidays you go on, I suppose if you go camping in the middle of nowhere for a week then you may have a problem...

    I do, which is the reason I decided to buy an eReader in spite of already having a fondleslab –the claimed 1-2 month battery life. What part of "misleading advertising" do you not get?

    "...If you are in fact British I would point out there is no such thing as class action law suits in the UK..."

    YA obviously NAL. They do [or did!] exist here. I do live in Britain and have been part of a class action suit in the past

    [which we won by the way. thanks for asking]

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021