I wrote up my problems here, and you can read the comments to follow the developments and line of thinking.
I have the following symptoms:
1) My Kindle frequently crashes upon wakeup from sleep
- I flick and release the power switch
- there is a long, long pause
- then a green LED shows
- and then the Kindle resets (watch the progress bar as it boots, etc)
2) My Kindle drains its battery at a horrifying rate; I am very careful to switch OFF the Wifi when not in use, but last night:
- I fully charged my Kindle
- disconnect it from power
- switched off Wifi
- read a book for about 30 minutes
- I flicked the power-switch off – the Kindle displayed one of its screensavers – and I went to sleep.
This morning I woke up, flicked the power switch on; the kindle crashed and reset, and the battery showed approximately 40% charge remaining.
3) My Kindle occasionally crashes/resets mid-reading, but crashes are far more common when “waking it up” after a few hours “off”
After a few interactions with Amazon I received a phone call from one of their tech guys – instigated by my demand for a replacement – requesting if I could try one more thing:
“Please remove the Amazon-brand leather cover that [I had] purchased for it.”
If this sounds weird be aware that the cover attaches to the Kindle via two metal clips, and the mountpoints into which it clips are wired to the unit’s battery; this is so that certain models of the Kindle cover can use the battery to power a LED reading light.
I do not have one of those covers but it seems that although my cover is passive something about the clips is causing leakage of current and consequent instability; this neatly explains why it could be apparently well-behaved all night and then crash spontaneously when I picked it up to start using it, and also explains the battery drain.
It was an instant fix – stability is back, but I am a still bit worried about the battery. It appeared not to take a full charge a couple of times since, but is now discharging so slowly it’s hard to measure if it’s been fritzed by this problem.
I am waiting for a callback from Amazon to find out what they intend to do about this matter – I shall be pressing for a Kindle replacement because I am not convinced of its ability to take a full charge, nor how much damage has been done to the battery cycle life. What to do about the cover I don’t know – perhaps a refund and a slipcase?
I don’t know if the lighted/active covers will suffer this problem – after all, they should be designed to offer electrical isolation?