How Long Does Esquire E-ink Battery Last?

The Amazing Magazine Technology Museum

The October 2008 issue of Esquire Magazine was the crown jewel in my magazine technology museum. Not a difficult feat, considering there are only two specimens on display in the collection. The operative word in that first sentence is “was” because today, May 20, 2009, approximately eight months after I purchased said gem of a magazine, the batteries have died. Why would a magazine have batteries?

This issue of Esquire (which I haven’t read) was the first magazine to employ an eink / e-ink cover. There’s also an e-ink advertisement on the inside cover, but it’s not as impressive. For sure, the cover itself isn’t that impressive either. But it’s a representation of fantastic technological potential. For almost a year I’ve displayed it on my shelf. The usual response upon noticing it was something along the lines of, “Is that magazine moving?!” or, “Is that an LCD screen built into a magazine?!” or, “Why did you buy Esquire?!”

Now, unless I hack it, it’s dead. A victim of limited battery life. I can’t wait for real e-ink magazines and newspapers. And no, the Kindle and other e-ink book readers don’t count. They’re too rigid, bulky and expensive. I won’t hold my breath for something better though.

The other specimen in my magazine technology museum? It’s the July 2007 issue of Wired Magazine. It looks different from your copy or any other for that matter because it’s the first magazine with a cusomized cover. Wired allowed the first 5,000 respondents to provide a picture to appear on their issue of Wired. I kept my custom Dan Dreifort cover issue in the plastic wrap and purchased the mass market Optimus Prime cover to read. Yes, I still read Wired. It’s gone downhill in the past few years, but it’s still worth $10/year.

What will be the third entry into my exclusive Magazine technology museum? I’m giddy with anticipation!