I want to purchase a small devise for reading material, field guides, and PDFs. The iPod Touch seemed like the best choice for me, primarily because of the bird ID and other field guide apps. Then I noticed that the Apple site stated that the Touch had a maximum operating elevation of 10,000 feet. When I am backpacking in the mountains, I am ususally above 10,000 feet.
I did some online research and found a thread in an Apple forum. One problem is that, for hard drive based devises, air pressure is required so that the heads float above the hard drive. At high altitudes, there may not be sufficient air pressure to float the heads. About half of the posters in a long thread seemed to have problems above 10,000 feet, while half did not.
The iPod Touch, however, is apparently not a hard drive based devise. I was told that it is a solid state devise. I did some more research. I found another thread. This much shorter thread stated that the problem with solid state devises is cooling. This makes some sense to me - since the air is thinner, it would not cool as efficiently. However, air temperatures are also lower at high elevations. It was not entirely clear to me what the effect of this was on solid state devises. No one stated that a solid state devise had failed at high elevations. One poster stated that use at high altitudes will reduce the life of the devise due to its operation at higher temperatures.
Does anyone understand what the problem is with using solid state devises like an iPod Touch above 10,000 feet? Is it possible that the devise will stop working? Are e-readers like Kindles hard drive or solid state devises? Also, does anyone have experience using an iPod for reading? The Touch battery is said to last 40 hours for music and 7 hours for video, but I was wondering what I might expect for reading. I would guess a somewhat more than for video, but not a great deal more, since the screen is on.