PSP Slim & Lite Poor Manufacturing   3 comments

Sony’s New Slogan:
Cheap Manufacturing Like.No.Other

MISALIGNED FACEPLATE/UNEVEN ATTACHMENT OF PARTS

I upgraded from my Sony PSP-1004 (phat) to a PSP-2004 (known as PSP Slim & Lite) a month ago. From day one I noticed that the screen was misaligned, in that the left edge of the screen was almost covered by the covering faceplate, as if a vertical line of one-pixel in width at the most left was distorted or warped, while on the right edge there was plenty of space between the screen edge and the faceplate edge. Moreover, the left edge had a gap due to a mis-attached faceplate. From the random pictures I’ve seen on the web, this problem is quite common, but most people do not notice it, or pretend it’s normal or acceptable. My place has no official technical service offices, so I opened the device up, voiding the warranty, and as you see in the attached picture, I placed pieces of hard paper to force the screen to be moved a bit to the right, aligning the whole thing.

Please keep reading for more details and polls.

21-10-08 2352
My modification. This is the left side of the screen. Notice the white hard papers placed to push the LCD itself a mm or less to the right, in order to push the left edge of the display away from the misaligned faceplate.

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Here’s another picture of another PSP with the same problem. It’s even more severe here. It seems to be misaligned at the 4 edges! Look closely at the edges of the screen. See the gaps and sloping-in edges of the faceplate? It looks really terrible, and it distorts the beautiful display. I’ve yet to come across a similar faceplate in the cheapest gadgets.

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This is another pic. Click for a larger version. [source]

CREAKY/LOOSE BATTERY COVER

My battery cover has gone all loose and creaky in a couple of months of normal use, with the PSP having never left home. It had become unbearable when using the system that I had to attach pieces of hard paper under the battery cover to make it more stable (I’ll attach an image of this procedure soon).

VERDICT

Of course I’m mad at Sony for letting things like this happen. The original PSP was a quality product. But this iteration is not as good in terms of manufacturing. I suppose it has something to do with Sony trying to cut costs of manufacturing. People say that it feels cheap because it’s lighter. Wrong. It feels cheap because it is cheap. Sony could make a lighter device that’s still solidly built. This is the only Sony product that I have no real pride in owning. For these reasons, Sony has lost my confidence in them, and I’ll be sure to thoroughly review the Sony products I’m interested in before buying. It was a mistake to trust Sony and blindly buy this iteration of the PSP without reading reviews about it.

This is a list of what reflects poor manufacturing in PSP-200x (PSP Slim & Lite):

  • The front plastic faceplate is not aligned correctly in almost all units. An edge of the screen can be covered while there’s a lot of space at the opposite edge. The edges are also sloping inwards, leading to unnecessary lighting artifacts and what appears to be ‘warping’ of the edges of the display.
  • The battery cover while attached is movable while playing. It also creaks when pressed.
  • The lower panel buttons (like Select, Start,..etc) creak when pressed.
  • The face buttons do not feel the same when pressed. For example, the square button goes down deeper, while there’s a bit of resistance on pushing the triangle button.
  • The Memory Stick door is loosely attached.

On the positive side, the PSP Slim & Lite boasts a few advantages:

  • Slimmer and lighter; the PSP is now finally pocketable.
  • TV-output for videos and pictures. PSone games now support full screen.
  • Better directional pad; diagonals are now easily performed.
  • Better analog nub; more sensitive.
  • The screen provides a sharper image and more saturated colors (subjective opinion).
  • WiFi connectivity is slightly better (subjective opinion).
  • Faster load times for UMD games.

WHAT ABOUT THE NEWER PSP-3000?

The newest iteration of the PSP is the PSP-3000, which according to user reviews, feels even cheaper and the screen has pretty major interlacing-like issues . What’s wrong with Sony?

USER OPINIONS

Here’s as well my post at PSPFanboy to some people asking for advice:

I upgraded from phat to slim (2000), and I wasn’t very impressed. The device (mine was made in China) feels cheap, creaks, and has screen alignment issues (I opened it up yesterday, voiding the warranty, just to align the screen a bit to the right using a piece of hard paper). The thing I like about it is that it’s finally portable. I carried it my pants pocket the last plane trip. The phat had to be put in a handbag. Other minor advantages are USB charging (you don’t need to carry the charger on vacations), better D-pad, better analog nub, and slightly better WiFi.

So my advice is simple. Upgrade to 2000 or 3000 only if your main interest is a smaller, lighter, pocketable version of the PSP. And try to get a Japanese one. Those Chinese ones are poorly manufactured. Otherwise, keep the phat, it’s a quality product.

And here’s a quote from user LessThanMarcus from Gamespot.com forums about the PSP Slim & Lite:

Slim is worth it if you’re a heavy PSP user. I like it better than the fat but it feels real cheap. My (plastic) screen is not even set on the device right. My battery cover is not closed completely and you can feel it when you’re playing. Joystick is crap like its always been which is why I try to stay away from joystick games

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

If you own both the original PSP and the PSP Slim & Lite, please share your opinion through the following poll. Thank you.

Posted October 22, 2008 by H. H. in Articles, PSP, Technology, Thoughts

Tagged with , ,

3 responses to “PSP Slim & Lite Poor Manufacturing

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  1. I share your greivence. On my 3000, the plastic screen cover on the faceplate is not flush with the left edge and leaves a vertical distortion (at certain angles, looks warped). It’s rather irratating. on the contrary, i honestly feel a little relieved i’m not alone–and agree that Sony has made a poorly manufactured product. I only wish i knew how to center the plastic cover (I’ve tried opening the damned thing and couldn’t find a working solution to adjust the plastic screen face). if anyone has successfuly attemped to fix said problem or has any advice, please share!

  2. Yes, it’s quite common, though there’s almost nobody complaining about it. Only a couple of complaints including yours. Where has people’s keen eyes gone?

    The plastic cover itself is well-attached, and even if you took it apart, it’s itself still smaller than the frontplate gap. So physically you can’t get it to fit well. The solution is going to a Sony tech center and telling them that you feel the faceplate is defective (may be they have better ones) or buy a decent one online.

    If you read my post, you’ll notice that I moved the LCD screen itself. Although unprofessional, it seemed to do the trick. However, I ended up with other cosmetic defects including scratches and loose screws because I opened it up frequently. Even the screws go loose after some manipulation, can you imagine that?!!

    It puzzles me as to why Sony did not choose to use a one-piece faceplate in the first place like the ones in PSP-1000. Is it more expensive to make or something?!! Very weird.

    My own advice is to just ignore it. You will get used to it. I was also irritated by the cheap buttons, but now I don’t notice it anymore.

  3. I have to admit, I voted no in the poll above, but still I do agree that the psp3000 does not feel as sturdy and robust as the 1000 did. It DOES have creak in the umd door and battery cover. but after reading that it seems to be a very common “problem” that the screen is misaligned or the faceplate has sloped edges, I THOROUGHLY inspected mine, and it seems absolutely perfect.. Maybe I just got a good one? Apart from the creak in the battery cover and umd door, mine is perfect, I checked buttons (resistance, travel, and sideways play), screen, battery, and hinges. I also checked for loose screws etc and found nothing wrong. So all over I`m absolutely satisfied with it. :) For the record I am a big Sony fan and the only product from them that has felt cheap was the 512Mb mp3 player “discus” (don`t remember it`s name sorry), and it was all plastic, all creak, and it didn`t last as long as any other Sony product I`ve ever had. The sound was great off course ;) Just my two cents worth

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