Kindle Shock: Load it with books and it weighs an attaton

Posted on by Mike Evans

A Kindle loaded with e-books is heavier than an empty one – New Tech Gadgets & Electronic Devices |

Bad news for all those Kindle owners who brag about carrying hundreds of books around in their featherweight device. These books actually do weigh something. Not much, granted, but fill the memory with 3,500 tomes and your wrist could feel the strain after a few thousand years.

University of California, Berkeley professor John D. Kubiatowicz has proved the point:

The additional weight is actually unmeasurable, but there is an additional weight on the order of 10-18 grams. This is because the transistors in the flash memory the Kindle uses distinguishes between a 1 and a 0 by trapping electrons. More data means more trapped electrons, which means ever so slightly more weight.

This is a Pyrrhic victory for the dead-tree brigade who constantly search for ways to prove that real books are better. Professor Kubiatowicz’s research is right at the bottom of the barrel and will scrape off in seconds.

No, it’s no excuse to feel cocky: Stuff your pockets with 3,500 paperbacks and you’ll weigh a metric ton. You are a long way from enjoying the last laugh.

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