September 1, 2012

Electricity Cost of Using a Kindle

I while ago someone on The Simple Dollar made a comment questioning the electricity usage of a Kindle.   At the time I thought to myself that a Kindle couldn't possibly use much electricity.   Small electronics like cell phones and tables and the like really don't use much power and their small batteries require little electricity to charge them.   But I like to have actual facts rather than just simple assumptions.    Therefore I set off to find out how much electricity a Kindle actually uses and how much the electricity it would cost to operate one.

Amazon's Kindle Fire is probably the worst case as far as Kindle models go.   It has color screen and a more powerful processor so it will use more electricity than the other models.   I'm going to just look at the Fire since its the worst case, the other simpler black and white models will be cheaper to operate.

The Kindle Fire has a battery with 16.28 Wh  capacity.   Thats 0.1628 kWh.   The average cost of a single kWh is about 11¢/.   Based on these numbers it would cost 0.17908¢ to charge the battery of a Kindle Fire.

You can charge the battery in a Kindle Fire 5.58 times for a single penny worth of electricity.

Amazon says that the Kindle Fire will last 8 hours of reading on a single charge.   One penny worth of electricity will get you 44.64 hours worth of reading on a Fire.

 An average book is approximately 70,000 words.   An average adult reads about 250 words a minute.

1 penny = 44.64 hours reading = 2678.4 minutes reading = 669,600 words = 9.565 books.

For the cost of 1 penny worth of electricity an average speed reader can read approximately 9 1/2 average size books on a Fire.

The Kindle Fire will also play movies and videos.    The Amazon specs say that the Fire will play 7.5 hours of video on a battery charge.   Nearly as much as the reading time on a single battery charge.

Since a penny of electricity will charge a Fire 5.58 times and a single charge will give you 7.5 hours of video you can get 41.85 hours of video playback on a Fire for 1 penny worth of electricity.

Of course all of these numbers are just averages and your mileage will vary. 

Bottom Line :  A Kindle is very cheap to operate and the electricity bill should be almost negligible.
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