Airport security X-ray machines sometimes scramble Kindle displays according to reports from travellers.
Baffled users have taken to internet forums to recount horror stories of their electronic readers, made by retail giant Amazon, apparently being ruined by baggage checks, which expose items to radiation.
One American customer, posting on a Kindle forum as ‘dwaszak’, complained that her son’s Kindle ‘looked like a magic eye etch-a-sketch’ after passing through airport security in New York.
She added: ‘The screen is burned so badly that even in the off position you see all of the lines and squiggles and letters.’
There appears, however, to be a great deal of confusion over the issue, with other users and Amazon itself insisting that there shouldn’t be a problem.
On an Amazon forum another owner wrote: ‘There is absolutely no proof, evidence nor technical possibility that the X-ray scanner has any affect whatsoever on e-ink or any electrical devices. That is just rumour and unfounded speculation with no basis in fact.’
Likewise, an Amazon spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Exposing your Kindle to an X-ray machine, such as those used by airport security, should not cause any problems.’
However, user The Hooded Claw, wrote: ‘I suppose it is conceivable that there is something special about e-Ink that makes it exquisitely sensitive to radiation, but from my limited knowledge of how e-Ink works, I'm sceptical.’
Some are speculating that turning the Kindle off safeguards it from suffering any damage, with ‘dwaszak’ explaining that her son’s device had been on when it was put through an X-ray maching.
But Michael Tracy complained that his Kindle froze after receiving a security scan, despite being powered down.