Kindle 3G Review- My Honest Opinion
Hey, Mark here,
And you’re reading my unbiased Kindle 3G Review of what I really thought about the Kindle 3G Keyboard & Kindle Touch 3G.
But be warned, this Kindle 3G Review has both the good and the bad points. This review will tell you everything you need to know about both Kindle Keyboard 3G & Kindle Touch 3G – the screen, portability, free 3G internet, storage capacity, playing music, checking emails, battery life, discount coupons, warning about kindle scams and where to buy Kindle 3G securely.
Please watch the youtube video review first and continue reading my Kindle 3G review.
Kindle 3G Keyboard Video
Kindle Touch 3G Video
Introduction & Kindle 3G Overview
Why am I penning the Kindle 3G Review? Well, when I was thinking about buying Kindle 3G, there weren’t many real reviews on Kindle 3G around so I thought I’d write one to help any of you who are in the same position I was.
Kindle 3G has been warmly received so far, especially because of its added new features and some from the past that have been updated. If you need a standalone reader that has amazing portability features and even has a great battery life then I would recommend this gadget.
Does this Review Cover Both “Kindle Keyboard 3G” & “Kindle Touch 3G” ?
Yes, this Kindle 3G Review< provides information on both. Both the Kindles have very similar functionality and features with some differences.
By the term "Kindle 3G" I will be referring to both "Kindle Keyboard 3G" & "Kindle Touch 3G". Where there is a feature difference specific to the Kindle Touch 3G I will clearly state it.
Kindle 3G Review – Kindle Names Explained & Kindle Comparison
Amazon has recently launched two new versions of the Kindle called the Kindle Touch & Kindle Touch 3G. Plus they have renamed couple of their Kindles which created a confusion among many Kindle fans. In this Kindle 3G Review I am going clear all that confusion and explain the key difference among the readers.
There are 5 different Kindle devices that you can choose from –
- Kindle – This is the basic Kindle, the name is unchanged. It has Wi-Fi, 6″ display, 2GB storage, 1 month battery life, slightly smaller (6.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.34″) and lighter (5.98 ounces) than the rest. This Kindle does not have a physical keyboard but there is a virtual on-screen keyboard which you can use with the 5-way controller.
- Kindle Touch – This is the latest Kindle model without the 3G connectivity. It has 6″ multi-touch display, Wi-Fi, 4GB storage, 2 months battery life, 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″ dimension and weighs 7.5 ounces. It has no keyboard or page turn buttons; you can use the touch screen to type with the on-screen keyword, navigate and perform all other actions.
- Kindle Touch 3G – This is the latest Kindle model with both 3G and Wi-Fi. Similar to the Kindle Touch it has a multi-touch 6″ touch screen display. All features are exactly same as the Kindle Touch except the lifetime free 3G and it weighs 7.8 ounces. This is the most popular pick today.
- Kindle Keyboard – This was known as Kindle with keyboard and Wi-Fi which is now renamed to Kindle Keyboard. It has Wi-Fi, 6″ display, 2 months battery life, 4GB storage, slightly larger (7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.34″) and slightly heavier (8.5 ounces). This version has a physical keyboard, 5-way controlled and page turn buttons on both sides.
- Kindle Keyboard 3G – This Kindle was previously known as the Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi. The name is now changed to Kindle Keyboard 3G. It has all the exact same features as the Kindle Keyboard plus the free lifetime 3G connectivity. Also it weighs about 8.7 ounces.
- Kindle DX – This is the largest Kindle. It has Free lifetime 3G connectivity but no Wi-Fi support. it has a large 9.7″ screen, 3 week battery life, 4GB storage, a larger dimension (10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″) and weighs 18.9 ounces. It has a keyboard with a slightly different layout than the Kindle Keyboard versions and only one set of page turn buttons (right).
IMPORTANT: Before you jump in to buy your favorite Kindle, make sure you checkout the Kindle Price and Special Offers section of this Kindle 3G review (scroll down).
Kindle 3G Review – Screen Quality
Kindle 3G has a black & white Paper-Like Screen powered by the E Ink Pearl Display introduced by Amazon. The E Ink Pearl is a new technology that makes the Kindle 3G screen stand out from its competitors. The Kindle Keyboard 3G display is not a touch screen but the Kindle Touch 3G is a touch screen.
The initial Kindle models did have a slight problem with the contrast making it difficult to read if you are at places that has the sun glaring down on its screen. It looks like this particular glitch has been rectified. In fact this one now is a “No Glare” screen, in other words you can read even the tiniest of letterings without having you squint your eyes. Now you can comfortably read your Kindle 3G at the beach!
While researching this Kindle 3G review I was looking for readability and clarity, after all who doesn’t want a book that has average sized letters that make reading pleasurable. I noticed New and Improved Fonts that assure you of fonts that are crisper and darker. You might find yourself reaching out to your Kindle 3G even more often.
You can also manually rotate the Kindle 3G screen to Portrait or Landscape view depending on your reading comfort. For example, maps and graphs are much easier to view in Landscape mode.
Kindle 3G Review – Image Quality
Kindle’s E Ink Pearl technology can display really sharp & crispy images which are pleasant to look at. You can also zoom images to full screen size for a closer look. I have also browsed the web and my Facebook photos and it does display them in decent quality.
Kindle 3G Review – Ebook Formats
Kindle has it’s own ebook format which is AZW which is designed for fast performance and provides abundant security for Kindle ebook publishers. However, it is only readable by Kindle and cannot be used on iPad, Nook or any other similar devices.
Much effort was put into this Kindle 3G review and we found another low which is Kindle 3G does not support the EPUb format. The EPUB format is supported by all other major ebook readers and many public libraries use this format to lend ebooks.
But don’t get taken aback about this. “Calibre” is a completely free software which you can use to convert ebook from one format to another. And it supports both the Kindle AZW and EPUb formats.
Nonetheless, the Kindle store has a huge collection of thousands of ebooks which keeps most users happy. Kindle 3G also supports PDF, TXT, Unprotected MOBI and PRC formats.
PDF support has noticeably improved in this Kindle generation. PDF looks much better; you can now take notes and zoom into pages. It also supports password protected PDF files, you will see a password prompt asking for password.
Kindle 3G Review – Size & Portability
Portability was a concern when we did the review on Kindle 3G, however I was in for a good surprise. Kindle 3G is super light; meaning you don’t have to bear weight or carry heavy baggage around. It looks like the Kindle 3G Ebook Reader has taken care of the weight issue. At 8.7 ounces (~246g), you can literally carry it around on your fingers. The Kindle Touch 3G is little lighter weighing 7.8 ounces.
Kindle 3G is now 15% lighter than its previous versions and of course even lighter than its contemporary’s that are making its rounds in the market. It weighs 3 ounces less than Nook and even with it’s cover on its very light.
The 6 inch reading area stays the same, however the Kindle 3G is 21% smaller with a dimension of 7.5×4.8×0.3 inch (Height x Width x Depth). It has a 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167ppi. I found it quite comfortable when using it for long reading sessions. The Kindle Touch 3G is slightly smaller at 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″.
Kindle 3G Review – Keyboard and D-Pad
The Kindle 3G keyboard is located just under the screen and the D-pad is much better positioned than previous generations. The keys are well spaced and very responsive.
The Kindle Touch 3G has no physical keyboard – page turns, typing (with virtual on-screen keyboard), navigation and everything else is controlled using the E Ink Pearl touch screen.
Kindle 3G Review – Page Turns
Page turns was another important aspect which I looked closely in this Kindle 3G review. Although a common features, anyone would look for in the Kindle reader and thankfully I noted that the Kindle seems to be 20% faster. However, it is not instant but the change is very noticeable. There are page turn buttons (previous/next) on both side of the device which makes it very convenient to use.
The Kindle Touch 3G has no page turn buttons. You can tap with your finger tips to navigate through the pages. Tapping on most of the screen area will take you to next page, tapping on the narrow area near the left side will take you to previous page.
Kindle 3G Review – Storage Capacity
For this review I compared it to all the other Kindle models and found that the capacity for Kindle books, Kindle applications and even Kindle software had increased considerably.
Kindle 3G has a capacity of 3,500 ebooks in its library which means that you can spend a few years reading without having to worry about running out of books.
The memory capacity of Kindle 3G is 4GB (3.3GB usable) , where as Nook comes with only 2GB. However Nook can be expanded to another 16GB using microSD cards. Kindle has no expandability option which is a bit of a downside but I find 4GB far more than enough for storing books.
Kindle books can be downloaded in just 60 seconds. And the books that you purchase from the Kindle store are automatically backed-up online in your Kindle library by Amazon. And you can re-download your books anytime for free.
Kindle 3G Review – Free 3G Internet (Lifetime)
I wanted to know the reason why the Kindle 3G is earning a reputation for itself. And it was mainly because of it’s a free 3G wireless reading device that does not require you to get into any sort of annual contracts or monthly payments.
This was unique for Kindle when I compared it to other similar devices. In addition to the free 3G service you can also use Wi-Fi service just in case you are at a hotspot. Therefore with no connectivity restrictions you know that your favorite books are just a click away.
While doing this Kindle 3G review a lot of people have asked me that if the Free 3G connection is REALY free? Yes, the Kindle free 3G Internet connectivity is really free for lifetime. The only thing to note is that additional fee may be charged only if you use the free internet for “heavy” downloads.
However, in the Kindle Touch 3G Amazon has disabled the free 3G web browsing; you can browse any websites using the Wi-Fi though. With the 3G you still have unlimited access to Amazon.com, Kindle store (buy books) and lookup information on Wikipedia.
IMPORTANT: Amazon will continue to provide free 3G web browsing on their Kindle Keyboard 3G model and possibly on the Kindle DX as well. If you need unrestricted 3G web browsing either of this model will be the best choice.
Kindle 3G Review – Battery Life
I was particularly worried about the battery life. To my surprise Kindle battery life is pretty good – 2 whole months of no charge considering 1/12 hour per day reading time, and this of course is with your wireless off; With the wireless on, it goes for 20 days which is not bad either.
I want to keep this Kindle 3G Review very realistic and so I should point out again that Amazon claims this 2 month battery life based on “half hour” reading everyday without wireless turned on. To me, this is a marketing scheme and serious readers will mostly likely spend several hours reading everyday. But still, it is a good comparison figure and the battery lasts for a decent amount of time.
Realistically, during a one month period I could go 2 weeks without recharging the battery (1 hour reading time everyday) and I had wifi on half the time (approximately). Ultimately the more you use it the sooner the charge will deplete. Nook never went more than a week without recharging.
The Kindle 3G comes with U.S. 100V-240V power adapter (for charging from wall socket ) and a micro-USB cable to charge it from your computer USB port.
Kindle 3G Review – Heating Issues
I also compared the Kindle 3G with Apple iPad heating issues, well luckily I found that the Kindle wireless reading device seems to be kinder. This means that you can go on for hours reading, without having to worry about it burning your skin.
Kindle 3G Review – Manual
While doing the Kindle 3G review I did have the Kindle manuals to go through which you get with your Kindle ebook reader. It had complete information about the every Kindle 3G specifications, the Kindle bookstore, Kindle software, Kindle applications and how to use them, along with complete information on reading PDFs on Kindle 3G as well.
Kindle 3G Review – Bookmark, Search, Dictionary & Wikipedia
Using the Kindle’s QWERTY Keyboard you can search inside a book, throughout the Kindle library, in the Kindle store and even you can extend the search to Wikipedia on the web. Kindle 3G has a built-in access to Wikipedia which is great.
Just like in a paper book you can write annotations in the margins of a Kindle book. Even better you can edit, delete or export the text whenever you want. To add to that you can highlight text/passages and bookmark any page for later reading. Also, Kindle automatically remembers the last page you read and opens it up automatically,
Kindle 3G allows you highlight and share any part of your book on Facebook & Twitter with all your friends and family. It also has a built-in dictionary with over 250,000 entries and definition and you can lookup any words while reading.
Kindle 3G Review – Experimental Features
Kindle 3G also has several experimental features and I wanted to cover the most imperative ones in this Kindle 3G review. Yes, they are currently in experimental stages, and Amazon has been kind enough to proclaim it, which is a welcome sign especially when you compare it to the other Kindle models.
You can contribute to the future of Kindle by sending them your opinion on the kindle specifications. If you want a new feature, enhance a particular feature and even have a feature removed, you can tell them and your opinion will be considered with great value.
Kindle 3G Review – “Read-to-me”
Kindle “Read-to-me” is a Text to Speech feature. You can get your daily dose of newspapers, blogs, magazines and even books read to you. You have 2 voices to choose from, 1 male and 1 female voice. Plus you have complete controls on how slow or quick you want the speech to be.
Kindle 3G Review – Voice Guide
Kindle Voice Guide is Text-to-Speech feature further advances into the Voice Guide that enables the user to navigate though menus and options smoothly. I think you should try this at least once to believe how nicely this feature works.
Kindle 3G Review – Browser & Email
The Kindle webkit-based browser makes use of its Wi-Fi or Kindle 3G Network connectivity allowing the reader to stay connected with the internet. The browser is pretty basic but very usable for surfing blogs and Wikipedia. you can as well connect to you email/social accounts on Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Gtalk etc. The browser does not support flash.
Note that the new Kindle Touch 3G model, you have these unlimited internet access only in Wi-Fi mode. In 3G mode you can only browse Amazon.com, buy & download ebooks from Kindle store and pull information from Wikipedia.
Kindle 3G Review – Music
Kindle 3G has a built-in music player. You can read and listen to music in the background at the same time using the music player. However, it only supports Mp3 format. You can copy Mp3 files from your computer using the USB cable.
Also note that you cannot view or choose Mp3 files to play. It picks them in automatic order from the Music folder. You can stop, play, pause and skip a music track.
The Kindle 3G speakers are of mediocre quality. But I recommend you to use a quality headphone with it. Nonetheless this particular feature fascinated me while doing this Kindle 3G review.
Using the Kindle 3G
I have a desk job and look at a computer screen all day, leaving no enthusiasm to read anything else. While carrying out the Kindle 3G review I made a note of customers who after a day watching their computer screens would like to read. It was seen that reading your Kindle ebook was almost like reading a book, only thing this one is a bit lighter, beautiful looking and does not have any pulp or grainy text.
I travel a lot and when I was in a bus or train I felt extremely bored being the hyperactive person I am. Now, honestly speaking, Kindle 3G has made it lot comfortable for me when I travel and I even have thousands of books to choose from.
A Quick Comparison
I found that âFast Companyâ, have compared it to the iPad, Noble Nook and the other Sony readers, and mentions that the Kindle 3G stands out noticeably.
While iPad is better for reference and illustrated materials, Kindle 3G is way better for books and novels. And it is much lighter and easier to hold for long sessions. iPad is almost unreadable in sunlight but Kindle is a like reading a paper book in bright light. All in all, Kindle 3G can be a very decent replacement for books.
Overall, it has been a pleasant experience carrying out this Kindle review. I am always excited to find a quality gadget at a affordable price. And I think Kindle 3G has a decent price tag for what it has to offer. if you are someone who love reading books and would like to carry them when you travel without having to bear the load, Kindle 3G is a highly recommended gadget.
In conclusion to this Kindle 3G review, I have to say I did not note much negativity from it’s customers, which was a good sign. From my experience Kindle 3G is a light-weight, easily accessible elegant looking device. Also, I think it’s a great gadget for gifting your friends and family.
What Real Kindle Owners think of their Kindle 3G?
I went through several reputed forums and managed to find some real people who have used Kindle for quite sometime. I’ve copied a small portion of their own opinion on the Kindle 3G as you can see below:
There are highs and lows of all products, Kindle is no different and you already learned about it in this review. While talking to Kindle users on forums I found some people wished for a cover with the package, someone wanted a better browser and another person was really happy with the browser improvements.
Overall, it seemed that most people were very satisfied with the major improvements that Amazon successfully to this new generation of Kindles.
Kindle Coupons and Discounts
I haven’t found any specific coupons available for Kindle 3G or any of the other Kindles. However, on Amazon you can find used and refurbished Kindles at discounted price. You will find these offers just below the stock information.
Kindle 3G Review – Price and Special Offers Explained
The Kindle pricing is a confusing issue for many people, mainly because each version of Kindle (except Kindle DX) has 2 prices. One is the regular price (higher price) and one with special offer (lower price). You can choose the price from the top of the Amazon product page. In this Kindle 3G review I decided to clear up all the confusions about Kindle pricing.
What is this Special Offer version? The special offer version comes at a lower price. In exchange, it will display special offers and sponsored screensavers (ads). The ads are displayed in the screensaver (when it’s idle) and at the bottom of the home screen. They do not interfere with your reading.
All in all, if you buy the special offer version, you pay a lower price and Amazon gets to market to you for lifetime. Below is a breakdown of all the diffrent Kindle versions.
Kindle (with Special Offers)
Kindle Touch (Regular)
Kindle Touch (with Special Offers)
Kindle Touch 3G (Regular)
Kindle Touch 3G (with Special Offers)
Kindle Keyboard (Regular)
Kindle Keyboard (with Special Offers)
Kindle Keyboard 3G (Regular)
Kindle Keyboard 3G (Special Offers)
- Kindle DX
Personally I don’t like any type of ads and got the Kindle Keyboard 3G (without special offers) which was $189 when I bought it. I also got my Kindle Touch 3G (ad-free version) at the same price. I think it is worth the few extra bucks to own a ad-free Kindle.
Where Can I Buy a Kindle?
For this Kindle 3G Review I have looked into various forums and found there are several places where you can buy your Kindle which includes – Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Staples. So, you can choose to buy from a brick and mortar store or online. However, it seemed that most people are ordering it online directly from Amazon.
When you purchase a Kindle from Amazon it will be automatically registered with your Amazon account. If you buy from other places you will have to register it to your Amazon account manually.
I did order my Kindle 3G from Amazon as well. Amazon is a trusted online store and their transaction process is highly secure. I am very cautious when using my credit card information online and I feel very comfortable purchasing from Amazon.
I have researched a lot on this matter while carrying out this review and please be warned I found several forums where people are talking about being scammed.
So, yes there are scammers out there selling fake Kindles and please beware of them when buying. I have found cases where someone selling Kindle for less than half the price on ebay. Sadly, many people did buy them and got scammed.
Do not take the risk of losing your money, only buy from a trusted and secure company like the Amazon. I really hope my Kindle 3G review has been helpful in choosing your favorite reader, All the best!