I Don’t Need 3G on Kindle

Initially I wanted to buy a WiFi-only Kindle, but a friend encouraged me to buy the 3G version – why not spend $50 for life-time free 3G? It seemed so attractive, that I was convinced by him and chose the 3G version.

A year has passed since I got the 3G Kindle. How often did I use 3G on it? I think the total time I had 3G turned on must be less than one hour. Most times I turned the wireless network off so that the battery could last a little longer. When I have to access the network, I was always in a location with Wi-Fi wireless. Maybe that’s because I don’t travel a lot.

Many people are fond of the browser built in with Kindle and they think they get an unlimited data plan for free! But the browser has always been marked as “experimental” and it seems Amazon has no plan to make it usable in “production”. It’s by nature limited by the E-Ink display. Web pages must be specifically designed to make them readable in Kindle but few web sites are doing this. And free 3G web browsing is only available on Kindle 3. With the latest generation of Kindle (no keyboards), “Experimental web browsing (outside of Wikipedia) on Kindle Touch 3G is only available over Wi-Fi.

If you buy a book from Amazon (even if it costs you $0, free), it can be downloaded via 3G. But if you email a document to Amazon, it won’t be downloaded via 3G unless you pay the data fee.

Actually Wi-Fi is ubiquitous today. If I’m going to get another Kindle, I won’t buy the 3G version. But for people who will stay in a special area where Wi-Fi is not available but there is cellular network coverage, 3G is desirable.

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