Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What's the difference between Kindle 3 & Kindle 3G

What's the difference between Kindle 3 & Kindle 3G
Someone recently asked this question over on our Facebook page & it's great question for people who haven't followed Kindles and the changes over the past few years.

Kindle 3 or K3 refers to it being the 3rd generation Kindle device. The item is smaller than older ones (K1/K2) and has some different functions. There have been even more than just 1st and 2nd generation.... there's K2 and K2i for example. K1 and K2 work only in USA. K2i was a Kindle 2 with global connection, though most K2s sold as new now are global & are simply called K2. Then came graphite. And of course there is Kindle DX which is bigger than all of the others, great for things like reading text books and pdfs with lots of graphs.

Kindle 3G....  the G makes all the difference. Technically, the G still refers to generation but in this case applies to the wireless communication: that is how your Kindle connects to the Internet. 3G uses the same method as cell phones to send a signal via cell towers and make a connection.
In the past, all Kindles had 3G. That was the way we downloaded all of our books through whispernet.

With new Kindles, we have options. You see, with other products you would pay a monthly fee to have 3G. With mobile phones, sending things other than your voice over the air usually incurs even more costs: texts, photos, internet access - you either pay by use or an even higher monthly fee. But Amazon cover that cost on a Kindle. When we connect to the internet with 3G or download books, Amazon pays the bill and we don't have to pay a monthly fee; and that will get expensive for Amazon. In addition, 3G can also be slow - it's great for downloading books but actually using the web browser is slow. But then Amazon introduced Kindles with WiFi.

With WiFi, Kindles allow us to connect to the internet or Kindle Store using a computer internet connection. If the computer has a wireless router, you can use its network.  That means Amazon aren't footing an additional bill & is also why the Kindle WiFi only devise is $50 less expensive than the Kindle WiFi + 3G option.
is much faster than 3G but it has geographical limitations; you need to be in range of an accessible wireless router to get signal.

In our home, we have a K2 US only and a K3 WiFi. After experiencing both, I love the WiFi but I couldn't be without my 3G - I use it a LOT when we're out with no accessible WiFi. My next Kindle order will be a combo WiFi + 3G.

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