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Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G

Est. $140 and up
Reviewed
August 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G

Pros
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Free 3G connectivity
  • Excellent reading experience
  • Long battery life
  • Audio capabilities
Cons
  • Twice the cost of basic Kindle

Bottom line

The Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G includes a full QWERTY keyboard, free 3G capabilities, text-to-audio and audiobook support. However, it's pricey and lacks a touch screen.

Performance

As good as the basic Kindle, but lasts longer. Performance-wise, the Kindle Keyboard 3G performs just as well as the base Amazon Kindle (Est. $70 and up) , complete with a quality E Ink screen that displays text with detail and clarity. Pages turn at a good clip, as well. The Kindle Keyboard 3G outshines its brethren in battery life, however; it's rated for 2 months of use without charging while the base Kindle is good for 1 month.

Features

The only major e-reader with text-to-speech. The Kindle Keyboard 3G's support for audiobooks and text-to-speech is a big feather in its cap; this is the only major e-reader that can make this claim. Its free 3G capabilities let you surf the Internet and download books anywhere, no Wi-Fi connection required. It boasts the same abundant features found in other Kindles, including Amazon's X-Ray and Whispersync technologies, a built-in dictionary, book lending and more.

This model's lack of expandable storage and restricted ebook file support cause some expert concern, but Amazon offers free cloud storage for any ebook downloaded from the Kindle bookstore and its online bookstore is the largest around. The Kindle Keyboard 3G also has twice the onboard storage space of the base Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite (Est. $120 and up) , although it lacks the Paperwhite's lit display and touch-screen controls.

Ease of use

The most full-featured non-touch-screen e-reader available. The Kindle Keyboard 3G's full QWERTY keyboard makes it easy to surf the Internet, look for books or notate a favored passage, but it's a bit heavier compared to other ebook readers. Some reviewers say the directional buttons are on the small side. Audio capabilities help users listen to books when they need to focus elsewhere, and the Amazon bookstore is well laid out and simple to navigate.

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Kindle Paperwhite, 6" High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi - Includes Special Offers
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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover, Onyx Black (does not fit Kindle or Kindle Touch)

 
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Our Sources

1. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org tests multiple models of the Kindle Keyboard 3G in its ebook reader coverage. Testing is done and ratings are provided, but editors don't discuss their findings in depth.

Review: E-book Reader Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated

2. Laptop Magazine

Laptop Magazine is the only major source to re-evaluate the Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G in detail after a 2011 software refresh. Attkisson loves the addition of ebook lending and praises the 3G, QWERTY keyboard and crisp E Ink display. However, her qualms about the small directional button and high price tag keep the device from receiving an Editors' Choice award.

Review: Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G Review, Anna Attkisson, Oct. 28, 2011

3. TechHive.com

This review was posted when the Kindle Keyboard 3G was still called the Kindle 3, so some of the software information is a bit dated. The hardware evaluations and overall impressions are still valid, however, and the Kindle Keyboard 3G impresses Perenson enough to maintain a high spot on her list of the top ebook readers.

Review: Amazon Kindle 3: The Best Kindle Yet, Melissa J. Perenson, Aug. 22, 2010

4. CNET

CNET's Carnoy also reviews the initial release of the Kindle Keyboard 3G and finds a lot to like: namely its excellent reading experience, physical keyboard and robust set of extra features. However, the e-reader's limited expansion options and lack of ePub support drag down its overall score.

Review: Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G Review, David Carnoy, March 26, 2013

5. Pocket-lint.com

Hall's review of the Kindle Keyboard 3G is also a bit dated, but it's still chock-full of useful hands-on impressions. He cites a few minor flaws, but singles out the keyboard and responsive E Ink display for particular praise. "It offers an excellent experience if the Kindle Store has the content you want to read," he says.

Review: Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G Review, Chris Hall, Oct. 4, 2010

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