As good as the basic Kindle, but longer-lasting. 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 two months of use without charging, whereas the base Kindle is good for one month.
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 wherever you are, no Wi-Fi connection required. Otherwise, the device includes 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 e-book file support cause some expert concern, but Amazon offers free cloud storage for any e-book downloaded from the Kindle bookstore, and its online bookstore is the largest around. The Kindle Keyboard 3G also boasts 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 touchscreen controls.
The most full-featured non-touchscreen e-reader available. This e-reader's full QWERTY keyboard makes it easy to surf the Internet, look for books or notate a favored passage, but it is a bit heavier compared to other e-book 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.
Do you need the bells and whistles? There's no doubt that the Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G packs a ton of useful extras, but if you're looking for just a basic -- yet still superb -- e-reading experience, the base Amazon Kindle (*Est. $70 and up) and non-lit Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch (*Est. $100) cost significantly less. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight (*Est. $120) offer touchscreen controls and an illuminated screen, but also cost less.
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 touchscreen.
Review Credibility: Excellent ConsumerReports.org tests multiple models of the Kindle Keyboard 3G in its e-book 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
Review Credibility: Excellent 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 e-book 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. PC World
Review Credibility: Good This review was conducted 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 the publication enough to maintain a high spot on its list of the top e-book readers.
Review: Amazon Kindle 3: The Best Kindle Yet, Melissa J. Perenson, Aug. 22, 2010
Review Credibility: Good 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 device's limited expansion options and lack of ePub support drag down the overall score.
Review: Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G Review (white), David Carnoy, Aug. 22, 2010
Review Credibility: Good 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, saying "it offers an excellent experience if the Kindle Store has the content you want to read."
Review: Amazon Kindle Keyboard 3G Review, Chris Hall, Oct. 4, 2010