I purchased a Kindle Keyboard 3G to help me bridge through the first 3-7 days in country when I am still not sure how to access local Internet abroad.
WARNING - WARNING - WARNING
(I am addding this information a year after the original post, I do not believe it is safe to use the 3G, Amazon may connect to your credit card and extract money.)
If you are going to travel the world and work on the Internet, the biggest challenge is the first week in-country. Whatever you read on the Internet is normally garbage, marketing noise that seldom is real, every new country is a mystery.
I am presently in the USA and picked up my new Kindle Keyboard 3G, I am hoping Amazon.com can be trusted to keep the 3G working. (doubts, huge doubts). They just removed the 3G from the Kindle 3G Touch, can you believe that, 3G was in the name, that is just not upfront and honest.
I pay one dollar per hour for Internet internationally.
I will break even on this device after about 60-100 days of use, it will pay for itself by avoiding the 139 hours of Internet access in an Internet Café, that was a no-brainer purchase.
I read a few reviews done by obvious children, with no appreciation for what it means to work --- obviously, there is always a need for redundant backup of Internet. I mean, the WIFI goes down in an Hotel, the cell towers reboot in the morning, there are tons of reason to have 2-3 ways of accessing the Internet when working from a Mobile Office.
I checked my e-mail, I can read, delete, and pre-clean, this alone will save one hour per day in an Internet café.
I spend on average, five dollars extra to have free WIFI in a Hotel, that is the value of that benefit.
I now believe with the invent of the USB wireless Internet modem, paying on average about 30 USD for 5-8 Gigs of monthly transfer, I can save about four dollars per day, or about 120 per month on Hotel room cost.
I am looking forward to flying into Thailand and booting up the 3G Kindle.
I am confused, my understanding is that with the Kindle 3G you could only use it to download ebooks. Does it have a web browser on it?
I bought the same model earlier this summer. The main reason was so that I didn't have to drag a bunch of books with me when I travel (or try to find something worth reading while on the road).
The "free" 3G internet feature was a bonus. And what a bonus! The web browser is clunky and slow (no wonder they call it experimental). But you can check your email, Facebook, Twitter, etc easily... and reply to important messages. There is also a built in microphone that some hint might turn the Kindle into a Skype capable device. Imagine!
Like you, I need guaranteed access to the internet. If the hotel internet fails, switch to Internet Stick. If that fails, use Kindle. And the Kindle is free!
Also, like you, I wonder how long it will last. Hopefully for a long, long time.
I think 99 percent of people play on computer or tablet --- therefore because they made the 3G aspect slow and clunky, the 99 percent will not have fun playing. I hope that makes Amazon allow the 3G to continue for people who really need Internet Access.
I believe even when they removed the 3G from the touch, a person can still access wikipedia.