I am a homeless world traveler, who perpetually wanders the planet: I purchased a Kindle 3G Keyboard to help me have Internet access globally.
I am waiting at South Bend Airport in Indiana for a Coach USA bus for 40 USD to O'Hare Airport, a good bus. In the small bag to the left if a Kindle 3G, a black screened tablet that I paid 139 dollar for on Amazon.com because I did not know they sold them for 79-89 USD at Walmart.
Carrying electronics is a challenge, and I wanted the Kindle 3G close, it would be of know value packed way down inside a checked bag. It is small enough to put inside a pouch in that top bag. I did not purchase an carrying pouch, that would make it almost too big, and complicated to carry, I am hoping it is durable enough to carry while getting a casual bump. The button that turns it on and off is at the bottom, and thank God there is no touch screen crap, that would turn it on and off at any bump.
I have almost been depressed since losing the Verizon Blackberry world access; Verizon gave me different Smart-phones to review, with a 69 USD per month global unlimited Internet access --- then went to 2 cents a kilobyte, which mean they paid 69,000 USD for the last month I reviewed. That was funny in a way, but sort of a knock in the head to me and my readers, I had been recommending the 69 USD per month thing, and Verizon went stupid fast for Global Internet.
Steven a friend recommended the Kindle 3G Keyboard, and showed it to me while we met in Puerto Rico. Hard to buy outside the USA, I picked up one on this trip to the USA, I have only been in the USA one time this year for 18 days more or less.
What Steven pitched as International Internet access?
139 USD, a one-time payment that would give me Global Internet access in close to 150 plus countries, and there is no clarity of insurance they will provide the Internet access. Amazon.com is tricky, they released a Kindle Touch 3G and instantly stopped giving 3G, even though the "3G" was in the name. I am lucky, I got the 3G Keyboard, and still have International access.
To click on the Internet, I have to click on link that says "Experimental," as if maybe I have access, maybe I do not, I think this is the Amazon.com fine print to allow them to discontinue.
My partner and coder Andrew asked if it was worth it for 139 USD? I said, it only has to last about three months to pay for itself, and then if Amazon.com become idiot and stops the 3G, I still have the book reading thing, but not sure yet if I can read Mobi books, Gutenberg, or PDF books on the thing, still not proven as capable of reading book without being hooked to the Amazon.com cloud.
I do not play with toys until I need them, I charge it up when I took it out of the box, but for some reason when I wanted to use it was not charged. I searched for a plug, found on at the Jet Blue waiting area, but not at Spirit Air, funny how the airports are incredibly inconvenient, for business travel, a never-ending list of ways to make it impossible to function.
Note: The most important place to know the time is when you arrive to an airport from a different time zone, and it is almost impossible to find clocks in Airports.
Well, I got it charge at Jet Blue area, enough to sort of use, but it take longer than 30 minutes and the 3G sucks battery time. There is no way to change the battery, therefore there is no backup, not a good way to manage electricity.
Internet access when I get off the plane in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
The first 24-48 hours is when Internet access is difficult as a world traveler, when you are entering a new country, I do not know the country, and the rules have changed. The only cost effective way I know presently for true global travel, "Take Europe off the list" is with the Kindle 3G, yes Verizon and ATT, or Vodafone will give you something, but you risk a 1000 to 5000 US Dollar bill upon returning home.
I had Internet access upon arriving in Dominican Republic, I was able to e-mail Ana and say, I will arrive at the house at 10:00 am. She replied with a locally paid to work Blackberry that is not International. Another option, and good one when you are in another country for a longer period of time, then tether the Blackberry to your computer.
I am at Risk with Amazon.com for a BIG Money Bill
I do not trust any company that has my credit card on file and fine print on the Internet, they will screw me to stay in business.
I am in a small danger of being billed by Amazon.com for this 3G --- Why? Because I have my debit card connected to my Amazon.com account. If for some reason they decide to bill, I have already read some fuzzy writing, whereby Amazon says I must use normally, whatever tha means, bullshit in reality.
My plans for the 3G Kindle Keyboard are to use only to clean e-mails, then to read books. I can take it to the beach, read in direct sunlight and have someone in third world country who earns 10 dollars per day steal it.
I will not carry this to the beach, I like a paper book, and they only cost 1-3 dollars used.
The big value for books is for research type books, not for entertainment books, the Kindle would be good for a guidebook in a way, but not the best. I am not sure if I can print from this thing, or how to connect to my computer.
The Cloud of Amazon and Ipad SUCKS
There is this idea of connecting to a cloud, but all that means is I must buy from Amazon or Ipad, I cannot just use the device, I am tethered at the hip with their cloud, a bad idea. I will stay off their cloud crap as best as possible. In a way, the best thing for the world is that Steven Jobs is no longer marketing Apple products. He was a personality that got a lot of very unsavvy and stupid people to pay three times the need cost to purchase a brand name.
The cloud is about the same as AOL in the USA, it just plane sucks, anybody who wants to travel the world is nuts to use AOL, it is like being captured in a cave, and never being able to look out, Internet in the box, not outside.
Amazon and Ipad are trying to capture idiots in their cloud, but not giving the benefit of the cloud.
Is the Kindle 3G worth the 139 USD? Yes, if you want Internet access, I think if I was buying a book reader, I would pay 50 USD for a China tablet, that somehow would take all formats of books outside the cloud.
All these tablets will be selling for less than 50 USD in the next year or two, but the first adopters are paying for their impatience.
The Kindle 3G works for Internet access, but if you are super trendy, who only makes bad decisions, then it is not for you. 99 percent of people play on the Internet, I work on the Internet, I need world access, my main priority is not to watch a video in color, it is to stay in communication with workers.
The thing eats the battery, I have it plugged in at the Santiago, Caribe Tours bus station that goes to Sosua.
Well the Barns and Noble Nook is ten times better. First no back light, so the battery hold for 18+ hours. and No pop-up ads. Once the books are downloaded on wifi, there really is no need for 3G.
By the way i was referring to a reader only, not for internet.
I use Calibre to read books on the computer, it would be great to be able to use Calibre on one of the tablets. I hope they all become open source systems soon, and get rid of the idea of buying a tablet to download books. I mean, I want to use any tablet and buy an Amazon.com book, not just kindle, but I am not going to think about this much, because I have paper books. I purchased the Kindle 3G for the 3G, not for the book reading.