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Amazon Kindle 3G Review

Screen: 6" E-Ink Screen
Internal Memory: 4 GB
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, USB
Dimensions: 7.5" High, 4.8" Wide, 0.335" depth
Weight: 8.7oz

By: JM Butler


The 3rd generation Kindle, called the Kindle 3 by most people who watch these devices, is a major improvement from the two previous generations of Amazon's eReader. Smaller, thinner, lighter and faster than it's predecessors and with an improved screen the new Kindle is improved in pretty much every area.

Print Legibility 95/100

The Kindle 3 features an improved e-Ink screen when compared to the Kindle 2 but the same company supplies screen for most of the competeing devices so the while the Kindle 3 rates as excellent for print legibility it is using the same screen as it's major competitors.

Page Turn Speed (swipe) 90/100

The Kindle 3 improves significantly upon page turn speed over it's predecessor. Amazon says it's 20% faster, we didn't clock the two with a stop watch but the swipe is fast enough that we find the statement to be plausible. The fact that e-Ink screens don't refresh constantly is one of the things that make them easy on the eyes but also mean that any kind of animation, including page turning, is going to be slow when compared to an LCD or other traditonal screen. It's a limitation of the technology but one that we'll take when it comes to spending a few hours reading. The non-refreshing screen is also one of the factors that improves battery life in e-Ink devices.

Compatibility 89/100

Amazon Kindle Key Features

  • 6" E-Ink Pearl Screen
  • 8.5 Ounces
  • 1/3 of an Inch Thick
  • 3500 Book Storage
  • 2 Built in Dictionaries
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Free 3G Connectivity (3G Model Only)
  • Amazon's Whispersync Network
  • Download Books in under 60 seconds
  • MP3 Player
  • Headphone Jack
  • Online Book Archive, Free from Amazon
  • Text to Speech (Some Books)
  • Webkit based Web Browser
  • Dimensions: 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335"

Kindle 3 improves upon PDF support and offers a service for converting documents into a format readable by the kindle but it doesn't nativly support ePub or eReader formats and doesn't have any of the library checkout or lending features of some of it's competitors. Amazon says it will add book lending via a firmware update in the future but we can only review the device we have now.

There are plenty of books available in Kindle format on Amazon's store and with Amazon's selling power they will have considerable sway with publishers. Many of the free classics available in other formats have been coverted to Amazon's proprietary format so while it does not have the vast compatibility of some of it's competitors you will not want for reading material with the Kindle.

Appearance and Added Features 93/100

The Kindle 3 is small and very light, at 0.335 inches in depth it is the thinnest eReader device on the market and at 8.7 ounces it is significantly lighter than it's closest competitors. Avilable in white and graphite colors the kindle is a sleek, good looking device.

The Kindle 3 is very, very thin.

The newest version of the Kindle got rid of the click noise form the page turn buttons and rearranged the QWERTY keyboard on it's face a bit. Most of the changes are good however some of the reviewers here found it a bit to easy to press the back button when trying to use the down button on the 5 way controller.

The Kindle has two built in dictionaries and the definition of a selected word shows on the screen without having to change pages which is a nice feature when looking up words in the middle of reading. Notes and annotations can be uploaded instantly to your Facebook or Twitter accounts and you can select whether or not you want to see popular highlights made by other Kindle readers in the book you are reading.

The Kindle's QWERTY Keyboard and 5 way controller.

The online book buying experience was simple and easy (if not a little dangerous due to how easy it is to spend money) and the included Web-Kit based browser is rudimentary at best but worked well enough for reading simple web pages. The browser also works over the 3G network which is a step up from the Kindle's competitors.

Battery 88/100

With the wireless only turned on to download new books the Kindle's battery lasted us just under 3 weeks though because this was a review test we were doing some heavy reading. Amazon's claim of a month of battery life is not far fetched from our experience with the Kindle. One big knock against the Kindle's battery is that you cannot change it yourself, it must be sent back to Amazon where they will change the battery. This is inconvenient and knocks down what would have been a very high battery score for the Kindle 3.

Value 92/100

Apart from a few minor complaints we enjoyed our time with the Kindle 3, you really know these devices are doing their job when you forget you are reading on an electronic device and just go on reading like you would if you were reading a favorite paperback. It doesn't have the compatitibilty of some of it's comepetitors and returning the unit to get the battery changed are low points but the overall reading performance of the Kindle 3 was the best of the eReaders we have reviewed so far.

Overall Rating 91/100

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