This morning I spent some time thinking about recent deal that Amazon was running for 2nd generation Kindle 3G during Black Friday sale. I personally already have several Kindles in my house so I don’t need another one but I know couple of folks who were trying to get it on Black Friday and they asked my opinion about it.
My advice to them was to consider 3rd generation Kindle WiFi in their Cyber Monday shopping list (they lost in the Black Friday deal lottery). Here is the breakdown of why I think this may be reasonable even in comparison with $89 Kindle 2nd generation.
Of course $139-$89=$50 is considerable sum of money (more than 10 Starbucks caffeine shots). But in 3rd generation you will get 50% better contrast – and yes it is important since we want to keep our sight bright and healthy, aren’t we. You’ll also get more comfortable controls (this point is somewhat arguable since removal of numeric buttons wasn’t the best idea in my opinion – but not everyone uses direct page jumps feature instead of bookmarks as I do). New generation is also lighter and smaller which makes reading more comfortable.
Next I advice my friends to think about their internet access patterns. I personally access internet from free wi-fi enabled locations in 99% of cases. The remaining 1% is when my wife is shopping (could take hours) and I’m relaxing in the nearest chair browsing internet through my Kindle 3G. But even in that case 3G is not very important to have since I can read books instead of internet which is better for brain anyway :). So if my kindle suddenly lost 3G I wouldn’t be to disappointed. So if you think you will never use 3G why pay additional $189-$139=$50=10 Starbucks coffee shots for it?
Besides that I always forget to turn 3G off when I’m done and it drains battery very quickly and I have to go searching for a power cable when I’m reading the most interesting moment in the book.
Of course it is just my own opinion and I’m sure there are folks who need 3G in 30% of even 40% of time they use Kindle. But I know that there is a considerable market of those who don’t need 3G at all and that’s why Amazon actually split Kindle into two versions: Kindle WiFi and Kindle WiFi+3G.
So if you’re shopping for e-reader on Cyber Monday think twice whether you need 3G version or not…