First off, the third generation of the Amazon Kindle comes in two different versions, the WiFi and the 3G+WiFi. The WiFi Kindle is $139 American and on this Kindle you can obviously access WiFi connections. While I do not have this version I have read numerous reviews where people have said that they have a difficult time accessing WiFi connections and many of these people have returned their WiFi Kindle for the 3G+WiFi Kindle. The 3G+WiFi Kindle (which I have) is $189 American and with this Kindle you can essentially access the Internet anywhere without using passwords, etc. The 3G is similar to that of an Ipad/ cell phone and while you would regularly have to pay anywhere from $30 a month to access this, you do not have to with the Kindle, Amazon pays the cost. But... This feature is experimental and apparently Amazon can yank it at any time or start charging for it.
So you may be wondering why you would want to connect to the Internet on your Kindle. Well, first off that way you an easily purchase books off of the Amazon website, but also, you can do things like search on Google or Wikipedia, Facebook, Tweet, and even use Blogger. Yes, that is right. You can blog while you are reading a book!
(FYI: You can click on the pictures to make them bigger) To access the Internet on your Kindle when you are on the homepage you will click on the "Menu" button (picture one) and a screen will pop up (picture two), you will use the arrows to go to the bottom of this screen and click on "Experimental" (picture three). When the Experimental screen comes up you will see three options, click on the first option "Web Browser" (picture four). A screen will then pop up that gives you lots of options (picture five). I clicked on the Google Option and it easily popped up (picture six), I then typed in my blog name (picture seven) and as you can see my blog is the first thing that came up in the search (picture eight). I clicked on the link and my blog popped up (picture nine). You can then zoom into the page so that you can see it easier (picture ten). Now I don't know about you but I think that my blog looks pretty good on the Kindle (then again, I am biased... ;) ), especially for the Kindle being in black/ white.
I do find that my Internet browser does freeze up quite a few times while using it, but you have to take into consideration that this is not the main purpose of the Kindle, first and foremost the Kindle is an e-reader and it does that job quite successfully, furthermore, the Internet capabilities are under the "Experimental" tab for a reason, because Amazon is trying to experiment with them/ determine how to better it in the future and whatnot.
The Kindle is not back-lit. What this means is that it does not look like the computer screen you are on right now, the Kindle screen literally looks like a book page (it uses E-ink technology). There are some pros/ cons to this. The pros are that you can stare at the Kindle screen for a much longer period of time without your eyes hurting you (I don't know about any of you, but by the end of the day after looking at my laptop screen for hours upon hours my eyes kill me), another pro is that there is very little glare to the Kindle screen when compared to a laptop/ Nook screen (and I find that you can't get fingerprints on the Kindle screen as easily as you can a laptop screen). Furthermore, you can go out in the sun and actually use the Kindle (have you ever tried to use you laptop outside on a sunny day? It kinda sucks... You have to have the screen bent at such an awkward angle as you tilt your head one way and squint the opposite eye to be able to see anything on it). One of the cons of the screen not being back-lit is that in darker conditions you cannot see the words on the screen all that well (but remember what I said, the screen literally looks like a book page, and obviously in dark conditions you cannot see a book page all that well either). So if you are one of those people who hopes to purchase the Kindle to read in bed before you fall asleep and do not want to disturb your partner, you will have to get some sort of a booklight (Amazon also sells lighted Kindle covers for $59.99 American).
Also, you must take into consideration that because the Kindle is not backlit that it IS NOT IN COLOUR. I have read countless one star reviews on Amazon where people have complained that the Kindle is not in colour and they purchased it thinking it was. Here is a suggestion, actually read about the Kindle prior to purchasing it. If you want a colour E-reader try something like the Nook Color. Also, remember that the Kindle is NOT touch screen like the Nook Colour.
And now for the books. If you have the intent of purchasing the Kindle so that from now on you are solely going to buy E-books I really recommend that you check out the costs of some of the books you are thinking of buying before you actually buy the Kindle. Why I recommend this is that some E-book are actually more expensive than hardcopies of books- or close to it (For instance, a hard cover book of Beth Revis's "Across the Universe" is $10.68 American and a Kindle E-book is $9.99). A lot of people rant on the Amazon review boards about how Amazon is a gigantic rip-off because of this, but Amazon is not the ones who sets the prices, the publishers do.
I did not buy my Kindle with the intent of never buying another hardcopy book again, I totally intend to keep buying hardcopies of books that I really want (ie. "City of Fallen Angels") or books where, like Beth Revis's "Across the Universe", the hardcopy is pretty much cheaper than the E-book. I bought my Kindle because a) I thought that it would help me expand my blogging- I have had requests from authors to review their E-book that I have had to turn down because I couldn't commit to reading their book on my laptop because I didn't own an E-reader b) there are some really great websites out there where you can get free E-books legally c) there are a ton of great books that you can purchase from Amazon for 99 cents and whatnot and d) I thought that it would be great to travel with, especially because it has the whole free 3G thing.
In fact, I have currently have 23 books on my Kindle and I have only paid $5.00 in total for them. How? Some I have received from authors that I am to review, some I have purchased for 99 cents from Amazon, and some I have gotten for free from Amazon (right now you can get Kim Harrison's "Dead Witch Walking" from Amazon for free and you can pre-order Aprilynne Pike's "Wing" for free). You can also find free books from sites such as this: http://www.ereaderiq.com/free/.
And now on to warranties. If something were to ever go wrong with your Kindle you can call Amazon customer service and they will take you step-by-step about how to correct your problem (I haven't done this *knock on wood*, but from what I have heard they are extremely useful/helpful). Internationally you have a one year warranty and if anything is ever to go wrong Amazon will either send you a new Kindle or a refurbished one. If you are in the US I believe that you have a two year warranty (but don't quote me on that). Furthermore, if your purchase the Kindle and hate it you can return it within 30 days for a full refund.
I personally was very wary of E-readers for quite a long time, while I am not one of those weird people (you know who you are... ;) ) who likes the smell of books, I do like having hardcopies of books mainly because they make my bookshelves look all pretty and whatnot (plus the shock value, I always like to see the look on people's faces when they truly realize how many books I own). Also, I thought that the Kindle was pretty expensive, just being a university student who only works during the summer but I tried this great program Amazon offers, the textbook trade-in. I sent three textbooks to Amazon (the postage was free) that were literally gathering dust on my shelves and I received a $50 gift card in return, so I was able to apply that to my Kindle, dropping the price to $170 from $220 American.
I only have a few complaints about the Kindle: 1) the battery life, Amazon claims that the battery life will last one month if the wireless is turned off or ten days if the wireless is turned on and I have found this not to be true with my Kindle. I had to recharge my Kindle after only four days of using it with the wireless off. I am not sure if this is because I was using it more than the average person or what. I should probably contact them and see what they say. 2) If you are American and purchase the Kindle I believe that you automatically get a plug which allows the USB cord to be plugged into the wall so that you can charge the Kindle that way as opposed to charging it on your computer. Because I am Canadian I did not get this plug (and I thought that I did, but I guess that that is my mistake for not fully reading the Kindle page) and if I want it (which I kinda really do) I will have to pay an additional $19.99 American plus shipping, handling, and customs. I really hate plugging things into my laptop, that is why I barely ever use my Ipod... But I did read somewhere that apparently you can charge a Kindle with a cell phone charger, but I do not think that I would try that just because I would be afraid of it shorting out or something.
All in all I am very happy with the product. Since getting it I have read three books on it and I have lots more lined up to read. Hopefully this post will help some of you out there who have really been debating whether or not an E-reader/ Kindle is right for you! And if you have any additional questions feel free to ask them in the comments and I will try to respond to them to the best of my ability!
PS. Obviously I am not affiliated with Amazon or anything, I just think that had I read a review like this when I was debating about whether or not to get a Kindle I would have had an easier time making a decision.