Do you have a Kindle? Have you thought about getting one?
There are currently three Kindle models available:
- Kindle with Wi-Fi (6″ Display), $139
- Kindle with Free 3G + Wi-Fi (6″ Display), $189
- Kindle w/ Free 3G (9.7″ Display), $349
I’ve talked to a lot of people who really want a Kindle, but they wonder if they need the “best” one, and $349 is just not in their budget for an e-reader. Even $189 seems like a more significant investment than the basic model!
I know the temptation of feeling like you need the best model, but in this case, I really think the two upper models are a waste of money.
The only difference between the $139 and $189 models is the addition of free 3G. I’ve tried to think through a dozen different scenarios, and I just cannot figure out why anyone would need that feature. These days, you can find free wi-fi at every Starbucks, most other coffee shops and a lot of hotels (and if you’re traveling for business, chances are you have wi-fi in your hotel, even if you have to pay for it). Chances are you have wi-fi capability at home too.
Sure, free 3G might come in handy if you’re riding down the road and someone on the radio mentions a book you should read and you want to download it right that minute, but how hard is it to plan ahead and download books, especially since all three models can hold 3,500 of them?!
Okay, so there is one reason you might want it. If you don’t have high-speed internet at home and you do have 3G wireless service, the additional $50 for free 3G is probably a good investment.
On the other hand, the only benefit of the larger Kindle is that it’s, well, larger. I’m not sure this is actually a benefit, though. I really like the size of the standard Kindle, and I think the larger one is heavier and clunkier to hold. Not only that, but you actually lose the wi-fi capability with that one (which makes no sense whatsoever, in my opinion). Living in the boonies, this one wouldn’t do me any good, and for most people, the chances of finding yourself without 3G may actually be higher than finding yourself without wi-fi.
I’m sure there are people who disagree with me. If there weren’t people who wanted those features, Amazon probably wouldn’t be selling them. But for the average user, the $139 Kindle is enough.
What do you think? Are the more expensive models worth their cost?