People often ask me what one thing I wouldn’t want to do without. It’s a difficult question as I have reasons to carry everything I have with me. My Kindle, along with my GPS, is very near the top of that list.
The basic function of the Kindle, that whole being able to carry a lifetime supply of books and read them on a screen that looks like paper, is pretty glorious by itself, but at least with the minimal amount of downtime I really have had so far I could have survived just fine without it. The thing that makes it so awesome for me, is that I have the 3G version of the Kindle 3. It’s not like the new series of Kindles with a touchscreen, it’s a little bigger because of the keyboard, but as well as the keyboard it also has something else taken off the newer Kindles – a fully functioning experimental browser. The Kindle 4 has an experimental browser, but using 3G it can only access the Kindle store and Wikipedia. My Kindle however can access most websites. Don’t get me wrong, if you have a smartphone you might not find it very enjoyable to browse, but it’s great for text websites such as checking my email, the weather, BBC Sport and sending SMS messages for free using Google Voice.
My Kindle has been great at getting internet access throughout the US, and as you can see although it will drop off in other countries, I should be able to use it for at least chunks of my trip through Latin America.
One other brief thing to comment on is the battery life. If I were to just use it to read books, it would last for at least a couple of weeks. As is, when I use it for internet using 3G I only get 2-3 days of decent usage out of it. That’s no problem right now, but in the future it might be a bigger concern.