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Amazon Kindle (UK) question Answered

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I am toying with the idea of getting an ebook reader, mainly for reading downloaded books such.  Apparently the Kindle can show ordinary PDF files quite successfully, and is quite a reasonable price.

I have a question, though, that Amazon haven't answered clearly - what web sites can it access?

The Kindle has wifi, and there's a version with (free) 3G connectivity for downloading books.  But, what websites will it access?  Could I visit any website at all (such as Gutenberg Press, or even Instructables), or is it restricted to visiting Amazon's own ebook store?  Would it be capable of accessing an email account?  I can't get a straight answer (although I suspect the answer is that access is restricted, since access to Wikipedia is presented as a specific feature).

According to Amazon's 3G coverage map, There is a decent signal where I live, where I work, and where my parents live.  If I can visit whatever sites I like, the extra £40 for 3G would be worth it.  If I can only visit "approved" sites, then I would stick to the wifi version and load up books by USB.



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gmjhowe (author)2010-08-15

Its a good question, and PKM pretty much answered it. For £110 pounds, that fact that it can do what it does, is pretty good value. I think if you need the web browsing, you would just use your netbook.

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Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2010-08-15

Ok, so, no web browsing, no free book websites via the Kindle.

That means the 3G isn't really worth the extra, then, since I would mostly be using freebies and PDFs.

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gmjhowe (author)Kiteman2010-08-15

Then if you really want to buy a book, just do it home. Also, another point. I recently purchased an iPad, although a much more expensive item, it covers some of the same areas as the kindle. When given the choice between the standard wifi only, and the one with 3G built in I chose the wifi only PLUS a mobile Mifi device. http://www.three.co.uk/Mobile_Broadband/MiFi The 3G iPad was £100 more, and the Mifi device was only £50. Not only that, I can use the Mifi with upto 5 wifi devices. I know the Kindle does come with free connectivity, but the Mifi would cost a £10 PAYG top up each month.

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Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2010-08-15

No, I'm not going the iPad route. The main point (to me) of an ebook reader as opposed to any other portable device is the epaper - I don't like reading off a luminous screen, and it has the extra advantage of making batteries last for weeks between charges. I'm not too keen on the software restrictions and EULA imposed by Apple, which is also why I don't have an iPhone. I think my best option would be the cheap Kindle, stocked up via USB.

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gmjhowe (author)Kiteman2010-08-15

My point was more aimed at recommending the Mifi device, for use with the kindle/netbook if you wanted web browsing/book downloads on the go.

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Kiteman (author)gmjhowe2010-08-15

Oh! Sorry, I thought you were referring to an iPad-specific device.

Mifi, eh?

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gmjhowe (author)Kiteman2010-08-15

Basically, its a neat little package, bit smaller than a mobile phone, which connects to the mobile networks, then broadcasts its own mini Wi-fi network, for upto 5 devices. Its a good option for anyone looking at something like the kindle, or iPad, which has a 3G option.

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Kiteman (author)Kiteman2010-08-15

:-)

Kitewife just read this over my shoulder - she says she'll buy me a Kindle for Christmas. They're out of stock until September anyway.

:-)

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RadBear (author)2010-08-15

I have a US Kindle (as I live in the US) that has the 3g and Wi-Fi capability. I haven't played much with using it as a web borwsing device, but on a lark shortly after I bought it I was ab;e to get mapquest to come up while we were on the road. I had to trick it out by going to wikipedia first, and then typing in the URL. However, the loading took forever and I agree you'd be better off using a laptop or netbook for surfing. All that being said I love my Kindle and actually now prefer reading on it over paper.

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PKM (author)2010-08-15

As far as I can tell, you can only use the 3G for getting stuff from Amazon and potentially Wikipedia.

Use of Wireless Connectivity.
Your Kindle uses wireless connectivity to allow you to shop for and download Digital Content from the Kindle Store. In general, we do not charge you for this use of wireless connectivity. Your Kindle may use wireless connectivity to make other services available to you for which we may charge you a fee, such as personal file download and subscriptions when you are located in another country. The fees and terms for such services are located in the Kindle Store and may change from time to time. If your Kindle functions with third party services, such as Wi-Fi access points, a third party may charge you fees for the use of those services.

Also, observe the comments at http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/28031/amazon-kindle-available-order-uk

I'm not even sure you get Wikipedia with these, just the ability to buy ebooks from Amazon while travelling.  Great. If you want occasional 3G web access you can get smartphones for >£100 with PAYG 3G for £1/day when you use it.

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Kiteman (author)PKM2010-08-15

Wikipedia is shown in the video (follow the link and scroll down) as a feature. I know you can "email" stuff to the kindle (that's the charged service).

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