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Old 02-04-2019, 08:44 PM   #1
binaryhermit
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Is a kindle keyboard with 3g worth it for $37.89 shipped off ebay in 2019

I bought one off ebay over the weekend, and due to my psychological makeup and in the interest of trying to stimulate discussion on one of my favorite forums, I'm wondering if I made a decent choice.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:54 PM   #2
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IMO, no. It's a 9 year old device, and has no front lighting. I don't like page turn buttons, and find the onscreen keyboards of the touch models to be easier and faster than the physical keys on the older models.

I'd be worried the battery was flat due to age, and if the device has been reported lost or stolen to Amazon, it can't be registered.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:00 PM   #3
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To be fair, it is from a local Goodwill affiliate's ebay account.
And there is a 30 day return policy.

The condition was
Quote:
Item is in fair pre-owned condition. eReader has been tested to connect to Wi-Fi, and is working normally. Please see photos for more details.
I also have a kindle manga, so it's not like I need to rely on this as my only ereader.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:00 PM   #4
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I really liked my kindle keyboard. I finally gave it up to buy a Voyage because (1) it had haptic buttons, so I didn't have to use it as a touch screen, and (2) it had a better quality, larger screen. If you are willing to put up with the lower screen resolution, then I would say the only concerns are, as Deskisamess said, can it be registered and how is the battery. Those are easy to test. Just try to put 2 books on it and see what happens. Good luck! k4k
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:08 PM   #5
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to be honest if I were looking into a primary ereader for $35-ish, I'd look into seeing if I could get a backlight. But my years here have gotten me curious about the kk, given the number of people stubbornly clinging to it in 2019.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:26 PM   #6
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Not sure you got a deal getting it from Goodwill. If you were buying from an original owner on Ebay, you had better luck. A couple of mine came from Woot! where they at least test the units to see that they work.

I have 4 Kindle Keyboards, but only one 3G. I love them (I also have 2 Voyages and several Paperwhites, but I digress). The only advantage of 3G with a K3 today is that you could download books from your Amazon account using a cellular system. I was a caregiver for a wifi-free relative for months on end and being able to download ebooks was a lifesaver for me as he had no TV nor working stereo. Everything is a series these days and if I read a very good book, I was able to use the unit to buy it from Amazon and download it all via cellular. Unfortunately, today, it's way too slow to get that to work. I can't even manage to get logged in much less buy any book.

I continue to use K3 because I like buttons better than a touch screen. You can also do text-to-speech using sideloaded books.

My recommendation is to use it as much as you can in the first 3 weeks, giving yourself a week to return if it is not up to par. Don't load it with a bunch of books so that indexing drains the battery. Just a handful. Then test to see how long the battery lasts. With wifi off, I can read at least 2 door stoppers before having to recharge. With casual reading, I recharge every 3 weeks.

Last edited by Tarana; 02-04-2019 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:43 PM   #7
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It charges over microusb, right?
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Old 02-04-2019, 09:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy4katz View Post
I really liked my kindle keyboard. I finally gave it up to buy a Voyage because (1) it had haptic buttons, so I didn't have to use it as a touch screen, and (2) it had a better quality, larger screen.
My wife and I both still prefer the Kindle Keyboard.

Last year I ordered an Amazon Warehouse Deal spare and, instead of sending what I ordered, they sent a new-looking, worth four times more, Voyage. And when I called, they said we can keep it. Maybe one of us will use it eventually, but both Barbara and I still prefer the page turn buttons on the older model.

As for the lighting, where we read, the lighting is too good for a built in light to be an advantage.

I realize that this is a minority view.

I can even justify the majority view:

Several big advantages of the Kindle Keyboard 3G have gone away. The advantage of works-in-a-pinch seamless world-wide 3G has gone away, for us, now that we finally got Google Fi cell phones. And the quality of the Kindle Keyboard web browser deteriorated greatly when supporting web sites closed. And the killer app -- $1.99 a month for the heart of the New York Times -- is also gone.

It's the old YMMV.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:04 PM   #9
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I am one of those still using a kindle keyboard (wifi) version, I don't know if the 3g consumes more power but i'd assume it does so I would avoid that version if possible.

A note about the amount of battery life (note you can replace them, and they are 1600 mah or around there) is that when you consider battery degradation you have to consider the amount of charge cycles. Generally 500-1000 on lithium batteries, reduce the overall capacity.

Now a single charge on the kindle 3 keyboard lasts a month. For someone who owned it a decade, they could have used merely 120 cycles of the 500-1000. All the extra features from the new kindles and additional taxation on the cpu / powerdraw are what cause faster cycle depletion and that isn't the case with the kindle 3 keyboard.

That being said, I am planning to upgrade to the voyage. I think enough features exist now that it worth upgrading and take a massive reduction in time spent before charging for a bunch of features that I want.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:07 PM   #10
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Lithium ion batteries tend to degrade over time too.

But I had a kindle 1st gen I got off ebay I used a little that I abandoned after I broke the screen. I was one of the many who lost network connectivity, though, presumably through Sprint action. Wouldn't surprise me if they discontinued their 3g network and shut down 1xRTT in my area, leaving 2g voice-only. (CDMA 3g is data only and Sprint is CDMA)
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binaryhermit View Post
I bought one off ebay over the weekend, and due to my psychological makeup and in the interest of trying to stimulate discussion on one of my favorite forums, I'm wondering if I made a decent choice.
I think it's still a great device, but don't think I'd have paid quite that much for one. I've often seen them go for between $10 & $20 (with shipping where applicable) on Craigslist and ShopGoodwill.

FWIW if the battery is toast and you want to replace it it's probably one of the easiest Kindle's to do so on. Of course a battery will probably run $15-$20 shipped.


Quote:
It charges over microusb, right?
Yep
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binaryhermit View Post
I bought one off ebay over the weekend, and due to my psychological makeup and in the interest of trying to stimulate discussion on one of my favorite forums, I'm wondering if I made a decent choice.
Yes, I still have my original kindle keyboard and it is still in good working order including the battery. Even if the battery were to go, you can get batteries as low as $16 on ebay and $20 from a battery web site. Plenty of videos showing how to replace.

To comment on the 3G, it is great to have out in the wild without wifi and no it really doesn't affect the battery life as the keyboard has a great battery life. Better than my Voyage. The only thing bad about 3G is you can't turn it off so if you borrow books from the library you can't keep them longer than the 14 days if you need to simply by turning off the connection to the internet.

Last edited by janrey; 02-05-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:19 PM   #13
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Of course you can turn off 3G. How could you take your Kindle on an aeroplane if this were not possible?
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:54 PM   #14
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It's a good deal if there are reasons you specially want the Kindle keyboard, like the buttons, how it fits your hands, or that it has no front light and no touch so just a bare screen, etc
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:32 PM   #15
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I have a few Kindle 3s, and I love them. I have a few because I have resurrected cast-offs by replacing screens or motherboards.
I find the unlit screen a lot like reading a paper book, with the advantage that you can make the font larger when in dim light on a bus.
I use the free 3G when I'm at my cottage in the Laurentians without internet to check and replay to Gmail, etc. No newer Kindle has an open browser like the Kindle 3 that allows email access! And of course, you can turn off the 3G! Mine also have wifi which is useful in town in restaurants or hospitals with wifi.
I also love the page turn buttons which are easy to use with either hand when you are standing on a bus or train.
I dread the day when mine stop working!
I am dreading the day when my K3s no longer work.
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