When it comes to e-Readers, the Amazon Kindle has long been known as one of the best, highest quality readers on the market. The Kindle is designed with book lovers in mind and Amazon continually improves their displays and operating systems to provide a streamlined reading experience that is easy on the eyes and the wallet.
The Kindle Voyage is the most advanced model in the latest, seventh generation of the Kindle product line. It comes in the following two options, and we’ll tell you how to choose between them in this article:
Features of the Kindle Voyage
Before going on to compare the Wi-Fi Only and Free 3G models, let’s briefly talk about some important features of the Kindle Voyage.
The Voyage is the thinnest, lightest Kindle available on the market. As with all Kindle devices, the Voyage provides instant access to hundreds of thousands of different books, newspapers, and magazines. It boasts a 300 ppi display, making it look more like a traditional paper, more clear and vivid, as compared to other Kindles.
The Voyage features automatic adaptive lighting that adjusts its front-light with changing lighting conditions. This means day or night, in bright sunlight, or even in the dark, the Voyage can automatically adjust the lighting on its screen to provide an eye-friendly reading experience. The enhanced display built with micro-etched glass on the Voyage also helps reduce glare that can hamper one’s reading.
Finally, the Voyage has an innovative page turning function. It allows you to turn the page without even having to move your finger, all you have to do is to apply a little pressure with your thumb.
What can Kindle Voyage 3G do that Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi cannot?
Though the Kindle Voyage is a dedicated reader, it does have a number of features which allow you to access the internet. Here’re all the web-related functions that can be done on the Voyage:
- Connect to Amazon and download free or paid Kindle books.
- When you are reading an e-book, look up words and further details on Wikipedia or translate a portion of text via Google Translate.
- Share what you read to your Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter accounts.
- Surf the web via the Experimental Browser (which we’ll explore further in the next section).
With a 3G Kindle Voyage, you have free access to AT&T’s 3G cellular network on the go. It also has a built-in Wi-Fi module which is the same as what the Wi-Fi Only model has. That means you can do all the above functions whenever you’re covered by either 3G or Wi-Fi. With a WiFi-only Kindle Voyage, you can only do the above when you’ve Wi-Fi access.
For any other features that don’t require internet access, they perform the same on both the 3G model and WiFi model. For instance, if you’ve already downloaded a book on the Voyage, you can read the book without any internet connection. You only need internet access (either Wi-Fi or 3G) when you want to download a book that’s not already on your device.
It should be noted that even though the 3G service is free of any monthly charge, the 3G Kindle Voyage does cost $70 more than the Wi-Fi only model. This is why it is important to think about how you want to use your Kindle. If mobile accessibility is important, then it makes sense to spend the extra money.
What can the Experimental Browser on Kindle Voyage do?
As discussed earlier, the Kindle Voyage comes with an experimental browser, which can be used for light web browsing. It is a basic, bare bones browser that does not support video or audio functioning, but it can be used for a basic web search in a pinch. It should not be considered suitable for extensive web browsing as it is not intended or designed for that.
So basically, the experimental browser on the Kindle Voyage allows you to do the followings:
- Check email.
- Visit text-heavy webpages
- Perform basic web searches
- Surf Amazon and Wikipedia
When using Wi-Fi, you can do any of the above via the experimental browser. However, when using 3G, you can only do the last item in the above list, i.e. access Amazon and Wikipedia. This difference on 3G vs WiFi is for the experimental browser only, and it doesn’t include other web-related functions that we discussed in the last section.
Both Wi-Fi only and 3G plus Wi-Fi models are high quality eReaders that are designed with the avid reader in mind. The two models differ only in the network connection, one with 3G and one without 3G. The additional cost of the 3G model of the Voyage only makes sense in certain cases.
So for those who do not have wireless internet access at home, who are always on the go, who travel a lot, or who want to be able to download new books and read book reviews anytime, anywhere, it is worth the extra money to buy the Kindle Voyage Free 3G model. With built-in 3G, you can browse books or use the experimental browser to access Wikipedia no matter where you are.
If you do not travel much and will be doing the majority of reading at home or places with Wi-Fi, the Kindle Voyage Wi-Fi Only model will meet your needs.
This Amazon customer review from an owner of the Voyage 3G should help you decide too. He shares why he likes and how he uses the 3G model around the end of his review.