questionscan you help me choose my next e-reader?

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For me, I prefer e-ink for my e-readers and don't mind having a dedicated device just for reading ebooks. I went with a Nook Simple Touch refurb for pretty cheap. I chose the Nook over the Kindle mainly because I prefer the format epub v. mobi on the Kindle. I also like the form factor of the Simple Touch v. the e-readers with keyboards. But, it sounds like you want the keyboard, so that probably puts the Kindle 3 at the top of your list. Have you considered a used or refurb from ebay or elsewhere? A quick search shows used or refurb Kindle 3's for under $100.

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A couple of quick notes: The Kindle Touch ($79) has a virtual keyboard, so you DO have that capability. That said, I also prefer a physical keyboard. It is Wi-Fi only, no 3G. Again, I prefer having 3G. I also don't care for the ads, but would take them in a pinch...i.e. buy the 3G keyboard w/ads at $139. (instead w/o ads @ $189). The Fire is back-lit; you'd have glare, & it's tiring for the eyes, etc. It has a virtual keyboard, too.)

Important: Just found a refurbished keyboard on Amazon's Warehouse deals for $89. (Don't know if that link will work, but if you search for 'keyboard kindles' you will eventually find it.) I heartily recommend an Amazon refurb. Also try to get a Square Trade Warranty. (Have heard they're not selling warranties on Kindles anymore - not sure.) I have ST warranties on all my kindles (all keyboards, BTW).

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@gmwhit: The Kindle Touch is $99. The basic $79 Kindle has a "5-way-controller" that you can use to access and control an on-screen keyboard.

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FWIW, I have a Kindle2 and a Fire. Can't speak for the other Kindles, but I'd go for the Fire in a heartbeat. I actually prefer reading on the Fire, though I do spend an outrageous amount of time playing games on it. My Kindle 2 is harder to read on because of the gray background.

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@curli76: Sorry I got the prices confused. Same result on both - You do have access to a virtual keyboard. Thought that's what you were concerned about. If the bottom line is you want a physical keyboard, then I would buy 1 of those. As I said, that is what I prefer & own; don't care for the 'touch' capability. Also I want 3G, don't want to worry/think about Wi-Fi availability.

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How much do you all use wifi or 3g? What for? I find that I only need an occasional internet connection to download new purchases, but for the most part I'm reading a book, so I don't need to be online. How are you using an e-reader that a 3G connection is helpful?

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@90mcg112: If you don't mind downloading through the computer connection, or it's easy to locate a WiFi hotspot, then you do not need 3G.

I have a 3G Kindle because I live in a rural area far from WiFi hotspots, I don't want to buy the equipment to set up my own, and my rural DSL connection can sometimes disconnect during a download. The 3G on the Kindle is very fast, and I can search Ammy for a book without firing up the computer to do it. I leave the 3G turned off (to save battery charge) except when I am using it.

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@90mcg112: I don't really have a need for 3G. I have Wireless at home, and I work in NYC, home to a bajillion Starbucks, so if I want to buy something on the go, I just need to stop into the coffee shop for a few minutes.

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Thanks, everyone, I made my decision: I got the $79 basic Kindle with a 2-year accident warranty. Amazon wouldn't let me add the warranty to a refurb, and it wasn't something I felt like pursuing. I love my keyboard but can live without it.

Regarding the Fire. . . I really like the e-ink, and I know with access to games and apps, I'm not going to be reading as much as I should/would like to. It's something I'd love to have but don't have the discipline (or, frankly, the money) for.

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In regards to the fire's lack of e-ink.

Anyone heard of mirasol displays? I'll be all over the first U.S. e-reader to use this stuff. It's like e-ink, but in color. Pretty cool.

http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/

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I've got a 2nd Gen Kindle, an iPhone 3GS, an iPhone 4S, and a 32 GB HP Touchpad for reading books.

If you can find a cheap 1st Gen iPad or a Touchpad. If you're keen on reading outdoors a lot I'd recommend the base and/or refurbed e-Ink kindle.

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If you're an Amazon Prime member, which I see that you are, the Kindle Fire has one awesome feature that hardly any other device has: the ability to stream unlimited TV and movies to your device. Yes, Amazon Streaming video may lack the content that Hulu Plus may offer, but the fact that you can portably stream content for "free" makes it absolutely amazing.

If you're into that sort of thing.

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@pi2014: Thanks, I did consider my Prime membership, but as I have an hour-long bus/subway commute with no WIFI access, I wouldn't be able to stream content--and the commute is where I use my Kindle the most. At home, I have my Roku.

I think the Fire is really cool but for now it's not for me. Like I said, I really want to commit myself to reading more. The one reason I do sort of lament not getting the Fire is that I'm a big magazine reader, and magazines look awesome on the Fire. . . someday when I have a little more money and more time to really do my research on tablets, I hope to own one.