Are the ads that bad?

Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday.  I hope you had a good holiday weekend.  Today, we’re going to talk about one of my Christmas acquisitions–a Kindle Keyboard with Special Offers.  I’m going to tell you–and show you–what the experience is like.

At least one voice in the peanut gallery is screaming, “Why didn’t you get the Kindle Touch?  It’s the new one!”  Let’s cover that first.

I chose the Kindle Keyboard because of the reviews for the Kindle Touch.  There are many positive reviews, but the negatives spoke louder to me.  The key issues that swayed me were lack of responsiveness on the touch screen and a hard to use pop-up keyboard.

“But what about the Kindle Fire? It looks so cool.”

At first, I did want a Kindle Fire.  Then, I figured out that the back-lit screen would glare in the sun….just like my iPad.  Since I already have an iPad, I was more interested in an e-reader that would function in all sorts of lighting.

Now that we’ve got that settled, onto the Special Offers.

Before I ordered, I had to decide if I wanted a Kindle “With Special Offers” or “Without Special Offers.”  The price difference was $40 (USD).

Those of us who know “the check’s in the mail” is a lie also know that “special offers” is a euphemism for advertisements.  My first response to having advertisements on my new Kindle was a big, fat “No way.”

I worried that the ad experience would be like it is on You Tube:

Or even worse:

Then, I started researching, and I’m glad I did.

Full-page Kindle Special Offers only appear in the sleep screen or screensaver.  The full page ads look like this:

An offer to pay $50 for a $100 Travelocity Hotel Gift Card

When I see the ad, I have two choices:

I can slide the power switch on the bottom of the Kindle and go back to my reading.  If I go back to reading, the screen is Special Offer free.  It looks like this:

If the ad interests me, I can hold down the center button on the five-way controller.  This takes me to another page where I’m asked if I want to be sent an email with more details.

The only other place I’ve seen the Special Offers is in the Home screen.  The Home screen has an ad about as wide as my thumb across the bottom of the page.  If I want more details, I can select and click the ad.

The bottom of the page ads look like this:

An ad for T-Mobile’s 4G

For the record, I requested email details on one ad.  It is a $3 credit on Amazon Instant Video.  That will almost pay for a movie rental–even if I have to watch it on my computer.  Grrr to Amazon for not making the movies transferable to iPad.

I did read and take into consideration the argument that a $40 savings is not nearly enough to have to look at advertisements.  However, I was swayed when I learned I could  change my mind about those Special Offers.

[Note: It is $50 to unsubscribe, which is $10 more than ordering the Kindle without Special Offers in the first place.  Click here to find out how to unsubscribe from special offers.]

So that’s my experience with the Kindle Special Offers.  If you’re undecided, try the special offers version.  You can always unsubscribe and pony up the $50 if you hate the advertisements.  I am surprised to say the ads don’t bug me at all.


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