Kindle with Special Offers

I reviewed the first Amazon Kindle in 2007 and I also reviewed the Kindle DX, a subsequent version with a larger screen. In both instances, I liked the device. Yet even though I am an avid reader, I wasn’t ready to buy one. The original Kindle cost $400. The Kindle DX sells for $489.  Those prices were simply too high for my pocketbook.  Recently, however, when a new version of the Kindle called the Kindle with Special Offers became available at a discounted price of $114, the Kindle became much more appealing and I decided to take the plunge.

After using the Kindle with Special Offers for several months, I am loving it. This device is made for just two things:  downloading books and reading. It performs these tasks very well. The screen is easy-to-see, the text size is adjustable. It is Wi-Fi only, but if you have a wireless network in your home, you can download books directly to the Kindle in minutes. If you don’t have a wireless network, you can choose and order your books on your computer and sync them with the Kindle. If you don’t have a computer, you are still covered; you can head over to McDonald’s or any other free Wi-Fi restaurant and purchase your books online there. There are plenty of free books. The Amazon store has all the latest best sellers plus 900,000 other books available for purchase. Most public libraries have already instituted a lending process for Kindle books or are in the process of doing so. You can also borrow Kindle books from other Kindle users.

Once the books are on your Kindle you can read anywhere. This Kindle holds over 3,000 books, so you will never run out of reading material. You can read all day if you like because battery life is excellent and the size and weight make this Kindle easy to hold. The screen uses an eInk pearl technology which is much easier on the eyes than a backlit reader like the iPad. With this type of screen you can also read in bright sunlight. You can adjust both the size of the text and the font to suit your eyes. You can look up definitions of words, annotate the text, and highlight passages.

The biggest negative is that this Kindle doesn’t have a touch screen. You have to navigate with a 4-way scroll bar which is used to move up and down choices. You press a center button to confirm your choices. Compared to using a touch screen, it’s cumbersome, but it is also the cheapest way to get a good ereader.

The other reason that this Kindle is so inexpensive is that it has Special Offers, which is a new type of advertising.  When you are done reading, the Kindle goes to sleep and has a screen saver that promotes these special offers. There is also a small strip showing the same ad in a much smaller version at the bottom of the Home page, where you see you list of books and choose which one you want to read.

The quality of the ads and their presentation really surprised me. Since the ads are black and white there are no brightly colored ads. There are no animated ads. In fact, the ads are really not at all distracting. There are no ads of any sort when you are reading a book. On top of that these special offers are actually pretty good. I have already used several of them, including getting a $10 credit for using a Visa card for an Amazon purchase and getting $10 off a $35 toy, which just happened to be the one my granddaughter wanted for her birthday. So thanks to my Kindle with Special Offers, the price of her present at Amazon when down from $35 to $15 ….a pretty good bargain.

The Kindle with Special Offers has a lot of extras. It can play audio books. If the book publisher permits it, this Kindle can use its text-to-speech feature to read to you. It plays music, has a headphone jack, and even lets you share passages with friends on Facebook and Twitter. It also allows you to get on the Internet to surf the Web, but with the small screen and difficult navigation, you won’t be inclined to use that more than once in a blue moon.

Many tablet PCs can also be ebook readers. You can read ebooks on your computer. You can also read ebooks on most smartphones, but the Kindle with Special Offers makes the reading experience more like reading a real book than any of these other devices.

It will be interesting to see if Amazon puts out a new version of the Kindle for the Christmas selling season this year. In the meantime, however, if you don’t want to wait, at $114 the Kindle with Special Offers is a bargain reading device.

2 Comments

Joan Ward 01-09-2011, 10:38

I was very interested with this item as I am about to have a Kindle bought for my coming birthday. I was confused somewhat about the difference between Wi Fi and Wireless Kindles (£40.00 price difference). I have wireless connection for my laptop so I should be alright if I just buy the Wi Fi one.Thankyou very much this came to me at exactly the right time.

coloring books for kids 13-10-2011, 02:27

This put up (Sandy Berger Blog » Blog Archive » Kindle with Special Offers) was a good learn so I posted it on my Fb to hopefully offer you extra readers. Maybe you could evaluate The Lion King in 3D on one in all your subsequent posts. I hear they have worked over 12 months on the 3D facet of it. Just an concept for you

Leave a Reply