Thursday, November 10, 2011


So. I got my new Kindle yesterday. I ended up getting a Kindle Keyboard with Special Offers. I found, from the basic Kindle that I got as soon as it was announced, that I didn't mind the special offers at all. And I realized, eventually, that I wanted a Kindle with a keyboard, and not the new Touch, so I canceled my order for the Kindle Touch and got myself a good ol' Kindle 3 aka Kindle Keyboard.

Have I lost you yet?

As long-time readers of my blog know, I was given a 1st generation Kindle by Eric's grandmother (THANK YOU GRANNY WHO!) and I love the thing. I mean, I adore it. It's a fantastic device with a handful of design flaws that were later worked out. I literally used it once a day for the first six months I owned it, and then at least five or six times a week after that.

But I knew I would want a new version of the Kindle eventually. I just couldn't justify spending money that we didn't have on the thing, not when I had a perfectly good first generation Kindle. So I tried not to think about it. Until somebody introduced me to Swagbucks. At first I thought it was a scam, but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. At that point I didn't have much to lose.

Swagbucks is a service that rewards people for doing marketing-type stuff for a variety of companies. The marketing-type stuff includes watching ads, filling out surveys, completing "offers" and more. Spending money earns you the bucks faster, but the neat thing is that it's possible to earn bucks without spending real money on it. Which is what I did. I started doing Swagbucks on March 17th, and by the end of the month had earned enough bucks to get a $5 gift card (AGC). I quickly earned more, and every month since then I've gotten the maximum five $5 AGCs I can get in a month. That was $25 a month in AGCs, and one month I also earned a $50 AGC.

That was how I got my two new Kindles. If you want to learn more about Swagbucks, please feel free to register via my link (yes, I get a little credit for referrals) and then check out Swagging 101 for information on how to get going. I strongly recommend using a throwaway e-mail account (I use one from a free service) and don't complete any offers that require a mailing address (I gave my address to Swagbucks, though, just not to outside companies).

Anyway, getting back on topic, once I had a method of paying for the new Kindle, I decided to wait until announced the 4th Generation Kindle, as the 3rd Generation had been out awhile. That gave me time to build up a nice nest of money with the AGCs, and it gave me plenty of time to think about what I wanted. When the new Kindles were announced, I considered my options very carefully.

I didn't want the Kindle Fire because it is backlit, and the biggest reason I like the 1st Gen Kindle is that I can read it without eyestrain. Computers eventually make my eyes hurt. The Kindle is more like a book. So the Fire inspires zero interest in me as an ebook reader.

So, I had well over $200 in my account, and I had the choices of the Kindle Touch, the new basic Kindle, and the Kindle Keyboard which had already been out for a year. I decided to get a Kindle Touch, and pre-ordered a 3G version. Then, after some thought, I realized I didn't need the 3G, and ordered the wifi version instead. I suddenly had more money left over, and I used that to order a Kindle Basic with the thought that now Eric would have his own Kindle, and I could have one, and we'd both be happy.

The Kindle Basic arrived, and I loved it. I got the original 1st Gen Kindle set up for Eric, and played exclusively with the new Kindle. I had named the original Kindle "Box" after the handheld computer in Star Cops. After getting a new one I renamed it "GrannyBox" and named the new, basic Kindle "BabyBox".

BabyBox has a lot going for it. It's TINY compared to GrannyBox, and it's able to use Active Content (aka Games!). It has collections, so I can easily view and store a lot more books. In fact, keeping with the idea that all my Kindles are for Eric's use as well, I created collections called "Laura's Reading" and "Eric's Reading" to make sure we could keep our stuff handy.

After playing with it for awhile, though, I realized I really missed the keyboard. The pop-up keyboard just didn't cut it for me. And I knew the Kindle Touch would have the same issue. I also read a scathing review of the basic Kindle that basically pointed out that for $20 more you can buy a Kindle Keyboard with Special Offers and get a lot more functionality. While I didn't entirely agree, I eventually realized that I didn't want to the Kindle Touch anymore. At the very least, I could re-order and save myself $40 by getting the version with Special Offers.

Ah, the Special Offers. Instead of the pretty woodcut "screensavers" like the original Kindle, you get ads. But they aren't terrible ads. In fact, some of them are quite creative. In addition, some of the offers are pretty good. One of the first offers was for a $50 Gift Card for $25. In addition to the advertising on the screensavers, the Special Offer Kindles also have an ad banner on the main book list. This reduces the number of books or collections you can see in the main screen, but it's only there. It doesn't show up if you are looking at books inside collections, and there are absolutely no ads inside any book.

So I was seriously considering just getting the Special Offers version of the Kindle Touch. But then I suddenly realized that if I got the Kindle Keyboard I could get it immediately AND have the keyboard that I was missing so much with BabyBox. So I canceled the Kindle Touch order and instead ordered a Kindle Keyboard with Special Offers. Considerably cheaper, and it arrived in less than a week.

Anyway, to make a short story long, I love both my new Kindles AND my old one. I have been enjoying the ability to play games on the new Kindles, and also have GrannyBox with another book or two on it to read elsewhere. I have the ability to take notes on the new Kindle, Keybox, with Notepad. Pretty sweet. And I'm still earning more Swagbucks so I can get the 5th generation Kindle, whatever it turns out to be.

So, I plan on doing a picture comparison of all three Kindles soon. As soon as I can get myself to take all the needed pictures.


David Oakes said...

Where's MotherBox?

(Somebody had to say it!)

Tegan said...

I considered that, but GrannyBox just fit better. Beside, if I say I have a MotherBox, I want it to do a little more than a Kindle is capable of...

Michael Jones said...

Funny, I immediately thought of Box from Logan's Run.