Advertising opt-out, wall charger add $35 to Kindle Fire prices

Amazon launched a handful of new Kindle Fire tablets last week. They’re pretty affordable, with a 9″ model available for as little as $299 and a pair of 7″ offerings at $199 and $159. The tablets might end up costing users a little more in the long run, though.

The custom OS on the Kindle Fire displays “Special Offers” advertisements on the standby screen, much like some of Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. While consumers have the option of buying ad-supported Kindles at a discount, the Fire’s ads are enabled by default. For a few days, it looked like there would be no way to disable the ads. Now, however, The Wall Street Journal has confirmed that Amazon will allow folks to opt-out of Kindle Fire ads if they shell out an additional $15.

There’s another hidden cost, too. Fudzilla noticed that the new Kindle Fire tablets ship without traditional wall chargers. Although all of the Fire models come with charging cables capable of drawing power from USB ports, not even the $499-599 4G versions are equipped to deal with wall sockets. Amazon’s recommended PowerFast wall charger costs $20.

Much has been made of the low sticker prices of the new Kindle Fire tablets, but they clearly don’t tell the whole story. You’ll definitely want the wall charger, and I suspect a lot of folks will choose to do away with the extra ads for $15. For what it’s worth, Google’s $199 Nexus 7 tablet lacks additional advertising and comes with its own wall charger by default.

Comments closed
    • shank15217
    • 7 years ago

    Ok people are really making a big deal about the ac charger. Just about any micro-usb charger today will charge the kindle and if you own any non-apple portable electronic device since 2008 you should have at least one other micro usb charger in the house.

    • riviera74
    • 7 years ago

    $20 for their recommended USB to wall socket charger? That is ridiculous. Those should actually come with a $500 tablet, period. If Apple can afford that with the iPad, Amazon can too.

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      Actually it’s $10 when you’re pre-ordering it together with new Kindles. And it’s not about “affording” it, it’s about giving people a CHOICE – for those who NEED it, they can easily pay for it (or for one of billions of other third-party USB chargers), and people who do not need it (like me) are not being FORCED to pay for yet another useless piece of electronics. But I guess people will always find the reason to bitch and moan about (Amazon’s own discussion forums are already filled with such people)…

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    Why would I pay good money for a bastardised, vendor-locked, adware-riddled device?

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      Well, then don’t pay. Who is trying to force you?

        • internetsandman
        • 7 years ago

        It’s not a question of forcing, it’s a question of enticing, the problem being that for someone to entice you with something, that something has to be enticing in the first place, and Chrispy doesn’t find this to be particularily enticing

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          We have a winner!

          I am enticed by competing products that are significantly more functional and completely unburdened by this adware problem.

    • JohnC
    • 7 years ago

    I got a Kindle Touch some time ago which came without AC charger, and I’m glad Amazon makes new Kindles in similar way. Around the house I have A LOT of USB power sources – for example, I can charge my Kindle in just about any room with TV in it, either from TV’s own built-in USB port, from the Verizon’s TV receiver (all of which have front USB powered ports) or from one of my media players or Blu-Ray players (all of which also have a front USB powered ports). Plus, of course, my PC is turned on 24/7 and has plenty of USB ports available. And when traveling elsewhere – I can always use one of smartphone’s chargers (I have a few which are not used for anything) or a USB ports on my laptop.

    Also, for people who are concerned about “charging a high-powered devices from a low-powered USB port on a PC” – there are some ways to improve such situation. Many motherboard manufacturers now make special utilities which allow to draw more power from USB port during charging and allow the devices to continue charging even with your PC turned off. For example, Asus has a version called “Ai Charger”.

    • SassySusan
    • 7 years ago

    I was contemplating getting a new Kindle Fire but don’t think I will…just too many other choices that don’t limit where or how I decide to purchase things.

      • JohnC
      • 7 years ago

      Well, duh! Amazon doesn’t make an “Android tablets”, they make a “branded shopping cart”. If you don’t want to depend on Amazon’s own content and have no interest in experimenting with flashing it with custom ROM’s there’s no reason to buy any of Kindle devices.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    My Nook Simple Touch from B&N only came with a charging cable and no wallwart. My wife’s Nook Tablet came with a cable *and* a wallwart–mostly because it requires a strange charging cable/wallwart combo.

    Does anyone know what devices out there in this space do and don’t come with charging cables and wallwarts?

    • DreadCthulhu
    • 7 years ago

    Seems like a good buy, as long as you root it to run ad-free standard Android right after you get it. Amazon is probably counting on most users not being technically savy enough to do that.

    • Madman
    • 7 years ago

    The only way those spyware/bloatware ridden devices can be used nowadays, is by replacing the OS with a clean Android installation.

    Will unlocking the device for reformat also cost 35$?

      • riviera74
      • 7 years ago

      You are assuming that Amazon will allow that or make it that easy/simple.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    In 2010 there was 1 tablet, the ipad. (I still remember the laughter Apple got when they announce the product, and even more laughter when they named it the ipad)

    Now, there is so many models that I would love to see a complete comparative table.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Now, there is so many models that I would love to see a complete comparative table.[/quote<] It would probably just be confusingly big and include a lot of cheap hardware from Chinese/Taiwanese companies that you would never want.

      • dpaus
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]a complete comparative table[/quote<] By the time you could finish it, it would be out of date.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      I count over 20 tablets beyond iPad in 2010.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        How dare you awaken the Apple Druids from their Aluminium Dream.

      • Joe Miller
      • 7 years ago

      Not sure why are you being downvoted quickly. Is there something bad in your wish? It is clear it is difficult to accomplish, but why not ask for it.

    • homerdog
    • 7 years ago

    Probably most of us with cellphones have one or two USB wall chargers laying around.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      That’s what I’m thinking. Enough devices have picked up on the whole USB charging thing that you could probably pick up a general one for less than $20. But even then, charging from a computer isn’t bad if you’re syncing often enough.

      • TheEmrys
      • 7 years ago

      Unless its like the HP Touchpad, and requires an odd power level.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        Over nine thousand?

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        With CM9, HP Touchpad recharges with regular USB wall chargers.. I don’t know why they insisted on having WebOS only accept higher-power charging..

        Oh, and I am consistently charging my Atrix with the TouchPad charger. These days I don’t pay attention to which USB charger I’m using – they all seem to work on both. So, I would guess that I could charge a Kindle with either of them.

          • ludi
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]I don't know why they insisted on having WebOS only accept higher-power charging.[/quote<] I have a three-word hyphenated answer that begins with "vendor" and ends with "lock-in". OTOH, hp somewhat lead the pack by having touchless inductive charging. I only use the USB charger when traveling, and the TouchStone charging dock at home. EDIT: On second thought, WebOS is programmed to default to wall-clock mode whenever connected to charging power, so they may have spec'd the charger with the intention of supporting both battery charging and the display power. Not exactly brilliant to require it, though -- no reason why it can't charge from a lesser current source at a slower rate.

      • yokem55
      • 7 years ago

      This is unlikely to provide the fast charging the Amazon charger can do. Usually tablet’s require higher power levels than standard 5V USB can provide. For instance the Asus Transformers require 15V to get anything resembling rapid charging, and the charging cable is actually a pseudo USB3 cable, so that when a TFXXX device gets plugged in, the charger switches from the standard 5V USB power, to the 15V the Transformer requires to charge….

    • tviceman
    • 7 years ago

    With these charges the 8.9″ Kindle is still a great deal, but the smaller Kindle’s are now no longer cut and dry best tablets at their price points. The extra $50 for the 16gb Nexus 7 (over the standard $200 8gb one) is a really high premium but I’d still rather have either Nexus over the 7″ Kindles. Not locked down to Amazon’s app store and getting first priority to OS updates is worth it to me.

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