Kobo, the Toronto-based company behind the Kobo Touch eReader, has come up with inventive way to save its customers a few dollars by replacing that income with ad revenue. The company’s soon-to-be-released Kobo Touch with Offers is an electronic ink screen e-reader (like the Kindle) that sells for $99 in the United States. It is identical to the standard Kobo Touch, save for one important feature: built-in ad time.
Basically, the Kobo Touch with Offers will automatically display “sponsored screens and valuable offers” when the device isn’t in use, such as when it’s offer, in sleep mode or “in other discreet places that are always outside of the reading experience, like on the bottom of your home screen.” The device will only be available in black and to U.S. customers when it is released; Kobo hasn’t announced a date, but the device’s product page says it’ll start shipping in 2-3 weeks.
Other than the ads, the Kobo Touch with Offers offers the same specs as its more expensive, ad-free sibling. It’s an eInk tablet with a 6-inch screen that weights less than half a pound. It sports a built-in 1 GB of internal memory that can be expanded with up to 32 GB of SD card storage. Kobo’s store has roughly 2.2 million books on offer.