Kindle DX: Amazon upsizes e-reader
May 7, 2009 Amazon.com has added an upgraded version of its wireless electronic reader Kindle, with several improvements, its larger 9.7-inch screen the most obvious. The Kindle DX also introduces a PDF reader, auto-rotation and expanded memory that can store up to 3,500 books.
Coinciding with the launch of Kindle DX, major newspapers, such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post plan to launch trials offering Kindle DX to subscribers where home delivery is unavailable. As well, leading textbook publishers will offer textbooks in the Kindle store and five universities will trial the e-reader with students in the fall.
The electronic paper display of the Kindle DX has two-and-a-half times the surface area of Kindle’s 6-inch display. The larger screen, with 16 shades of gray, is better suited to graphic-rich content such as newspapers, magazines and textbooks. It is also a third of an inch in thickness – or thinness – which is narrower than a lot of the glossy mags.
Kindle reads like printed words on paper because the screen looks like real ink. There’s no back light either, reducing eyestrain and glare commonly associated with electronic displays.
“Personal and professional documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that you’ll find yourself changing ink-toner cartridges less often,” says Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. “Cookbooks, computer books, and textbooks – anything highly formatted – also shine on the Kindle DX. Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package.”
With its built-in PDF reader using Adobe Reader Mobile technology, the Kindle DX is suited for reading professional and personal documents. Like with the Kindle e-reader, you simply email documents to your Kindle email address or load via USB.
With the larger display and PDF reader, Amazon.com says complex layouts can be read without scrolling, panning, zooming and re-flowing, which destroys the document's original structure. Auto-rotation lets you read in either portrait or landscape (which works well for maps, graphs, tables, images and web pages).
Kindle DX’s bigger 3.3GB memory can hold up to 3,500 books, compared to 1,500 with Kindle. More than 275,000 books are available in the Kindle Store, including most of the books on the New York Times Best Seller list, as well as leading magazines, newspapers and blogs.
At the same time, the New York Times Company and Washington Post Company are launching pilots that offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price for long-term subscription to Kindle editions where home-delivery is unavailable.
Leading textbook publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson and Wiley – representing more than 60 percent of the US higher education textbook market – are also looking to take advantage of the improved reading display and plan to offer textbooks through the Kindle Store this summer.
US universities, such as Arizona State University, Princeton University and Case Western Reserve University, propose to make Kindle DX devices available to students across a range of disciplines this fall. In particular, they are keen to trial the DX’s ability to take notes and highlight, search, look up words in a built-in dictionary and its portability.
“The Kindle DX holds enormous potential to influence the way students learn,” says Barbara Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University. “We look forward to seeing how the device affects the participation of both students and faculty in the educational experience.”
Like Kindle, the DX model lets you wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content and automatically synchronize content across Kindle-compatible devices, such as the iPhone.
Other features common to Kindle DX and Kindle readers:
- Wirelessly send, receive and read personal documents in a variety of formats such as Microsoft Word and PDF
- Look up words instantly using the built-in 250,000 word New Oxford American Dictionary
- Choose from six text sizes
- Add bookmarks, notes and highlights
- Text-to-speech technology that converts words on a page to spoken word
- Search Web, Wikipedia.org, Kindle Store and your library of purchased content
- No setup required, no software to load or set up
Kindle DX is available for pre-order at a cost of USD$489 from Amazon.com and will ship this summer.