Kindle DX Launches With Larger Display
At a New York City press gathering similar to one held just three months ago when the Kindle 2 was unveiled, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once again addressed a crowded auditorium Wednesday morning to talk about his “Kindle vision”—to have every book ever written, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds. Perhaps taking another step forward in achieving his ultimate goal, Bezos introduced the Kindle DX, which, at 9.7 inches, boasts a display screen that is two-and-a-half times the size of its slightly older sibling, the Kindle 2.
Bezos emphasized the Kindle DX’s size as suitable for textbooks and other highly formatted books such as travel guides and cookbooks, newspapers, and personal and professional documents.
Further emphasizing Kindle's push into the textbook market, Bezos announced related partnerships with both textbook publishers and universities. Cengage Learning, Pearson and John Wiley & Sons (which together represent more than 60 percent of the U.S. higher-education textbook market, according to Bezos) will begin offering textbooks through the Kindle Store beginning this summer. Additionally, five universities—Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia—will launch trial programs this fall to make Kindle DX devices available to students.
"[Kindle DX] opens a new world of educational opportunity," said Barbara Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University, who also spoke at Wednesday's press conference. "This e-book technology may prove even more transformative than [personal computers]."
Three newspapers—The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post—also have teamed with Amazon, and will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home delivery is not available and who sign up for long-term subscriptions to the Kindle edition of the newspapers.
“This demonstrates our commitment to reinvention,” said Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., The New York Times chairman, at the press conference. “This is an important milestone in the convergence between print and digital.”
In addition to its larger size, Kindle DX features that improve upon the Kindle 2 include 3.3 GB of storage (equal to about 3,500 books), a native PDF reader, auto-rotate display, and the ability to choose the length of the lines of text displayed. Bezos noted that 275,000 books are now available on the Kindle, compared to 230,000 when the Kindle 2 was launched in early February.
The Kindle DX retails for $489. Customers may pre-order the device at http://Amazon.com/kindleDX. It will begin shipping this summer.