Kindle DX

The Amazon Kindle DX is the latest in the Kindle line of e-book readers -- but significantly bigger

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Amazon Web Services Kindle DX

Pros

  • Large display makes browsing a bit easier, comfortable to handle, keyboard easier to work with, auto-rotate, 4GB of storage

Cons

  • Still doesn't have backlighting

Bottom Line

The Amazon Kindle DX is not so much a revolutionary new addition to Amazon's product line as it is a perhaps useful niche product for academia. And it's too early to tell whether Amazon will be able to penetrate the market enough with its dedicated e-book reader to make it an everyday item for most people — or whether less specialised products such as the iPhone or even an Apple netbook will predominate.

Would you buy this?

And since students are a primary market for this product, that could be important. Six US universities — Arizona State University, Pace University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia - will be participating in trials this autumn in which they will distribute the Amazon Kindle DX to their students. Details about that program are not immediately available.

Considering the number and cost of textbooks, this seems like a useful development for educational establishments. If Amazon can make those pricey textbooks available to students at a discount, it could make the device worth its price.

An Amazon Kindle DX in one's backpack would be a lot lighter and more convenient than several pounds worth of print.

But the idea of purchasing a dedicated reading device — a rather large one at that — for reading the daily newspaper is another thing altogether. Amazon touted a pilot program under which three US newspapers — the New York Times, the Boston Globe and the Washington Post — will offer Amazon Kindle DX devices at a reduced rate to people outside their usual delivery districts who agree to subscribe for a certain length of time. Again, details about that program were not immediately available.

It's nice to receive your daily newspaper automatically on a handy wireless device — we know at least a couple of people who enjoy reading their daily papers on the smaller Kindle. But the Amazon Kindle DX would have to come at a considerable discount to motivate the public at large to invest in one. And its additional weight and size make it a lot less practical to carry on your daily commute.

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