Amazon launches larger-screen Kindle DX e-reader
Priced at $489, the larger device is designed for easier reading of newspapers, magazines
IDG News Service - NEW YORK -- Amazon.com Inc. today announced a new version of its Kindle e-reader that features a bigger screen in order to present newspaper and magazine content better than the current, smaller Kindle 2.
The New York Times Co. and The Washington Post Co. will launch pilots of the new device, the Kindle DX, this summer, according to an Amazon.com press statement. The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is unavailable and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers, the company said.
At a press conference in New York, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said traditional computer displays are a "worse device than paper" for reading print, and that Kindle's "paper-like display" solves that problem.
"The Kindle DX is an important milestone in the convergence between digital and print," said Arthur Sulzberger, chairman of The New York Times, at the launch event. "It significantly enhances our ability to reach millions of readers."
In addition to the newspapers, Amazon.com has also enlisted U.S. colleges and universities to test the device among their students. Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia will make Kindle DX devices available to students during their fall semesters, the company said. The schools plan to distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students across a range of academic disciplines, it said.
To facilitate the reading of business documents, the Kindle DX includes a built-in PDF reader that uses Adobe Reader Mobile technology. Users can e-mail PDF documents to their Kindle e-mail address or use a USB connection to move them from another storage device, the company said.
Amazon.com has posted details about the Kindle DX on a product page on its Web site.
The Kindle DX has a 9.7-in. screen and is a larger format than the current Kindle 2, which has a 6-in. screen, the same as the original Kindle device, which debuted in November 2007. Amazon.com launched the Kindle 2 in February.
The Kindle DX has a price tag of $489, compared with $359 for the other Kindle devices, according to Amazon's Kindle DX Web page.
The new device has more storage than either of its predecessors. It can hold 3,500 books; the Kindle 2 can hold 1,500 books and the original Kindle can hold 200.
The Kindle DX has the same wireless-downloading capacity as the other devices. There are more than 275,000 titles available for purchase and download in the Kindle store.
The earlier Kindles are formatted mainly for reading books. However, it is possible to read newspapers and magazines on those devices, and Amazon.com has several deals with newspapers, including the New York Times, to provide content for them.
The U.S. newspaper industry, and the print publishing industry in general, has been hit particularly hard by the current global recession, and many magazines and newspapers have stopped printing and gone Web-only. Some hope a device like the Kindle DX can help revive the industry.
The Kindle DX can be pre-ordered now; it will ship in the third quarter, Amazon said.
Marc Ferranti of the IDG News Service in New York and Melissa Perenson of PC World contributed to this report.
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