By Chris Scott Barr
I’ve been watching the Kindle for a little while now, and have been tempted to pick one up. There are a few reasons that I haven’t, one of which being the size of the screen. If I’m going to buy an e-reader, I’d like to have more than six inches worth of screen to stare at. That’s not even enough for a single page of a paperback novel. Rumors have been flying around for a few days about a new larger Kindle that is designed with textbooks and magazines in mind.
The new Kindle DX sports a whopping 9.7-inch screen, which is about as large as two full pages in a paperback book. A bigger screen isn’t the only thing the DX has to offer. An accelerometer allows you to rotate the orientation of the page by rotating the device (the same principle is used on many iPhone apps), a built-in 3G card and 3.3GB of storage are also welcome upgrades. Native PDF support is probably one of the best new features, as it eliminates the need to pay Amazon to convert the documents to their proprietary file type.
Amazon has teamed up with three of the top textbook publishers to get schoolbooks onto the Kindle. These are Pearson, Wiley and Cengage which together dominate 60% of the textbook market. This partnership has allowed them to launch trial programs at several universities which will virtually replace the need for students to carry around most of their books. Finally, they’ve struck deals to get The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post onto your Kindle at a reduced price.
So how much are these extra features going to cost? You’re looking at $489 smackeroos. That’s about $130 more than the Kindle 2, which was only released a couple of months ago. I’m glad I didn’t decide to pick one of those up, I’d be pretty upset to see something bigger and better this quickly.