Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Kindle DX

Amazon has posted the new Kindle DX, selling it for $489. No delivery date as yet. As expected (and hoped), it has a bulit-in PDF reader.

Here are a few highlights of the new device:
  • A 9.7-inch display -- twice the size and resolution (1200 x 824 pixels at 150 ppi), 16-level grey scale.
  • Size: 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38".
  • Weight: 18.9 ounces.
  • Built-in PDF support for complex documents. This alone might sell it for me. Having a Kindle 2 has allowed me to always have reading material with me at almost all times. This translates into me reading more. than I did before. Being able to do this with academic articles would be a godsend for me and make it worth every penny. Hopefully this will support textbooks too.
  • There is only 4GB of internal memory (3.3 GB available for user content) with no ability to expand with SD cards. I think the lack of expandability is a poor decision on Amazon's part. Complex documents will take up much more memory than what is typically used on the "regular" Kindle.
  • It looks like it has the same hook-and-latch feature to connect it to hinged covers as the Kindle 2. I love this feature. Here is the cover Amazon is selling for the Kindle DX. I'm sure other companies such as M-Edge will make cases for it as well.
  • The screen will auto-rotate to landscape mode if you physically rotate the Kindle.
Overall, this looks like some great improvements for students and those in business alike. The PDF reader is what I've been longing for in an eBook reader for a long time now. I'll wait for reviews of it to come out, but if it works well for PDFs, I will be sorely tempted to buy one.

Endgaget was liveblogging Amazon's announcement this morning and included this shot comparing the sizes of the Kindle DX and Kindle 2.

P.S. -- Gizmodo has some first hands-on impressions:

The screen looks the same, but somehow, proportionally beautiful. The screen is significantly better looking in terms of overall ratio between screen and non screen. The keyboard is about 10 percent of the overall device, where the older versions felt more like 20%. I like it, but doubt I would want to bring this on a trip or use it in bed to read. It clearly is a work device, meant for displaying 8.5x11-inch type docs. The screen refresh rates are the same—as fast as Kindle 2. But it is more contrasty and faster by 20% they say, compared to generation one.

Despite the added size, it feels like the chassis is pretty rigid, thanks to the aluminum back (same design as the Kindle 2.) The name, Kindle DX, stands for Kindle Deluxe.

The device is heavier, almost twice as much (10 to 18 ounces).

Flipping to widescreen takes about 3 seconds to trigger and refresh the e-ink display, but its very much like an iPhone's accelerometer based screen orientation sensing.

Engadget has some hands-on photos.

P.P.S. -- Here is a list of textbook publishers Amazon has agreements with:

In terms of textbooks, agreements with 3 big publishers and coverage of 60% of textbooks -

  1. Perason.
  2. Addison Wiley
  3. Longman
  4. Prentice Hall
  5. Cengage Learning
  6. Allyn & Bacon
  7. Benjamin Cummings
  8. Wadsworth
  9. Brooks Cole
  10. Course TEchnology
  11. Delmar
  12. Heinle
  13. Schermer
  14. South-Western

That’s a pretty impressive list.

Indeed it is. Unfortunately, this will probably come out too late for me to try it out in the Macroeconomics class I'm teaching this summer.


Juris Naturalist said...

Never could scrounge up the cash for a eSlick. But now I won't! If pdf doesn't have to pass some anti-piracy nonsense (blegh) then I'm all over this like white on rice!

Ali Hasanain said...

As soon as these hit the $200 mark, I'm on board.

That's be two product cycles then...