Amazon Goes Large with the Kindle DX

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As expected, today Amazon.com introduced the Kindle DX, a new, larger version of its Kindle electronic reader featuring a 9.7-inch eInk display, 3G wireless connectivity, and native PDF support—and expanded content form newspaper and textbook publishers. The idea with the Kindle DX is to make the Kindle an even more effective substitute for printed pages and turn the Kindle into a lifestyle appliance used not just by professionals and students, but also folks in their everyday lives for personal documents.

"Personal and professional documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that you’ll find yourself changing ink-toner cartridges less often," said Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, in a statement. "Cookbooks, computer books, and textbooks – anything highly formatted – also shine on the Kindle DX. Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package."

With a 9.7-inch display, the Kindle DX has 2.5 the surface area of the existing Kindle’s 6-inch display—and the expanded real estate has got newspaper interested, with The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post all planning pilot programs with the Kindle DX this summer, offering reduced rates to long-term subscribers living in areas where home delivery isn’t available. The bigger display also appeals to textbook publishers, with leading publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley on board with producing textbooks for the Kindle DX beginning this summer. The Kindle’s native PDF support ought to appeal to both newspaper and textbook publishers, making it easier to get their existing electronic content onto the devices.

The Kindle DX also features auto-rotation so users can switch between landscape and portrait modes just by turning the device. The DX also sports 3.3 GB of user storage (that’s enough for about 3,500 typical books), and features the same wireless 3G connectivity and syncing capabilities found in the 6-inch Kindle. The Kindle DX also sports the original Kindle’s QWERTY keyboard and text-to-speech capabilities.

The Kindle DX is available for pre-order now for $489; although Amazon hasn’t said when it plans to start shipping units, you can bet the company wants the Kindle DX on shelves this summer in time for the start of the academic year.

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