Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Amazon Unveils "KINDLE DX" - So, What's In It For You?

Here we have it.  Meet “Kindle DX ” (DX stands for deluxe).  What do you think?  I lifted the following information and pictures from Amazon’s website.  Where else to get the source than the original source, right? 
I’m sitting at my desk now holding up a letter-sized paper.  8.5x11.  Yeah, I can dig it.  I love to have one of these bad boys!  Amazon pointed out all the right reasons to go out, save the economy, and spend $500 on the new Kindle DX .

  • Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines
  • Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
  • Beautiful Large Display: 9.7" diagonal e-ink screen reads like real paper; boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and sharp images
  • Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages
  • Built-In PDF Reader: Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go
  • Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle DX, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Books In Under 60 Seconds: You get free wireless delivery of books in less than 60 seconds; no PC required
  • Long Battery Life: Read for days without recharging
  • Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable
  • Big Selection, Low Prices: Over 275,000 books; New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases are only $9.99, unless marked otherwise
  • More Than Books: U.S. and international newspapers including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, magazines including The New Yorker and Time, plus popular blogs, all auto-delivered wirelessly

Oh, hey, down here.  Stop looking at the price tag.  Alright, I couldn’t get past the price tag.  Okay, I couldn’t either.  $489, the real price, just to read books.  Seriously, I think ebooks are the future but I’m not certain dedicated ereaders are. 
Anyway, here are the obligatory technical details:
  • Display: 9.7" diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
  • Size (in inches): 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38".
  • Weight: 18.9 ounces.
  • System requirements: None, because it doesn't require a computer.
  • Storage: 4GB internal (approximately 3.3GB available for user content).
  • Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
  • Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
  • Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint's 3G high-speed data network.
  • USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-USB connector) for connection to the Kindle DX power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers.
  • Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
  • Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, battery. 

 There were times in the past few months when I felt the urge to get the Kindle.  But having spent more and more time on the iPod Touch reading books, I felt it to be adequate for leisure reading.  I’m glad Amazon is taking the bold steps in expanding the Kindle line.  You can see where they’ll want to take this eventually.  Just as Apple did with the iPod, Amazon will move beyond Kindle’s main function of reading books and newspapers. 

Do I see Kindle succeed in the long run?  Well, depends on your definition of success.  The market will move very quickly and in the next few quarter, we may see some amazing products from traditional computer makers that may blur the line between tablets and ebook readers. 
Back the the pricing for a moment.  $489 for the Kindle DX and $369 for the original Kindle.  For casual readers like myself, no way.  But for folks who do a lot of reading, forget about the math that tech pundits and bloggers will through at you in the next couple of weeks.  Forget how many books you’ll have to buy and read before you break even on the price of the Kindles.  It’s what Kindle can do besides letting you read books.  It’s also going on that long trip and not having to choose between taking your Ender, Harry Potter, whatever bestsellers happen to be on the NY Times list. 

Check it out yourself to see if this is for you:
  • Kindle DX - $489 (considering it's only $80 more than the original Kindle, this is a good deal)
  • Kindle (Latest 6" model) - $369

Note:  Nothing will ever take the place of a real book.  The feel and the smell of the ink and paper.  For that matter, I’ll truly miss the day when newspapers literally stopped the presses.

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