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Amazon’s Kindle DX: A revolution for readers?

10:03 AM Wed, May 06, 2009 |
Posted by: Walt Zwirko
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 Could this be the savior of newspapers and magazines?

Amazon today unveiled a new model of its popular Kindle electronic reading device with a screen that’s two-and-a-half times larger than the current version.

Priced at $489, the slim Kindle DX features 9.7-inch “electronic paper” screen that’s unlike what you’re accustomed to on a notebook computer — it really does provide an experience that’s close in appearance to a printed page.

Kindle’s other big innovation, continued from previous models, is its built-in wireless Internet access that lets you effortlessly download more than 275,000 books and subscribe to magazines and newspapers. Pick it up in the morning and it’s already got The New York Times or The Washington Post “delivered.”

Three textbook publishers announced today they will let students buy “copies” on Kindle.

“Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. He said the Kindle DX will be available this summer.

There would seem to be only two things that can hold Kindle (or something very much like it) back from revolutionizing the way we all read.

First is the price; you can get a fairly decent notebook (or netbook) computer these days for $489 or less. For most people, that’s going to be a lot more useful way to spend that kind of cash.

The second problem is the screen; while Kindle’s electronic ink display is extremely readable, it does not currently offer a color option, nor does it have a backlight; just like a “real” book or magazine, you can’t use it in the dark.

It has been suggested that newspapers and magazines might be able to offer a Kindle-like device to subscribers at a subsidized price. You probably signed a two-year contract to get a good price on your last cell phone; why can’t publishers copy that model?

Considering all the production, printing and delivery costs that evaporate by distributing their products digitally, this is certainly something to think about for beleaguered print publications struggling to survive in an Internet world.

E-mail askwalt@wfaa.com



2 Comments

“It has been suggested that newspapers and magazines might be able to offer a Kindle-like device to subscribers at a subsidized price. You probably signed a two-year contract to get a good price on your last cell phone; why can’t publishers copy that model?

Considering all the production, printing and delivery costs that evaporate by distributing their products digitally, this is certainly something to think about for beleaguered print publications struggling to survive in an Internet world.”

Dallas Morning News, please get the message.

For the sake of our democracy we need the newspapers. Otherwise, where will we get investigative reporting.

One cannot exammine a Kindle without buying it. Ridiculous.


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