Amazon Kindle DX Roundup

Amazon’s creating quite a stir with the introduction of the Kindle DX. As you’ve probably heard by now, Amazon is partnering with universities and newspapers to push the device to a wider audience. Here’s a roundup of what writers are saying about the $489 Kindle DX.

The $489 price tag is drawing a lot of heat. In a world of multi-function devices is $500 too much for a reader?

Mark Wilson from Gizmodo wrote

Available this summer, there’s no denying it—the Kindle DX looks fantastic, especially with that surprise landscape/portrait rotational sensitivity we find useful in so many smartphones. But $500? Really?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes from ZDNet doesn’t like the Kindle DX’s price tag either.

Feels to me like Amazon are chiseling customers a bit. $140 extra for a bigger screen, some more storage, auto-rotate display and native PDF support seems steep to me.

Dan Fommer from Silicon Valley Insider recorded a video showing the Kindle DX’s screen-rotation feature:

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Paul Miller from Engadget likes the new keyboard and the auto-rotate feature. He says he’d choose the Kindle DX over the Kindle 2.

The size difference really is notable. The DX is a large device. It’s not the kind of thing you’ll be throwing into a purse, though it’s not so large that you wouldn’t consider it over the Kindle 2. In fact, if we had to choose right now, the Kindle DX wins hands-down.

A lot of folks are complaining that the Kindle DX will only be subsidized for select New York Times, Washington Post and Boston Globe subscribers.
Harry McCracken from Technologizer wrote:

And here’s something a little weird: If you sign up for a long-term subscription to the New York Times, the Boston Globe, or the Washington Post, you can get a discount off the DX’s somewhat intimidating pricetag—but only people who live in areas where they can’t get home delivery of the dead-tree versions of the papers qualify. Sorry, tech-savvy locals!

Speaking of dead trees- some writers don’t think the Kindle DX can do a good enough job presenting newspapers in their full glory. Robert Fabricant from Fast Company wrote:

I wish a larger screen could save the Boston Globe. But I doubt that is the case, at least not in the way people are hoping…. The key to the future of news is juxtaposition, brought to you, I hope by the Kindle 4.

Ryan Kim, a San Francisco Chronicle writer, doesn’t think the new Kindle will help print publications:

I’m not sold on how this will really help the publishing industry, especially at a price nearing $500. I think there’s a market for this stuff, especially textbooks but for print publications, I’m not sure if this can do a lot to turn things around for them.

Amazon also announced some very compelling stats, which TechCrunch covered:

For books that are available on the Kindle, sales are already 35 percent of the same books in print, up from 13 percent just a few months ago. In other words, if a paper book sells 10,000 copies on Amazon, it will sell an additional 3,500 digital copies on the Kindle. Let me repeat that, digital books via the Kindle are selling at 35 percent the level of physical books 18 months after launch.kindle2-chart

  

Comments

  1. Sara Fauzia says

    There’s no doubt Amazon is being a little greedy. 13 going on 30? Right now, if they kept their prices low, they probably would sell more devices for even a greater profit. Instead they’re restricting from the outset who can purchase it, and that isn’t good in the least in an economic crisis. This isn’t the laptop everyone wants–this isn’t an iPhone, or a Mac. They can’t tout a price that high and expect that it’ll sell. If you put a device in the buying power of all Americans (speaking only of the U.S for that’s where Sprint’s network is available), the profits are surely greater than when you’ve limited the number of people who *can* purchase it, but may or may not do so because the price just doesn’t look worth it. Everyone, rich or poor, likes a bargain.

  2. Sumocat says

    I wouldn’t be so quick to emphasize that part about Kindle books being 35% *in addition* to print. We don’t know what level of cannibalization is at play here. Safe money’s on there being a net gain (and probably a favorable one), but considering all Kindle owners are Amazon customers, I’m sure those digital sales are taking a measurable chunk out of their print sales. Still good for tech advancement, but it’s not a straight 35% add-on.

  3. John says

    Does anyone know if the Kindle provides any business oriented solutions? I’d love a device like this for distributing the monthly board package to our board of directors.

  4. Paul Harrigan says

    The question of whether Amazon is being greedy is about cost as well as price.

    Not only are the screens new (and, therefore, probably expensive), but we also do not know how much Sprint is charging for the service. I sure wish Sprint would sell me pay-once cellular service for the life of my cellphone without charging more than a DX costs.

  5. Steven says

    I haven’t seen any comments regarding the lack of a color display, unless I am missing something. If the DX is going to cater to the textbook market, there’s going to have to be a color screen, at least for the chemistry textbooks we use here at my university- newspapers, too, for that matter.

  6. Xavier says

    @Steven- I agree with you completely. The e-ink that’s used in the Kindle and other readers consumes a lot less energy than any color display currently available.
    Lack of color is just one of the many reasons I’m not going to pull the trigger and get a Kindle DX.

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