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Amazon Demos Large Screen Kindle DX

Amazon released the large-form Kindle DX this morning. Notable specs include:

  • The $489 DX ($130 more than Kindle 2) will be shipped this summer. It’s currently available for pre-order through Amazon.com
  • The DX screen measures 9.7 inches diagonally; 3.7 inches larger than the Kindle 2. Including the frame and keyboard, the DX is 10.4 inches high x 7.2 inches wide x 0.38 inches deep.
  • The DX holds 3,500 books. Kindle 2 holds 1,500.
  • The DX has built-in PDF support. The Kindle 2 requires conversion through the Personal Document Service, which was recently switched to a $0.15 per megabyte variable fee.
  • Auto-rotation switches between portrait and landscape modes.

During this morning’s demonstration, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos addressed the DX’s two target markets: textbooks and newspapers. Bezos announced an agreement with Pearson, Cengage and Wiley to bring textbooks to the device.

In its live-blog coverage, Engadget offered this quote from Jeff Bezos in regard to newspapers:

“We’re pleased to announce that three papers have signed on with us, the NYT, Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle. They will offer reduced prices for long term commitments on subscriptions.”

Adam Ostrow from Mashable says the “reduced prices” pertain to the cost of the Kindle DX, but I’m looking for clarification. Technically, those price reductions could apply to subscription fees. The Kindle-based New York Times subscription currently costs $13.99 per month, and the Times may knock that monthly fee down in return for a multi-year commitment. More to come ….

(Update, 5/6/09, 2pm) — Ars Technica says a lower-cost DX will be available with newspaper subscriptions. Further details have not been announced.

Comments: 3

  1. From an O’Reilly perspective, pdf support would seem a good thing in the dx. I’ll be interested to hear what you have to say. This has me close to getting the kindle.

    My big question: Rendering complex PDFs must require more power. How does that affect battery life?

  2. Bud — the Kindle DX hasn’t shipped yet, but we will be testing it out as soon as it’s available. As you may know, we offer customers several ebook formats when they purchase from us, including PDF and Kindle-compatible Mobipocket. It’s clear many customers prefer PDFs just as it’s clear many really like the reflowable formats like EPUB. In the end, it’s really up to you — we don’t mind, as long as you’re reading our books.

    I don’t know enough about the Kindle technology to comment on battery life, though based on the Sony Reader (which uses the same display) which has supported PDF for some time without concomitant reduction in battery life I doubt it will be much of an issue.

  3. Realize we’re looking at a summer ship date. Thanks for the note on the sony reader. That’s helpful.

    I have A LOT of O’Reilly and other tech books. The kindle’s lack of support for good tech book rendering is what has stopped me.

    My cut is that Amazon has really mastered the art of distribution. The kindle is just another brick in that wall. My nagging concern is ease of connection to other distribution points. For instance, have to work harder to get a book from O’Reilly’s site onto the kindle vs. directly from the kindle store.

    Look forward to watching this situation as it evolves.