What do you do when you’ve made the leading product in the market, you’re onto your second version and you’ve sold an estimated 500,000 units? Make it bigger of course — and that is what Amazon has done with the Kindle DX which was released this week.
Back in February, we saw the release of the Amazon Kindle 2 and now it’s back, with an extra 3.7” of screen size, a host of extra features, and a load more publishing partnerships that promise to widen the range of texts available on the Kindle.
So, what makes this different from the previous Kindle? Well the most obvious thing is that it is a significant amount bigger (9.7” as opposed to 6”) which makes using it a lot more practical: you need to turn the page less which is an advantage if you’re just skimming through, you can have bigger text and it’s better for sharing with other people.
The second thing that you’ll notice when first looking at the new version is that it has a slightly different configuration of buttons — not only do the buttons have a slightly different design (presumably to make them easier to use) but they are arranged differently as the keyboard sits closer to the bottom to allow for more screen space, and the buttons that sit beside the screen are all on one side.
The latter change is due to the fact that the Kindle DX has an accelerometer which rotates the screen to the landscape position when you set it horizontally making it a lot easier to read certain types of texts; newspapers for example.
It also has more storage than its predecessor, it now comes with 3.3Gb — enough to store 3,500 books (according to Amazon) which is 2,000 more than the 6” version; the final notable addition is that of a native PDF reader adding another layer of functionality this already well-adorned device.
Amazon has also made deals with three of the biggest publishers of academic textbooks which will allow access to around 60% of the books used which will make the DX a lot more attractive not just to students, but to the institutions that provide the education as well. This move comes as the general public starts to warm to the idea of electronic books, and it strikes me as being a very canny move by Amazon to secure their place at the top of the market by releasing yet another version.
The only potential drawback that I can see with the Amazon Kindle DX is its price tag — it will be released this summer at $489 (£350) which is $130 more expensive than the 6” version, but given the extra storage and features that the DX has this will probably make up for it and I predict fairly equal sales of the basic, small but cheap version and the flash, big yet expensive DX.
But unfortunately despite the publicity that the Kindle continues to get this side of the Atlantic we seem no closer to an agreement between Amazon and mobile phone networks, which is a shame as I would love to see these electronic reading devices (with the download-ability that the Kindle offers) take off over here — but I imagine (and hope) that its only a matter of time until we see an Amazon Kindle in the UK!
Via – Engadget.com