The screen auto-rotates, a la iPhone from portrait to landscape view, making it ideal for displaying text books.
According information disclosed at the launch press conference, which took place at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City this morning, the Kindle DX is targeted at the text-book market.
Three three leading text-book publisher partners have been lined up. Student trials at a number of US universities will take place later this year.
In common with the original Kindle and the Kindle 2, the DX incorporates a wireless modem but is now upgraded to 3G instead of the slower EVDO of the earlier models. The deal is quite neat–you pay for your Kindle and you then get free 3G network connection with no monthly contracts or long-term commitments. It's all included in the price of the product.
Newspapers are in on the act as well, as we predicted earlier in the week. New York Times, Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle have been signed up by Amazon to provide subscription content. Kindle DX users will get a discount subscription and will have their newspapers downloaded automatically every morning.
For the first time, the Kindle DX offers a realistic way of reading a full-sized newspaper on a portable electronic device (other than a much heavier and less wieldy laptop). Amazon clearly hope that this is the start of a scramble away from print to their Kindle. At MacOldie we have long believed that this development is just around the corner and we hope that the Kindle DX will be a success. As we said earlier in the week, the next two years could see an accelerated move away from traditional printed newspapers and the economic implications for publishers are immense. For the three newspaper partners, the Kindle DX is a true Trojan horse.
The Kindle DX, with 3.3GB of storage and native PDF support, will cost $489. The existing Kindle 2, with its 6in display, continues at $359. Sadly the neither of the Kindles is available in Europe. However, the fact that the new model incorporates a 3G modem is a good sign that the debut may be earlier than anticipated. The previous models were not suitable for Europe, where 3G has a much stronger presence. We waiting to get our hot stickies one (or both) and will be giving our views.