Kindle DX – DOA

The new Kindle DX has now been announced. The specs are:

Display: 9.7″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
Size (in inches): 10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″.
Weight: 18.9 ounces.
System requirements: None.
Storage: 4GB internal (approximately 3.3GB available for user content).
Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). See Wireless Terms and Conditions.
USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-USB connector) for connection to the Kindle DX power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, battery. Leather book cover sold separately.

Cost: $489

Five universities  will try out the Kindle DX this fall: Arizona State, Case Western Reserve, Princeton, the University of Virginia, and Pace. Amazon has reached agreements with three leading textbook publishers that represent 60 percent of the market: Pearson, Cengage Learning and Wiley.

As stated in my previous post, for many disciplines color and the ability to display video is pedagogically important, the Kindle DX has neither. From this blogger’s perspective, Kindle DX is dead on arrival. Frankly, I’m hoping that Apple now pushes out its much rumored tablet. The Kindle is a single-use device, which is not what students need in this day and age. A slim, multi-purpose device like a tablet is ideal. If it has the same basic capabilities of the iPhone/iPod touch, the Kindle DX can be relegated to the dust bin.

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About Michael Ritter PhD
Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, science textbook author, educational technology blogger, podcaster, and freelance media consultant.

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