Amazon Kindle DX debuts: it’s big, bold and comes with 3G

6 May 2009

The much larger and more expensive Amazon DX with 3G connectivity was launched today by Amazon with a US$489 price tag, making it roughly US$120 dearer than its smaller counterpart.

The new device comes with a 9.7-inch diagonal e-ink screen that Amazon said reads like real paper and boasts 16 shades of grey for clearer text and sharper images.

The device also features iPhone-like capabilities, auto-rotating from portrait to landscape as you turn the device, so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables and webpages.

As well as Wi-Fi connectivity, the device includes built-in 3G connectivity, which Amazon said does not involve monthly fees or annual contracts.

The company launched the DX with deals with major textbook and newspaper publishers, as well as universities, to expand demand for the device.

The DX has the capacity to hold up to 3,500 books, magazines and documents, compared with the standard Kindle, which can hold 1,500 books. The new member of the family has a built-in PDF reader, and, according to Amazon, is capable of providing free, wireless delivery of books in less than 60 seconds.

As well as longer-lasting battery life that Amazon said will last days without charging, the device comes with a ‘read-to-me’ feature that can read newspapers, blogs, magazines and books out loud.

Audio is supported by a 3.5mm audio jack and built-in stereo speakers.

“Personal and professional documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that you’ll find yourself changing ink-toner cartridges less often,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO.

“Cookbooks, computer books and textbooks – anything highly formatted – also shine on the Kindle DX. Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package.”

The New York Times Company and Washington Post Company are launching pilots with Kindle DX this summer.

“At The New York Times Company, we are always seeking new ways for our millions of readers to have full and continuing access to our high-quality news and information,” said Arthur Sulzberger Jr, chairman, The New York Times Company, and publisher, The New York Times.

“The wireless delivery and new value-added features of the Kindle DX will provide our large, loyal audience, no matter where they live, with an exciting new way to interact with The New York Times and The Boston Globe.

“Additionally, by offering a subscription through the Kindle DX to readers who live outside of our delivery areas, we will extend our reach to our loyal readers who will be able to more readily enjoy their favourite newspapers.

“Meanwhile, we are continuing to work with Amazon to make The New York Times and The Boston Globe experiences on Kindle better than ever,” Sulzberger said.

By John Kennedy