Amazon.com on Wednesday debuted the Kindle DX, with textbook publishers, universities, and major newspapers lining up to test the larger version of the retailer’s original electronic book reader as a delivery tool for digital content.
The new device has a 9.7-inch display versus the original Kindle’s 6-inch screen and supports Adobe’s popular PDF document file format, which the smaller model lacks. Amazon is taking preorders for the Kindle DX, which the retailer plans to start shipping to customers in the summer. The device will be priced at $489.
With the exception of its size and larger storage capacity, the Kindle DX is very much like the smaller model. Besides the PDF support, the only other major feature is the ability to switch from portrait to landscape mode by turning the device horizontally.
While the technology isn’t groundbreaking, the support Amazon has received from newspapers, textbook publishers, and universities could widen adoption of e-book readers as a digital distribution tool. While laptops can arguably be used for the same purpose, e-book readers, which use display technology from a company called E Ink, can show crisper graphics and text without the eyestrain and glare associated with the back light used in portable PCs.