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Amazon Kindle DX Details Revealed 312

Posted by Soulskill
from the giving-newspapers-hope dept.
theodp writes with news that details for the Kindle DX are now available. "Specs-wise, the big changes are a larger 9.7-inch screen that rotates to landscape display, a PDF reader, and more storage space. The Kindle DX carries a $489 price tag (compared to the $359 Kindle 2)." Engadget has a series of pictures from Jeff Bezos' presentation, and the Amazon product information page has further details and a video. According to the press release, Amazon has worked out a deal with The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post to "offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is not available."
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Amazon Kindle DX Details Revealed

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  • Too expensive (Score:2, Insightful)

    I will not pay that price as long as books are cheap and PDFs can be read on my computer.
    • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:48PM (#27847537) Journal

      Checked out the price of college textbooks lately?

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        yes, buying them for both of my sons. Buy used, the resell when done. Net result is low cost.
        • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:07PM (#27847859)

          Selling my engineering books is my biggest regret. I swore up and down I'd never need Thermodynamics. I'm a controls engineer...

          Low and behold I'm controlling a thermodynamic system.

          Wiki and other such sites are wonderful, but they're not presented in the medium that I learned them in with the coefficients and with the equations as I learned them.

          Engineers, hold on to your text books. I know that $20 for beer looks good now but you'll want that book later much more than you want the beer now.

          • Selling my engineering books is my biggest regret. I swore up and down I'd never need Thermodynamics. I'm a controls engineer...

            Low and behold I'm controlling a thermodynamic system.

            Wiki and other such sites are wonderful, but they're not presented in the medium that I learned them in with the coefficients and with the equations as I learned them.

            Engineers, hold on to your text books. I know that $20 for beer looks good now but you'll want that book later much more than you want the beer now.

            We burn heretics around here. That's the 4th law of thermdynamics.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by exploder (196936)

          Publishers have all sorts of schemes to prevent this from working in practice. Was either of your sons required to buy "Freshman Intro Text, 19th Edition"? Or do any of those texts have an online component?

          God I hate textbook publishers. Graduate texts are much more sane, thankfully.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Just Some Guy (3352)

          yes, buying them for both of my sons. Buy used, the resell when done. Net result is low cost.

          Yeah. When I bought that used sociology text (to fulfill the gen-ed requirements for my Comp Sci major), angels parted the clouds and played trumpets as a flock of serving virgins carried it out in a velvet-lined platinum ark.

          When selling it 4 months later (in mint condition because I never actually opened it), the bookstore did me the favor of accepting it without charging me disposal fees.

          But keep the books from your major. You'll like having them down the road.

      • by milimetric (840694) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:57PM (#27847699) Journal

        Textbooks are expensive only in small part due to the hardcover / high quality paper they're printed on. The IP of the authors is what costs the most money.

        Most likely the Kindle + e-versions of textbooks will be only slightly cheaper than paper textbooks. To really see the savings of the kindle you have to look deeper. Pens, paper, notebooks used to write notes on will be in some large part replaced by the annotation capabilities of the Kindle. Mobile internet for life is also something that people seem to underestimate. Furthermore, reducing paper waste seems to me by far the biggest cost reduction. It's just not one that we typically factor in when we're sliding our credit card.

        Here's to a better world and better Kindles to come.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, but you can resell textbooks (unless the author is cynical and updates every year, and also somehow controls the course and thus makes that course require the new book).

          Surely at some point there will be open source textbooks which you can use at your choice of online university that doesn't make you give money to your course lecturer.

          • by exploder (196936)

            Yeah, but you can resell textbooks (unless the author is cynical and updates every year, and also somehow controls the course and thus makes that course require the new book).

            Surely at some point there will be open source textbooks which you can use at your choice of online university that doesn't make you give money to your course lecturer.

            Oh, the publisher and university conspire to achieve that. Think the bookstore can place an order for old editions? Think the university will allow the prof to require a book the bookstore cannot order?

            There are exceptions, but all too often this is how they team up to soak the students.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dunng808 (448849)
            Tired of whining about the hight cost of textbooks? Invest that time and energy in a project intended to provide a solution.

            The goal of the Open Slate Project [openslate.net] is to develope an open-source Kindle-like, Newton-like slate computer, and, to go with it, Chalk Dust [openslate.net] educational software and courseware. Chalk Dust is intended to replace textbooks beginning at the high school level (9th - 12th grade), then expand to include college and primary school.

        • I suspect that text books are expensive in part because of the hierarchical purchasing structure that amplifies success and failure. It's like the movie industry where in any given year there's only enough theater space, interest and mind share so you have a few collosal winners and a lot of losers that still cost you money.

          As for kindle, I think it is going to get bracketed by apple and die. Let me first say the big hope here is the subscription model. It's perfect for the NYtimes which is best read old

          • by infosinger (769408) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:41PM (#27848413)
            Except for one thing--- E-ink. This display technology sets these devices apart from any computer or netbook. The problem is that E-ink is a very poor choice for a general purpose computer--its refresh rate is way too slow. So, unless Apple wants to license E-ink and come up with a book reading device, I kind of doubt they are going to bracket Amazon. I have a very high quality display at home and I will take the Kindle any time for book reading.
          • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:57PM (#27848697)

            You seem to be under the impression that ebook-readers are all a subset of netbooks. They're not.

            The thing that attracts people to ebook-readers is that you can read them just about anywhere. Find me a reasonably priced lcd/oled screen that you can read outside with the sun beating down on it.

            Second is portability. An ebook-reader the size of a paper back is fine. A portable computer that size isn't really unless we're talking cellphone or pda. Netbooks indicates a keyboard, and I'm yet to find a keyboard in the netbook range that I am able to touch type on - my fingers are quite simply too big (comes with being 194 cm/6'4"). And if I'm getting something with a useless keyboard, why even bother with the keyboard?

            Now, if my netbook is stolen somewhere, I now have to worry about my banking information, budget, private information etc being in someone elses hands. If my ebook-reader is stolen, I now have to download the books to a different reader.

            Also, if you add in a touch screen interface like in the iRex DR 1000S [irextechnologies.com] you get an easy way to annotate the books/documents you're reading. While it's entirely possible to get that into a netbook, I'm yet to see anyone market a netbook tablet.

            Will the two converge at one point? Perhaps. But for now I would rather have a good ebook-reader than a great netbook.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Dare nMc (468959)

          The IP of the authors is what costs the most money.

          close, but wrong, between $.20 to $1.06 goes to the author, $3-$6 is the printing cost: To calculate the royalty you earn per book sold you multiply five percent, or .05, times $20. The result equals $1. So that's the royalty you earn for every book the publisher sells. [buzzle.com]
          the Publisher eats the majority of the remaining profit. Straight to ebook should remove that overhead and I think reduce the cost by at least 60%.

        • by Rolgar (556636)

          I recall reading that college books are made intentionally inferior to grade/high school texts for several reasons. The public schools are selling the books to institutions that make large orders, and expect to use the books for several years.

          College texts are sold to college bookstores, which you might have 1 to 3 in most college towns, and the student has no choice in which book to get, because the teacher or department decides for them. Then the publisher makes minor alterations to the text from one ye

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by DrgnDancer (137700)

            Then the publisher makes minor alterations to the text from one year, giving the school and the (school owned?) bookstore the opportunity to phase out last year's book with a nearly identical one. This is planned obsolescence at it's finest.

            This is nearly entirely the publishers. Bookstore prefer used book programs believe it or not. I used to do temp work in the college bookstore at the beginning and end of the semester every year, and while that hardly makes me an expert in the field I know this much. We made higher margins on the used books than we did on the new ones. I don't remember the exact formula, but I believe we bought used books back for 40% and sold them for 75% of their new book value. By contrast we sold new books for a 20

        • by exploder (196936)

          Pens, paper, notebooks used to write notes on will be in some large part replaced by the annotation capabilities of the Kindle.

          I'm skeptical. Until I can write (and draw!) small and legibly, wherever in the text I like, it's not good enough.

          Resolution of the digitizer, and resolution and response time of the display are limiting factors here, I think.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by joebok (457904)

          Let me preface by saying I'm a huge Kindle fan - I love mine!

          BUT as wonderful as ebook novels are, I don't think any ebook reader I've ever seen would be very useful as text books - at least with current tech. No electronic bookmarking system can compare to a sticky stuck in a book - or even fingers when you need to flip back and forth between a couple different sections to work out a problem. Even the DX screen is small compared to most texts. And pictures/diagrams/drawings? No way - completely inadequ

        • Not quite right, I'm afraid, and for reasons that are downright embarrassing, speaking as a publisher of a textbook...

          It's not the IP of the author that's the expensive bit. In fact, it would be lovely and wonderful if it was. Unfortunately, that's not what is happening.

          Most of the time, when a textbook is put into print, all the copyrights are bought by the textbook company. The author(s) get a royalty, but they've lost the rights. The textbook is then marketed to universities, where a captive market i

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by DragonWriter (970822)

          Textbooks are expensive only in small part due to the hardcover / high quality paper they're printed on. The IP of the authors is what costs the most money.

          You are focused too much on the supply side; the reason textbooks are expensive has little to do with the cost (either of materials or the IP making up the content) and much to do with the fact that price is not a significant factor in purchase decisions -- they aren't assigned, for the most part, based on a cost:value analysis, and once they are assigne

      • by alen (225700)

        not like the e versions of textbooks will be any cheaper?

        some schools already have drm's pdf's instead of physical books. same price and the drm is annoying to use

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nurb432 (527695)

        But at least if you drop a book, you can still pick it up and read it. Worst you do is bend a corner.

        Drop your kindle, its time to cry.

    • Re:Too expensive (Score:5, Insightful)

      by langelgjm (860756) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:51PM (#27847601) Journal

      As someone who has to read a lot of PDFs, I've gotten sick of reading them on the computer. If they're more than about 5 pages long, it's really irritating. Printing them out wastes paper, and takes a long time when they can be dozens or even hundreds of pages long.

      The whole point of an e-book reader is the e-ink display. When I first saw one, it was amazing how much easier to read it is than a computer screen.

      I pre-ordered a Kindle DX today. I'd been looking at the iRex DR-1000, but it was even more expensive, and has very mixed reviews. I anticipate using the DX on a daily basis probably for the next several years (grad student)... and I won't have to be tied to a computer, or drag around a laptop. Battery life is supposed to better even than netbooks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy (3352)

        As someone who has to read a lot of PDFs, I've gotten sick of reading them on the computer.

        I'm sick of reading them, period. I hate PDFs, with their author-chosen fonts, non-adjustable margins, and unconfigurable page breaks. I'd much rather read something in HTML or the equivalent so that changing the font to my liking reflows the text, and I don't have to toggle between "zoomed in enough to read without a microscope" and "zoomed out enough that I'm not constantly scrolling left-to-right.

        Please, kill PDFs for machine reading. They're fine for print but absolutely suck on dynamic displays.

      • Re:Too expensive (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:49PM (#27849521)

        Why hasn't anyone manufactured just an e-ink display?

        No need to worry about all the internal components. Have the display, a stand (that can rotate from portrait to landscape), and a carrying case. Use your existing stuff to read with it, such as a laptop or desktop.

        It'd probably be way cheaper than a second monitor and those of us who read looong PDFs would make use of somethin' like this.

    • I would love it as (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:53PM (#27847645) Homepage Journal

      a text book replacement.

      Of course colleges would be loathe to give up the money they make selling new books to students each year...

      but...

      it would make the lives of students easier... done right a kiosk could let you download all the stuff you need for each class.

      give me an oil and shock resistant one this size and it means the mechanic has a reference at his fingertips...

      there are so many possibilities and so many with their existing revenue streams endangered...

      • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:00PM (#27847751)

        why would they give up the money? they'd still charge you for the textbooks AND you won't be able to lend them (you can't lend just one of your books, you'd have to lend them all, and that usually doesn't work) AND you won't be able to resell them at the end of the semester.

        I think the schoolbook publishing industry will jump in with both feet here, basically completely cutting out the used market and any sort of sharing of books, 1 student = 1 book every semester, it will make them a ton of money; roll it in in the college tuition and it will work even better for them in terms of guaranteed income.

        • they'd still charge you for the textbooks AND you won't be able to lend them (you can't lend just one of your books, you'd have to lend them all, and that usually doesn't work) AND you won't be able to resell them at the end of the semester.

          Set the price point just above the difference in cost and resale value. The students were going to lose almost that much anyway, but now they get to keep the textbook and they don't have to carry them around with them everywhere. It would be convincing enough to get a small market at the very least. Pushing it forward, Amazon could easily make a program where you can "sell back" the book, making it so that the kindle deletes the book and you can't download it anymore.

      • give me an oil and shock resistant one this size and it means the mechanic has a reference at his fingertips...

        No it doesn't. Just from playing Warhammer I know that electronic versions of books aren't as useful when you need a quick reference as a hard copy is. The mechanic will know where in the manual he needs to flip and be able to find the page within 2 seconds. The kindle would require him to go back to the index, find the entry, then flip to the entry and scan down the page using the kindle's controls until he finds what he's looking for. Skimming through the kindle isn't really easy either compared to skimmi

        • by deraj123 (1225722)
          Why would you need to go to an index when you can search? I'm all for letting the device do the scanning for subject matter for me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slapout (93640)

      "and PDFs can be read on my computer."

      Checked out the price of a computer lately?

  • Good Next Step (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:42PM (#27847453)

    Good: Size and ability to download your own PDFs via USB. Price is not that outrageous for an early adopter type product.

    Needs Improvement: Add SD card reader and WiFi. Switch between WiFi and 3G like the iPhone does so you can use a faster WiFi connection when available.

    Bad: Disables table of contents feature for PDFs. Dumb

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by langelgjm (860756)
      The original Kindle had an SD slot... this one has 4 GB, which is quite a bit, but I agree, why not include one? I already have about 2 GB of PDFs on my computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fm6 (162816)

        Because every little bit of hardware you add to a device raises the price. Consumer devices are sold on paper-thin margins, so you aim on the likely use case. You don't add features, however cheap, that most of your users will never need.

        The exception to this is legacy features, like those infrared ports you see on so many laptops. But this is a totally new application — there's no history to impose legacy features.

    • by fm6 (162816)

      Disagree with your criticisms.

      Here, network connectivity is a book delivery mechanism that's going to be off most of the time. You can use it for web browsing, but really this isn't a great web appliance even with a fast connection. So why bother with the weight, cost, and power drain of WiFi?

      Don't really see the point of an SD card. Sneakernet? Use USB. Extra storage? Internal is over 3 GB; how many books do you need to carry around with you?

      By "table of contents feature" I assume you mean the bookmark pan [centralbasin.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Aladrin (926209)

        Books with graphics get to be rather large. Books with markup tend to get rather large as well.

        And just like MP3 players, you want to carry your whole collection around with you... 3GB is a lot until you start to really use the device, and then it's not enough.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sponge Bath (413667)

        Kind of hard to support when there's no mouse or touch screen.

        According to the user's manual, the Kindle DX has a table of contents navigation feature that is usable with their proprietary format. Some PDFs have a table of contents information, displayed as you said in the bookmark pane of a PC based reader. The manual states that the TOC menu item is grayed out (disabled) for PDFs.

        So the TOC navigation tools are there, they just don't allow them to be used with PDFs. For a large PDF, such as the USB spec,

        • I have a large PDF that I sent through Amazon's conversion process. The "Table of Contents" menu item is disabled, but the table of contents in the text has links to the corresponding pages. So there's that.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hadlock (143607)

      Really bad: Costs $500

      Supposedly a subscription to the NYT or other major paper will get you a price cut, but $500 is $150 too much for a larger version of the Kindle 2, which only costs $190 to build. The rebate ought to be $200 or more otherwise there's no savings over the print version (with the 6" kindle there's a savings of about $130 at current subscription rates). The fact that they're only offering the (so far not officially announced) discount in areas that don't already offer delivery of

      • As I've stated the build cost might be $190 but that doesn't account for the mobile broadband they provide you for free.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:42PM (#27847457) Homepage

    1. Yes, you can read non-DRM eBooks on Kindle in several formats, includint text and PDF
    2. No, your Kindle does not die if you close your Amazon account
    3. No, Amazon does not remotely kill your Kindle if this happens
    4. And all of your books (including DRM) remain readable if this happens
    5. And Kindle DOES have a USB port so you CAN copy files to and from it
    6. And this USB port DOES work just like a flash drive so it's not Windows-only

  • by Nutria (679911) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @12:43PM (#27847461)

    they are cheap enough that people won't worry about ruining them at the beach or by dropping them onto the floor.

    • The operating temp range in the user's manual says max of 95F, so the beach may be out of the question anyways.

      • by hurfy (735314)

        So the whole retire to AZ and read a book is not going to include a Kindle eh?

        Do i store it for the summer in the fridge? Even up here it can go triple digits for a week.

        oh well, i have no interest in buying a book reader that costs as much as my next 100 books and comes with none of them :(

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CastrTroy (595695)
      Really. It doesn't stop people from buying $500 smartphones and $300 MP3 players. Just be careful with your stuff. Sure it's not suited for all environments, like at the beach, there are quite a few good things about such a device. So it doesn't work at the beach. I only go to the beach once a year, and spend 48 weeks out of the year (minimum) in the city.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by langelgjm (860756)
      Not necessarily. The DX is not geared towards the beach-reading crowd, the size alone should tell you that. It's more business/academic oriented - i.e., people who are already carrying around an expensive laptop all the time. I think it could be a real hit with students - it's pricey, so maybe not right away, but the next closest competitor in size is the iRex, which is closer to $1000.
      • by Nutria (679911)

        It's more business/academic oriented

        But that just narrows the market size by 90%, which doesn't seem very bright.

        • by langelgjm (860756)

          I think you underestimate the potential size of the business market.

          Also, another thing to remember is that while college students are "poor", the little money they do have is typically disposable income.

          But yes, obviously e-readers would take off if they were more like the PADD [memory-alpha.org] technology from Star Trek - cheap enough to leave lying around, give to someone else, etc.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It's more business/academic oriented

          But that just narrows the market size by 90%, which doesn't seem very bright.

          Targeting smart people with money doesn't seem a bad business model.

    • Well, cheap enough that people don't have to worry when they need to be replaced, or else durable enough that people don't have to worry about them needing to be replaced. Really either one will do.
    • by abigor (540274)

      The smaller Kindles have been a roaring success, and this new one doesn't look to be any different. I agree though, it would be great if you could pour a glass of milk on it, drop it in the sand, and then rinse it off under the tap so it's good as new.

      I really like the newspaper subscription feature...if they worked out something with The Economist, then I might have to shoot the lock off the wallet.

    • by grumbel (592662)

      iPhones, PDAs, Laptops and all that other stuff costs just as much if not more so and yet people carry them around all the time. As long as the devices are not super fragile, there really isn't that much to worry about, after all a book doesn't react all that good either when dipped into water.

    • Being that these are aimed at college students, I think that the ability to survive beer exposure would be a more important concern.

      Whether spilled from your own beer bottle, or if your roommate hurls on it after drinking too much.

    • by flogger (524072)
      Personal anecdote:
      I have loaned my Kindle 2 to students (High school) I know it has been dropped and probably abused and smashed in backpacks. I have dropped it twice from about 1 meter each time. It still works like a champ. The Kindle 2 is sturdy.

      I take it to the beach and even out and read when I get stuck on the golf course while it rains. In wet/windy/sandy environments, I just put the kindle in a clear, ziplock-type baggie, and it is easy to read and protected from the elements.

      I don't think
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by swillden (191260)

      people won't worry about ruining them at the beach

      e-Books are much better for reading at the beach than paper books, at least in terms of resistance to salt, sand, water, etc. Just put your e-book in a big ziploc baggy. It doesn't interfere with reading, and protects it so well you can throw the book in the waves if you like. Don't do that with a paper book (unless it's in a baggy, but you have to take it out to read it).

      The only downside to an e-book reader on a public beach is that someone might steal it while you're swimming.

      As for dropping them.

  • It's the partnerships with Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and the University of Virginia. Textbooks on the Kindle. If the prices are substantially lower than the printed books, and if resale is allowed (or the prices are lower than new - used) then it's a win for students.

    The newspapers only being available outside the dead tree delivery area is stupid. Christ, the WaPo, NYT, and others would save money if they delivered electronically rathe

    • Resale is never going to be allowed. The only reason textbook publishers would sign on to digital technologies is if it would kill the resale market.
      • Professor and student generated content is more valuable than textbooks anyway. I received A's in classes where I didn't open or didn't even buy the textbook.

        Advantages to publishers:
        • No need to preprint, so you never over or under print.
        • Sell directly to the student w/o giving the middle man a cut.

        Disadvantages:

        • Too easy for students to cut you out, by creating and sharing their own information. (Has Calculus 101 changed in the last 100 years?)
        • It's new, and therefore scary.
      • Note that the Kindle DX has free, unlimited access to Wikipedia. How hard is it to get all that info from textbooks into Wikipedia, eh?
    • The newspapers only being available outside the dead tree delivery area is stupid. Christ, the WaPo, NYT, and others would save money if they delivered electronically rather than on dead tree.

      Probably would, but why compete with yourself. If Kindle DX delivery seems to work well, expect the "home delivery area" for participating newspapers to shrink and eventually disappear entirely, but subsidizing DX sales in their existing home delivery area would further weaken the viability of home delivery (which reli

    • The newspaper restriction is only to get them to subsidize the purchase price. You can subscribe to the papers now via Kindle.

      Not sure if you caught that part.

      I totally agree with you that it is dumb on the part of the newspapers to restrict themselves. The cost to print and deliver a paper is astronomical compared to electronic delivery.

  • Too expensive, too restrictive. But I'm still a booster. The more these things sell, the cheaper the tech will get and eventually we'll have cheap, open architecture tablet PC's like this. Previous tablets were ridiculous, basically laptops with spinning drives and fans that you certainly weren't going to carry like a clipboard. The format represented by the Kindle is great. I just want to see it stripped of all the cruft that makes it suck. The more popular it gets, the more likely that will be. The mp3 pl

  • a) I've used Kindle for the iPhone and gotten through 2 books so far (normally I do audiobooks) and I was fairly happy with the experience.
    b) The idea of having newspapers and magazines delivered wirelessly to me podcast style is very appealing. Something along the lines of RSS would be really attractive (currently you can subscribe to slashdot "kindle edition" among others for $2 a month).
    c) $500 is about 3-4x as much as I would be willing to spend on a device that as specialized as this. Especially give

    • by tirerim (1108567)
      Keep in mind that you can also use it to browse the web, from anywhere. It's a limited browser, but that still gets you Wikipedia, for example, and a lot of other useful stuff, all of which is free.
  • by IntelliTubbie (29947) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:13PM (#27847947)

    ... I *really* hope that this is finally the device I've been holding out for. I have hundreds of papers in PDF format, most produced using LaTeX, downloaded from the arXiv or elsewhere -- but because it's too much of a pain to read on-screen, I end up printing out several papers a week (dozens or hundreds of pages) just to read and then throw away. Stacks of printouts are gathering chalk dust on my desk, because I need to refer to them frequently, and don't want to print out a fresh copy every time I want to do that. People who complain that this device doesn't have a full-color touchscreen with video capabilities are missing the point: this is meant to replace your printer, not your computer.

    Also, while I'm not a fan of DRM, it still beats the heck out of the "edition wars" in textbook publishing. Because used book sales hurt the market for new books, publishers charge an extortionate amount of money for new textbooks and constantly release new editions (sometimes with trivial changes, like rearranged exercises) to depreciate the value of used books. All else being equal, I'd rather see $40 electronic textbooks that can't be sold back, rather than $200 hardcover monstrosities that get "revised" every other year. (Of course, while this may be the lesser evil, it's still an evil -- I'd much rather assign a book that's freely available, or available in a cheap Dover paperback edition, than do either of these -- so don't flame me, please!)

    Cheers,
    IT

    • I have file cabinets full of journal papers printed out and paperclipped and driving me nuts when I need to find something.

      This would make my life exactly 241.3 times easier.

      One wish/hope: that it's got a faster implementation/hardware than the Kindle 1.0 that I have. I'd really love to be able to search/browse/flip through paper PDFs as fast as I can click, rather than just at "reading speed."

  • by Jay Maynard (54798) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @01:25PM (#27848155) Homepage

    If the Kindle DX had a color display, I'd have ordered one already as a paperless cockpit solution for my airplane. I need to see charts in color. Yes, I know that a big part of the charm of the Kindle is the e-ink display, which enables long battery life...but I'll give some part of that up to get color. I really don't want to spend a couple of kilobucks on a tablet PC.

    • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

      I'd guess that the supposedly upcoming Apple Tablet (Mega-iPhone?) is probably more in line with what you need. I think Amazon is pretty devoted to the e-Ink side, and it'll still be a few years until color is ready there, from everything I've read.

  • Would give me free e-book versions of the dead tree books I already purchased through amazon, it would be a done deal. I'd buy one today. Hell, I'd be willing to tear the covers off each book I bought and send it in to them to prove I haven't/won't resell them.
  • I was totally ready to pre-order one, until that price showed up on Amazon. Seriously, $489?? Wallet was put firmly back in the pocket.

    I was willing to forgive the greyscale only issue, but I know the natural evolution will require color. Many textbooks and even newspapers fail without color to distinguish things. I was willing to sign up for a $10-15/month subscription to something like the Times to get one for say $200... I am not about to spend almost $500 up front to then have to pay $10-15 for every su

    • by Knara (9377)

      Wut?

      The Kindle 2 is ~$350 and the Kindle DX is larger and about $100 more. Not sure exactly what you were expecting in terms of price.

  • A PDF Reader is a benefit?

    Well, I suppose. In the same way that an amputation is a benefit against gangrene.

    PDFs bork almost all of the advantages of ereaders. You can't choose your own typeface, size, kerning, or leading. You can't reflow as desired. You are locked into whatever "page size" the original author decided for you. For anything other than printing onto standard paper sizes, PDFs are a loss.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cochonou (576531)
      But being printed on standard paper is the actual fate of the immense majority of documents. Standard size PDF documents are what people want to be able to read on their ereaders, in order to replace printouts. I believe most couldn't care less about the reflowing advantages or customizable typefaces brought by ereaders.
  • by EdZ (755139)
    An ebook reader with a reasonable resolution, at an almost affordable price? Sold! Or it would be, if Amazon would deign to offer it to the world that exists outside of the US.
  • Hrm, my Boss' wife just received the previous model for her birthday (just received as in about 20 minutes ago). I helped her through the registration, getting a few books that she was interested in and tinkered around the menus. I'll have to say, this is a product that I really didn't think anything of, but after a few minutes I actually managed to warm up to it. Kind of reminds me of Steam, a commercial (DRM'd) product that doesn't seem to have the express goal of screwing the consumer and conquering ever

  • by sekra (516756) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @02:10PM (#27848915)
    I don't want the reader to rotate into landscape mode when lying down in bed on the side to read.
  • by Eil (82413) on Wednesday May 06, 2009 @04:38PM (#27850907) Homepage Journal

    I'll buy one when they don't come with a useless space-occupying damn physical keyboard.

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