The Big Kindle Gets Better and Cheaper

By  |  Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 10:13 am

A little over a year ago, Amazon.com released the Kindle DX–an e-reader with a big 9.7″ display and a big $489 pricetag. The DX hasn’t changed since then, but the world around it sure has. For one thing, the price premium over the smaller Kindle keeps growing–it started out costing $130 more, but last month’s Kindle price cut left the DX costing $300 more than the little guy. Oh, and the DX cost only $10 less than the cheapest version of the similarly-sized, far more colorful and versatile iPad.

Now the Kindle DX is evolving to reflect the e-book landscape as of mid-2010. Amazon plans to start shipping a new version on July 7th with a graphite-colored-case and an improved E-Ink screen with 50 percent better contrast. I’ve always had issues with the E-Ink displays on Kindles and other devices: For all their power-efficient, non-reflective virtues, they’ve always looked like dark gray ink on light gray paper…sort of like a poorly-printed paperback on cheapo newsprint. So I’m curious to see how much better the new DX screen is at doing the thing that Amazon has always claimed Kindle displays do: read like real paper.

Amazon is also chopping $110 off the DX’s pricetag, leaving it at $379–a lot more expensive than the small Kindle, but meaningfully cheaper than the iPad.

When I reviewed the original DX, my biggest reservation was the fact that newspapers and magazines didn’t really take advantage of its larger display to look, well, more like newspapers and magazines. They pretty much just splayed plain text over a larger amount of real estate. I’m not sure whether their presentation has improved over the past year–the Washington Post image here is fancier than anything I saw back then–but the iPad sure has raised the bar for repurposing of print content into electronic form. I wonder how much of a market there will be for an e-reader that lacks both the temptingly low prices of the small Kindle and the Nook and the visual splendor and Swiss Army versatility of the iPad?

 
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3 Comments For This Post

  1. kidTruant Says:

    That's all well and good… but how do you spend that much money on a black and white ereader? Reaching this $350+ price point makes the iPad is a better overall choice, as it offers Kindle app access already, not to mention everything else on the device. I like my Kindle hardware (I have the 2nd gen smaller version) and it's great for travel. My iPad just offers ebooks and a whole lot more.

  2. Tom B Says:

    They'll have to start giving them away "Buy one/ get one" like the failing Android platform has been doing to goose "sales".

  3. Ben Lee Says:

    I expected Amazon to lower the price a lot more than this. But, I guess they can now justify NOT lowering the price much by pointing to the new screen technology. 50% better contrast sounds cool, but hard to tell until we actually see it. I didn't think the current Vizplex screens were bad at all, so I expect to be totally satisfied by this new screen as well.

    Am still hoping they lower the price of this baby by the time Kindle 3 arrives. Thanks again for bringing the news. You can see more of my comments on this news on my new post: http://ebookreader-ben.com/amazons-latest-kindle-

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