$489 is price of the Kindle DX, with the 9.7-inch screen: Summer shipment, but preorders possible today

Other details follow in this Amazon news release. We’ll have commentary later. Live blogging is happening at the New York Times (also see here), Slashgear and ZDNET. Photo is via TechCrunch. Also see Techmeme and Google roundups. Video demo here. – D.R.

image SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 6, 2009-- Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today introduced Amazon Kindle DX, the new purpose-built reading device that offers Kindle’s revolutionary wireless delivery and massive selection of content with a large 9.7-inch electronic paper display, built-in PDF reader, auto-rotate capability, and storage for up to 3,500 books. More than 275,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including 107 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers. New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases are $9.99 unless marked otherwise. Top U.S. and international magazines and newspapers plus more than 1,500 blogs are also available. Kindle DX is available for pre-order starting today for $489 at http://amazon.com/kindleDX and will ship this summer.

“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, Amazon.com 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.”

New Large Display

Kindle DX’s display has 2.5 times the surface area of Kindle’s 6-inch display. The larger electronic paper display with 16 shades of gray has more area for graphic-rich content such as professional and personal documents, newspapers and magazines, and textbooks. Kindle reads like printed words on paper because the screen works using real ink and doesn’t use a backlight, eliminating the eyestrain and glare associated with other electronic displays.

The New York Times Company and Washington Post Company are launching pilots with Kindle DX this summer. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is not available and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers.

“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 favorite 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."

Kindle DX’s large display offers an enhanced reading experience with another category of graphic-rich content—textbooks. With complex images, tables, charts, graphs, and equations, textbooks look best on a large display. Leading textbook publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley, together representing more than 60 percent of the U.S. higher education textbook market, will begin offering textbooks through the Kindle Store beginning this summer. Textbooks under the following brands will be available: Addison-Wesley, Allyn & Bacon, Benjamin Cummings, Longman & Prentice Hall (Pearson); Wadsworth, Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Heinle, Schirmer, South-Western (Cengage); and Wiley Higher Education.

Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia will launch trial programs to make Kindle DX devices available to students this fall. The schools will distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students spread across a broad range of academic disciplines. In addition to reading on a considerably larger screen, students will be able to take advantage of popular Kindle features such as the ability to take notes and highlight, search across their library, look up words in a built-in dictionary, and carry all of their books in a lightweight device.

“The Kindle DX holds enormous potential to influence the way students learn,” said Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University. “We look forward to seeing how the device affects the participation of both students and faculty in the educational experience.”

New Built-In PDF Reader

Kindle DX features a built-in PDF reader using Adobe Reader Mobile technology for reading professional and personal documents. Like other types of documents on Kindle, customers simply email their PDF format documents to their Kindle email address or move them over using a USB connection. With a larger display and built-in PDF reader, Kindle DX customers can read professional and personal documents with more complex layouts without scrolling, panning, or zooming, and without re-flowing, which destroys the original structure of the document. Everything from annual reports with graphs to flight manuals with maps to musical scores can be viewed on a single, crisp screen with Kindle DX.

New Auto-Rotation

Kindle DX’s display content auto-rotates so users can read in portrait or landscape mode, or flip the device to read with either hand. Simply turn Kindle DX and immediately see full-width landscape views of maps, graphs, tables, images, and Web pages.

New 3.3 GB Memory Holds Up To 3,500 Books

With 3.3 GB of available memory, Kindle DX can hold up to 3,500 books, compared with 1,500 with Kindle.
And because Amazon automatically backs up a copy of every Kindle book purchased, customers can wirelessly re-download titles from their library at any time.

Incredibly Thin

Kindle DX is just over a third of an inch thin, which is thinner than most magazines.

3G Wireless, No PC, No Hunting for Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Just like Kindle, Kindle DX customers automatically take advantage of Amazon Whispernet to wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content in less than 60 seconds, and read from their library—all without a PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing. Amazon still pays for the wireless connectivity on Kindle DX so books can be downloaded in less than 60 seconds—with no monthly fees, data plans, or service contracts.

Syncs With Kindle for iPhone and other Kindle Compatible Devices

Just like Kindle, Kindle DX uses Amazon Whispersync technology to automatically sync content across Kindle, Kindle DX, Kindle for iPhone, and other devices in the future. With Whispersync, customers can easily move from device to device and never lose their place in their reading.

Massive Selection of Books—Plus Newspapers, Magazines, and Blogs

The Kindle Store currently offers more than 275,000 books, including popular books like New York Times Bestsellers, New Releases, and fiction and nonfiction released in the past several years. Dozens of newspapers and magazines are also available for subscription or single-edition purchase. BusinessWeek and The New England Journal of Medicine are available in the Kindle Store starting today, and The Economist will be available soon. Subscriptions are auto-delivered wirelessly to Kindle overnight so that the latest edition is waiting for customers when they wake up. Over 1,500 blogs are available on Kindle and updated and downloaded wirelessly throughout the day.

Kindle DX includes all the other features Kindle customers enjoy every day, including:

  • Wirelessly send, receive, and read personal documents in a variety of formats such as Microsoft Word and PDF
  • Look up words instantly using the built-in 250,000 word New Oxford American Dictionary
  • Choose from six text sizes
  • Add bookmarks, notes, and highlights
  • Text-to-speech technology that converts words on a page to spoken word
  • Search Web, Wikipedia.org, Kindle Store, and your library of purchased content
  • No setup required—Kindle comes ready to use—no software to load or set up

Amazon Kindle is sold through Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Related: TeleRead link to Kindle DX page—allowing us to share revenue if you buy one. If you do, speak up for the addition of ePub.

10 Comments on $489 is price of the Kindle DX, with the 9.7-inch screen: Summer shipment, but preorders possible today

  1. I have to wonder whether $489 is a “wishful thinking” price or a stable price (i.e., what we will see in Dec 2009). The form factor will satisfy many who complained about the smaller form factor of previous devices and reduce the problems associated with resizing PDFs.

    This might apply price pressure on Kindle 2 and increase competitor’s desire to bring prices down even further.

    Another good thing about this development is that textbook publishers and newspaper publishers will have an incentive to produce content for something with a larger screen. (No announcement about epub support–that would have been nice).

  2. Good observations, Robert–especially on price pressures.

    It was already obvious, alas, that native ePub wasn’t on Amazon’s agenda. Let’s hope Jeff B and crew come around.


  3. I can see this really helping college students. But publishers would really have to bring down the price of e-textbooks to justify the $489 price.

    As for newspaper reading: Why would I pay a subscription fee for something I can read for free on my iPhone? I don’t think the Kindle DX will “save” the newspaper business.

    Anxiously waiting your analysis David & Paul! :-)

  4. Could there be a “netbook” that has the same electronic paper display as the Kindle and Sony Reader?

    If yes, we could have the best of all possible ebook reading worlds.

  5. “Kindle reads like printed words on paper because the screen works using real ink…”

    Who writes this stuff?!?

  6. LOL, Steve. Delighted I reproduced the news release so everyone could get in on the fun.


  7. Felix Torres // May 6, 2009 at 11:50 am //

    Robert Nagle: The $489 price is real; they are *selling* them at that price now. Delivery is set for summer but the price is locked-in. Bodes well for the other coming 10″ devices.

  8. @Steve and @David:

    That ugly sentence is intentional.

    That’s the newest form of copyright protection on the Kindle DX. Documents read on anything but the DX are grammatically scrambled.

    Using Amazon’s new and patented obfuscator technology.

    And for $ 10 per document (under 1 megabyte) we can upload our own murky sentences and have them converted (using Amazon’s anti-obfuscator technology) to the clear prose displayed by Amazon’s publicity staff.

  9. Unless the textbooks for this are drastically discounted, this won’t be used for text books much. There is a huge market for used text books and students can often get 50%-60% back from their books.

  10. @Steve: If, as others have suggested, the cost gets wrapped into tuition–and the colleges get to fight with the publishers over book costs–students can get over the loss of that payback (really just a bit less of a loss) at the end of the year.

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