Last fall I posed this question to Med Students: Would a College Edition of Kindle be Worth it? I earned a couple of great responses. Today, Amazon.com has announced a new, larger screened version of the Kindle, called Kindle DX.
The Kindle DX retails for $489 (the standard Kindle is $359), and is available for pre-orders now on Amazon. It is expected to ship this summer.
As I wrote before, it would do wonders for the weight of your backpack to have one of these instead of many large textbooks. And according to cnet, College Textbook publishers are already on board.
As expected, education is a big market for the bigger Kindle. Amazon has partnered with textbook manufacturers Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Wiley to bring textbooks to the Kindle–which Bezos says make up 60 percent of the textbook market–as well as Arizona State University, Princeton University, Reed College, the University of Virginia, and Case Western Reserve University to launch a Kindle DX pilot program this fall.
“We’re going to get students with smaller backpacks, less load, easier access,” said Bezos, who then introduced Case Western president Barbara Snyder. She said that the university would be seeing how study habits and the learning process change with the use of Kindles as textbook replacements. (1)
One dvice.com writer agrees with the assessment that it would be a great tool for college. They had two writers both give their first impressions of the Kindle DX; one a newbie to e-book readers, and the other a Kindle veteran. The newbie commented:
I graduated from college three years ago, but I think if I had the option to use a Kindle instead of lugging my books around, I would have. The black and white doesn’t bother me so much as the screen is crisp, and a color version would jack the cost up far higher than the already steep $489. (2)
You may be wondering what the Kindle DX can do as far as highlighting and annotating, if it’s going to be taken seriously by college students. It has annotation and highlighting features that are easy to use, and you can pull that “My Clippings” file from the Kindle, essentially sharing your notes with other Kindle users.
The Kindle DX has a 9.7-inch display with 16 shades of gray, versus the standard Kindle’s 6-inch display, and that display can also be rotated lengthwise.
Another thing that Amazon is hoping the Kindle will help to save newspapers from potential closure:
The publications participating are The New York Times, The Boston Globe (owned, and recently nearly shut down, by the New York Times Company), and The Washington Post.
Arthur Sulzberger Jr., chairman of the New York Times Company, said that the Times and the Globe will first be available on the Kindle DX in markets where home delivery is not available.
The Kindle DX showcases “our commitment to reinvention and to taking full advantage of digital media,” Sulzberger said, “which are providing a compelling laboratory for entrepreneurs, for technologists, and of course for journalists. The new Kindle DX is an important milestone in the convergence between print and digital.”
“Newspapers have been an absolute bestseller on Kindle,” Bezos said. “People love waking up in the morning to find that their New York Times, their Washington Post, their Wall Street Journal have been ‘automagically’ delivered overnight. They like the fact that when they travel their subscription follows them around.”
That’s not to mention the number of books now available on the Kindle. When they launched the original Kindle eighteen months ago, they had 90,000 books available. When they launched Kindle 2 three months ago, they had 230,000 books available. The count has gone up by 45,000 books in the last three months, showing an accelerating growth pattern in terms of content.
Again, I pose the question: Med Students, and any other students for that matter: would you consider using the Kindle? I’ve included a poll as well, in which you can vote for as many options as you want.