Earlier this month, Amazon announced its new, larger Kindle DX, due out this summer. The DX is magazine-size with a 9.7 inch screen compared to the 6-inch screen of the Kindle 2. The DX has a rotating screen so you can read in either portrait or landscape mode; a built-in PDF reader, no conversion required (a much sought after feature); wireless connection and Amazon’s new, somewhat controversial Read-to-Me text to speech capability.
The new device is designed to enhance reading of newspapers and textbooks, and I can see where the larger size will be helpful in viewing graphics. I’ve had a Kindle for almost a year and a half ago, and one of the few downsides I’ve found is that graphs and photos are often so tiny as to be meaningless. Gadget purists are upset about the lack of a slot for a storage card in the newer models, but Amazon claims the increased memory makes an SD card unnecessary.
The pre-order cost of $489.00 will no doubt chase away some readers, esp. during tough economic times, but I think the Kindle is here to stay. The smaller Kindle 2 is still available for $359.00 and there are some used first generation Kindles available for $250.00 and up.
On the POD front, I found an interesting blog post about the Espresso Book Machine. Personally, I’d love to see one of these in every bookstore.