Amazon Kindle DX Not Yet Practical for Business Use

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Photo: Engadget

PC World reviews the Amazon Kindle DX, a new largescreen version of the Kindle geared at newspapers, textbooks, and business users:

(The Kindle DX) has a larger screen than the Kindle 2, and is aimed squarely at maximizing the newspaper and textbook market. However, that’s not the only angle that Amazon head Jeff Bezos took today. By focusing on professional documents, too, Bezos positions Kindle DX as a business productivity tool, too.

The larger Kindle DX, with its 9.7-inch E Ink display, has an integrated native PDF reader, something that has been missing from previous versions of the Kindle. And with that PDF reader, Amazon is suddenly able to target the professional market, too. Consider for a moment how prevalent PDF documents are in the business world: Financial documents, reports, marketing flyers, even PowerPoint presentations are published as PDFs. While one can view PDFs on a laptop, imagine reading documents in a more relaxed and flexible manner than a laptop can provide.

Of course, Kindle DX also opens wide educational opportunities for textbooks — and, indeed, any highly-formatted book (such as a cookbook or a book with illustrations). And newspaper and magazine publishers have an opportunity to deliver more targeted and custom content that specifically takes advantage of this platform (instead of solely porting their existing print products to digital).

The Kindle DX costs an impressive $489. The business claim is a stretch–PDF-reading capacity alone make an expensive personal ebook reader popular among business users. Amazon will have to try harder in order to make the Kindle a truly business-friendly device. If Amazon could integrate the Kindle’s eye-friendly design into a laptop or PDA, or create a cheaper version of the large screen device, it would stand a better chance in the business market.

However, I think they’re onto something with the bigger size and textbook niche. It’s not hard to visualize college classrooms filled with large screen Kindles.