Will the third time be the charm for Kindle? Amazon certainly hopes so, as it has high hopes for the freshly announced Kindle DX (and no, it's not the Degeneration X model). Boasting a "9.7-inch diagonal E-Ink electronic paper display, 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150ppi , 16-level gray scale", this is the largest Kindle to date. Amazon hopes that the larger format will be attractive to customers that enjoy reading newspapers. Aside from the bigger screen and a nifty auto-orientation feature, it's largely the same as the Kindle 2. Naturally, the latest model has a higher price tag: $489.
While the new display shows off the complete awesomeness of E-Ink, there are a few problems I see with the Kindle DX. Firstly, I'm not buying all this talk of the Kindle DX "saving newspapers". I'm pretty positive that it's too late for that. Even if I'm wrong about the declining importance of newspapers, the Kindle DX isn't what's going to save them. With the increasing number of television networks and quality web sites, people -- especially younger consumers -- don't find newspapers as useful, timely, or relevant as they were in the past. While I'm impressed with the Kindle, I don't think it's impressive enough to combat a cultural and generational shift.
The timing of the DX is also questionable. The Kindle 2 was announced in early February. I'm sure there are a lot of Kindle 2 customers that are pissed off by this announcement. Three months between model upgrades is a fantastic way to anger your customers. I'm surprised Amazon didn't let this one simmer for a bit.
Lastly, the price is too high and limits its mainstream appeal. While some gadget nerds might be willing to drop $489 on the Kindle DX , the price tag will probably scare off a lot of potential mainstream customers. Amazon is asking people to drop 500 bucks for a device, as well as more money for subscriptions and standalone content. That's an iffy proposition in a healthy economy. These days, some will find it laughable.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Kindle DX. Do you dig the device? What do you think of the price? Do you happen to be a disgruntled Kindle 2 owner? Leave a comment and let me know (please)! "And if you're not down with that...I got two words for ya!"