The 9.7-inch version of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, the Kindle DX, is now available for $489 via Amazon’s Website. The larger display and features such as active PDF support make the DX better suited for newspapers, business documents and large-format books such as textbooks, the company says.
Amazon has also signed a deal with The New York Times and two other newspapers, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, to distribute a lower-cost version of the Kindle DX to users who sign up for long-term subscriptions. In addition to signing deals with major newspapers, Amazon also announced that three of the top five textbook publishers-Cengage Learning, Pearson and Wiley-and more than 75 University Press publishers will be making their products available to the Kindle Store starting in the fall.
The DX is just over one-third of an inch in depth and supports 3G wireless access. The 3.3GB of storage can hold approximately 3,500 books, while the active PDF support means business documents will display on the screen without the need to pan, zoom or scroll.
Although Amazon’s 6-inch Kindle 2, priced at $359, and the DX have garnered the most media attention in the e-reader market, potential buyers-including business professionals looking to invest in a productivity tool-have other options to consider. One company in particular, iRex Technologies, is making a serious push into the business world with its own line of large-screen e-readers.
iRex’s iLiad offers an 8.1-inch screen and an integrated touch sensor board utilizing EMR (electromagnetic resonance) technology with a stylus to allow swift manipulation of larger documents. The iLiad also wirelessly syncs with your computer through iLiad Companion Software. The company’s Digital Reader 1000S displays documents on a 10-inch E Ink screen and allows users to make notes on the screen. Though the price is steep ($859), the product is squarely aimed at business users who are looking more to manipulate and upload documents than to read books. Although the 1000S offers no Wi-Fi connectivity, for an extra $100 users will soon be able to purchase the 1000W, which does.
The Ectaco JetBook’s display is only 5 inches diagonally across and it weighs just 7.5 ounces, but it comes with its own collection of books preinstalled. Ectaco’s Website emphasizes the JetBook’s impressive multilingual capacity, useful to the international business traveler.
Although unlikely to hit markets until 2010, Plastic Logic says its e-reader will sport an 8.5-inch screen and support a range of business document formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.