Shaking up the Textbook Market

Amazon has just announced the launch of the Kindle DX, a digital book reader with a 9.7″ diagonal screen. Their stated aim is to target the textbook market – and it will provide support for PDFs. From Wired Gadget Labs:

NEW YORK — Amazon on Wednesday launched a next generation Kindle, an e-reader with a large, textbook and newspaper-friendly screen dubbed the DX.

With a screen that measures 9.7 inches diagonally — two-and-a-half times the size of the current-gen Kindle 2 — the DX is aimed squarely at penetrating for the first time the potentially massive and untapped market of textbooks, as well offering some life support for the struggling business of subscription-based electronic newspapers.

In its product launch, hosted by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon announced partnerships with three major textbook publishers representing 60 percent of the higher-education market. He also announed that three newspapers — The New York Times, the NYTimes Co.-owned Boston Globe and The Washington Post — will offer a reduced price on the Kindle DX in exchange for a long-term subscription:

He also announced The New York Times, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post.

“A particular class of book that shines with this display is textbooks,” said Bezos. “We’re going to get students with smaller backpacks, less load.”

Among the new feature are an auto-rotating screen, technology iPhone users will be familiar with, and a native PDF reader, finally adding support in that ubiquitous digital format.

The device measures one-third of an inch thick. Shipping summer, the Kindle DX costs $489 and is available for pre-order.

Product Page [Amazon]

For those of us who’ve been producing Lulu-books, which may be marketed on Amazon, or pdf’s of research reports and other gray literature that will never darken a publisher’s door, this potentially is a game changer for how archaeological info gets out there…