Amazon Kindle DX eBook reader is nice but too expensive

Posted on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 by Erlik

Amazon has finally announced officially it's new "large screen" kindle eBook reader, and frankly I am impressed but not in a good way.

Let's look at the specs: 9.7 inches 1200 x 824 e-ink screen, PDF reader, 4 Gb flash storage, connection to Amazon wireless network in the US and... that's it.

Then comes the bad part: the price.
$489 for an eBook reading machine!
$489 when Sony's eBook reader only cost $279!
$489 for what is in essence a low functionality ARM based 10' netbook with a fancy screen! We expected these to sell for half that price!

They must be joking. The Kindle 2was already kind of a luxury item reserved for people who read a lot, but this is too much: some laptops cost less than this for pete sake! To me this is not a consumer item anymore but something for the professional reader, the one who is flipping page most of it's working hours and can't take the strain of a laptop LCD screen. If you only read casually use your iPhone! Or your netbook! Or your smartphone!

Let's look at what you get with this new Kindle DX: an e-ink screen that is very comfortable and readable outside but slow to turn pages, a permanent connection to what is probably the largest eBook library (and almost a monopoly since the purchase of stanza) and a PDF reader. To me this is not worth $489, I'll continue to read on my netbook and my palm treo, they have free PDF and eBooks readers thank you!

What impresses me is that Amazon managed to go in the wrong direction so much. Books are cheap, paperbacks cost only a few bucks each. What most consumer expects from ebooks is "as cheap as books, but more convenient". Instead we have a solution that is very expensive. The only good point is the PDF reader (something the kindle should have had from the start). For me the solution to make the kindle popular is to take the Kindle 2and cut the price by $100, not make it bigger & more expensive.

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