Behind the Kindle Curtain: Glimpse Amazon Reader’s Jumbo Screen

In advance of Wednesday’s Amazon.com press conference about – well, something or other – Daniel Ionescu of PC World writes that “pictures and details regarding the new Kindle DX have surfaced. Amazon’s new e-book reader will have a 9.7-inch display and sports new features such as a built-in PDF reader.” This jibes with our own speculations.

It’s being referred to as the DX but more popularly the Jumbo, and will provide users with the ability to read newspapers and magazines formatted to look like their paper counterparts, and to highlight docs and make notes. Engadget seems to have copped the above photo.

A large-screen Kindle has been rumored for some time, and it just may be that the pressure of new – potentially better? – devices on stream from competitors has forced Amazon to make a preemptive announcement. We’d all be thrilled if Jumbo Kindle and its rivals were to rescue the magazine and newspaper industry. But what really turned me on is this:

“Some universities are also gearing up for the DX. Reports say that Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, together with Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State will equip their students with a brand-new DX to carry their textbooks.

“These university students will get this autumn their chemistry and computer science texbooks on a Kindle DX while the less lucky ones will still have to go to the library to get their books says the report. Amazon’s move towards the textbook industry was expected though, as reports from as early as last year suggested the company would jump in to the $5.5 billion market.”

From the moment I set eyes on a tablet-sized device I knew this day would come. The prize for the right student-friendly portable e-book is worth billions, but the current models of Kindle, Sony, and some other small-screeners (including cell phones) are simply inadequate for textbooks, illustrated books, schoolwork and homework. Read Kindle Sequel on the Way, But Will It Play on Campus? and you’ll understand why I’m beginning to think it’s time to uncork the champagne I put on ice ten years ago.

Richard Curtis

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