The Kindle DX (graphite), an ereader which launched in July 2010, is now available for a mere $189.
That’s over a third off the asking price when I last checked in June, but don’t let that convince you to buy it. My competition was the first to catch the sale, and he thinks that this device is too old and too limited in functionality to be worth buying. I agree with him, and it’s not just that I think a $200 tablet would be a better value.
No, my main objection is the poor PDF support and the fact that this ereader is missing nearly all of the features found on current Kindles. The DX hasn’t been updated since 2010, and that means it doesn’t have cool features like KF8, X-Ray, Kindle Cloud, or Whispersync for Voice.
Heck, the Kindle DX doesn’t even make a decent digital textbook platform. That was why the first model was launched in 2009, and Amazon made sure to arrange for a number of pilot programs to promote the idea. Unfortunately for Amazon pilots uniformly concluded that the Kindle DX was too slow and too feature limited to work well with textbooks. In fact, at this point it’s not nearly as fast as your average textbook app on Android or iOS, and it also has fewer features.
I think you’d be better off with a Kindle Fire 8.9 or some other tablet.
But even though I don’t think you should buy the Kindle DX in this sale I am still excited to see it go on sale. I am hoping that this is a sign that Amazon is going to release a replacement.
This goes beyond the usual tech blogger speculating on the latest news; I’m hoping for a new Kindle DX because one, new gadgetry is cool, and two, it would explain why Amazon brought the Kindle DX back from the grave earlier this year.
Amazon discontinued the Kindle DX in October 2012 and then revived the ereader 8 months later. This made little sense at the time, but today I have a theory to explain it.
I wonder if perhaps Amazon brought back the Kindle DX because they were responding to the Kobo Aura HD. Kobo’s ereader has a head-turning 6.8″ screen with a jaw-dropping resolution of 1440 x 1080. I could see the possibility that Amazon might not want to be upstaged by Kobo so they decided to launch a larger Kindle again.
If I am right then the current Kindle DX is just a placeholder for the new model (we can call it the Paperwhite XL). I would further speculate that the new model would have a 9.7″ screen with a touchscreen and a resolution higher than 1536 x 2048. That is the screen resolution that Bookeen teased us with in their contest a couple months ago.
The interesting thing about that screen resolution is that if it belonged to a 9.7″ screen then the screen would have sharpness about the same as the Aura HD (265 ppi).
Doesn’t it make sense that Amazon would want a Kindle with a screen bigger and sharper than the Kobo Aura HD?
I think so, but what do you think?