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Amazon unveils 9.7-inch Kindle DX with focus on education

post #1 of 248
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Amazon on Tuesday introduced the Kindle DX, a new multi-purpose version of its digital eBook reader that, thanks to a 2.5 times larger screen, is garnering the support of several universities, newspapers and textbook publishers who've announce pilot programs around the device.

Thinner than most magazines at just over a third of an inch, the $489 Kindle DX sports a large 9.7-inch e-ink paper display with 16 shades of gray, making it ideal for newspapers, magazines, and graphic-rich textbooks that include an assortment of images, tables, charts, and equations.

Also new to the DX model is an Auto-Rotation feature for displaying content in landscape or portrait mode, and a built-in PDF reader leveraging Adobe Reader Mobile technology. Like other types of documents on Kindle, users can email their PDF format documents to their Kindle email address or move them over using a USB connection.

Each Kindle DX ships with 3.3 GB of memory, which Amazon says is sufficient for storing up to 3,500 books, or more than double that of the Kindle 2 (unboxing, review). The online bookseller will also automatically back up a copy of every Kindle book purchased so users can wirelessly re-download titles from their library at any time.

Like the Kindle 2, the DX model connects to Amazon's 3G-based Whispernet for wireless book shopping and is capable of downloading new content in "less than 60 seconds." The wireless service is included in the price of each Kindle DX, meaning users won't need to seek out Wi-Fi hot spots or access a PC to transfer and purchase content. The device also automatically syncs content across Kindle, Kindle 2, and the Kindle for iPhone app.

"Personal and professional documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that youll find yourself changing ink-toner cartridges less often," said Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos. "Cookbooks, computer books, and textbooks anything highly formatted also shine on the Kindle DX. Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package."

Several high-circulation newspapers include The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post each have announced pilots with Kindle DX this summer, where they'll offer the device at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is not available and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers.



Educational institutions and book publishers are also throwing their support behind Amazon's big-screen device. Textbook publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley, which together make up more than 60 percent of the U.S. higher education textbook market, will all begin offering textbooks through the Kindle Store beginning this summer.

Textbook brands published by those companies include Addison-Wesley, Allyn & Bacon, Benjamin Cummings, Longman & Prentice Hall (Pearson); Wadsworth, Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Heinle, Schirmer, South-Western (Cengage); and Wiley Higher Education.



With the first batch of Kindle-formatted textbooks on the way, Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia have each announce plans to launch trial programs that will make Kindle DX devices available to students this fall.

These schools have agreed to distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students spread across a broad range of academic disciplines, Amazon said. In addition to reading their course material on a larger screen, students can take advantage of existing Kindle features such as the ability to take notes and highlight, search across their library, look up words in a built-in dictionary, and carry all of their books in a single lightweight device.



The Kindle DX holds enormous potential to influence the way students learn, said Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University. We look forward to seeing how the device affects the participation of both students and faculty in the educational experience.

Textbooks aside, Amazon said there are more than 275,000 traditional books available in the Kindle Store, including 107 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers. Most of those books and other new release are priced at $9.99. Many top U.S. and international magazines and newspapers, as well as more than 1,500 blogs, are also available.

Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for the Kindle DX through its online store on a first-come, first-served basis ahead of availability planned for sometime this summer. A guided tour of the new eBook reader is also available at Amazon.com.
post #2 of 248
I can't wait for the Apple device that will probably run on Verizon.

Color, OS programs, email, just hope we are not raped by a contract.

Should work well with iPhone, Mobile Me. It's happening.
post #3 of 248
If I went with something like this, I still think I wouldn't want either of those major newspapers on it. I don't think these guys get what's happening yet. They're still seeing the future through their own rear view mirrors.
post #4 of 248
"Cupertino, start your copiers!"

Or was it Redmond?
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post #5 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Each Kindle DX ships with 3.3 GB of memory

Why the 3.3GB, why not 3GB or 4GB?
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post #6 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiimamac View Post

I can't wait for the Apple device that will probably run on Verizon.

Color, OS programs, email, just hope we are not raped by a contract.

Should work well with iPhone, Mobile Me. It's happening.

You make a lot of assumptions. I hope they come to fruition but have seen nothing that shows any signs that any of them are likely.
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post #7 of 248
I don't get it. Who buys these? What's the demographic? The technology isn't bad; I get it, but really... $489/$359? to read on a e-ink, or whatever it is in black & white. If it were a $100, I'd consider getting one for my dad.
post #8 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

Why the 3.3GB, why not 3GB or 4GB?

It may have 4GB with 768MB or so reserved for firmware.


For $490 I can buy a pretty nice laptop, with a full-color screen. They really need to get the pricing down on these things.
post #9 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by diskimage View Post

Why the 3.3GB, why not 3GB or 4GB?

I figure the firmware and drivers are taking up the rest.
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post #10 of 248
err thanks for coming, Amazon.
post #11 of 248
First off, I don't see how this is Apple related news, aside from the fact there already is Kindle for iPhone. I read this on the BBC first anyhow...

Though when I was a student, I would have loved this device to bring with me to class instead of a laptop. Most college classes I took had the professor talking about the readings, and I would take notes on the PDF they had us download. I hated the fact that the computer took so long to boot before I could open the PDF (1-3 minutes while the teacher has already started lecture!). So yeah... I guess I'm a few years too late.

I am curious, how will text book prices on the Kindle compare to physical text book prices. Seeing that the DX is so much (about the total I spent on text books per semester) I wonder if it really will gain any ground. Though we do know the price is due to the the no contracts with Sprint 3G...
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post #12 of 248
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Originally Posted by dasein View Post

If I went with something like this, I still think I wouldn't want either of those major newspapers on it. I don't think these guys get what's happening yet. They're still seeing the future through their own rear view mirrors.

Yeah, the course book angle makes sense (even though they pointedly don't say how much the students will pay for the device), but this thing seems designed overall as a technological replacement for people that currently buy and read newspapers.

The number of people who get their news by reading newspapers is very small nowadays, especially relevant to the potential market for such devices, and most people who still read them, read the "free" newspapers (which are actually propaganda/advertisement flyers disguised as newspapers but that's another story).
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post #13 of 248
It's white and thin. But Apple has phased out the white look- now prefers metal and black. Is it environmetaly friendly? Kind of expensive- will wait to see what Apple delivers (WHEN???). But def interested.
post #14 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post

For $490 I can buy a pretty nice laptop, with a full-color screen. They really need to get the pricing down on these things.

Yes, you can, but this isn't a notebook. Comparing this to a notebook is like comparing an iPod Touch to a notebook, they all have their purposes. Some aspects cross over but their main uses and capabilities are very different from each other.
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post #15 of 248
Somewhere a little child is smiling that this will replace his/her Jumbo napsack they lug everyday.
post #16 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

The number of people who get their news by reading newspapers is very small nowadays, especially relevant to the potential market for such devices, and most people who still read them, read the "free" newspapers (which are actually propaganda/advertisement flyers disguised as newspapers but that's another story).

Unless they sell newspapers formatted to fit on the device and easy to navigate it doesn't seem like a likely replacement, though it is a step in the right direction if they want to make these common. I still think colour has to be introduced with an ecceptable level to recreate magazines before this will catch on. Maybe melgross is right that low power OLEDs and super efficient batteries are more likely before E-Ink will evolve.
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post #17 of 248
Having just been involved in choosing a texkbook for the organic chemistry course for next semester, we looked at several options that were well over $300/student for the course (I work at a major public university), the price for the Kindle isn't too absurd, particularly given some of the advantages of an e-reader. What I would like to see is the ability to write notes in the margins of things. It would be incredibly useful for me in keeping and filing papers for research if I could.
post #18 of 248
it doesn't seem that much larger for $100+.
while is makes sense to market this towards education - where will all the kiddies get their exercise from if they only have to carry this device around?
post #19 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

"Cupertino, start your copiers!"

Or was it Redmond?

Cute, but I'm sure Apple has had similar (looking) devices in R&D for several years, if not longer. Honestly, it's been 20 years since they first started development of the Newton.

You don't think all the research into case design and materials was for not; they're looking for the best way to build strong, sturdy cases for thin devices.
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post #20 of 248
I just can't get over the sticker shock.
I understand, the hardware costs and wireless contract up the price, but I can't see this really flying until they can at least get the price down to $300. At that price, you could justify $100-200 of that for the lifetime wireless, and $200-100 as cost to overcome with electronic book discounts.

Sure it would be nice to have access to a huge library electronically, and the weight savings, but still, price, color, and multifunctionality need to get on there. I don't see those happening from a completely subjective point for perhaps 3-5 years.

Meanwhile, that's just a few iterations of modified iPhones/iPod Touches, and I could see that outpacing Kindle technology if Apple works in conjunction with Google's digital library project (and I'm sure Android will have that capability too.)
post #21 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by walletinspector View Post

it doesn't seem that much larger for $100+.
while is makes sense to market this towards education - where will all the kiddies get their exercise from if they only have to carry this device around?

There is a lot more than a screen size increase.
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post #22 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Yeah, the course book angle makes sense (even though they pointedly don't say how much the students will pay for the device), but this thing seems designed overall as a technological replacement for people that currently buy and read newspapers.

The number of people who get their news by reading newspapers is very small nowadays, especially relevant to the potential market for such devices, and most people who still read them, read the "free" newspapers (which are actually propaganda/advertisement flyers disguised as newspapers but that's another story).

I don't think people who read newspapers are such a small group.

The problems newspapers are having are related more to the drop in advertising, than dropping readership, though that has declined.

There are likely a good 50 million or more people who read newspapers around the country.

But just like magazines, newsstand and subscription charges don't pay the bills. Advertising does, and when that drops, as it has over the years, newspapers have to drop pages and coverage. That costs readership.

I don't see how this is going to help. Papers will sell this at a lower cost to those who are willing to pay for a long term subscription. What does that mean? Three years? Five years?

We subscribe the the NY Times and the WSJ, but for one year at a time. I subscribe to magazines for three years at a time, but magazine subscriptions are so very much cheaper.

The WSJ subscription costs us $300 a year, and the NY Times, which we pay in two installments, costs $500 for a year, including the Sunday Times edition.

That's a lot of money.

How many people are going to take multiple year contracts out so as to get a discount on this? Not very many I'm sure. I won't.

As for textbooks, well, we'll have to see just how fast these publishers are willing to put their thousands of books in usable electronic form for this to be useful. The lack of color is going to hamper them given that almost all use color, and many are dependent on it. 16 greyshades aren't all that great.

How much will a publisher let a $100 text go for here. If it's $50 then that's good, but old copies can be bought for that price, or even less. Unless they will give students this device, or let them cheaply rent it, I can't see them buying one.

I'm willing to bet that we'll see a few high profile wins for this, but no sales figures released, just like the first one, and then we'll stop hearing much about it.
post #23 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Somewhere a little child is smiling that this will replace his/her Jumbo napsack they lug everyday.

There is NO way that a "little child" will be carrying these expensive devices to school and back every day. If they don't break them, they will get lost or stolen. As a parent, I would have had to think very carefully about letting my child take the chance that someone wouldn't try to take it away, and that during that incident, my child wouldn't get hurt.
post #24 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by iCarbon View Post

Having just been involved in choosing a texkbook for the organic chemistry course for next semester, we looked at several options that were well over $300/student for the course (I work at a major public university), the price for the Kindle isn't too absurd, particularly given some of the advantages of an e-reader. What I would like to see is the ability to write notes in the margins of things. It would be incredibly useful for me in keeping and filing papers for research if I could.

Two very good points. It makes sense for textbooks, probably paying for itself the first few years. Writing in the margins is a habit of mine as well that I would miss.

Physically printed stuff is designed as a large-as-possible-cast net to appeal to all (Sunday's newspaper). "News" needs to be rethought from the bottom up, starting with editor's picks (I'd like that job for myself...seriously) and original documents. I can switch channels easy...can't do that with a newspaper. Clearing houses are closer to originals. NYTimes et al., are just middle men...packaging people if you will. I shouldn't need them. What I would like to go with hardware like this is a selection process tailored to me, not imposed on me by some editor at a large newspaper. RSS type subscriptions seem headed in the right direction. I guess we'll find out in 5-10 years.
post #25 of 248
This one looks much better than the previous one.

Apple don't need to make ebook reader, they only need a touch tablet. The reader can be a software by Amazon.
post #26 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by f00fighters View Post

I don't get it. Who buys these? What's the demographic? The technology isn't bad; I get it, but really... $489/$359? to read on a e-ink, or whatever it is in black & white. If it were a $100, I'd consider getting one for my dad.

Paraphrasing what SJ said for BR, it's a damn bag of hurt. The Kindle, in any of its variants, is an unremarkable piece of expensive CRAP, despite Amazon's "good" intentions.

Almost 500 dollars for a monochromatic, bulky and extremely limited device? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

And no, comparisons with similar comments for the iPod when it was first launched are not appropriate. The versatility of Apple's media players has been, from day one, WAY higher than that of the Kindle. A nice effort by Amazon, but that's all...no relevant markets are gonna replace their paper matter en masse, and few students will adopt it as the de facto substitute for textbooks.

The Kindle is just a nice device, whose potential will surely be better explored in much better iterations by companies like Apple. The KINDLE IS DEAD.
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post #27 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isomorphic View Post

For $490 I can buy a pretty nice laptop, with a full-color screen. They really need to get the pricing down on these things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by f00fighters View Post

I don't get it. Who buys these? What's the demographic? The technology isn't bad; I get it, but really... $489/$359? to read on a e-ink, or whatever it is in black & white. If it were a $100, I'd consider getting one for my dad.

Good luck on getting a device and free 3G for a hundred bucks (legally at least) - and one you can rotate portrait to landscape (which makes the screen "bigger" in use) - and with this battery life - and which you can read with much less eye fatigue over hours.

none of which make it an assured success as Melgross notes, but understand what you're evaluating to make comparisons so lightly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

First off, I don't see how this is Apple related news, aside from the fact there already is Kindle for iPhone.

Well for one thing, Amazon just bought the App company that brought it out, and the largest retailer on the net is the most serious competition to the iTunes store for music downloads.

These days Amazon news is Apple News is Google news is Mozilla News is MS news is cellco news is Intel news is PA Semi news, etc. with all the overlap, co-operation, competition, "co-opetition" and so forth.

And which is why Google and Apple are getting a knuckle rap from the gov't over their incestuously crossed boards....

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post #28 of 248
Kindle offers many more buttons per dollar than the iPhone/touch, the colorblind are no longer disadvantaged, horizontal view doesn't confusingly rotate the keyboard and controls, and PDF support brings the user into the 20th century. The Grey Lady returns with a vengeance--at a high-class price! I don't see any room for Apple here.
post #29 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by f00fighters View Post

I don't get it. Who buys these? What's the demographic? The technology isn't bad; I get it, but really... $489/$359? to read on a e-ink, or whatever it is in black & white. If it were a $100, I'd consider getting one for my dad.

"Amazon unveils 9.7-inch Kindle DX with focus on education"

And yes, a researcher would love to have all their papers to hand on a device like this. It has full text search, annotation ability (hence the keyboard), bookmarks, everything that you would do in a normal book.

Too expensive for people who want to read a newspaper every day and not much else, and it's a few years worth of books for someone like me who doesn't get a lot of time to read.
post #30 of 248
For texts in my fields (Biology & Chemistry), color illustrations and diagrams are critical to understanding the material. Grayscale isn't going to cut it.

And yes, I don't care that the technology isn't there yet for color e-paper. This kindle isn't very useful for my purposes and others without color.
post #31 of 248
I have owned a Kindle (1stG) since July 2008. I love it. I take it everywhere. I subscribe to the LA Times on it.

My experience is that the people that think the Kindle is stupid are largely people that haven't used it. I absolutely love reading books and the newspaper on it.

First, books... It's lighter than most paperbacks and easier to hold. Lying down, I can hold it with one hand easily for an hour or longer. Without the cover it's even lighter! Sitting at a table, I can eat and read no problem. I no longer have to prop the book open with some heavy object. And, I turn the page with a pinky finger if I like.

I can carry multiple books with me and read them any time. Personally, I'm usually reading at least two books at a given time. One for fun and one for professional development. So, it's awesome to be able to carry those, plus the newspaper in one small package.

I will admit that a lot of times I see a newspaper story that I read on Digg or Newsvine already. But, usually, the Times goes into more depth. There are lots of stories in the Times that I don't find on the web. I have noticed that I read the paper differently than I read the web. I like getting the paper on my Kindle. Personally, I have always read the newspaper in a linear fashion so the formatting on the Kindle doesn't bother. The only thing I wish was that there was a two or three sentence summary of the article in the article view. That way I could easily skip over stories I'm not interested in.

I love that I don't have to feel guilty about tossing the newspaper in the trash/recycling when I'm done with it. Kindles don't kill trees!

I would suggest that people who don't think the Kindle is a really great device might not understand what it's used for and it's advantages because the haven't used on. Kindles are not really for everyone. They are for people that like to read. If you don't like reading books and newspapers and magazines, you will likely not want to spend your money on a Kindle. I'm so happy I have one and I will likely upgrade on the color screens. I like the large format one for textbooks. Anyone that doesn't realize how amazing that is has probably not been to college. If you carry your laptop to class, you are probably taking notes on it. Do you really want to be tabbing back and forth between a pdf and your word processor? Please. Imagine having your textbook open in front of you in a small form factor that doesn't have physical pages you either have to hold down or turn (just button presses!).

Oh, and you can highlight and make notes on the Kindle. The notes are bookmarked and stored. I don't do that, but I know you can.

One really overlooked feature... the dictionary on the Kindle. You can look up a word right in the middle of reading. It's way better than it sounds. People gloss over that all the time and I'm not sure why. I was always too lazy to look up words, I just would guess from context. No more guessing! And, you learn more.

Battery life: because of the eInk, the battery last a really long time. Turn off the whispernet and it will last days without a charge. Laptops last a few hours at best.
post #32 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

For texts in my fields (Biology & Chemistry), color illustrations and diagrams are critical to understanding the material. Grayscale isn't going to cut it.

And yes, I don't care that the technology isn't there yet for color e-paper. This kindle isn't very useful for my purposes and others without color.

The first few revs of a little computer called "Macintosh" were disparaged and even ridiculed for being B&W - and lots of people who liked it otherwise didn't buy.

Still, last I heard, it hung in and got past that.....

..doesn't mean Kindle will follow the same arc, but I'm watching the pioneers take the arrows with interest.....

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post #33 of 248
The thing about Amazon unlike the Apple store, you can't just go check it out in person. I'm interested in the text to speech part for a blind friend. I'm curious if the mobile Acrobat Reader includes all the accessibility functions and that the Kindle can tab around the page to read the tags and annotations properly.

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post #34 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiimamac View Post

I can't wait for the Apple device that will probably run on Verizon.

Color, OS programs, email, just hope we are not raped by a contract.

Should work well with iPhone, Mobile Me. It's happening.

Wrong.
post #35 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurp13 View Post

I have owned a Kindle (1stG) since July 2008. I love it. I take it everywhere. I subscribe to the LA Times on it.

My experience is that the people that think the Kindle is stupid are largely people that haven't used it. I absolutely love reading books and the newspaper on it.

I agree the Kindle is cute and would be handy but IMHO it's a half-assed solution that I choose not to settle for. The book selection is still quite limited, technical books are almost as pricey as their hard versions, even the 9.7" display will feel cramped when images are only B&W and can't be zoomed. I've got a Mac with large color display and virtually unlimited storage. Why can't I buy color soft books for it from Amazon? I've got an iPhone with Kindle software that doesn't zoom and apparently doesn't show color images other than book covers. What is Amazon's business model? If it's ideally to give away the razor (reader) and sell razor blades (books), then Amazon needs to do a lot more to improve both its razors and blades.
post #36 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

First off, I don't see how this is Apple related news, aside from the fact there already is Kindle for iPhone. I read this on the BBC first anyhow...

Though when I was a student, I would have loved this device to bring with me to class instead of a laptop. Most college classes I took had the professor talking about the readings, and I would take notes on the PDF they had us download. I hated the fact that the computer took so long to boot before I could open the PDF (1-3 minutes while the teacher has already started lecture!). So yeah... I guess I'm a few years too late.

I am curious, how will text book prices on the Kindle compare to physical text book prices. Seeing that the DX is so much (about the total I spent on text books per semester) I wonder if it really will gain any ground. Though we do know the price is due to the the no contracts with Sprint 3G...

Really? I bought the lecture notes, edited the engineering sets and if a friend needed them but couldn't afford them, at the moment, we'd photocopied a set for them to use.

Most often everyone paid for the lecture notes made well by the lecture taker which involved schematics you wouldn't do without a pencil, eraser, straight edge and more. This isn't a useful note taker in Engineering fields with application schematics.
post #37 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

"Cupertino, start your copiers!"

Or was it Redmond?

Actually, the larger Kindle's profile in that image of it on that ladies palm in the AI post kind of looks like the bottom half of the MacBook Air just a different color.

Google started their copiers!

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post #38 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurp13 View Post

I have owned a Kindle (1stG) since July 2008. I love it. I take it everywhere. I subscribe to the LA Times on it.

My experience is that the people that think the Kindle is stupid are largely people that haven't used it. I absolutely love reading books and the newspaper on it.
and it will last days without a charge.

There are a select few on here that will bash everything and anything that's not Apple.
Amazon has done an amazing job with this device. ANd- they are already on their 2nd gen.
post #39 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurp13 View Post

I have owned a Kindle (1stG) since July 2008. I love it. I take it everywhere. I subscribe to the LA Times on it.

How are newspapers formatted and organized for eBooks?
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post #40 of 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurp13 View Post

I have owned a Kindle (1stG) since July 2008. I love it. I take it everywhere. I subscribe to the LA Times on it.

My experience is that the people that think the Kindle is stupid are largely people that haven't used it. I absolutely love reading books and the newspaper on it.

...

Bravo for you. I don't waste my time carrying a device to read a print newspaper. There is a reason the LA Times is leaking money badly and > 26% drop in readership.
Enjoy that overpriced paperweight when the bulk of it's appeal [Newspapers] fall one by one to HTML5 enabled versions fully subsidized by online advertising I can read for free in my Web Browser on OS X.
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