October 17th, 2012
I own six Kindles, one of each kind — but the Kindle DX has always been my favorite. So I was sad to hear Amazon may be discontinuing it. It was one of the Kindle’s very first models — introduced in June of 2009 — but now you can no longer purchase one directly from Amazon. If you go to its web page at Amazon.com, it’s only listed as available from third-party sellers.
This is a surprise, because just a few weeks ago, Amazon seemed to suggest they’d keep selling the Kindle DX themselves. In September an Amazon Kindle executive named Jay Marine had surprised a technology site called The Verge with the news that Amazon is “pretty much done” with the Kindle DX. But the executive had also stressed that Amazon wasn’t abandoning it, though it wasn’t clear just what exactly he’d meant by that. The Verge site reported that Marine “did note that there may be a few more DX’s manufactured and it’ll continue to be sold online [my emphasis], before it completely falls off of the face of the earth.”
I guess maybe I’m just having trouble reconciling those two phrases — “continue to be sold online” and “falls completely off the face of the earth.” But Monday, NBC News reported in their technology blog that the Kindle DX would finally go “to e-reader heaven”. Calling it “one of the oldest e-readers offered by Amazon and certainly the largest”, they argued that most consumers seem to prefer devices with a smaller (and cheaper) screen. Although I think it’s worth noting that NBC’s blogger couldn’t get a definite comment from Amazon confirming that the Kindle DX was definitely being discontinued.
I think the Kindle DX turned off some shoppers with its higher-than-usual price tag. Even today in the third-party market, they’re still selling for over $250 – which is more than you’d have to pay for one of Amazon’s color, touchscreen Kindle Fire tablets! In fact, this summer when I’d tried selling off my second Kindle DX on eBay, I had trouble finding anyone who was willing to pay more than $200. Now if you’re trying to get rid of your Kindle DX, Amazon will let you trade yours in for a $90.75 gift card.
But on this day, as we say our possible goodbyes to the Kindle DX, I’d like to take a moment to offer up some appreciation. It was great for reading PDF files, because you could switch the screen’s orientation to “landscape” and then stretch the book’s pages all the way across all 10.4 inches of the screen. (In fact, I ultimately sold my second Kindle DX to a local college student, who looking forward to reading his textbooks on it!) And as one of Amazon’s earliest Kindles, it still came with built-in network connectivity (instead of requiring you to connect to a local WiFi network). I once read my Kindle DX during a camping trip up in the mountains, and it was also great if you found yourself waiting somewhere unexpectedly, like the lobby of a doctor’s office.
Of course, there’s one more thing — the thing that I’ll always love most about my Kindle Dx. There’s only one thing better than an e-ink screen, I’ve always said — and that’s a really big e-ink screen. The Kindle Paperwhite may offer you more contrast with its front-lit screen, but the Kindle DX accomplished the same thing the old-fashioned way: with a bigger screen! I like seeing my ebooks big, 7.2 inches wide by 10.4 inches tall.
But apparently, if Amazon’s moves today are any indication, there just weren’t enough people who felt the same way.