Amazon’s Kindle DX Makeover: 22 Percent Price Cut, Better Display, New Look

Graphite Kindle NYT

The remaking of the Kindle continues, this time with a new look, price and display for the super-sized Kindle DX. The 9/7″ screen size remains the same, but Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) says a new, high contrast e-ink display offers 50 percent more contrast for a lower price. The 22 percent price cut to $379 from $489 is slightly less than last week’s 27 percent Kindle 2 drop to $189 yet still widens the price gap between the grayscale 3G Kindle DX and its glossy new color competitor, the iPad from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) — $629 for the lowest-priced 3G model — to nearly 40 percent.

Yes, they’re two very different devices but the decision may have just gotten a little simpler for those who are more price sensitive and want the larger-format device primarily for reading instead of a multi-use entertainment device. [Note: The widest gap is when comparing models by connectivity. The $499 Wi-Fi-only iPad is still more expensive than the most expensive Kindle but the $120 gap is narrower. I also didn’t factor in the added cost of 3G access for iPad users.]

The DX announcement points out another difference that may work in Kindle’s favor: It’s already easier to read in the sunlight than an iPad and Amazon now claims that the contrast makes it easier to read in any light. Light’s the operative word — so far, unlike the iPad, the Kindle isn’t back lit for reading in the dark. The DX, which weighs about a half-pound more than the Kindle 2, is slightly lighter than the iPad.

When the DX launched, its biggest competition in the larger format was expected to be the lighter, more stylish and more expensive Que from Plastic Logic. But that was pre-iPad and the Que, first expected in the spring, is MIA now, with no firm shipping date.

A demo for the new model, now offered in graphite along with Kindle white, can be seen here.

The device news was the latest in a series of announcements Amazon has been churning out announcements for the last 24 hours:

— the start of the new royalty program for the Kindle Digital Text Platform;
— an iMDB Android app;
— a Kindle previewer for HTML5 with browser-based samples and purchasing;
— and Kindle Web Widgets in HTML5 with sampling, sell-through and commissions for widgets hosts.


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