Amazon introduced a next-generation Kindle DX e-reader today, one that not only comes with a better display contrast but also a lower price tag - down from $489 to $379 now.
A price drop is always nice for consumers. And I'm sure the new display is nicer on the eyes. But are these the features that critics asked for? Going back to Larry Dignan's initial assessment of the Kindle DX, it appears that Amazon hasn't really done much to differentiate this DX from the earlier generation.
In his post from this time last year, Larry cited four things he'd like to see in a next-gen Kindle: a touch display, a better browser, a bit lighter in weight and, of course, WiFi. None of those things were announced by the company today, though. The device is still tied to 3G wireless, with no contracts required, but still no WiFi. The weight is still 18.9 ounces and there was no word about a touch display or a better browser.
So basically what you're looking at is a nicer-screen Kindle for $379.
I haven't been a fan of the Kindle since its initial release, largely because they're just high-priced book readers that don't do much more than that. Do they play video? No. Are they doubling as music jukeboxes? No. Can I sync my pictures to it? No.
More importantly, Amazon continues to diminish the need for a Kindle to read books purchased through the Kindle store by offering free Kindle apps for PCs, Macs and smartphones, most recently for Android devices.
At this point, given the "updates" that are coming with this next verison of the Kindle DX, I'd still opt for a free app - and keep my $379 in my pocket.
The new Kindle DX will become available on July 7.