On Campus

Kindle DX: Laptop's useless little brother?

It's a $500 surprise. Without the chocolate.

I still remember a textbook from my grade six class, almost seven years ago.

One of the questions at the end of a chapter asked: “What do you think the year 2000 will be like? What sort of technology will be available to everyday people? How different will it be from today?”


And yes, my grade six class was reading this in the year 2002.

The textbook had a couple follow up questions:

“What sort of transportation will be available in the year 2000?”

“Describe the clothing that people will wear.”

“Have you seen Scott Dobson-Mitchell’s new cartoon blog?”

Today, the only prediction we can make with any confidence is that some time in the future, Will Smith is going to save the world from a battalion of killer robots led by a giant computer that kinda looks like it’s from the Wizard of Oz.

And according to an article from the Wall Street Journal, lugging textbooks around campus will soon be a thing of the past.

Using the Kindle DX, a new portable device from Amazon.com Inc. that launches this summer, students can conveniently access their university textbooks from electronic-book readers.

Judging by the pictures, the Kindle DX seems like the perfect size. Its screen is large, but overall it’s still small enough to fit in a messenger bag along with your pencil case and a lunch kit.

The device is described as being “geared towards textbooks and newspapers.” Adobe Acrobat files can automatically be displayed, and the wireless service that allows users to download materials is free.


The only problem: the Kindle DX costs about $500. Which puts it in laptop territory. Except it can’t display videos.

Or colour images.

Sure, some people might be willing to pay lots of money for a useless gadget. But only if it has a cool name.

“Kindle” kind of sounds like a small chocolate egg with a plastic toy inside.

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