RIP KDX

RIP KDX

It appears that Amazon is no longer selling the

Kindle DX 9.7 inch

themselves new at the site.

There will be some out there who are sad about that…there were people who loved their large screen reflective devices. However, it’s a bit like when ABC can canceled Miracles, saying that the fans were so passionate, but that there were so few of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

The DX was introduced on May 6, 2009, with great fanfare:

Press Release

One of the key elements was a partnership with textbook publishers, and pilot programs that were going to start in universities.

On January 6, 2010, it went international.

Then came what was arguably a crushing blow.

On January 11, 2010, the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind settled a discrimination suit against Amazon (which had been filed in June, shortly after the device’s release). While the DX had text-to-speech (TTS), the argument was that advanced features, such as search, were not available to print disabled students.

As a result of the action (and one taken by the Department of Justice), the universities abandoned their KDX programs. While there were concerns expressed by students about the ease of using the device versus paper, the lawsuit ended any chance that the KDX would carry momentum from the deals into academic market success.

Amazon didn’t abandon the KDX, announcing the Graphite version with a sharper screen on July 1, 2010. That new version had probably been in development before the lawsuit settled.

On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in 2011, Amazon put the Kindle DX on sale for $259…the device had been introduced for $489.

After that, the device basically coasted, not being one of the bestselling models…and not getting updates to match newer (smaller) models.

On October 7 (about a week ago), I reported that the price of the KDX had dropped to $299…and that now appears to have been the final clearance price.

Do I expect them to replace this with another large screen reflective device? I think that’s unlikely…the price is just too high for it to compete with tablets. If you want a large screen, might you not also want color for those diagrams and charts (or, um…pictures of celebrities on vacation in a magazine)?

My guess, and I’d love to be wrong, is that the next time we see a mainstream, large screen reflective screen is when it can either also do a backlit image, or the reflective screen technology has improved so much it can do good quality color and animation.

Have thoughts about the KDX? Want to share your favorite memory? Do you think if they had updated it with better PDF functionality and perhaps native EPUB compatibility it would have survived? Have I overestimated the impact of the accessibility lawsuit? Do you think Amazon will launch another large screen reflective device? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in theย I Love My Kindle blog.

5 Responses to “RIP KDX”

  1. Phink Says:

    I bought the DX a couple years ago when it was on sale for the day. My biggest complaint was it only had buttons on one side. I knew that when I bought it but I did not know how much I would dislike not havng buttons on both sides. I would have kept it anyway but I sold it on Amazon for about what I had in it. I think, but can’t remember for certain that I might have made a small profit. If I could not have sold it for as much as I did I’d still have it but I doubt it’d get much use.

  2. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Well, as an original KDX owner, I am a bit sad, but my KDX is still with me — providing valuable service. I had hoped that Amazon would pursue the educational/professional market more aggressively. I’m not sure how much impact the lawsuit had — I suspect that as they got into it (and the iPad arrived on the scene), they began to appreciate just how hard it was going to be to create a successful classroom appliance.

    The S/W ecosystem used on the e-Ink readers limited the kinds of enhancements that could be provided — particularly with things like PDFs. When the KF came out — even though it had a smaller screen size than the KDX, it nevertheless (IMO) did a better job of handling PDFs. Couple that with an Android base, and an app store, and the KF line offers a more flexible and expandable approach — enhancements can come from Amazon, but also from all the developers pushing their wares through the app store.

    While sad, I am nevertheless looking forward (with bated breath) to my KFHD 8.9″ coming on Nov 26th! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Tom Madsen Says:

    I at one point had the latest graphite KDX. I really liked it for reading, but it was an item that stayed home. It was pretty heavy and found myself just not using it as much as my smaller one. Then when I would see updates made for the smaller one but never to the DX I felt Amazon forgot about us. In the end I weighed my options, and decided to sell it for about what I payed for it.

    Couple things I always hoped for was that with the larger size they would improve the newspaper interface like how I see it on the iPad also being able to read horizontal.

    I would still like this larger format size, lighter, virtual keypad. As far as Amazon doing it anytime soon. Very doubtful, I think we are now in tablet world.

    But cheers DX you were a great addition, and regrettably just forgotten.

  4. Rick Askenase Says:

    I bought the DX as soon as it first came out, and with the graphite, and I still love it. The larger screen is perfect for book reading, as I found the regular Kindle much too small. i put it in my briefcase, NOT a pocketbook, so it’s the perfect size for me.

    I was always disappointed that, for such an expensive Kindle, that AMazon rarely updated the software. So, I’m not surprised that it is disappearing., But I continue to read on it every day. It was great and underrated.

  5. D. Knight Says:

    Now I’m glad that I got the DX when I did (when it was a gold box deal this past August). I also got a Paperwhite–my new portable Kindle. When the PW first arrived I read on it exclusively for a few days, but then went back to reading both about 50/50. I prefer reading from the larger screen, but I end up switching to the PW when the size of the DX gets in the way. I consider this the best of both worlds for me since I don’t care for reading off the Fire.

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