The Kindle DX is here. Can it save newspapers?

kindledxAmazon today announced the new 9.7-inch Kindle DX, along with deals from textbook and newspaper publishers. The new e-reader is priced at $489 and will be shipped this summer.

What’s the big deal? According to MacRumors:

The Kindle DX, now available for pre-order at a price of $489 for shipment this summer, contains a 9.7″ screen and is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.
The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.
The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.

The Kindle DX is being positioned as a device for reading documents such as newspapers, textbooks, and research journal articles whose formats have not worked ideally with the smaller 6″ screen of the current Kindle 2 model.

The Kindle DX features a built-in accelerometer that allows for auto-rotation of content between portrait and landscape orientations, and increased storage over the Kindle 2 of 3.3 GB, which provides space for up to 3,500 books periodicals, and documents. Like the Kindle 2, which will remain available at its current price of $359, the Kindle DX offers free 3G access through Sprint’s network to allow downloading of content on the go. Native PDF support is also included.

The Boston Globe, The New York Times and The Washington Post are all planning to offer long-term subscriptions for Kindle newspaper editions at discounted prices.

Here’s your paper

We’re entering another new era at my job. In my mind, we’re a step closer to ushering out the newspaper as a vital part of your morning.

For almost the past 12 years, we’ve been putting news on a Web site. It’s a great thing, you can get just about all the news from your newspaper for (whispering) FREE! Pros: It’s cheaper, you don’t get ink-stained hands, you don’t have to follow jumps. Cons: You can’t divide up the paper if more than one person wants to look at it (unless you own more than one computer, I suppose), some things don’t translate as well on the Web (sports agate, for one) without heavy HTML editing, you can’t wrap fish or line bird cages with online news.

During this time, we’ve done better and poorer with our news publishing. There were times in the late 90s and early 00s where we’d get news on the site in a quick fashion, thanks to the efforts of our Web editor at the time. More recently, though, we’ve been publishing on it like we do with newsprint: on a strict schedule that goes against the whole idea of the Web.

That’s why I’m excited to see our paper move to some software called Zope, which allows easier loading of content and in numerous contexts. We will be relaunching our Web site later this month, and I think it will be a lot better. For one, we will be more inclined to put stories on it throughout the day rather than at the end of the evening, simply because it will be easier. In fact, in testing I’ve been able to load stories from the comfort of my own home. To me, it’s just another step closer to closing the chapter on the paper news product and ushering in more fully the digital news product. In the not too distant future we will talk about how quaint it was to read our news from paper when we can have it on our computer or phone or whatever we’ll use.

Keep your eyes on our site in the next few weeks. It will be a million times better.