Will Students Love The Kindle?

Posted: May 8 2009, 11:50am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 2:16pm CDT , in Hot Gadgets


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College students are a huge cash cow. Any time a bunch of inexperienced kids get together with thousands of dollars of their parent's or the government's money, retailers start to get excited. One of the biggest college-student related industries is the textbook market. American college students spend close to 10 billion dollars a year on criminally overpriced textbooks. Anyone who can tap into that has a chance to suckle hundreds of millions of dollars into their greedy throats.

That was obviously Amazon's dream when they came up with the Kindle DX. The DX has a big 9.7 inch screen, which was intended to make it easier to read full-size textbooks or newspapers. It can highlight and bookmark passages, look up words, or annotate text with notes from the student. The three major textbook publishers, Pearson, Cengage Learning, and John Wiley & Sons, have all signed up already to offer books on the Kindle DX.

It sounds like the DX is an almost perfect tool for students. It can store all of your textbooks, and help you study them with more convenience than ever before. Despite all of this, I believe that it will fail spectacularly among college students. And I'm not the only one who feels this way.

I'm a college student. I hate the cost and inconvenience of textbooks as much as the next guy, but the Kindle DX won't help. Sure, the E-book versions of my textbooks for the DX might be cheaper than my textbooks will cost new, but I'm not going to buy them new. Buying used textbooks is always going to be cheaper than buying the e-book version.

So the DX won't save students any money, but it will cost about $500, and it can't even handle as many tasks as my $300 dollar netbook. And cost isn't the only big issue the Kindle has. Its also much more limited than a textbook in some ways; you can't loan it to friends, or sell it back at the end of the year when you finish the class.

Students with an unusually large book load will probably find the DX useful. But the vast majority of us will find it cheaper and more effective to just buy used textbooks and grab a decent netbook to take our notes in.

Of course things could turn out differently. The Kindle DX could revolutionize campus lifestyle and turn me into a die-hard convert, but I doubt it. The ball is in your court, Amazon. If you want students to love the DX, give us a reason to love it.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
Robert can be contacted directly at robert@i4u.com.




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