The large-screen Amazon Kindle DX has the been the ebook reader for choice for lawyers to use in their practices. It's larger screen, higher-capacity storage, long battery life, and native PDF compatibility gave it an edge over other ebook readers. Then Apple released the iPad earlier this year. The iPad is not an ebook reader per se, although it can be used for that purpose. But it is really a slate computer that has too many compromises to make it an ideal ebook reader, such as a backlit screen instead of e-ink and much shorter battery life. Despite these shortcomings as an ebook reader, the iPad is a very cool device in other ways. However, if you don't already have an iPad, and your are interested in a slate computer as an alternative to a notebook or netbook, you may want to wait for the release later this year of Cisco's business-oriented Cius slate (aka tablet) computer that will run the Android operating system.
Apple's iPad sparked a price war among traditional e-ink based ebook readers such as the Kindle. Last week Amazon dropped the price on its standard-sized Kindle to just $189, making it a true bargain. Even better, today only (July 1), you can buy a Kindle for only $150 (plus $5 shipping) on the Woot web site. Woot is now owned by Amazon.
Well the price war has finally hit the "lawyer's Kindle" - the larger DX model. Amazon dropped the price by $110 to $379, making it substantially cheaper than the cheapest iPad. Of course, that is an apples and oranges comparison anyway, but if what you really want and need is an ebook reader, this price drop makes your decision much easier. Not only did the price drop, but Amazon now offers the DX in a more "lawyerly" graphite gray color and improved the contrast of its e-ink screen by 50% so it will be easier to read and display graphics (in gray-scale, of course) more realistically. How can a lawyer use the DX in his/her practice? Read our earlier blog post here. Now the original Kindle DX (which I have owned and used in my appellate practice since its release over a year ago) can be purchased refurbished from Amazon for $249.99. It has the standard warranty and Amazon's regular 30-day return policy.
Also big news on the Kindle front is the release of a Kindle app for the Android operating system. Those of you with a Kindle account and an Android cell phone have not, until now, been able to read your book purchases on the high-res screens on your phones. Now you can. I installed the new (free) Android Kindle app on my Motorola Droid. It works very well. I have access to all of my ebooks and they are quire readable on the bright and crisp Droid screen. That will probably get better once I receive my pre-ordered Droid X with an even larger screen in mid-July.