Princeton Students Pan the Kindle DX

Ear­li­er this year, Ama­zon rolled out the Kin­dle DX. This new, super­sized e‑book read­er had one basic goal: to give read­ers dig­i­tal access to text­books, news­pa­pers and oth­er larg­er for­mat pub­li­ca­tions. This fall, the rub­ber has start­ed to hit the road, and the Kin­dle DX has been get­ting tepid reviews, at least at Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty. There, stu­dents in three class­es (Civ­il Soci­ety and Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, U.S. Pol­i­cy and Diplo­ma­cy in the Mid­dle East, and Reli­gion and Mag­ic in Ancient Rome) were giv­en free Kin­dles, and then start­ed work­ing with them. Accord­ing to the Dai­ly Prince­ton­ian, many of the 50 stu­dents par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pilot pro­gram said that “they were dis­sat­is­fied and uncom­fort­able with the devices.” One stu­dent had this to say:

I hate to sound like a Lud­dite, but this tech­nol­o­gy is a poor excuse of an aca­d­e­m­ic tool. It’s clunky, slow and a real pain to oper­ate. … Much of my learn­ing comes from a phys­i­cal inter­ac­tion with the text: book­marks, high­lights, page-tear­ing, sticky notes and oth­er marks rep­re­sent­ing the impor­tance of cer­tain pas­sages — not to men­tion mar­gin notes, where most of my paper ideas come from and inter­ac­tion with the mate­r­i­al occurs… All these things have been lost, and if not lost they’re too slow to keep up with my think­ing, and the ‘fea­tures’ have been ren­dered use­less.

These feel­ings were shared not just by stu­dents, but by pro­fes­sors as well. For more, I’d encour­age you to give the Dai­ly Prince­ton­ian piece a read.

Thanks to Bob for the tip, which comes via a men­tion in Engad­get. We love tips. Keep them com­ing.

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