Amazon’s Kindle DX: Not Yet a Hit on Campus
Students are testing out Amazon.com’s Kindle DX e-book reader device as part of a pilot-program taking place at seven campuses nationwide this fall. But already, some students are expressing their discomfort with the gadgets.
“I’m not a huge fan of it yet,” said Aaron Horvath, a 21-year-old senior at Princeton University, who is among 50 students in three different courses at the Ivy League university testing the devices. He saved his harshest criticism for the device for the pages of The Daily Princetonian saying, “I hate to sound like a Luddite, but this technology is a poor excuse of an academic tool.” He said the device doesn’t allow people to flip through pages easily, and adds that it’s cumbersome to text and type notes.
Horvath acknowledged he’s only been using the Kindle DX for about two weeks. “I’m still adapting to it, although I don’t know if I’ll ever adapt,” he said.
Administrators and professors also say the jury is still out on the device’s academic applications.
“This is very, very early,” said Serge Goldstein, Princeton’s associate chief information officer and director of academic services. “We expected the devices to have plusses and minuses, no surprises there.”
Amazon didn’t immediately return phone calls and an email requesting comment.
Students at Reed College in Portland, Ore., have also had about four weeks to spend with the Kindles. Now some of them have come up with a list of about 10 improvements for the device, including the need for page numbers and easier way for note taking and highlighting, said Martin Ringle, Reed’s chief technology officer.
Still, Ringle said, “the pilot is going really well because this is precisely the kind of information we were hoping to ascertain.”
We returned our Kindle DX to Amazon. We felt immediately that it was a throwback to an ancient technology even with its sleek form factor and its readability. The awkwardness of the interace was overwhelming to us. Accordingly, we are not surprised to read that the Kindle is as WSJ puts it gingerly, "Not Yet a Hit...."