Amazon upgrades Kindle DX, slashes price to $379

The Kindle DX, Amazon’s large textbook-sized e-reading device that used to carry a daunting $489 price tag, has been cut down by more than $100 but it remains the most expensive e-reader by quite a large margin.

The DX is quite easily the largest dedicated e-reading device. Originally marketed as a replacement for college textbooks, it is about the same size as Apple’s iPad. But at $489, it became a sort of outcast in the market, especially because college students didn’t really like it. Nothing can quite replace the feeling of highlighting and flipping through a physical physics book.

The news comes at the end of a flurry of sweeping price cuts and promotions in the digital books market. Barnes & Noble introduced a $149 version of its $199 Nook, Amazon has deeply discounted its Kindle 2, and Borders is throwing in a $20 gift card for purchases of its Kobo device.

The new Kindle DX has a black graphite finish and a higher contrast ratio. It will completely replace the current Kindle DX when it comes out on July 7. Pre-orders have opened up effective today.

To answer the concern that the iPad has more features and makes the Kindle DX kind of pointless, Amazon stresses, “Unlike backlit computer or LCD screens, Kindle DX’s screen looks and reads like real paper, with no glare. Read as easily in bright sunlight as in the living room.”