While some of the publishing industry is enthusiastic about Amazon's Kindle DX e-reader, which has a larger display and other readability features that were absent in earlier Kindle models, others have questioned the business model and issues with the Kindle's display.
The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe will offer reduced-price Kindle DXs to users who sign up for long-term subscriptions. Only users who live in areas where the papers do not offer home delivery are eligible for the offer.
At the Kindle's launch in New York on Wednesday, Arthur J. Sulzberger Jr., the publisher of the The Times, exclaimed that the new Kindle was "wonderful."
The device is "an important milestone in the convergence of print and digital."" Sulzberger said. "We know that the e-reader can offer the same satisfying experience [as the print edition]."
But not everyone is convinced that the little device can save an industry falling apart. Damon Darlin, The Times tech editor, wrote that the screen size is still too small, and not fully satisfying.
"You never see the big picture -- a full page -- that can reward you with the story you didn't think you wanted to read, but are lured in either by the placement of the story on the page or the art that goes with it," he said. "The larger screen should have been able to offer a different experience than the one on the first two versions of the Kindle."
The Kindle also requires that users pay for news, which may end up being a major deterrent.
"Amazon aims to reinvent newspapers for the modern age," Melissa J. Perenson, a PC World columnist, wrote. "The reality is we have too many ways to get our information for free. We can read the news via the Internet, our cell phones, and other handhelds such as the iPod Touch.
For these reasons, as a Kindle owner I can't justify paying [US]$14 a month for an electronic version of The New York Times delivered to my e-reader."
Josh Quittner of Time echoed this sentiment, saying that real test of the Kindle will be whether readers are willing to fork over the dollars for a sleek hardware design and high-quality content. He also pointed to the Kindle's display, which is unable to show the rich color artwork that magazines and many newspapers have.