By Glenn Chapman
SAN FRANCISCO, US - Amazon.com on Wednesday made its premier Kindle DX model electronic reader available in more than 100 countries.
Kindle DX devices that had been available only in the United States sport screens 2.5 times bigger than those on an international Kindle model released globally by Amazon late last year.
The larger screen is ideal for highly-formatted reading content such as magazines, newspapers, textbooks, and PDF documents, according to Ian Freed, vice president of Kindle at Amazon.
"Now, DX customers can take all of their books with them when they travel and all their loose printed documents," Freed said.
"All of your newspapers can follow you from country to country, delivered fresh each morning, with no additional fee."
Kindle DX electronic reading tablets are synched to wireless mobile telephone networks in more than 100 countries so users can download books, magazines, or other digital reading material regardless of location.
"We tried to make it as simple as possible," Freed said.
Kindle has become a top Amazon export to a number of countries including Canada, France and Germany.
Since the first Kindle model launched in November 2007, the e-reader has earned the title of "most gifted product" at the 14-year-old online shop.
Kindle devices are reportedly catching on in the business world, with documents ranging from legal briefs to office paperwork being taken for reading on the road, according to Amazon.
"We know a number of actors and actresses that actually use Kindle DX to review scripts," Freed told AFP on Tuesday. "A number of schools are using Kindle DX for students to read electronic textbooks."
Kindle DX tablets will remain priced at 489 dollars and Amazon will begin taking international orders on Wednesday. Kindle DX purchases are to begin shipping on January 19.
Amazon has about 300,000 electronic books that can be purchased internationally for reading on Kindle devices, according to Freed.
Most electronic books for Kindles are in English, but digital versions of newspapers and magazines are available in local languages, according to Amazon.
"Documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that you'll find yourself changing ink toner cartridges less often and printing fewer documents," said Freed.
"We're excited to be able to offer Kindle DX to customers worldwide so they can carry all of their personal documents along with their whole library in one slender package."
The six-inch (15-centimeter) screen international Kindle rolled out late last year was heralded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as part of a "renaissance in reading."
The smaller-screen Kindle models are priced at 279 dollars.
"Our vision for Kindle is every book ever printed, in print or out of print, in every language available," Bezos told AFP in November.
For now, downloads are only available in English, although the giant online retailer has teams working on digitizing books in other languages.
An array of e-readers is expected to be among the flood of innovations unveiled this week at a major consumer electronics show in Las Vegas.
Apple is also believed to be poised to unveil a large-screen tablet computer that could compete with e-readers.