Amazon beefs up wireless Kindle family

The online retailer expands its e-reader selection by adding "global wireless" download capability to its larger-screen DX model.

The wireless Kindle DX. Amazon announced late Tuesday that it is expanding its Kindle e-book reader family with the addition of a "global wireless" Kindle DX.

The larger Kindle DX, which features a 9.7-inch electronic ink display, will allow wireless downloads of books in more than 100 countries. The retailer is taking pre-orders for the $489 e-reader and plans to ship them to customers beginning January 19.

Amazon, which introduced a smaller 6-inch version of the wireless Kindle last October, said the new e-reader has a PDF reader, auto-rotate capability, and 3.3GB of memory for storage of up to 3,500 books. More than 400,000 titles are now available at Amazon's Kindle Store. Like the previous wireless Kindle, the new e-reader will be capable of downloading books and periodicals via Amazon's Whispernet.

The Seattle-based e-tailer announced in December that the Kindle was Amazon's "most gifted item ever " in the company's history. The e-tailer also said that on Christmas Day, for the first time ever, Amazon customers bought more Kindle books than physical books. The company didn't offer specific numbers for either category.

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