The Kindle Isn’t a Textbook Replacement

A few colleges were doing trail runs of the Kindle DX as a mechanism to replace textbooks. Well Princeton’s review wasn’t so hot (in fact it was downright damning) but now Darden is backing Princeton up:

“You must be highly engaged in the classroom every day,’’ says Koenig, and the Kindle is “not flexible enough. … It could be clunky. You can’t move between pages, documents, charts and graphs simply or easily enough compared to the paper alternatives.’’

Yeah I can also confirm this. The Kindle is great for reading novels and other books you go through serially. But it’s not so hot at books where you jump around a lot. The interface and page turning is too slow for such a process. I think e-ink displays will need to advance another couple of years before e-readers will be viable textbook replacements.

Like most technology in its infancy e-ink displays will take some time to become viable general purpose tools.