Here's a thought: you know that thirty-pound backpack you lug to school every day? How would you like it if it were a little over a pound instead? That'd be pretty cool, right?
So check this out: school textbooks could soon be replaced by an 18.9 oz. (yes...ounces!) wireless reading device called the Kindle DX from Amazon.com.
The Kindle can hold over 3,500 electronic books, magazines and documents. It comes with a QWERTY keyboard for note-taking and a 5-way controller for bookmarking and highlighting. Oh, and it's as small as a notebook and as thin as a magazine.
The Kindle DX came out last May and is currently being tested in a handful of colleges across the country. Students were given Kindles (pre-downloaded with all their textbooks) to see which they preferred.
It's only been a few weeks, but many students have already made up their minds: Some love their Kindles. Others want their textbooks back! There are the obvious pros like no books to carry around and using the Kindle cuts down on paper usage, saving trees (Yay!).
But some pointed out drawbacks like having to charge it (imagine if your battery died during an open-book test) and slow performance speed.
And then there's 17-year old high school student Justin Gawronski, who wasn't involved in the study, but who had a bad experience with the Kindle DX this summer. Justin used his Kindle DX for a summer school assignment and took electronic notes in the margins. Well, Amazon wirelessly dropped the version of the book Justin was working on. Sadly, all Justin's hard work was wirelessly dropped with it! Lost in cyberspace forever.
So, yeah - the Kindle saves money and trees. But you could lose your homework like Justin. For now, maybe we ought to keep those textbooks around...even if they do weigh a ton.