Originally Posted by Kali Yuga
Seems too high to me for a non-student. For a student it's a little hard to judge, without knowing a) the prices the textbooks will cost, and b) how well the DX displays charts and diagrams.
E.g. if the device costs close to $500, but you save $250 on textbooks every semester, it's a good deal.
Yes, it will be interesting to see how much textbooks cost. On Amazon, the math books I've looked at in Kindle format are around 90-95% the cost of the printed books. That is no bargain, especially since you can't resell them when you have completed the course.
Also, will students use the Kindle Store, a 'special' Kindle Store, or will the campus booksellers load the ebook directly onto the device, with some sort of special DRM foo to prevent casual copying? Maybe they are still figuring that part out.
Note Amazon & Co. are not exactly jumping into the educational market with both feet: 5 universities is at most a marketing test. I'm sure publishers are very concerned about potential for piracy and need to gather some data so they can refine the business model before committing more fully.
However in the long term, I think 'open-source' eTextbooks and online resources will drive profits out of this equation, since production costs are essentially zero for everybody. Just as wikipedia has killed encyclopedia sales in all forms. I think it would lead to better, more current course material and help reduce cost of education, which I believe is in everyone's interest (except textbook publishers and retailers..).