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Amazon launched the latest generation of its Kindle DX e-book reader with a higher-contrast display than the last version and a lower price of $379.

The previous model of the Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen, cost $489. All Kindle DXs come with free 3G wireless access and no annual contracts or data plan costs. Amazon has targeted the Kindle DX at people who want to be able to see the clearest text and sharpest (black-and-white) images on its electronic ink display. The contrast for this DX model is 50 percent better than the previous model, which was launched a year ago.

The new Kindle DX is available for preorder now and ships July 7. The move to improve the Kindle DX shows that the Seattle-based company wants to be competitive in the e-book reader market, where Apple has made a big splash with its multipurpose iPad device.

Now the company says you’ll be able to read books wherever you want, whether it’s in high sunlight areas outdoors or in your living room. The Kindle Store now has 620,000 books, including 108 of 111 New York Times bestsellers at $9.99 or less. More than 200,000 books have been added in the last six months.

The Kindle DX has a graphite case. You can download new content via the 3G network in less than 60 seconds. The device lasts for a week on a battery charge with wireless turned on. It’s about a third of an inch thick and can carry 3,500 books. It also has Twitter and Facebook integration. You can zoom in on small print with the new DX.

The older Amazon Kindle with a six-inch screen sells for $189.

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