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NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon.com Inc. will release a larger – and more expensive – version of its Kindle electronic reading device that is geared toward periodicals and textbooks.

During a press event Wednesday at Pace University in New York, Amazon founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos showed off the $489 device. It has a grayscale screen that is 9.7 inches on the diagonal, up from 6 inches on the regular Kindle. The new Kindle DX also includes a QWERTY keyboard like the current Kindle.

The announcement comes three months after Amazon revealed a slimmer, updated version of the original $359 Kindle, which wirelessly downloads books. Some analysts have said the unit needed must-have content like textbooks to become more of a mainstream gadget.

Three textbook publishers said they have agreed to sell books on the device.

Amazon shares dropped $1.50, 1.8 percent, to $80.40 in morning trading.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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