There was a lot of excitement when the Amazon Kindle DX was released. Many people believed it would save the newspaper industry and others felt it would be a great replacement for textbooks. This device is much easier to read than other smaller e-Book readers which makes it more suitable for longer periods of reading. The Kindle DX is simply more comfortable for those who read a lot.
No matter the priorities – screen, text size or price – anyone can find a Kindle that will suit their specific needs. The author of this review (along with some colleagues) finds the larger model more appealing, but many of our equally demanding reviewers prefer the light version.
Design of the Kindle DX
The 9.7 inch (diagonal measure) is the strongest attribute of the Kindle_DX in comparison to the highly rated Kindle 2. The 6 inch screen is only smaller by 3.7 inches which many not seem as much, but a simple calculation can show that the Kindle DX screen is actually 2.6 times as large. This makes a huge difference for the eyes of a reader. Although the size of the font can be adjusted just like on the Kindle 2, the text can be even larger on the Kindle DX. What’s more, you don’t constantly have to turn the page since the DX can fit more amount of text on a single page.
The difference in size alone probably won’t have a strong impact on the newspaper world because the e-Book won’t hold a full news page comfortably enough. Moreover, the DX doesn’t allow for adjustment of the number of words per line in all PDF formats which creates a certain inconvenience.
Logically, the larger screen also means that the Kindle DX (10.2 inches high and 7.2 inches wide) is heavier than the smaller models (8-inches high and 5.3 inches wide – Kindle 2). There isn’t a big difference in thickness, but the difference in weight is noticeable. When you compare the DX with 17.6 ounces and the Kindle 2 with 9.6 ounces, you see that the difference is half a pound. Some people may have a problem with that while others won’t mind. Nevertheless, the device is still much lighter than any real book or a textbook.
The e-Book reader’s navigation is quite simple and intuitive as always. The simple one step setup out of the box definitely made us happy – it’s always nice to be able to use a product without the complicated setup. Amazon also did a nice job with the screensavers, the interesting images that portrayed famous writers and literary heroes were nice to look through.
There are some problems with the auto rotation. Besides the relatively slower reaction time, the Kindle also doesn’t recognize the need for change from landscape to portrait when lying flat on a table. This failure to recognize the change in orientation is typical of devices that use accelerometers (some cell phones). Although the landscape view is nice, not many people really use it extensively because the control buttons suddenly appear on the side, while most are used to having them on top.
Display: 9.7″ diagonal paper display with latest generation E Ink Pearl technology, 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi, 16-level gray scale, 10:1 contrast ratio.
Size (in inches): 10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″.
Weight: 18.9 ounces.
System requirements: None, because it doesn’t require a computer.
Storage: 4GB internal (approximately 3.3GB available for user content).
Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 1 week with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for two to three weeks.Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low-coverage areas or in EDGE/GPRS-only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4.5 hours via the includedU.S. power adapter. Also supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
Connectivity: HSDPA modem (3G) with a fallback to EDGE/GPRS; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide wireless coverage via AT&T’s 3G high-speed data network in the U.S. and partner networks outside of the U.S. See Wireless Terms and Conditions.
USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-USB connector) for connection to the Kindle DX power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Included Accessories: U.S. power adapter (supports 100V-240V), USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.
The variety that the Kindle Store offers is definitely a strongpoint of this device. You can access the store from anywhere via 3G and a recent version of the Kindle DX also lets you download in over 100 countries, like the Kindle 2. This international version costs $489 which was the price of theUSonly version before. You can also download content into your computer and then you can simply transfer it into the e-Book via the USB port.
Although textbooks are by some considered the main focus of the device, it still needs some work to truly be a textbook device. The price of the Kindle DX is too high for most students and it doesn’t offer all the textbooks that the students might need. Moreover, the textbooks expire so you don’t have the option to save the book for the future. It’s uncomfortable to have to buy it again in case you intend to keep it, plus we’re not sure what happens with your notes and whatever you wrote down in the book. Some textbooks are cheaper in the electronic version, but the price difference isn’t high enough to convince people to purchase the Kindle DX as a textbook device.
The memory of the Kindle DX definitely beats the Kindle 2. The amount of available space can fit around 3500 average e-Books while the Kindle 2 can only fit 1500.
The Kindle DX tries to make your experience more similar to what you do when you read a real book. You can highlight sections and save them, you can also save notes. This is what makes the Kindle stand out. Some attributes, however, lower the overall effect. The keyboard wasn’t as comfortable as we expected, typing will take up more time than on your phone. Also, the scroll interface is not a part of the Kindle which may need some getting used to.
The internet browser doesn’t work very fast since the Kindle is only equipped with basic HTML. Moreover, without a mouse you must click through every link with a joystick to get to the place you want to click. Anyone who is used to computers will not enjoy surfing the web on this device. When we tried to load our homepage we waited 5 minutes only for the basic form to show. The internet connection is probably good only for buying books – which is quite comfortable with the 3G connection. Plus you can get any information that you might be looking for on the internet, even much better and trustworthy, from books.
Technical support and the variety of options and possibilities are great for finding information and help with the Amazon. You can also contact the company itself, although you will most likely solve the problem by yourself with all the support they offer.
The Amazon e-Books are definitely top ranked in our reviews. We enjoy several aspects of the Kindle DX, such as the large screen, text readability and flexibility. These advantages are, for some, not enough to justify for the higher prices (compared to the Kindle 2). The decision needs to be based on individual preferences. For many people size and weight will probably be an important issue as the Kindle DX is probably too large to fit in a regular purse. Some people may need to hold the device in two hands due to its weight.