So the Amazon Kindle DX arrived today, and so far I am very impressed with what it offers me. I tried to take some photos of different use cases that people have been asking me to test out, so read below to how the DX faired. I won’t go into all the details, since there are already many reviews on the net, but if you would like to know something specific please post a comment below.
The shipping container that the Kindle came in was a nice artistic way to send the product to the consumer. Though when I did come home to find the box sitting on my door step emblazoned with Amazon Kindle I was glad nobody ran off with it.
Kindle DX Size
The DX, while bigger than the K1/K2 is not TOO big to be portable. Actually I already feel that if I had chosen to go with the smaller K1/K2 I would have been disappointed based on my needs.
I’m not going to post the specs for the device as those are already posted on the official Amazon Kindle DX site.
- Very light and does not appear to tire your hands while holding. It feels very balanced while holding the device in either portrait or landscape mode.
- If you can carry a magazine (not rolled up!) where you are going, then the DX is very portable. It would feel right at home in a bag while on the plane, or relaxing at the park.
- Glamour was the only magazine that was on the coffee table when I asked my wife for one to use 😛
Reading on the DX
- The screen seems perfectly readable in both intense light and low light. I will most likely purchase a book light for reading late at night with the room lights off.
- The DX has a unique features that allows it to rotate content from portrait to landscape by rotating the kindle device. You can flip it completely around and it will display the content correctly.
- The keyboard, while small, is very adequate since this is primarily a reading device.
- I like the built in search capabilities to give you the definition of a highlighted word as you read, which should hopefully improve my vocabulary.
- Graphics and images are very crisp and I would venture to say better than most print books, but not quite magazine quality.
- Text is very readable and with the font size settings should fit anyone’s viewing needs
- The Text t
o Speech function can read your text to you similar to an Audio book if the publisher allowed the feature.
One of the features which made the DX stand apart from the K1/K2 was it’s native PDF support. On the previous models all PDFs had to be converted to the Amazon’s AZW format which may affect layout of the document. So far all the PDFs I have tried retain the layout of the original document.
The fact I can read PDF versions of many technical books definitely adds value for the device for me. Below are some screens of the PDF reader in both landscape and portrait. Searching through these books on the Kindle makes them far more useful than thumbing through an index in the book when needing to find a specific piece of information.
I also converted several PowerPoint decks from a recent technical conference I attended to see how they would be usable on the device. Overall I am very impressed with the PDF support, though it does not have all the features of the native Amazon files such Text to Speech, or Font size changing which I would not expect. If the font is small on the PDF in portrait, it is somewhat zoomed in landscape mode which helps out for most of the text I am reading.
DX Internet Services
The fact that the Amazon is always online through “Whispernet” (Really Sprint’s EVDO cellular data network) is what really sets it apart from other E-readers. You can browse the Amazon store anywhere you have network service and purchase books on the go. An interesting use is to subscribe to periodicals which are delivered directly to your device before they hit news stands.
The DX,like other Kindles, has an “experimental” web browser which is quite capable. I was able to browse sites like CNN.com, Wikipedia.org, MSDN.microsoft.com, Flickr.com, and even use Twitter.com. It works much better than I had anticipated, but it certainly will not replace a laptop for depth of use.
- Whispernet is included in the purchase price of the Kindle, so there is no reoccurring fees to have network access
- I find it interesting to just go to Wikipedia and hit a random article to be read on the Kindle because of the always on connection.
- If I didn’t have a Smartphone already, this would be useful in a pinch when no other access was available
- The Kindle DX us using a EVDO revA Mobile card
All of the content installed on the Kindle is displayed on the home screen and is identified by type with little icons next to the name. You can have Kindle Books, PDFs, Audio books, and MP3s stored to be consumed on the go
You can get your content onto the Kindle by simply plugging in the USB cable to your PC where it appears as a mounted drive. It is as simple as copying your readable content to the proper folder to have it displayed on the Kindle. While you can organize content in folders on the Kindle, when you view it on the device it is a single list of all content.
Since you have Whispernet, you can also setup an email address for the Kindle to have it receive documents directly on the device. As of this writing, Amazon charges 15c a meg to convert and transfer. You can also email the same document to the free.kindle.com address to have it converted for you and emailed back so you can copy to your device via USB for no charge.
Of course Amazon wants you to purchase books (many seem cheaper than non e-books) directly from them which includes the charge to transfer it directly to your device. I like the feature which sends you a sample chapter to read before committing on the purchase.
There are many free E-book sites on the web which offer compatible formats, so I don;t see the need to purchase books that have been in print for awhile such as the classics.
So as I said, I am very impressed with the device so far. I will use it over the next few days and either update this article with any new thoughts or create a new post. If you have any questions, please post a comment and I will answer where I can.
(I do need to get a new digital camera next from the look of some of these shots!)
I just found out that I can take screenshots of the Kindle by doing ALT-SHIFT-G so I added some to the post:
Here is another post highlighting some of the DX features with videos: