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Customer Review

8,300 of 8,436 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different and Better, June 11, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, U.S. Wireless) (Electronics)
I have owned both Kindle 1 and Kindle 2, so I'm already committed to the basic idea: e-ink reading in a slim form factor with excellent connectivity to a large selection of books and subscriptions. I have come to rely on my Kindle experience, and it has seriously enhanced my reading.

The DX was not an obvious upgrade for me, but two features put me over the edge: the larger screen, and the native PDF reader. I now have the DX in my hands, and can report PROS, CONS, and NEUTRALS:

PROS:

-- the larger screen is a definite plus. I use the larger type size on my Kindle 2 (older eyes), and at this type size I get far more text per page on the DX. This makes the whole reading experience more book-like (and should be a boon to people who buy large-print books.)

-- the screen is also sharper and crisper than my Kindle 2 in a side-by-side comparison: the text is darker, and the contrast is much better, making for better visibility overall.

-- on a side note, the larger screen also makes it possible to read poetry on the kindle, even at large type sizes. On earlier Kindles, the smaller screen cut off lines, so that you would lose the sense of when the poet ended the line. On the DX, you can see the whole line exactly as the poet meant it, with the cut-off in the right spot.

-- the PDF reader works as advertised, and is extremely convenient. PDF documents appear on the DX exactly as they do on a computer screen. Moreover, you can drag and drop your documents directly to the device using the USB cable (or use the for-a-fee email if you absolutely must.) The only downside: at least for the documents that I've used so far, I cannot adjust the type size as I can with native Kindle documents.

-- screen rotation also works as advertised: it operates as a mild zoom on both graphics and text and offsets slightly the downside of not being able to adjust the typesize on PDF documents. One nice design touch: the four-way navigation stick introduced on the Kindle 2 is rotation-sensitive, and will move as expected relative to the screen rotation.

-- more of the device space is devoted to the screen, while the white plastic border around the screen seems to have shrunk, both in general and compared to the proportion of screen to plastic on the Kindle 2. I like this (but see below about the keyboard).

-- storage: I like the increase in storage space, and don't mind the lack of an external storage card. I can see some people having trouble with this, but only those folks who either a) must regularly carry around PDF documents totalling more than 3.5 GB of space or b) must have nearly 3500 books regularly at their fingertips. I fall in neither category.

CONS:

-- price: it's expensive, as you can tell pretty quickly. If you value the larger size, and the native PDF reader, these features may justify the roughly 30% premium you pay for the DX over the Kindle 2. In truth, the DX SHOULD cost more than the Kindle 2, and a 30% premium isn't unreasonable. But, for my money, Amazon should drop the price on the Kindle 2 to $300 or so, and charge $400 or a little less for the DX. Still, I bought it, and will keep it at this price.

-- one-sided navigation buttons: all of the buttons are now on the right side, and none are on the left. I'm a righty, so I shouldn't complain, but I found myself using both sides on the Kindle 2. Lefties have reason to complain, I think.

-- One-handed handling: I often read while I walk, with my Kindle in one hand, and something else in my other. Because of the button layout, this will be more difficult on the DX.

-- metal backing: I miss the tacky rubberized backing on my Kindle 1. When I placed my Kindle 1 on an inclined surface, it stayed in place. Not so my Kindle 2 and now my DX. This is not a complaint specific to the DX, but it's still there.

NEUTRALS (i.e. things worth noting):

-- weight: the DX is heavier, noticeably so. This is only an issue if, like me, you regularly use the kindle with one hand . . . and even so, it's still doable.

-- keyboard: the keyboard has 4 rows, and not 5: the top row of numbers from the Kindle 1 and 2 has been merged into the top qwerty row, so that numbers are now only accessible with an alt-key combination. The keys are vertically thinner too, so that the whole keyboard is no more than 1" tall (compared to over an 1.5" on the Kindle 2). At the same time, the keys themselves are a bit easier to press, a bit more protruding than on the Kindle 2. For someone with big fingers (like me), this will be a slightly harder keyboard to use, but only slightly.

That's all I can see. Overall, the pluses outweigh the minuses for me, and I'm satisfied with my purchase. I can now think of using my DX for work documents on a regular basis, because of the PDF reader. The screen size and screen rotation make the overall reading experience more immersive.

Overall, the DX feels more like text and less like device and comes closer to the stated goal of the Kindle: for the device to disappear, leaving only the joy of reading.
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Comments

Tracked by 31 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 258 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 11, 2009 3:52:45 PM PDT
I wondered about the right-handed bias too. Then I was doing something where I needed my right had, so I just turned it upside-down and it auto-rotated to lefty mode for me.

Posted on Jun 11, 2009 9:25:02 PM PDT
Elmo Glick says:
Excellent, informative and helpful review! Thanks for taking the time to provide the detail. Your mention of reading poetry on the device was particularly helpful - something many folks might not think about.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 10:23:58 AM PDT
I really appreciate this comprehensive review. My new DX is arriving today, and I am upgrading from a Kindle 1. I need larger print, and wondered how that would work on the DX. Also interested in comments about new keyboard. I am retired now, don't do much PDF handlng, but may do more with the reader.

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 5:41:30 PM PDT
SyFyHeaven says:
I do a lot of reading in dimly-lit areas. I wish the Kindle offered backlighting. Is it really like reading a normal book? Or, does it offer any light?

Also, I'm curious about its durability. There were many complaints with the Kindle 2, where a slight drop would cause it to break beyond repair. It would be horrible to spend $500 and have it break. How do you think it would hold up thrown into a bag with an assortment of items? (My cell phones never last beyond 1-2 years for this reason.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2009 11:53:44 PM PDT
Y. Sharifi says:
500 would buy you a laptop, why would you pay 500 for this? I really like to know the reason for it.

Posted on Jun 13, 2009 6:06:28 PM PDT
Kindler73 says:
I am curious to know how kindle has enhanced your reading? do you get more time to read or you read better than a book or you think kindle reading is superior to a book reading.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 14, 2009 9:26:22 AM PDT
Personally I'd love to see my laptop mature into a product similar to this: lighter/more portable, viewable in variable light conditions, quick bootup time, connectivity wherever I go, battery life long enough that I don't need to plug it in or even carry a cord with me, silent, cool to the touch, and common functions easily accessible. If it could do all that then I would absolutely read books on my laptop and only have one device. Hopefully the two feature sets will merge someday but until they do, there's a price of early adoption of a new technology. Laptops were far more expensive when they first came to market, too. Personally, I am still undecided on purchasing because it isn't cheap but I am intrigued and will probably get one at some point.

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 6:52:09 PM PDT
Tom says:
Regarding the slick back side: I bought egrips for my mobile phone to keep it from sliding on the dash board. They have generic pads that could be used for your kindle. www.egrips.com. I am not affiliated with egrips.

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 6:53:14 PM PDT
To: A. S. : Thank you for taking the time to do an in-depth analysis of the Kindle units. You have made a excellent contribution to the information needed to make an informed purchase. Based on your information and the research I have done, I would likewise agree with you that Amazon needs to make price adjustments downward, given where these products are in their life cycle. Amazon should also consider the other units that are either available or soon to be available. Again thank you for your time and efforts. Regards,

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2009 6:55:50 PM PDT
Tom says:
You need to see the screen...much much nicer for reading text. Ever read a book on a laptop? Not for me. Free real time feeds for periodicals (if you won a subscription). I am a heavy business traveler and my blackberry gets me 90% of the way there. PDFs are very handy for me and I can send most all of my documents to this format for access and viewing.
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