Customer Review

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Transitional technology that does not fulfill the hype., October 31, 2009
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This review is from: Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device (9.7" Display, U.S. Wireless) (Electronics)
Ok, I gave into the hype and ordered a Kindle DX. I was tired of reading PDFs and eBooks on a computer screen, and my laptop PC produced too much heat and noise. Not to mention the short battery life...

I agree that the Kindle's thin form factor, battery life and included connectivity are a step in the right direction, however they are not enough to compensate for the poor state of digital ink technology nor the Kindle's poorly conceived user interface.

The Kindle DX screen (even with 16 shades of gray) brings back memories of computers past. The characters render rough and unaliased, and diagrams/figures often render too light to read. The background is not paper-white but a drab gray. When you change the page, the entire page inverts for a fraction of a second, causing an annoying flicker. The page does look better in bright light, but I do not read outdoors often and using a clip-on light is just compensating for poor technology with more complexity.

The Kindle DX is poorly balanced, not light, and has a smooth surface, which makes it awkward to hold. One-handed reading with the DX is not really an option. The placement of the navigation controls assume a particular hand position that I found difficult to maintain. The keyboard is the most awkward design element. Even though it is a Qwerty keyboard, it is surprisingly difficult to locate letters. The weight of the DX above the keyboard makes typing a balancing act.

The lack of a touch screen, on-screen keyboard or even a row of softkeys makes the user interface modal and difficult to navigate using the poorly-placed joystick. In spite of all the advances in user interfaces over the last 20 years that made PCs and Macs more intuitive and easy to use, Amazon decided to ignore the advances and present the Kindle with a pre-enlightenment design in which the user must contort to the technology rather than the technology designed to fit the user.

For all the Kindle fans, I'm happy that you are receiving--or perceiving--value from the Kindle. The instant gratification of the wireless delivery is nice. But just realize that the "state of the Kindle" is at best an early-to-market, transitional technology whose sole purpose is for Amazon to sell more content while charging you for the privilege.

In 2010 we will see many thin/light tablet PCs and netbooks with better screen resolution, color, wifi connectivity, touchscreens, better interface designs, real operating systems, and 8-hour+ battery life for less than the price of the Kindle DX. They are already starting to appear. I doubt that Amazon will have anything close, which is why the Kindle is only a transitional technology.

Also note that Amazon will soon release Kindle reader software for the PC that will run on the above-mentioned devices. It seems that Amazon sees the writing on the wall too.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 7, 2014 6:19:29 PM PST
J says:
True, Jasper, but most folks are dumb with low expectations and that is why Amazon can be less intelligent with design and not improve value or price and still be in business. It takes extra to win the intelligent/skeptic consumer group (aka best but rarest group).
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