Kindle DX Review

Yesterday my new Amazon Kindle DX arrived and here are my initial impressions. I’ve owned a Kindle since November 2007 when they were first released. We currently own 4 of them: CJ has an original, Julie has a Kindle 2, and I now have both a Kindle 2 and the new DX. The moment Amazon announced the Kindle in the fall of 2007 I was enamored with the concept and have been a fan ever since. The industrial design & some parts of the user interfaces are awful, but the reading experience is incredible and the e-commerce aspect makes it almost too easy to discover and buy new books.

kindleI had a rough week and was looking forward to a beer when I got home. I grabbed a 1554 and then saw the box from Amazon. Perfect. The device came with about 2/3 a charge so I was able to start using it immediately. I had already sent some books and documents to it (it showed up in my Kindle account on Amazon weeks ago) and they immediately showed up after I turned it on.

The screen feels (and IS) much bigger than the Kindle and Kindle 2’s.  It has the same amazing readability in normal and bright light.  I wondered if screen repaints/refreshes would be noticeably slower given the larger number of pixels, but as it turns out it feels the same as the Kindle 2 (which is good enough).

I brought up the Kindle store on the device and noticed they had some Kindle DX optimized content. Graphics intensive content on the original Kindle and Kindle 2 is marginally useful at best due to the limited screen size. I figured a book on digital photography would test the limits, so I “bought” the preview of The Digital Photography Book and read the first chapter. I was very, very impressed with how good the images and diagrams were. So good that I actually bought the full version of the book. 

Next I purchased Charles Stross’ The Jennifer Morgue which I had been meaning to read for a while and read a few chapters with the sun over my shoulder. A complete pleasure with great readability! I wasn’t sure if I would like reading on the bigger screen…I found my ability to read fast was improved even more on the small Kindle screen size and I was worried that my eyes would tire scanning more.  However, the DX is great in this regard. The best way to describe it is to compare the 6” version to a paperback book and the 9.7” version to a hard-back book.

The DX does not have page forward/back buttons on the left side; only on the right. I am not convinced that this is a better setup than the Kindle 2 because it’s just simpler.

The overall size of the device is great. It is no thicker than the Kindle 2 and is super light.

My summary review is: I have a feeling I’m going to prefer using the DX over the 2 and that my 2 may end up being given to someone as a gift.

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