วันเสาร์ที่ 13 มีนาคม พ.ศ. 2553
วันอาทิตย์ที่ 22 พฤศจิกายน พ.ศ. 2552
Hot on the heels of the super-successful Kindle 2 launch, Amazon announced the Kindle DX ($489 direct), a larger, higher capacity, and more expensive version. I was able to get some hands-on time with the device and found it to be just as advertised: a larger version of the Kindle. That said, that extra screen size and the new partnerships with textbook vendors could help the Kindle DX open markets previously untapped by e-book readers.
The biggest difference between the Kindle DX and the Kindle 2 is the size of the screen, which is 2.5-times larger than the original. Moving from a 6-inch display to a 9.7-inch display makes the reading experience a lot more like reading a standard 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper. Whereas reading the Kindle 2 is akin to reading a book, the Kindle DX feels more like reading a magazine. Indeed, Jeff Bezos said at today’s announcement that presenting structured, designed content is one of the key reasons for developing the Kindle DX.
The device measures 10.4 by 7.2 by 0.38 inches, and indeed, it feels incredibly thin when you hold it in your hand. It weighs 18.9 ounces and has about the same heft as a spiral bound paper notebook. Two small slits on the left side of the device will be used to attach a protective case, but none were on display today. The back of the Kindle DX features the same brushed metal back as the Kindle 2. Not much to see there.
One upgrade that won’t be immediately obvious is the increased memory. The Kindle DX comes with 4GB of memory and room to store about 3,500 books, compared to the 1,500-book capacity of the Kindle 2. I doubt many Kindle users ever max out their libraries, but since Amazon is increasingly pushing the Kindle as a tool for reading your own documents, the extra capacity could come in handy. There is still no removable memory slot adding memory.
The Kindle DX’s interface hasn’t changed much from Kindle 2. The Home button is still the best way to restart your navigation process and the five-way directional toggle lets you navigate the menus. I still think this process could be smoothed out some, but it isn’t too difficult to move around. Although the Page Forward and Page Back commands are still along the right side of the device, they’ve been removed from the left-hand side.
One key improvement is the addition of an accelerometer. Like the Apple iPhone, the Kindle DX can detect its orientation and rotates the screen accordingly. This lets you view documents, photos, and charts in landscape mode. In fact, the device can even be operated upside down, so that left handers can use the Page Forward/Page Back keys with their left hand if they want. (Typing on the QWERTY keyboard upside down is much, much more difficult.)
The Kindle DX also adds native PDF and RTF file support. Although previous Kindles have been able to display PDFs, this support was experimental and often achieved mixed results. The Kindle DX will ship with native PDF support that uses Adobe Reader Mobile technology. The demos I saw included nautical charts, maps, and legal documents, and the results were very impressive. Of course, I will have to load my own PDFs to really evaluate this feature.
Otherwise, the Kindle DX supports the same assortment of file formats, including Kindle, (AZW) TXT, Audible, HTML, Doc, JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Files can be sideloaded via the microUSB cable or sent through Amazon’s Whispernet service for $.15/MB.
As with the Kindle 2, the Kinlde DX comes with a built-in 1xRTT EVDO modem for wirelessly loading books and other digital content using the companies Whispernet service. Whispernet works seamlessly in the background, but it should be noted the company recently moved to per MB pricing for files that you upload to the service. If users do start uploading lots of their own files to the device, as Amazon seems to want them to, this could end up adding to the price of the device.
Other than the increased size, the biggest improvement in the Kindle ecosystem is the deal with textbook publishers. The textbook market will be key for the DX to succeed. Amazon has already signed up three of the top five textbook publishers (Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley) as well as 27 University Press Publishers. The Kindle DX will be used in trials with at least five universities this fall.
There are lots of unanswered questions about the Kindle DX that I will answer when the device comes into PCMag Labs for testing. That said, given how closely the device builds on the Kindle 2 platform, it seems like a useful addition to the Kindle portfolio. This will be especially true if Amazon can succeed in evolving the device from a pure e-book reader into a device for reading all sorts of digital documents, including textbooks, magazines, blogs, word documents, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, e-mails, or any other document people currently print out.
วันอังคารที่ 27 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552
The differences between the Kindle 2 and the new Kindle DX are obvious: a 9.7-inch E Ink monochrome display dominates the front panel, offering around 2.5x the space of the smaller ebook reader and squashing the QWERTY keyboard into tic-tac tininess at the bottom. Amazon Kindle DX has obviously worked hard to minimize the screen’s impact on the overall chassis, with mixed results. It’s a scant 0.02-inches thicker than the Kindle 2, at 0.38-inches, with a metal back-plate lending stiffness, but the left-side page controls have been dropped.
Make sure to click through for the full review, photo gallery and unboxing/walkthrough video of the Amazon Kindle DX.
That means that anybody who automatically goes to use their left-hand to turn pages (and that’s not just the left-handed among us) will have to either retrain themselves or follow Amazon’s advice and flip the display 180-degrees. Doing so obviously puts the keyboard and joystick out of easy reach, so it’s not an ideal solution.
Anybody planning on doing this regularly really should get into the habit of using the included USB 2.0 to micro-USB cable, though, as Amazon’s Whispernet conversion fees can quickly mount up. Shortly before they announced the Kindle DX, Amazon quietly changed their policy on wireless conversions: where previously they charged a fixed $0.10 per document, they now bill per megabyte. Files are rounded up to the nearest whole megabyte (MB), each charged at $0.15. Given that a typical research paper will range in size from under 1MB (which Amazon will round up) to perhaps 10-15MB depending on length, graphics and whether the original is in color or monochrome, you’re likely looking at least a dollar per conversion. Manual transfers via the USB cable (Amazon will also convert documents not natively supported and send them back to your email account) are free.
วันจันทร์ที่ 26 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552
Amazon has recently released yet another digital book reader, the Kindle DX. This new model aims to address a common limitation on other e-book readers, whether it is the Kindle 1, Kindle 2 or the Sony PRS series. Prior to the release of this new model, the largest screen on any e-book readers in the market measure at 6-inches. Although this is a sizable dimension (good for reading books), it take a little getting used to reading magazines and newspapers on a tiny 6-inch screen.
Among other features, the new Kindle DX comes with a huge 9.7-inch making it the largest screen on any e-book readers in the market. It incorporates most of the features on the Kindle 2 and a few additional features. The features retained in this new model includes the slim design (at just 0.38″thick and about 19 ounces in weight), 3G connectivity, Whispernet, and an instant-lookup dictionary.
There are also several new features on the new Kindle DX. It has an auto-rotation features, like iPhones. You can choose to read in portrait or landscape mode by just turning the reader to the side. It also has a larger 4GB memory (the Kindle 2 has only 2GB) for you to store your e-books and mp3 files. With a larger screen I would expect that the battery lifespan of the new model will be shorter than the Kindle 2. According to Amazon, the Kindle DX too can last up to 2 weeks on a single charge.There are also some experimental features such as a basic web browser and the read-to-me function.
To make space for the large screen, the size of the keyboard on the Kindle DX has been reduced. The keys consist of small rectangular tablets much like those on cell phones. Unlike Kindle 2, the page turn buttons on the new model is only found on the right side of the reader.This gives the user a better grip over the larger Kindle DX. The additional features on the new reader does come at a price. At the time of writing, the new reader costs $489 each.
วันอาทิตย์ที่ 25 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552
Kindle DX : Perspective from a biomedical researcher
I don’t generally write reviews, but I hope this one will be useful for other scientists who are contemplating a Kindle DX. My use for the Kindle DX will be different from most of the users who have posted reviews. I maintain a library of nearly 4,000 PDF manuscripts/grants/documents. I probably have minimal use for eBooks from the Kindle Store. The number of PDFs is constantly growing as new research manuscripts are published (and downloaded to my computer). My principle reasons for purchasing a Kindle DX were to:1) Carry the electronic equivalent of binders of PDFs with me when traveling. An iPod for PDFs. This is a metaphor that works for the way that I view an eReader, though it probably doesn’t apply equally well to everyone.
2) Have an easier way to read papers when traveling. Easier means not worrying about battery life, unfurling a laptop in a cramped airplane, or carrying a bag full of papers.
3) Reduce eye strain from staring at a computer screen by moving serious reading from the laptop screen to the Kindle DX.
From my preliminary use, I think the Kindle DX is a qualified success. Text in manuscripts looks great. Figures from manuscripts do not render well in portrait mode if there is a lot of detail; switching to landscape mode helps substantially. Zoom into individual images/sections of PDFs would be welcome.
Navigating large numbers of PDFs from the home screen is currently clumsy. Lack of directory support to organize large numbers of files is an issue. I’ve read about users using complex naming conventions to use ’search’ as an indirect way to find files. Renaming hundreds (or thousands) of files to make them easier to find is not a great solution. I suspect this will improve in time, either through a firmware update to this device or in the next generation of hardware.
I’m also hoping against hope that one or more of the reference manager software providers (Bookends, I’m looking at you) realizes that their software is to the Kindle as iTunes is to the iPod. If I could manage the content of my Kindle through a reference manager, I would be thrilled. The idea of downloading a paper and syncing it in one step to the Kindle to take with me is really appealing. This wouldn’t completely overcome the problem with a flat file hierarchy once the papers are on the Kindle, but it would help organize getting content onto and off the device.
The biggest surprise to me is the functionality of the web browser. Yes, it is pokey to render pages. No, I wouldn’t want to use it to web surf. But if I had a destination web site that is heavy on content, I think reading on the Kindle will be vastly superior to reading on the iPhone or other mobile/tablet devices. I do doubt, however, that wireless data access will remain free on the Kindle long-term. I can’t imagine how Amazon will be able to continue subsidizing the data costs. I think that this is a feature that should be enjoyed while it lasts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes away at some point in the future.
Though it adds another $50 to the cost, I think the matching case is attractive, functional, and creates an easy-to-carry package.
So is it worth the high cost? I don’t think I (or anyone) can really evaluate that until determining how well it integrates into daily work habits. I suspect that I will get heavy use out of it, but then I read a ton of PDFs. I do hope that the PDF support for dictionary lookup, highlighting, and annotation improves, but I base my review on what the product does - not what I would like it to do.
D. H. O’CONNOR
วันเสาร์ที่ 17 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552
The Amazon Kindle DX is the latest addition to the Kindle series of e-book readers. It is much larger than the other models as it is targeted at a different niche in the market (newspaper and textbook readings). This new model has a 9.7inch display, which is great for reading newspaper articles, magazines and textbooks.
The screen quality is similar to the Kindle 2, having a paper-like feel that is very easy to read without much strain on the eyes. In fact the layout and position of the keypad and buttons are almost identical to the Kindle 2. This new model is very thin with rounded corners and a matte metal/aluminum panel on the back. It measures at 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.38 inches and weights at just 18.9 ouches. It also has tiny speakers at the bottom of the unit.
One of the new features found on the Kindle DX is the ability to rotate the display. You can choose to read the content in portrait or landscape by just rotating the reader to the side, very much like the iPhone or the iPod touch.
If you plan to get an e-book reader to read mainly newspapers or magazines, the Kindle DX will prove to be a better choice over the older models. The bigger screen makes it much easier to read long articles and view pictures without the need to constantly scroll the screen. It also comes with 3.3GBs for storage that is more than enough for most of us. With the wireless feature turned off, you can use the Kindle DX for up to 2 weeks on a single charge.
For more real reviews and product information, visit Amazon Kindle DX.
วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 15 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2552
ts worth nothing that the Kindle DX has better screen contrast and handles PDFs well – technical documents look great. At the same time PDFs don’t have annotations, Text To Speech, etc. While a lot of owners love the larger size (think hardcover; size of kindle dx screen equal to full size of kindle 2) others think it kills portability and if you have weak hands it makes the Kindle DX too heavy.
Bottomline: At the moment the average rating across every Kindle DX review is 4.2 stars at Amazon and 4.5 stars across all kindle forums. Owners love the Kindle DX.
Kindle DX Review Stats – Blogs and Newspapers
Here’s what we have (only linking to a few) -
Steven Levy at Wired gives it 7/10.
Walt Mossberg thinks the Kindle DX is bigger, not better than the Kindle 2. The actual review is pretty balanced and tends towards a 7.
CNet gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Boing Boing complain about the price and document conversion and seem to be tending towards an 8/10.
Gizmodo seem to be giving the Kindle DX a 7/10 and seem rather pessimistic about the future of eInk.
BusinessWeek are generally positive. 8/10.
SlashGear have an amazing number of photos and a video. They seem to be tending between 7 and 8.
Every single blog and news site seems to be saying -
Its good, its too expensive, it can never take on the iPhone, and it will fail. The consensus seems to be a 7 out of 10 rating.
Bottomline: Big blogs and news sites are lukewarm on the Kindle DX. They expect it to fail.
One key difference between reporters’ Kindle dx reviews and owners’ Kindle dx reviews is that the owners seem to understand that kindles are a work in progress.