Q & A on Kindle DX
Q. Why did you purchase a Kindle DX?
A. I love to read, and I read alot. Accordingly, the Kindle DX, while expensive, is likely to "pay" for itself in a relatively short time, for anyone who likes to read New Releases. Yes, you can check things out from the library, but for avid readers who like to plow through New Releases, the Kindle is a nice luxury that supports the healthy habit of reading.
Q. Yeah, but that thing is expensive. Why not the Kindle 2?
A. Who said anything about the Kindle 2? Buy the Kindle 2.
Q. Ok, but why did YOU buy the Kindle DX and not the 2?
A. Oh, well that’s because of a couple of features that were important to me. First, the screen is larger, and that is helpful to me. Second, I like the pdf capability and use it.
Q. And that was worth the extra $100+ dollars?
A. For me, yes. Maybe not for you…and in that instance, buy the 2.
Q. Ok, so what is the first book that you downloaded?
A. Scratch Beginnings by Adam Shephard.
Q. Does it come with a case or a light?
A. No and no… and this is one bone to pick with Amazon. At that price, a protective case, even a cheap one, should be included. I would like to point out for those that bash this "no backlight" thing that just about every paper book I’ve ever purchased did not come with a "backlight" front light, side light, or any other kind of light. I tend to read near a lamp, and so that works. And I have a reading light that I can use in bed or in a car, and whaddya know, that works too.
Q. No color? How come no color?
A. What’s the last paper book you read that was written in color?
Q. Ok, fair point, but what about with periodicals and such?
A. I suspect that eventually we will see color Kindles. I am not sure the technology is available yet at this price point. I, for one, am pleased with the readability of aKindle DX in black and white.
Q. Ok, so is it easy to use?
A. Oh, I think so. For anyone remotely tech savvy, you can figure out the Kindle DX on the fly…. but the user manual that is loaded onto the Kindle is helpful, and there are lots of online sources for information if you’re really stuck.
Q. Is the bigger screen really a plus?
A. For me, it really is. Sometimes, I need to increase the font size for reading comfort and the larger screen really makes it still feel like I’m reading a book and accomplishing something with each turn of the page.
Q. Is the screen really "better" or "improved?"
A. While I do not own a Kindle 1 or 2, I have read from both. In my opinion theKindle DX is crisper and blacker, and in that sense, for me, yes, it is better.
Q. What’s with the screen shift?
A. Ah, you mean where you can turn it sideways and the screen shifts so that you can read, panoramic style. That feature has it’s advantages as well. First, you might find it a more comfortable way to read. Second, with PDF documents, sometimes, it’s the view you need.
Q. How’s the battery life?
A. Oh it’s great. So far, I’m still working off the first charge. Look, I think all of these readers have better than decent battery life. One keye is to remember to turn the wireless mode off if you want to extend the batter life. If you are a subscriber to blogs, etc…..you’ll need the wireless on for the downloads, but otherwise, keep it off. I imagine 2 weeks of reading with no wireless on is actually very achieveable. Now, not reading around the clock for two weeks, but with moderate usage, it lasts and lasts. This is NOT like some Walkman that burns double A’s in 3 hours.
Q. How is the download time?
A. I received Scratch Beginnings in under 18 seconds. I couldn’t have walked to the kitchen to get me keys to drive to the bookstore in 18 seconds. I also couldn’t have fired up my computer to purchase the book online in under 18 seconds.
Q. What about the range?
A. I’m in a metropolitan area. I have no problems. I’ve taken it to the mountains of North Carolina already, again, no problems.
Q. What about out of the country?
A. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Honestly, I plan to download a few books before I go…..
Q. What about people who complain that it isn’t green?
A. Oh for the love of humanity. You can’t please all the people all the time. Look, I read alot. I don’t need or want to own hundreds of books that OH BY THE WAY were printed on paper from trees. I don’t want to store them, put them in landfills, or whatever. This works for me. I hope it works for you.
Q. Yeah, but there are toxins in th…..
A. There are toxins in ice cream. I’m not going to stop eating that either.
Q. Didn’t you see that 20/20Frontline/48 Hours/iTeam investigation/New Magazine/Blah boo Blah show that talks about all the lead and mercury and hazardous stuff that children in Third World Nations are exposed to because you bought a Kindle.
A. Yes……no, wait……that wasn’t the story! Look, I love the environment and please know I try to do my part to protect same. I promise I won’t put my Kindle in the landfill, nor will I have it shipped to Naperstania where young children will be exposed to the evils of whatever might be in my Kindle. I expect to own the Kindle far longer than most books that I have owned in the past. I’m not trying to put magazines out of business, but really, I don’t need the mail, and the wasted paper and the ink and everything else. You give and you get, you know?
Q. Isn’t this just a fad?
A. I don’t think so. I think the Kindle DX could be the solution to college student spending hundreds of dollars per semester on text books and then having to lug them around for classes and trying to get rid of them when the semester is over. The uses of the Kindle DX in the education environment are all plusses. I believe the Kindle line and copies will be around for a long, long time. And if I’m wrong, I’ll come back and edit the review and admit I was wrong.
Q. Is it durable?
A. I haven’t dropped it and don’t want to….but I believe that it is durable. The screen is not like a laptop screen…. it’s more durable, in my view. I recommend getting a case or at least a protective cover. One does want to avoid scratches and unnecessary bumps with ANY electronic device. Again, Amazon should include a cover. Are you listening Amazon?
UPDATE: I dropped it. About 3.5 feet. It hit carpet. It’s fine. Not a scratch on it. Works just like it did before I dropped it. I did utter something that’s not PG when I dropped it….and I’m sorry for that now.
Q. Is it heavy?
A. It’s not heavy. It’s heavier than the Kindle 1 and 2. It’s got some heft to it. But it’s not unwieldy as larger books can be. And you don’t get that horrible thumb fatigue from holding the book upon with your thumb wedged in the bottom in the middle. I don’t find holding the Kindle DX awkward at all. I will say this though… I’m a rightie, and the buttons are all on the right. Perhaps some lefties will not appreciate that fact, but it’s not difficult to navigate at all. Reading with one hand and mashing buttons is a bit more clumsy than with the 1 or 2, but it’s fine.
Q. How’s the keyboard?
A. I think it works just fine. But lookie here…. I have an LG ENV mobile phone, in part, because it has a QWERTY keyboard with raised buttons. My big ol fingers and thumbs work better on little raised surfaces. So, the Kindle QWERTY is just my style. I’m not a touch screen sort of person. In fact, I have been known to become angry with various touch screen Kiosks - for example - at IKEA. But that is a story for another day.
Q. What happens if I spill something on it.
Q. How’s that little "mouse" button?
A. Easy to use. At first, I was concerned, because I sort of have fat thumbs. And, I was afraid that with overuse, it might get sticky or something. But, it’s easy to use. I don’t make mistakes with it, despite it’s small size.
Q. Will the Kindle DX make me cool?
A. No. The Kindle DX IS cool, but it will not make YOU cool, if you are not already cool. I am not particularly cool, and I also tend to think that trying to be cool because you have gadgetry is sort of pathetic.
Q. Is the Kindle a good conversation starter?
A. Why, yes it is…. and usually the conversation starts with, "Oh, is that one of those Kenny thingies?"
Q. What else can the Kindle DX do?
A. Scramble eggs and secure the perimeter. I don’t know, why are you asking this?
Q. Well, I’m trying to decide if it’s worth it…
A. If you aren’t an avid reader, NO, it’s not worth it. Look, for someone who always has a nose in a book, reads more than one at a time, reads alot, or quickly, OR for someone who wants to get the latest George Will columns, or magazine, etc…..the Kindle is a great little tool. It’s worth it. If you don’t read that much… stick to the old way.
Q. Do you do all of your reviews this way?
Q. Why did you Q & A this one?
A. Because it seemed like more fun than just writing it out in long paragraphs.
The Kindle DX is an excellent device.
The ease with which one can search for and download a book is just wonderful. I realize this works with all Kindles, but folks, let me tell you…. with your Kindle Account, you can search for a book, order it with one click and, I KID YOU NOT, have the entire book on the Kindle in about 10 seconds. Now, does it MATTER whether it’s 10 seconds or 50 seconds or 78 seconds? No.
Of course not.
But I am one to marvel at the speed of things. And this downloading service is really great.
I also want to address one of the more common comments that I get in public when someone sees the Kindle and starts asking questions and then decides to soapbox for a bit.
I get this alot: "Don’t you like to hold a real book? I LOVE to hold a real book! I think I’d miss the holding of a real book. Sometimes, you just want to hold a real book."
MY ANSWER: Yes, sometimes you want to hold a real book. Maybe you like the cover art. Maybe you have a unique edition. Maybe you like the smell of the paper. Maybe you feel more bookish with a real book. That’s you. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re a lovely human being. More power to you. Buy or borrow all the real books you want and read, read, read.
I have no reason to hold a real book in my hands. I don’t love the smell of an old book. Cover art doesn’t usually light my fire. I don’t feel more bookish with a real book. I just want to read a good book, and the Kindle DX makes it easy to obtain and then read what I want to read.
Another thing. I tend to have my nose in more than one book at a time. Sometimes, I’m not in the mood for the biography I’m reading, and a little golf humor makes my day. I don’t have to bring 2-3 books long with me and wait for the mood to strike. The Kindle DX has them all right there. Nice and easy.
Believe me… I’m as uptight and traditional as the next person, but again, for me, the Kindle makes sense. So, there’s really nothing to "defend" so to speak. I would never, in a million years, put down someone who just likes to feel the paper. Accordingly, please grant me the pleasure of swooning over the feel of the smooth, white plastic.