I wanted to upgrade from my Kindle 1 to the new Kindle DX, I really did. I’ve been looking forward to the announcement for days and finally got to see what it looked like today. Sadly, I won’t be upgrading. There are several very cool things about it as well as several problems that did not get addressed in the DX. But I won’t bore you with the details of any of those because there’s basically ONE thing that will keep me from upgrading: it won’t fit in most of my purses.
I know they’re pushing out to a new market - the business and student market - and those users would have bigger bags. But this Kindle DX version is not ready for prime time on the academic market, believe me, I’ve done some research on my Kindle and the highlight/notes functions are quite primitive and they don’t seem to have improved those. So to me, that means they still need to please their biggest current market which seems to be women. Women read more books than men. Women follow Oprah more than men. Hence, the Kindle should suck up to women. If only they had made it about an inch and a half shorter, it would fit in most of my purses and certainly all my favorite ones. To have your Kindle determine the look of your purse is a fashion no-no, in my opinion. We all have our own tastes and although mine is far from Vogue’s, it’s still my own style, not Amazon’s.
Amazon starts Kindle DX e-book reader
You are fond of reading books? And you don’t have a lot of place and time to bring the books with you? Amazon gives you an answer. It is the Kindle DX e-book reader.
You can read your favorite books on a 9.7-inch e-ink display. It is comprehensible for reading newspapers, books and other large articles. Kindle DX is user-friendly and has a built-in accelerometer. With it you can simply rotate your e-book reader for more suitable reading. Also Kindle DX has installed PDF reader. It can help you to open documents without converting them using Amazon’s service.
Let’s look inside. You can store your favorite books on a 4 GB internal storage. Approximately it is enough for 3.500 high-grade books. Also Kindle DX has the free 3G access to the Kindle store databases. You can easily download books or articles through web browser.
Hands On with the Amazon Kindle DX
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 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, Amazon 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.)
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 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.