Kindle DX Arrives

Kindle DX Arrives

The Kindle DX arrived last week and I have had a few days to really use the device and my conclusion is that this is a great eBook reader for the right users. Like the Kindle and Kindle 2, it isn’t for everyone. Here are my thoughts:

Pros:

1) The Kindle DX’s larger size allows for reading documents with fewer page turns. While Page turning is faster on the Kindle DX than it was on my older Kindle 1, the amount of text per page means fewer “pages” per document. My aging eyes also prefer to increase the font size on some documents, and having more screen real estate makes this more forgiving.

2) The larger size allows me to read some web pages and new PDF files much more comfortably. While PDF files still have many limitations, the native support for PDF means the few books I have in this format can now be read on the Kindle without converting them.

3) Landscape mode is a real plus for me. For several documents I own, holding the Kindle DX in Landscape mode makes reading much easier and the documents flow better in that mode. However I prefer to switch manually between Portrait and Landscape. I have the same problem with my iPod Touch. It wants to switch to Landscape just because I shifted positions while reading. I prefer to decide for myself which mode is best for a given document.

4) Portability, while it is larger and heavier than the original Kindle, it is still much easier than carrying around several books when going on a trip. I won’t hesitate to pack the Kindle DX along.

5) Amazon support. I can’t say this enough. I have heard horror stories of people trying to get support from Sony for their eBook reader. Amazon has bent over backwards to help us with every problem we’ve had. I purchased the wrong edition of a book by mistake, and Amazon quickly credited me. MY original Kindle stopped working a few days after the warranty had expired, but Amazon replaced it free of charge anyway. If you are going to buy some new and admittedly expensive technology, make sure the company you are doing business with will stand by their product. Amazon does.

Cons:

1) Size (yes this is a pro and a con): The Kindle DX won’t fit as easily into a purse or small backpack. It will be harder to ignore the weight while walking through the airport. Still, it is better than what I used to do when traveling. Nothing was worse than deciding what books to take along due to the constraints of airline luggage.

2) We still need folder options on the Home screen. Honestly, saying we can have up to 3,500 books on the Kindle DX is completely outweighed by the inability to organize them the way we want to. The Search function partially works around this by allowing us to find a book quickly. However, I suspect searching a Kindle fully loaded with books is not going to be very fast.

Still, the Cons of the Kindle DX are essentially the Cons of the original Kindle. The Kindle DX may be a bit more cumbersome, but for anyone who reads a lot or travels and needs to carry reading material along, the Kindle is the best solution.

You’ll note I didn’t bring up price. The truth is price is always subjective. If the item is worth the price TO YOU, it is worth it for you. If it is not, then shouting at others won’t do you any good. There are people who buy a new Ferrari every year because they like their cars fast with a new car smell. Then there are those who feel the Ferrari is a waste of money for a machine that simply takes you from point A to point B. All arguments between these people will never end in agreement.

By S.W.Martin “grown up kid”

 

News Gadget : Amazon Kindle DX

I could write about the feel of the keyboard, or the weight, the size, and the speed of the screen refresh, but others have done this. These are very subjective and generally a matter of taste. Thanks to all of those who pushed and prodded, lifted, and cuddled (their words not mine) these devices. For the most part you’ve done a great job with the periphery. I read these while waiting for my Kindle DX to arrive. Thanks for giving me the tactile experience. I, however, take a slightly different view: Does the Kindle DX meet the design aesthetic of the creator?

I am an Electrical/Software Engineer, an avid reader, and write as a hobby. I have an interest in all aspects of the Kindle. I purchased the original Kindle DX about a year ago and still today consider it one of the best purchases I’ve made. The primary reason I purchased the original kindle was for an improved experience when reading. I wasn’t sure that was possible. Most people who love to read do so because of the nearly magical feature of the brain to take dead lifeless symbols printed on paper and reconstitute the original intent and image of the writer’s story; taking the reader into places never seen and even to the point of feeling things never felt. People who love to read will often “see” the story and no longer “see” the book. This is the pinnacle of the reading experience and paper books truly become the transport they are intended to be. So the question is…

Does the Kindle DX meet and/or exceed the ability of a paper book to transport the reader to the place the writer wished to go to a point where it “disappears” or “fades away” when used?

From my own experience I can say, yes it does. Both my original Kindle (coined Kindle 1 by many people) and my Kindle DX have proven this. Does my Kindle DX do this as well as my Kindle 1? Yes. Does the Kindle DX improve the reading experience over the Kindle 1? Yes, I dare say it does.

How could the Kindle DX improve on the reading experience of the Kindle 1? While I love the Kindle 1 and have tried over the last year to wear the buttons out on it, I was impressed by one of the features of the huge DX. The pan and scan of the eyes is greatly increased. In fact I sat my Kindle 1 on the Kindle DX and the screen of the Kindle DX is larger than the entire Kindle 1. The size of the screen allows my eyes to have a more natural pan of the text that allows more information to be processed before jumping to the next line. Therefore there are fewer “breaks” in the reading allowing for more immersion into the story. The larger pages allow more time and information to be read before the even larger page turn breaks. Therefore the I have noticed the Kindle DX fades away even quicker than the Kindle 1.

Another unexpected advantage I noticed has to do with the physical dimensions and monotonic concepts. The Kindle DX is quite large and when place in the reader’s line of sight cuts-off much more field of view which really limits distractions. The white chassis does not pull the readers eye and nearly creates a movie screen for the “movie” to play on.

The conscious choices made to limit other perceived needs I think are very good choices. It’s very rare anymore for a product developer to stay true to the intent and purpose of a device. They want to add gimmicky and slick additions that may not benefit and even detract from the pure purpose of the device just to add marketing value. I like the design of the Kindle. It has a number of things that more conventional devices have (like laptops), but each item the Kindle sports is not intended to do anything more than improve the reading experience.

So what about the extras you get with the Kindle? The Blogs, Magazines, News Papers, Personal Documents etc. These are value added components. The primary focus of the Kindle is to read books and make the experience equal to that of a paper book. These other items appear to confuse people as to the real purpose of the Kindles. These are great features and I like them a lot. But when I read these, my purpose is different. I have shifted my focus from entertainment and experience, to information. I read a completely different way and I do not expect to be “transported” as I am with a book. But these are valuable additions to the many features of the Kindle and I believe improve the overall product.

I also understand that some magazines are literary magazines and have the same intent as a book. The Kindles do a great job with these also due to its design. For, in this respect, the magazine has the same intent as the book.

Now that I’ve stated my case for the Kindle DX I would like to make a point about the price.

A number of people seem concerned with the price. Is this device worth $489? My answer is a strong yes, although I would not go any higher. Here is my reasoning. First, the enjoyment I get from the Kindle is greater than the price I paid. But on the economy of the thing: Many if not all people have hobbies or interests. Consider the costs of your hobby or interest. Some of these are incredibly expensive. Let’s consider a few (there are millions but this is for demonstration).

Gardening: How much does it cost to garden? How much does it cost plants, fertilizers, landscaping materials, equipment, etc. per year?

Motorcycle: How much does it cost to purchase a motorcycle, insurance, fuel, and maintenance?

Boat: How much does a motor boat, sail boat, personal water craft, etc. cost?

Cable: How much do you spend a year on cable?

Hunting: How much does it cost to hunt? I know people who have purchased property just to have a place to hunt.

Piloting: How much is the airplane, fuel, license, insurance, etc.?

Movies: How much do tickets and a snack cost for 1 1/2 hours?

Take the amount spent on the hobby and then divide that price by the hours of use. Then take the Kindle and the price of the books and do the same thing. I think you’ll find the Kindle is one of the cheapest if not the cheapest.

One thing to consider is the cover for the device. I chose the keep the original cover with my Kindle 1. The Kindle 1 in its cover is about the size of a paperback book. But with the Kindle DX, I chose the M-Edge Platform Cover that allows it to stand up like an easel. It has proven itself to me to be a good choice due to the Kindle DX’s larger width. I will be writing a review for that cover also.

I gave the Kindle DX 5 stars because it does exactly what they said it will do and then some more and it met all my expectations. I review on the “what is” and not the “what if”. In my opinion there is no other digital reader that comes close to the Kindle when you look at the whole package including the Amazon service.

 

 

 By R.Layne “Luv2Read