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”

 

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Review : Kindle DX: Amazon’s 9.7″

Kindle DX: Amazon’s 9.7″

Even better than Kindle 1 & 2,

Reading on the Kindle DX is such a joy. I’ve been so happy with my first generation Kindle 1, but the Kindle DX takes Kindle reading to the next level. The amount of content that fits onto the screen is a vast improvement to the experience. And even better than the *quantity* of content is the *quality* of the content. The display on the Kindle DX is truly phenomenal.

I write technical documents for a living. The product documentation that I write is full of images, diagrams, and rich formatting. I’ve tried loading my PDF documents onto my Kindle 1, but they won’t display. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I loaded my PDFs onto the Kindle DX. The formatting of the page displayed perfectly!!! Zooming and rotating was simple.

I read a lot of technical documents too. I’ve always been sorry that I couldn’t read good technical books on my Kindle 1 (the latest Photoshop books, etc.) They look great on the DX though. With the Kindle DX, you can carry your whole reference library with you: dictionaries, reference manuals, the Bible, … I even have PDF versions of the shop manuals for our dirt bikes. I haven’t loaded them onto the Kindle DX, but it sure would be easier to have them on one compact device than having five big fat books for the bikes.

The Kindle DX isn’t cheap, but I imagine the price will come down eventually like it did with earlier Kindle DX versions. It is an astounding device though–truly a game changing piece of equipment. Think of how your TV viewing changed when you got your first TiVo, how driving changed when you got a GPS, how your phone changed when you got voicemail and caller ID. That’s how your reading will change when you get your fist Kindle.

 

By  David Edmiston “Dave”

 

Amazon should cut the price down

Amazon should cut the price down

I am a grad student who need to read lots PDF journal papers. I like the screen size of Kindle DX which really makes me comfortable to read by clean words. It does heavier while I hold it in one hand. Though it weighs like iPhone 3G but the big size keeps you hard to hold it for a long time reading.

Wireless download and the screensaver are two of the sweet features in Kindle DX. I do wish Amazon could let user set up their own custom screensaver. And let us upload Images and DOC files via USB not the wireless conversion.

And I have to say that I am really disappointed about the PDF reader. Amazon provide the native PDF support in Kindle DX but w/o the most important Annotation and Zoom In/Out features. Now, look at the machine I got:

It can read the books ONLY on itself, and plus a PDF reader which cannot do anything but rotate the screen(fine, you can do some searching keywords). How could you claim the Kindle Kindle DX as an E-Reader? It cannot even support the most common file type, PDF, with the basic features. Then you sell students the Kindle DX as the highest price at market, $489 + $50 with a cover?

I do not think Kindle DX worth the price because it doesn’t provide the complete features for academic users, I cannot annotate/Zoom in/out the most files(PDF) I have. And there is no proper file organization in DX. In addition, the text books I brought are only for Kindle. I cannot read w/o the machine.

I do hope Amazon would let us upgrade the PDF annotation and zoom features via firmware update. Also the doc, images files syn with personal computers.

By J. Chiu

Amazon’s New Kindle DX is an Electronic Game Changer

Amazon’s New Kindle DX is an Electronic Game Changer

What is a Kindle?

The Kindle is an electronic media reader built and sold exclusively by Amazon.  Some might call it a digital book but, as you’ll see, it’s so much more.

The thin that sets the Kindle apart from other digital readers is its revolutionary Digital Ink technology.  Unlike laptops, computers, or portable devices, the Kindle only uses electricity when the image on the screen is refreshed (when you “turn” the page for example).  The image is displayed in crisp grayscale (capable of up to 12 shades for exceptional clarity,) and “reads” more like regular paper text because there is no backlighting or glare from the screen.  This unique ability allows the Kindle to operate for an incredible two weeks on a single battery charge!

The Kindle isn’t just about reading books and looking geeky while you’re doing it.  The Kindle truly represents a big step toward that fabled “paperless society” everybody has been talking about since the first time they saw Captain Kirk and Spock talk to the ships computer on Star Trek the Original Series. 

In a very real way, the Kindle DX (Amazon’s biggest version yet) is similar to the Enterprise’s computer.  It’s a wireless device (operating off Sprint’s 3Gnetwork) that has access to Amazon’s massive library of over 275,000 books, 60,000 audio books, and hundreds of top rated periodicals (The New York Times and Time magazine.)  The Kindle DX allows you to digitally search, preview, and download anything from the Amazon library in seconds.  You can also easily transfer documents from one Kindle to another with Whispersync technology.  You can port your files over via a USB 2.0 cable as well but that seems just a little too old fashioned.    

Amazon targeted tech savvy business professionals as well with its upgrade.  The Kindle DX cantransport and view a wide array of digital media formats including:  Kindle (AZW,) PDF, text, Audible audio books, MP3, html, Word .Doc, Jpeg, and many more.  You want to listen to Stiff Whisker and the Driftwood Kids while you read the New York Times?  You Can.  Prefer to use the kindle as a business presentation tool and display your charts, graphs, documents, and photos with the portability of a device that weighs less than two pounds?  The Kindle is great for you as well.    

The new Kindle DX is a significant upgrade over the older, much smaller version, with:

  • 1) A 9.7″ display (capable of up to 16 shades of grey for crystal clarity)
  • 2) A built in dictionary (The New Oxford American Dictionary)
  • 3) Free access to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia
  • 4) A basic web browser great for text-centric sites such as Google
  • 5) Support for MP3 format to support audio (as mentioned above)
  • 6) An auto-rotating display that allows better presentation of oversized documents
  • 7) A Native PDF reader (which requires no conversion and preserves the original layout of the document)
  •  Amazon’s experimental Read-To-Me software (which converts text into spoken word)

Amazingly, Amazon stuffed all of that into a device that’s 1/3 of an inch thick and weighs just over a pound.

The digital Ink technology revolutionizes energy consumption in portable devices and the fact that Kindle can give anyone access to hundreds of thousands of documents without ever having to pulp a tree for paper is really quite amazing.  If paperless really isn’t your “thing,” just imagine how much space you’ll save by having your entire collection of dusty old hardcovers in a 1/3 of an inch digital box (not to mention the money you’ll save over bookstore prices.)

Colleges around the country have already pre-ordered the new Kindle DX, citing its ability to handle text book-sized material, its cost effectiveness, and its environmental footprint.  Yet the Kindle might not be as hot as Amazon wanted it to be be.  Why?  The price might scare most users away:  nearly $500!

When you consider what it can do and how many devices it can replace, even $500 is an incredible bargain.

Personally, I feel that if the Kindle fits within your budget, you should have one. 

 Amazon Kindle DX

Reviews Kindle DX Pros And Cons

Amazon Kindle DX

Reviews of the Amazon Kindle e-Book. Check out pictures, news, and reviews of Amazon’s latest product push – the Kindle.

Kindle DX Review (Video): This commercial presentation provides an up-close look at the features and specs of the Kindle DX including: display features, how the text-to-speech sounds, wireless access and technology, buying content (periodicals and books) through Amazon, web browsing, PDF viewing and much more.

Advanced Design

Sleek & Trim

Kindle DX is as thin as most magazines. Just over a third of an inch in profile, you’ll findKindle DX fits perfectly in your hands.

Beautiful Large Display

Kindle DX ’s large display is ideal for a broad range of reading material, including graphic-rich books, PDFs, newspapers, magazines, and blogs. Kindle DX’s display is two and a half times the size of the Kindle display. Whether you’re reading the latest bestseller or a financial report, text and images are amazingly sharp on the 9.7″ screen.

Auto-Rotating Screen

By simply turning the device, you can immediately see full-width landscape views of maps, graphs, tables and Web pages.

Built-In PDF Reader

Unload the loose documents from your briefcase or backpack, and put them all on Kindle DX. From neighborhood newsletters to financial statements to case studies and product manuals–you can take them all with you on Kindle DX. Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go. With Amazon’s Whispernet service, you can send your documents directly to your Kindle DX and read them anytime, anywhere.

5-Way Controller

Kindle DX has an easy-to-use 5-way controller, enabling precise on-screen navigation for selecting text to highlight or looking up words.

Simple to Use, No Computer Required

Kindle DX is completely wireless and ready to use right out of the box–no setup, no cables, no computer required.

Amazon’s New Kindle DX: Pros and Cons

Amazon announced the next generation of it’s Kindle e-reader, the Kindle DX. Per Amazon, the display is 2.5 times bigger than the original. After taking a look, here’s some of the main points:

Pros:

1. The new larger size allows documents to be read as-is, with the entire document fitting in the screen. With the smaller Kindle screen, users have to scroll to see more of the document, or the document has to be re-flowed, something that can severely change the readability.

2. Those who read large print books and feel the current Kindle screen could not accommodate them should have an easier time with this new version.

3. The DX will have an automatic rotating display, meaning the screen automatically changes from vertical to horizontal and back again, depending on how it’s held.

4. The Kindle DX can store around 2,000 more books than the current Kindle.

5. PDFs won’t have to be converted like the they do in the current Kindle.

Cons:

1. The current Kindle isn’t exactly the most portable device, despite its slim size. By tacking on an additional two inches, it will be even harder for many to carry the Kindle DX around as an all-purpose device, as Amazon touts it to be.

2. At $489, it costs over $100 more than the current Kindle, which isn’t the cheapest e-reader available to begin with.

3. I haven’t seen anything to indicate that Amazon has improved the connectivity issues that have plagued some of the current Kindle owners.

4. The Kindle still requires the Kindle store and still does not allow crossover purchases.

Kindle DX: The flip-side

While the backside of the Kindle DX is as nondescript as that of an iPod, it masks the unit’s 4GB capacity (3.3GB usable). That’s twice as much as the Kindle 2, and enough to hold 3,500 books (according to Amazon).

16 shades of gray

As with the Kindle 2, the DX’s e-ink screen delivers 16 shades of gray, which means sharper images than the first-gen Kindle. (Those hoping for a color screen will have to wait for future versions

A library in your hand Newspapers, magazines, books, and personal documents are accessible on the Kindle DX. The unit also includes a full version of the New Oxford American Dictionary, so unfamiliar words can be

Still no touch screen Unlike the competing Sony Reader, the latest Kindle still doesn’t have a touch screen. However, the built-in keyboard makes it relatively easy to enter search terms and Web addresses.

Kindle DX: To Buy or Not To Buy?

Today, Amazon announced a new Kindle e-reader that has a bigger screen — 9.7 inches diagonally — and a bigger price tag: 489 smackeroos. So should you fork out $130 more than the last Kindle for the new version? We can’t say for sure until we get to play with it for a while, but here’s a preliminary guide based on the specs and our quick demo at today’s press conference.

Who Will Want It

Students: Textbooks can weigh five-plus pounds and cost 80-plus dollars. So backpack-burdened students are the obvious first customers for a big-screen e-reader that can hold hundreds of textbooks and display their diagrams and charts in full. The Kindle DX isn’t the first large-screen e-reader (see the options from iRex) but Amazon’s clout gives it an advantage, letting it offer textbooks from many different publishers. Amazon has already announced deals with Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Wiley, who together account for 60 percent of the U.S. textbook market. Although prices for the upcoming digital textbooks haven’t been announced, I expect that they’ll be lower than the printed version, just as with Amazon’s other e-books.

News junkies: the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe will all offer Kindle DXs at a discounted price in a trial of digital subscriptions. Unfortunately, it seems this summer’s trial will happen only in areas where there’s currently no paper delivery. (Looks like the rest of us will have to wait, which is too bad for me — I’d gladly sign on, because even though I can get the paper delivered to my apartment, someone always steals the darn thing before I get outside.) Right now the digital newspapers’ format is simple, not a copy of the paper version’s layout, just as on previous Kindles — although maybe the bigger screen will prompt publishers to think about new ways of presenting articles.

Owners of printers: Businesspeople, scientists, and the rest of us are always printing out 8 1/2-by-11 documents, whether they’re corporate reports, journal articles, or recipes. A screen that’s two and a half times the size of the original Kindle’s gets much closer to the size of an actual piece of paper, so you don’t have to zoom or scroll to see all the information — everything looks exactly like the printouts we’re used to. The best part: The Kindle DX can read all your PDF documents instantly, without you having to go through the complicated conversion process that the current Kindles require.

Kindle DX: A little ungainly, but not so little

Kindle DX: A little ungainly, but not so little

The Kindle DX is not a rock star like its sibling, the Kindle 2. The DX is bigger, more expensive and can be tedious to use.

If you’re a college student schlepping a half-dozen textbooks in a backpack and spending $1,000 a year on those books, you may welcome the DX. That’s certainly one of Amazon.com’s aims with its latest Kindle, which went on sale recently.

The company wants to get it into those backpacks and briefcases that students — as well as business people — carry. But at $489, the Kindle DX is still a pricey option. And it may not be the best one.

Its wee keyboard — keys resemble those tiny paper punch holes on exams meant for No. 2 pencils, not fingers — can drive you wild with frustration as you strain to see them and avoid hitting the wrong ones. The keyboard on the Kindle 2, with rounded keys, is much better.

The Kindle DX’s dimensions — about a 1/3 inch thick, 10.4 inches high and 7.2 inches wide — make it a marvel for what it is, yet it’s ungainly to deal with as an on-the-go device, especially with its lilliputian keyboard.

The 9.7-inch screen — compared to the smaller Kindle’s 6.5-inch display — is excellent for reading, especially for newspapers and PDFs, the kinds of materials the Kindle DX is partially designed to serve.

Print publications such as The New York Times and Washington Post hope the DX is the kind of device that will help keep subscribers onboard. And it’s certainly easy and fast to download a newspaper — or books — using the Kindle’s wireless Internet connection.

Reading a newspaper on the DX takes some getting used to; it’s a little more cumbersome having to go back and forth from stories, rather than accessing the same information on one or two Web pages with the click of a mouse.

Some newspaper publishers are reportedly working on their own e-reader devices. Better they should focus on the Web and mobile Web versions of their papers. While not everyone’s reading news on their computers and phones, more people are. Almost all of us carry our phones with us all the time. That isn’t likely to be the case with an 18.9-ounce device like the Kindle DX.

Amazon.com’s Kindle e-reader software is available for the iPhone, for example, and will likely be coming out in versions for other smartphones and devices.

Terrific battery life
The Kindle DX does have a huge advantage over phones and laptops when it comes to battery life, the bane of modern electronics. No phone or netbook can even begin to compare with the DX, which can be left on for three or four days with Wi-Fi on and still have plenty of juice. That’s impressive.

Book reading itself is better on the Kindle 2 ($359) which at 10.2 ounces has more of the portability one associates with a book likely to be tossed in a briefcase or bag.

Some fans of the original Kindle and its successor have tried the DX, but not found it to be quite the same experience. Susan Umpleby is one of them.

“My plan was to use the DX at home, and keep my K2 for carrying all over creation with me,” she said on Amazon.com’s Web site.

Umpleby said she likes the DX’s capacity — it can hold up to 3,500 books, compared to 1,500 on the Kindle 2 — and the DX’s “ability to rotate the screen is great. Gives you a closer look at things like maps and charts.”

However, she wrote, the DX “is too big to hold comfortably. It’s not really all that heavy, but it is top heavy and you feel a pull on your hands. And that pull is really evident if you try to use the keyboard while holding it — you practically have to lay the Kindle DX down flat, it becomes so difficult to type.”

Umpleby, contacted for this story, said she said sent the DX back after a week. The device’s “drawbacks outweighed its great screen, crisper text and ability to show pictures well.” She said she does “look forward to future improvements in the DX and may buy it again in its next incarnation.”

Taking the college test
One of the DX’s biggest tests will come this fall, when six universities ask some students to test it out as a textbook replacement. Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, Princeton, Reed College and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia will participate in Kindle DX pilot studies.

Case Western has said it will study 40 students’ use of the devices, how they effect the students’ reading habits, note taking and knowledge retention.

Textbooks are not only weighty, they’re expensive, of course. A 2005 report by the federal Government Accountability Office said the average annual costs for textbooks is $900 a year for students at four-year public colleges. The non-profit California Public Interest Research Group had a similar finding in its own survey that year.

Emily Rusch, CALPIRG state director, said digital textbooks “can be done in a way that gives students more power and more affordable options … or they can be done in a way that could limit students’ choices even more and do nothing to reduce the high costs.”

The organization’s concerns are that in addition to the cost of the Kindle DX, Amazon.com is not only the maker of the device, but also the channel through which textbooks will be delivered, without any equivalent competition.

“Over the long term, if we have more open textbook options for students, Kindle DX could be a great avenue for accessing those resources and fostering a competitive market that will ultimately benefit students’ learning experiences and their wallets,” Rusch said. “But we have to create that competitive market first.”

By Suzanne Choney

Amazon prepares for ‘textbook e-reader wars’

 Amazon’s preview of the Kindle DX was “a smart tactical manoeuvre” designed to pre-empt competition from other manufacturers in a market that is “a new Holy Grail”, according to a senior figure at OUP.

Evan Schnittman, vice-president global business development at Oxford University Press, said Amazon had revealed the device early so it could stake out its territory before the academic market becomes home to the “textbook e-reader wars”. The Kindle DX will be available from the summer, and costs $489 (£325).

He said: “If you look at the two previous Kindle press conferences, both were held at the precise moment of release. The events were announcements of a product that was ready to ship, not, as with the Kindle DX, a preview event. Amazon made a premeditated change in their strategy . . . because it sees Apple as the player to beat in the university marketplace, and the last thing Amazon wishes to be is also-ran news after Apple launches a device for this market.”

Schnittman highlighted the importance of the higher education market—one that has “consistently rejected all previous digital attempts”, which he described as being “made up of the most wired, wireless, trend-setting, trend-following, advertising-influencing, advertising target audience in the world”.

Media men reject Kindle DX

Leading newspaper-owners have rejected Amazon’s charging model behind the Kindle DX, following the online retailer’s announcement of its new large-screen device yesterday, the Financial Times has reported.

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch said his newspapers will not be signing up to Amazon.com’s Kindle DX, despite expressing confidence in the model of e-reading devices.

Murdoch, who owns newspapers such as the Sun, the Times and the Wall Street Journal, said: “We will not be giving our content rights to the fine people who created the Kindle.”

James Moroney, chief executive of the Dallas Morning News, said Amazon wanted 70 per cent of any subscription revenues his paper earned through the Kindle, and the right to republish the newspaper’s stories on other portable devices.

“Is that a business model that will work for newspapers? That to me is not a model,” he said.