Amazon Kindle DX Review

A Kindle-DX showed up on my door step after about a month from its original order date. Must have nookitis. I chose the Kindle-DX mainly because of the screen size, native PDF support, and I was accustomed to the Kindle user interface with my Kindle 1st generation. Plus the KDX is already available on the market. I really liked the K-1 but wanted more functionality and a few of its nuisances addressed.

You might consider the KDX an anachronism with the iThing is on its way in 60 or so days.  In fact when I heard the IPad had a starting price close to the KDX I cringed and secretly wished I had waited until the Ides of March.  After spending a few days with the KDX I have come to a conclusion about that secret wish.  Curious about what that conclusion is?  (Probably not, neither am I actually.)  Anyway, following is a quick bit of information on the KDX, with some comparisons with the Kindle 1 that I’ve used up till now and some things to think about when thinking about the iPad.

MAIN SPECS

These are taken from the Amazon Kindle DX information page:

  • Display: 9.7″ diagonal E Ink 1200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi, 16-level gray scale
  • Weight: 18.9 ounces
  • Storage: 4GB internal (approximately 3.3GB available for user content)
  • Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
  • Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). [The-Gadgeteer note: this wireless connectivity is free, you do NOT have to pay a fee for this; this is how you can download books and browse the internet.]
  • USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-USB connector)
  • Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, built-in stereo speakers
  • Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
  • Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, battery. Leather book cover sold separately.
  • Warranty and Service: 1 year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2 year Extended Warranty sold separately.

FRU-FRU STUFF

Now for the fru-fru obligatory photos of the thing  . . .

First, it’s very thin — it almost looks like part of it is missing.

Thin thin thin thin thin (diet coke not included)

Bottom of the KDX -- the connector is a micro USB

This is the USB cable. The standard PC-side connector is on right, the micro-connector on left. In the center is the 120v/60Hz wall wart that attaches to the USB cable. The wall wart is not much bigger than a regular plug.

Top of the KDX. KDX uses a momentary switch to put it in ON, SLEEP, or OFF modes. Getting it OFF requires holding the button closed for about 6 seconds, which is annoying. Note that I don't have enough data yet to judge the battery life.

Right side of the KDX showing the main navigation buttons. Oddly enough the Kindle 1 got a lot of flak about the placement of the Next and Prev buttons. On the K-1 it was difficult to hold the unit without accidentally hitting the buttons. I thought the KDX would have had a great improvement on this problem, but I still think they are easy to hit accidentally if you do not put the unit into a case.

I had read bad things about the joy stick, but to me it seemed fine. A little small, but not a big deal. It's a little slower to scroll through a page with this joy stick, but you can scroll to the left and right, which you could not do with the old K1.

The keyboard is ridiculously small. The K-1 keys were small also, but they were at least usable. You can use the keyboard to enter annotations in the books, enter text into web search pages, and a few other things. Really disappointed with the keys.

Left side of the KDX. This shows one of the "book" holes on the edge of the KDX, there are two of these. I had read and had been warned by Amazon about the use of the Amazon KDX leather cover which is made especially for these book holes. Some customers were busting their KDX console trying to fit them into the Amazon cover. I didn't find them to be too troublesome, though and think it is a good improvement over the K-1's problem of falling out of its Amazon cover. The cover, by the way, does not come with the KDX -- it's an add-on. And an expensive one. A video below shows the attachment of the Amazon cover.

ACTUAL READING EXPERIENCE

So how does it work for actual reading?

First, the text quality is great. You can not only adjust the font size, but the column width as well. This latter feature may be helpful if you are a fast reader. The clarity of the text is another reason that I went for the KDX, I was happy with the K1 and they did not degrade the quality on the KDX. Another cool feature they added to the font size adjustment is an auto-preview of the page with the highlighted font size; in other words you are given a preview of what the page will look like with a new font size without committing to that font size. This is really a great addition.

Screen reflection -- again I knew from experience with the K1 that this is not as big of an issue as this photo implies. I had heard about bad reflection on the Sony and LCD devices, but I knew the reflection on the Kindle was not that bad. This is a really bad photo showing some reflection on the display -- don't get too worried about this, it looks worse in the photo than in real life. Again, I know from experience with the K-1 that the screen is not that bad. I would like to see a similar comparison with the IPad screen, though.

While the text is clear and a pleasure to read, holding the KDX in couch-potato mode is uncomfortable. This was the biggest problem with the KDX - it's just not comfortable to read. It's heavier than the K-1 and when reading in normal couch-potato mode, I found my wrist getting very fatigued. Note that in this photo the KDX is in its Amazon KDX cover and the cover has been bent backwards (like a paperback book cover).

In "landscape" mode with the Amazon cover acting as a prop to help hold it, was a little less awkward. (Rotating the KDX flips the text too.)

With the KDX in portait mode and the cover open, reading in a couch potato slouch was tolerable. But I gotta say, I really preferred the size of the K1 for comfort. I wonder if this will be an issue with the IPad.

Page turning on the KDX is performed via the Next and Prev buttons.  Page turning was not as slow as it was on the K1 and I did not notice that it was all that sluggish when reading regular books.  When graphics are involved, page turning is slow, though.  A video at the end of the article demonstrates page turning.  A note about “pages” within the context of the KDX (and other e-readers I’d imagine) is that a “page” on the reader does not correspond to a page number in the hard copy version of the book.  Instead, KDX uses the concept of a “location” to keep track of your position in a book.   You can see this in some of the figures below.   (By the way, the Kindle has an option to capture a screen shot which is a neat unadvertised feature.)

The KDX will maintain the last point in the book at the time that you close the book (by going to the Home page, for instance, or turning the KDX off or place it in sleep mode).  If you swap books and then go back to a different book, it will bring you back to the last location.  That’s a good thing.  It also has a “Sync to Furthest Location” menu item which is supposed to act as a dynamic bookmark if you maintain multiple copies of your book on multiple devices.  So you could read your book at home up to, say chapter 15, then pick up at the same location from another Amazon-compatible reading device.  This feature only works, though, if you have the wireless connection turned on (which in turn eats up your battery).  The photo below is actually a  screen capture taken right on the Kindle, saved automatically as .GIF files, then uploaded to here.  That’s kind of a neat feature I hadn’t used, but it’s there.

Nice feature to maintain location across multiple readers, but requires wireless to be turned on. This figure is a native screen capture using the KDX's Alt, Shift, and G keys simultaneously.

In addition to the font selection size, if there is a figure in the book, you can jiggle the joy stick to the location of the figure and click and zoom in on the figure to increase its size.  This does not appear to work on PDF files, though.    The photos show the zoom-in on a figure in a book on yoga.

KDX book with an image

Select the image via the joystick and a little "+" icon appears.

Click on the zoom icon and the figure is increased.

Finally, as mentioned, you can rotate the KDX and the screen will auto-rotate as well.    You can even turn it upside down and have the Next Page button be used by the left hand. You can also lock the rotation if you are reading in a refrigerator box and need to hold the reader at an odd angle.

Reading Experience UPDATE for Reading Technical Books

After several months now with the KDX, I’ve got some problems with it when reading  technical books (think, for example, text books or other reference manuals).  Something to consider when purchasing the KDX for storing and using technical books:

  1. It is very difficult to jump around in the books.  Some books have internal links to figures and sub-sections where by you can jump to a section easily.  But not all books have that feature and the “back” button on the KDX (to return from where you came) does not always work.  That can leave you lost somewhere in the book unable to return immediately from where you started.  (NOTE: when you find that the “back” button no longer works, you can to a “hard” reset on the KDX to restore its [the "back" button's] functionality.  To perform a “hard” reboot go to the “Home” page, then hit the “menu” button, then go to “Settings”, then hit the “menu” button again and select the “Reset” option.)
  2. It is difficult to skim through books.  Page turning, while fine for novels and page-by-page reading materials is adequate, is gruesome for technical books.  There is no way to skip from, say, chapter to chapter, as many of us do.  You can bookmark the start of each chapter (see the Bookmark Feature further in the review), and then jump to them using the bookmarks, but that is time-consuming and something that should have been considered by the publishers.  You could bounce back to the Table of Contents and skip to chapters that way, but again, that is just more steps than necessary for an electronic device.  (It also depends on whether or not the particular publisher of the ebook in question has a link to the table of contents; some do and some don’t.)
  3. All of the ebooks that I’ve purchased from Amazon (both technical and non-technical) have had footnote formatting problems.  Specifically, the footnotes appear in the middle of the text area, not at the bottom of the screen, as one would expect.  This makes reading through text very confusing.
  4. Native screen shot of a technical manual with a footnote appearing in the middle of the text.

  5. Bookmarks in the technical books tend to become cluttered and hard to navigate.  If you bookmark each chapter by hand (as I do with some books), then other legitimate bookmarks you make will also appear in the bookmark list.   There also does not seem to be a way to delete bookmark entries from the bookmark screen — instead you can delete a bookmark only when you are physically at the page in question.

Native screen shot of bookmark page; this can get cluttered and hard to navigate too.

It will be interesting to see if the IPad can simplify some of these problems with technical books.

FEATURES

Unfortunately I was having problems with my camera in that it would not focus properly, so I am just providing a quick summary of the main KDX features and am providing photos and videos only when my camera had happened to be cooperating.

Content Management (List of Items on the KDX)

As you may know, the Kindle can be thought of like a USB memory stick.  When you hook the USB cable to the KDX and to your PC, the Kindle displays three folders — audible, documents, and music.  Then, when using the Kindle, the “home” page or screen is used to navigate to your various items.

When connected via USB cable to your computer, the KDX contents show up with three folders. The "audible" folder is for audible book files; the "documents" folder is for .AZW, .MOB, .TXT, .HTML book files, the "music" folder is for MP3 files. The "photos" folder was created by me. More on that folder in the article.

List of items in the "documents" folder. Note that you can create sub folders here (e.g. the "THIS_IS_A_TEST_FOLDER") but when displayed on the Kindle itself, only the items within the folder appear -- the folder itself does not.

List of items in my "audible" folder; they are in sub-folders but when displayed on the Kindle, the individual audio files in each sub folder are shown.

Shot of the Kindle "home" page (using its screen capture capability rather than a photo shot), note that the contents in the "audible" sub folders are listed without the sub folder that was created on the PC. Note that the type of file ("pdf", "audio") appears in the left-hand margin.

Contents of my "music" folder. Note that these appear to be "in order". However, as pointed out later in this article, the files are not played in the order you see here. By the way, MP3 files placed in the "music" folder do not show up on the "home" screen of the KDX.

You can add items to the Kindle via the USB port in sub-folders as shown here, including creating sub folders, but, when the Kindle itself displays the items, it displays them in a flat list, i.e., without regard to your folders that you set up.

Kindles use a main or “home” screen page to list the items (actually most of the items) on your Kindle (it doesn’t list MP3 files).  As with the K1 this home screen is still a pain –the list of books (or audio books) is just a flat list — no sub-categorizing available. I’m hoping that a software upgrade will someday remedy this.  Also, note that the home screen/page does not show you a list of MP3 files that you may have loaded onto the KDX.

A very nice surprise in content management was the addition of an item called "Archived" which, when clicked, opens a list of books previously purchased through Amazon and which can be re-downloaded to the Kindle. This is really nice. For someone who is upgrading his or her Kindle, this is a great feature. For someone new to the Kindle, maybe not so much. But I like it.

Searching

You can search within an individual book (when you have that book open); search within all of your books; and search on the Internet (when wireless is on).  This works okay but is awkward due to the keyboard keys when entering your search word or phrase.

Example of search initiated from the home page. You can search your books and search on line.

Dictionary Look-up

A video at the end of this article shows an example of the dictionary look-up feature.  With a book open, you use the joy-stick to position a cursor at the word you are interested in.  A mini definition for that word then appears automatically at the bottom of the screen.  If you would like a more thorough definition, a button click brings up the entire definition from the on-board dictionary.  Hitting the back button then returns you back to the book you had been reading.  (UPDATE: as mentioned above, the KDX’s “back” button can stop working, you must perform a hard reset in order to restore its functionality.  See the note above on how to perform a hard reset.)

Move cursor to a particular word (here "diminutive") in the text and a brief definition appears at the bottom of the screen.

Annotations

A video at the end of this article shows an example of entering an annotation or note to a book.  The annotation appears as a footnote number in the text and you have to select it via the joy-stick and click to read it.  This feature is unremarkable.  Everyone knows that when you want to mark a book in real life, you want to see the note.  Again, it’ll be interesting to see if the IPad has a similar capability.

An annotation added at a previous time; cursor to the annotation and its contents show up at the bottom of the screen.

Bookmarking

This feature is a lifesaver especially when reading technical books.  The bookmark feature allows you to mark a location (sort of a page) and then jump back to a bookmarked location on demand.  This can all be accomplished through the menuing system (there are some keyboard short cuts).

Adding a bookmark

A bookmarked "page"; note the dog ear in upper right corner

Selecting among previously bookmarked locations in a book

Audio Books

You can place audio books onto the KDX into the audio book folder and play them.  But I’m going to say this about audio book support:  realistically, only Audible  files (from Audible.com) or single, full-length MP3 files are going to work for you.  The reason I say that is that audio books that are split into many small MP3 files (as is the case with Librivox audio books, for example) can only be played one-file-at-a-time and requires user intervention to select the files to be played.  In other words you cannot get an automatic continuous play back of each of the individual MP3 files.  The photo in the Fru-Fru section showing the home page in fact shows this very problem:  I had an audio book which was split into many small MP3 files and each of those files show up as an entry in the home page.  I can play individual audio book MP3 files on demand, but once one file is finished playing, I’d have to go back to the home page and select the next file.  Note that most audio books that are in MP3 format usually run about 1GB so you wouldn’t be able to add too many audio books at a time.

This is the screen when playing an audio file, basic player controls show up

MP3 Player

Not to be confused with the audio book support, the MP3 player is considered “experimental”.  Contents dropped into the Music sub folder  are played, according to the user manual “in the order in which you place them on the folder”.   So I’m not really sure what order they are played in.  (The files that I loaded into the Music folder did not play in the order I expected them.)  And yes, you can listen to MP3 files while you are also reading.  Apparently that is a big issue for potential IPad users.

Text To Speech

Not to be confused with the Audio Book support, the text-to-speech feature is also experimental.   Some books have this capability locked out.  The voice can be either set to male or female and one of three different speeds chosen.  It’s kind of difficult to listen to since it is computer generated and choppy,  but you could get used to it.  It’s also a little sluggish when you enable it; it takes about 10-20 seconds before it kicks in.  A video at the end of this article demonstrates text-to-speech.

Photos

This is a feature that is not advertised but has been mentioned on several blogs about the Kindle; you can create a “pictures” subfolder on the Kindle and place sub folders and photos files into the sub folders.  The sub folders show up as entries on the home screen and clicking on them brings up the photos therein.  Why they could not use this philosophy with books, I can’t really imagine.  The figures below show a screen capture of the home page when a set of three photo subfolders were added and a few photo renderings.  Be forewarned that this feature is very slow and possibly buggy; in the course of preparing for this sub-section of this article, my KDX froze up and I had to induce a reset to bring it back to life.

Optional unadvertised "photos" sub folders show up on the home page.

Personal JPG photo from my "animal_photos" sub folder

Although unadvertised, display of photos has its own sub-menu, as shown here

Unusual Books

There are a few non-traditional books for the Kindle which attempt to imitate a miniature application.  A few examples include a calendar app, a Sudoko app, and shown in the example below, a word morphing game app.  Most of these are pretty lame and are based on the annotation capability of the Kindle, not the lower level Kindle’s API.  I haven’t tried the Sudoko game but read that it actually interacts with the wireless capability so I’m not sure if it uses a more sophisticated web interface messaging or not.   Hopefully it does, which means that there are more possibilities waiting.

Tic-tac-toe game on the KDX

Magazines, Newspapers

I had heard that magazine and newspapers on the KDX were hindered by the screen size.  Below are a few shots from the Newsweek issue I downloaded.  In this case the hindrance does not seem to be from the KDX screen, but from the content of the downloaded issue.

Newsweek table of contents

Article from Newsweek

Shopping for New Books

This is one of the reasons I went with the KDX; I like the shopping experience right from the Kindle itself.  With the wireless capability on, following are a few shots of shopping right from the Kindle.

Shopping for new Amazon books on the KDX; average price for novels is about $10-$15; for technical manuals, however, only about 10-20% less than hardback versions.

Searching for a particular book on Amazon

NOTE: there are many ways to get items onto your Kindle, including these which I know of and have used personally, and again, this is one of the reasons that I like the Kindles:

  1. Shopping on Amazon from the KDX itself.
  2. Shopping on Amazon from a PC and have the book delivered to the KDX wirelessly at a later time.
  3. Downloading contents (TXT, MOBI, previously-purchased Amazon books) via USB.
  4. Downloading public-domain free MOBI books wirelessly from the KDX itself via Feedbooks.com.
  5. Emailing attachments to the KDX and have them delivered to the KDX wirelessly at a later time (this costs you 15 cents per email attachment).  You can send TXT, DOC, and PDF file attachments this way; DOC files are converted to the AZW file format.  This is great because if you find a PDF file on line that you would like to read on the KDX at a later time, you can just email it to your Kindle and then turn on the wireless feature of the Kindle at your leisure — you don’t have to carry the USB cable and Kindle around with you everywhere.

Screen capture when on line and searching through public domain books on Feedback.com. Just click and file is downloaded.

Web Browsing

The wireless feature in the Kindles allow you to connect to and do some web browsing.  This is slow, choppy, buggy at times, and limited.  It is very useful, though, to download MOBI files and check on the mobile version of CNN.  The battery power decreases when using this feature.

Browsing on KDX

GMail on the KDX

PDF Support

This works.  Period.  (UPDATE: see update section below)  This is the one of the reasons I went with the KDX — the screen size, especially when viewing PDF documents.  I am not disappointed here.  Note with PDF files, though, you cannot “zoom” onto the figures, nor does the adjustable font feature work, nor can you annotate nor highlight information in the file.  For PDF files that I have where the text is tiny, I just flip the KDX on its side and the contents become larger.  You can see this in the two photos below.

Example PDF file UPDATE: this particular PDF file just happened to be the right size for viewing when the screen is rotated (see photo below)

Same PDF file, with KDX rotated UPDATE: again, this particular PDF document just happened to be the right size for viewing. Other PDF documents are not necessarily going to be as readable.

(03-2010 PDF Update)

After having used the PDF feature of the KDX for several months now, my initial enthusiasm has dimmed a bit.  There are several problems/issues I’ve found to be annoying and something you should think about if you plan a lot of PDF viewing, as I had.

  1. The PDF renderer is nowhere near as robust as a PC-based readers (such as the Adobe or Foxit readers).  There are only two resizing capabilities on the KDX for PDF files: as-is and a little bigger when rotating the KDX screen.  There is no zoom.   And not all PDF files are well-sized.  While you can rotate the KDX screen so that the contents of a PDF are enlarged, not all PDF files will fit the screen as well as the example shown in the photos above.  In fact most of the PDF documents I’ve tried to read when rotated will over-shoot the screen and you will need to scroll to the next page to see the rest of the contents.   This might not seem like a huge issue, but it is when viewing technical diagrams.  It will be interesting to see if the IPad will handle PDF viewing in a more interactive manner, i.e. having the ability to zoom in and out.
  2. Example as-is PDF view in portrait rotation of the KDX

    Rotating the KDX to landscape renders larger view of the file, but also splits it across pages. There is no other zoom option.

  3. While you cannot highlight nor annotate in PDF files, you can submit the PDF file to Amazon for conversion to “.azw” (aka Kindle) format for a small fee.  But the PDF conversion  is similar (if not the same) as the conversion that is used by the MobiPocket converter program.  Neither of these handle certain PDF items (tables, footnotes, some headings) well.  While tables that are viewed in an Adobe or Foxit reader appear fine, they can become de-formatted, skewed, and practically unreadable on the KDX (as is the case with the MobiPocket converter).

Native screen shot of a PDF file. Here, note the diagram at the top of the page.

The same page as above, but after having been converted to ".azw" format. The diagram has been wiped out. This happens with both the conversion service offered by Amazon and with the MobiPocket converter.

Summary

I think that covers most of the main features of the KDX.  My conclusion is that a big screen is sweet but the heft of the KDX is a little awkward for reading.  A cover can help alleviate some of that problem.  The screen can show some reflection but not enough to be a show-stopper.  The amount of memory is limited but you can off-load Amazon-purchased books wirelessly and then download them again wirelessly on demand.  Categorization is still not available but I’m hoping a software fix will cure that issue.  I’m hoping that a software fix can also fix the issue of MP3 file play-back ordering.

Another note for those who are interested in using an e-reader for technical books:  the Kindles are not the most gracious at allowing you to bounce around in a book.  In other words, if the text is referring to a figure that is a few pages away, it is awkward to scroll forward to view the figure and then page back to the text.  (And the “back” button frequently stops working.)  Something else that will be interesting to see on the IPad; does it allow for multiple screens?

Now that I know more about a larger device such as the KDX, I think I am not so enthused about the IPad — I think it will be even heavier and probably hotter.  Plus battery life?  Who knows.  I guess I”m not all that enthralled about the KDX either, but I’ll stick with it for now.

VIDEO DEMOS

This video demonstrates choosing a book from the home page and flipping through a few of the pages.

This video demonstrates adding a note to a page in a book and the basic word definition capability.

This video demonstrates inserting the KDX into the Amazon cover.

This video demonstrates text-to-speech.

 

Product Information

Price:$489
Manufacturer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Nice display
  • Great wireless and delivery mechanisms
  • Thin
  • Nice PDF support.
Cons:
  • Kind of heavy for reading
  • Still no categorization of titles
  • MP3 files not played in order
  • Kind of a one-trick-pony for the price
Posted in: eBook Readers, Reviews

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • ettober February 21, 2010, 7:47 pm

    Lots of infos. Thanks for sharing!

  • anieb February 22, 2010, 7:40 am

    Julie,
    A lot of really good work you put into this. Probably the most thorough report on the DX that I’ve seen. Very helpful !

    A few comments:
    1. The reflection you showed. Doesn’t that come from the flash on your camera when taking a picture? My DX is matte finish and doesn’t show much of a reflection unless a light bulb is right over it

    2. Weight of holding it, with cover
    I agree. As a result I don’t use the cover when reading. Also, M-Edge has a ‘Platform’ model which lets you just sit it up on your leg. Pics of that for the Kindle 2 are at http://bit.ly/k2photos and I bought the version for the DX also.

    3. Yes. .mobi and .prc files do have the same viewing and annotation features as the Amazon Kindle books – it’s essentially the same format but without Amazon’s digital rights or book-identifying numbers on them as they are downloadable from elsewhere. So, yes, the zoom feature works on images in those also.

    4. True. mp3 files are played in the order in which you put them into the Kindle’s ‘music’ folder. Primitive. But that would allow you to read an mp3-book with multiple separate chapters (or you can get a free utility to combine mp3 files and also save the combined mp3 as encoded-32k which will usually make it all smaller).

    Some say that you can put an mp3 in the ‘audible’ folder or in the ‘documents’ folder and then play it on-demand. But if you do, it’ll play as foreground material and you can’t read a book at the same time that way.

    5. Annotations: if you haven’t tried it yet, go to http://kindle.amazon.com and sign in. You can go to the bottom left of a list and ask that ALL those for a book be shown on one page.

    6. Web browsing — since you like the CNN news feature, try the free download of my file with several mobile-unit-focused websites. Go to http://bit.ly/mobiweb There’s a guide to faster Kindle web-browsing in that section too.

    7. Absolutely right re folder organization or the lack of it (though we can choose to see only books or personal documents or subscirptions — sorted by title, author, most recent). Kindle support has written on the forums and Facebook that they expect an update for organizational capability will be due by the summer.

    8. My books that have figure boxes etc. (I have history books) — these usually have a link. If they do and you click on one, then you press the ‘Back’ button to get right back to where you were before the “link-jump” via the 5-way button.

    9. When paging ahead or backwards, doing a search for a word or content you’re looking for can help. Press ‘Back’ button to get back to where you were after looking at the various results. I sometimes set the location numbers back or ahead.

    10. No, the iPad won’t be allowing multiple screens. It can’t multitask at all, which is odd for a web-browser. No listening to Pandora FM while web browsing or reading a book. Some say the iPad music playback can’t be done at the same time either but I don’t know if that’s true. The iPad also doesn’t have USB ports or Flash support.

    Thanks again for this helpful page. I’ll let people know about it.

    anieb – Andrys

  • Julie February 22, 2010, 7:58 am

    @anieb I can’t take credit for this review. :) It was written by Robin.

  • Kimberly O. February 22, 2010, 8:35 am

    Great review! I’m almost tempted to buy a DX however now I think the only version available is the “global wireless” version — which uses AT&T for its Whispernet. (Which does not work at ALL in my little town in NW MN — and only one bar of service with my first Kindle 2i. I ended up returning it and bought a refurbished Kindle 2 U.S. Wireless that uses Sprint.) The Kindle 2 also now reads PDFs thanks to a firmware update in December. Yay! But the larger reading area sure would be nice with the DX. Excellent and very thorough review!!

  • anieb February 22, 2010, 10:34 am

    Julie, I finally realized that later. Thanks, and big thanks to Robin!

  • Andrea February 23, 2010, 9:17 am

    As an owner of an iPod Classic, a 10″ netbook running Linux, a PC with Windows 7 and a Kindle 2 (just to say that I’m not fanboy of any particular brand/OS) I’ll explain simply why an iPad is totally unsuited to ebook reading: the 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy display. eInk was born just for the reason that backlight displays are a royal PITA for prolonged reading (as I learned by myself it with my netbook).

  • Another Andrea :-) February 28, 2010, 8:34 am

    @ Andrea: I had the same experience. I knew I wanted a netbook and purchased one before my Kindle. I tried reading from it, but it really did hurt the eyes after awhile. I tried changing the contrast (light text on dark background), but it didn’t really help for long hours of reading.

    When I got my Kindle I realized how much BETTER e-ink is for reading. Still really like my netbook, for the tasks I use it for, but reading is not one of those tasks. If someone ever came out with a netbook with a dual capability screen (e-ink/LCD), THEN I might consolidate to one device. But I really do like my Kindle.

    Thanks for this great review on the DX.

  • Alan Afif May 19, 2010, 10:34 am

    This is an excellent review and has answered pretty much all of the questions I still had outstanding after spending some hours reading other reviews (and the KDX user manual). Like you, my main use would be for reading PDF’s of technical stuff (which I’m doing now on a Sony PRS-505 and it’s not easy reading). You addressed that topic pretty thoroughly.

    I live in London and have read that there are some shortcomings in using it outside the US so I’m still unsure whether to purchase just now.

    Anyway, thanks for taking the time to share your experience and writing a really good review.

  • Charles July 8, 2010, 3:42 pm

    Thanks a lot for your thorough review of the KDX! As others have mentioned, it addressed pretty much any question I could think of.

    Since Amazon has recently lowered the asking price for the KDX and is advertising it more heavily I’ve started considering buying one of these. I initially wanted to buy a Kindle, but the screen was too big for me to remain interested. Also, I’m an anti-trend whore, so I refuse to even consider the iPad.

    However, the issue with technical books is quite disappointing to me, as I’d like to at least be able to consider the possibility of uploading them in the future. Also, I have concerns about how Amazon does DRM, as I might not attain all of my books in an orthodox manner 0:)

    So, two questions:

    1) Has the bookmarking system been improved in the last few months by a software update, i.e., is it now easier to navigate by chapter in books like textbooks?

    2) Does Amazon have an annoyingly overbearing DRM software like Apple’s iTunes does, or is it easier to get around?

  • Cobin Rox July 10, 2010, 8:28 am

    @Charles —
    1) Navigation is a little easier because the back button works better now. Bookmarking is a little better because you can delete bookmarks while in the bookmarking screen.
    2) Yes, Az books are still tightly DRM’ed.
    3) PDF files are a little nicer now that there is a zoom feature. You can see an example of this in action:
    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/06/17/deklutter-your-kindle-with-firmware-update-2-5/

  • Jani Wick August 15, 2010, 3:15 am

    This is the best review I have ever read on Kindle DX. I got all the answers for my questions.As Kindle is an ereader, so are you a mind reader.
    Those who seek to buy a bigger screen often do so for some reasons. Most of the info that niche requires is here. Specially reading pdfs. This is even an example for everybody getting into writing reviews.

  • Bruce November 27, 2010, 7:59 pm

    Thanks for a great review. I was going to purchase the smaller Kindle and then saw the larger one was available. More $$ especially as if I get one, so does my wife! :)

    Your detailed review made my decision an easier one to make.

  • rpv December 6, 2010, 7:05 pm

    Excellent review, i wrote up a review based on my experiences

    http://goo.gl/zXv2M

  • jack davis December 24, 2010, 11:49 am

    does the KDX have a removeable battery?

  • Don Dunaway March 13, 2011, 6:44 pm

    I’m thinking of buying a Kindle DX but am concerned that it doesn’t have wi-fi capability (Why not? YThe little ones do?), especially since I spend a lot of time traveling in Europe and I understand that there are extra fees to download by 3G.
    Any comment?
    Thanks for the thorough review.
    Don

  • Cobin Rox March 14, 2011, 9:21 am

    @jack: The 2nd generation KDX does not have a removable battery; can anyone speak to the 3rd generation?

  • Cobin Rox March 14, 2011, 9:24 am

    @Don: the connections are free; I had never heard of any fees associated with 3G. The only fees you encounter is if you were to email documents to your Kindle (as opposed to just downloading documents from a PC via the Kindle’s USB port).

  • David September 27, 2012, 3:11 am

    For all the non English speakers out there. Beware the Kindle DX does not have the option to change default dictionary. It comes with The New Oxford American Dictionary and that’s it. Contacted Amazon support and after a frustrating 3 hour chat was informed that tis option is simply not available. On this level of “International” eReader this seems to be a serious oversight!

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