Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device

This device is amazing!!! I spent a lot of time researching e-book readers before I purchased one.

This is what you'll see if you check out the amazon.com page for the Kindle DX:
Beautiful Large Display: 9.7" diagonal e-ink screen reads like real paper; boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and sharp images
Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines
Books In Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered wirelessly in less than 60 seconds; no PC required
3G Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle DX; no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
Global Coverage: Enjoy 3G wireless coverage at home or abroad in over 100 countries.
Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
Longer Battery Life: Now read for up to 1 week on a single charge with wireless on, a significant improvement from the previous battery life of 4 days
Built-In PDF Reader: Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go
Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages
Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book's rights holder made the feature unavailable
Large Selection: Over 450,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 101 of 112 New York Times® Best Sellers, plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs. For non-U.S. customers, content availability and pricing will vary.
Out-of-Copyright, Pre-1923 Books: Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available to read on Kindle, including titles such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island.
Low Book Prices: New York Times® Best Sellers and new releases from $9.99. When traveling abroad, you can download books wirelessly from the Kindle Store or your Archived Items. U.S. customers will be charged a fee of $1.99 for international downloads.
Free Book Samples: Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy

Of course, before one purchases an e-reader, more reseach needs to be done. I compared the Kindle DX with the Kindle 2, the Sony e-book reader (the one with the color touchscreen at the bottom), and the Barnes & Noble nook. But this is not a comparison, it's a review of the Kindle DX.

The first thing I noticed when I turned on my Kindle DX was how sleek it looked. It felt a little heavier in my hand than I expected and cause a slight tinge of regret at not getting the smaller one. Then, I saw the font changes. I was playing around with the sizes of the fonts and the way the screen automatically turned so I could see from all four sides. I began to get giddy, this was what I signed up for after all. I began looking around the Kindle Store. There were so many books available for free. Well, they had a price, but Amazon offered savings that got the price down to $0.00. So, I downloaded about 100 books. This whole process took me about 12 minutes. That was amazing.

I bought the Kindle to help me study for school. I have lots of notes from the hundreds of lectures we have for each test. But amazon charges 99 cents for each document they covert for you. Even if you load the document on your Kindle by USB, they'll take it off using the whispernet (or whatever they're calling it these days), covert it to PDF, and load it back on your Kindle. Then they'll charge you for it. Seeing as how I have so many documents, it was just cheaper for me to get a $9.99 subscription with Adobe.com to convert the files myself. I can convert webpages, Word documents, and powerpoint files. That worked out perfectly for me.

I also like that it plays music. I loaded my music I purchased from iTunes onto my Kindle DX. But it wouldn't play. I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong, so of course I sought out Google to solve my problems. Turns out iTunes has it's music files as an MP4 format, not MP3. Those protected files are not the right format for the Kindle. But there are several programs you can download on the internet that are actually legal in order to convert the files. Now, when I pulled up my iTunes files, they were M4A format, which is not protected and thus, were able to be easily converted. I finally had music on my beloved Kindle.

Next is the search capabilities of the Kindle. Here is an example search. I can type "rainbow" using the keyboard and it shows up on the screen at the bottom. I can then choose to search my content (except the PDF files), search the Kindle Store, search the dictionary (a very extensive one) that comes with the Kindle, search Google, or search Wikipedia. It's an amazing resource, especially for me because I have to constantly look up terms while studying.

My Favorite Things about the Kindle DX: 1) Even if your place is lost in the book when you reopen it, you can choose "sync to last read page" on the menu and it will take you there. 2) If I want to listen to music, but not disturb those around me, the volume adjust a wide range, and there is a headphone jack. 3) It's so portable. I literally take my Kindle everywhere. Whenever I have down time, I have it out.
My Least Favorite Things about the Kindle DX: 1) the MP3 player is especially rudimentary. You cannot skip tracks or save your spot in the playlist if you have your Kindle off for too many days. 2) I can't adjust the font on the PDF, which make me extra glad I got the larger Kindle. 3) The extended warranty is misleading. I didn't even get it. They make it seem like by purchasing it you get three years, but you only get two. It's like paying extra for only a few more features. No thank you, this technology evolves too fast. I'll probably want a different e-reader in two years anyway.
Final Rank: 4/5 The Kindle DX is one of the most costly e-book readers available on the market right now. But darn it if that e-ink background and large memory don't more than make up for it.

1 New Hypotheses:

Thanks for linking this - it's interesting to read how the different generations of Kindle have evolved.

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