Amazon Kindle Dx Review

The Amazon Kindle DX is a very attractive eReader featuring a nice price ($379), updated Kindle software, quicker page turn times, and a crisp, high contrast screen. The core education crowd may not like this device too much because it lacks note export options and its keyboard leaves something to be desired.

Amazon updated the design of DX by updating the display and giving it a more attractive color. The new graphite color is a lot more attractive and easier to keep clean than the white case that the 1st generation DX featured. In all other ways, the Amazon Kindle DX is unchanged.

The device is 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.4-inches. This is just 2.4 inches wider and 1.9 inches longer than Kindle 2. It weighs 18.9 ounces. While it may have trouble fitting into a purse, it goes into a messenger or backpack with little additional bulk or weight. While two stereo speakers are placed on the back of the device, a 3.5mm headphone jack can be found at the top.

Since the back side of the Amazon Kindle DX is covered in brushed aluminum, the device features a premium quality feel. Amazon says this version is able to hold 3500 books; nonetheless, it lacks a removable battery and memory card slot (which the original has) and the back is not detachable.

Amzon Kindle dx Review – Keyboard & Buttons:

On the right side of the DX, you will find the Next & Previous page buttons. On the Kindle 2, you will find these 2 buttons on the left, and then you will find the Next button repeated on the right. It would be good if the DX had a design like this so that it would be equally user friendly for right handed and left handed people.

It would have been better if Amazon had left the text on the buttons instead of using < and >. The buttons were easy to press and comfortable to the touch. It’s easy to turn pages because, as with Kindle 2, they are inward turning.

There are no changes on the QWERTY keyboard on the Amazon Kindle DX. The oval keys look like Tylenol pills. I like the Kindle 2 round buttons better. They are more natural for typing. Particularly missed is the Kindle’s dedicated number row which is useful when entering passwords. DX users will need to hold down the ALT key to get to them.

Display: A new, great-contrast 9.7-inch eInk screen comes with this version of the DX with sharper text and images. The letters appeared somewhat darker and more noticeable on the screen compared to the Kindle 2. When viewing the cover of N. K. Jemisin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, it was found to be readable; however on the DX, it was definitely darker. It also appeared to be a bit muddy and didn’t have good contrast. The screen resolution is 1200 x 824-pixels, and it looks good even when reading in the sun. It displays magazines, news and books well and has a large enough screen to read comfortably.

Similar to its previous iterations, the Amazon Kindle DX allows landscape viewing via a built-in accelerometer. It took one second to reorient the screen when the unit was placed on its side. If you click the Aa button, you will adjust the screen orientation manually. You can also use this button to change text size.

Book Choices & Whispernet: The Kindle DX operates on AT&T’s 3G network, patented Whispernet, so a PC is not required to upload content. Thanks to the integrated internet connection, users can download books anywhere in the world. It is not necessary to have Wi-Fi coverage. This is very handy for world travelers.

The Kindle DX boasts more than 630,000 available titles and 106 of the 110 bestselling books as listed by the New York Times. Notably missing books are the very popular Harry Potter series and titles from very well-known authors such as John Updike. The price range of books varies. Regardless of recent struggles to get publishers to lower their prices, new books frequently cost almost ten dollars. An area focused on textbooks is also found within the Kindle store, and it contains over 30,000 selections.

Be that as it may, an informal survey of 14 required textbooks for many classes revealed that only one (Business Analysis Using Regression: A Casebook by Robert Stine) could be purchased and read on Kindle. These titles ranged in subject from astronomy, to math, to psychology, economics and sociology. They were required reading at UPenn, Gettysburg College, and Northwestern University.

The Kindle DX is incapable of reading EPUB files, which other new eReaders can. While users can get some books from providers such as eBook stores that sell non-DRM .mobi files, by and large, they are limited to the tremendous selection provided by Amazon. Be aware that books bought from Amazon cannot be ported over if you are thinking about moving on to another eReader device.

Thanks to the larger display now available on Kindle DX, it is very easy to read newspapers and magazines. At present, there are 65 magazines which you can buy per issue or through a subscription. There are subscriptions available in a price range of $1.25 to $10.49 monthly. The price for one issue of the New Yorker is $3.99, but others, like Newsweek cost $1.99. You can subscribe monthly to The New Yorker and Newsweek for $2.99.

From the 134 newspapers that are available now, you can either buy single issues or purchase a subscription. The monthly costs are variable and can be as low as $1.75 or as high as $14.99. Only a few exceptions exist. For instance, the monthly price for the New York Times is $19.99, but the price for one issue is just 99 cents. You can buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal for 99 cents; however, you can subscribe for $14.99 monthly.

When you purchase a subscription to a magazine or newspaper, you will have 2 weeks to cancel if you change your mind. The nice thing about having a subscription is that you will get new editions nightly or any time you activate Whispernet.

Evaluating the Reading Experience: Similar to the previous DX generation, as well as Kindle 2, this unit presents an enjoyable reading experience. The screen is crisp, page turns are quick, and the font controls are easy to access via the Aa button. It was hard to hold the DX and read it while commuting; however, increasing the font size made it possible to set it on my lap and read it without having to hold it up.

There is an indicator bar at the bottom that shows you how far along you are in the book you are reading. By clicking Menu, you can view the table of contents or the cover, shop the Kindle store, or simply turn off your wireless service to save your battery. You can read the description of a book, highlight passages, add notes, bookmark pages, start at the first page of a book, or jump to any page within.

It was easy to navigate the sections of the New York Times (National, International, Arts, and so on). This feature allowed us to skip around the paper with ease. Although, clicking the Next Page button every time to read lower down seemed a little strange initially.

DX page turn times are faster now. Currently this eReader turns pages in only a second. This is the same as the Kindle 2, and it is faster than the Alex – at 1.5 seconds. It is also faster than the Entourage Edge – at 2 seconds. Disruption is less because; even though, the screen does flash when you turn the page, it is only very briefly (less than a second).

By activating the Text-to-Speech feature found on the Kindle 2 and the Amazon Kindle DX, you can listen to books read aloud from the text via the speakers or through the top-mounted 3.5mm headphone jack. The concept with this capability is to allow you to enjoy content when your hands are otherwise occupied, such as exercising.

A slower, default, faster speed option is available as well as a choice of male or female voice. The “default” setting sounds the most normal. The “slower” setting has an underwater sound to it. The “faster” setting is unintelligible.

In general, it was a robotic sounding voice. Of course, you lose the context and emotion of the story if you use this feature to read a book. Text-to-speech was unsuccessful when used on a New York Times article relating to the economy. The voice was quite inconsistent, rushing some words and dragging others out. It caused the meaning of the sentences to be lost. The fact that the text-to-video start-up XtraNormal uses these same computer generated voices makes it a little confusing. Of course, you’ll be stuck with imagining cartoon dogs reading your books aloud and arguing over SmartPhones if you have seen the iPhone4 vs. HTC Evo video.

Browsing the Web & Listening to Music: When you click Menu on the home screen then select Experimental you will arrive at a page of experimental services. This page includes the Text-to-Speech reader mentioned earlier. It also includes an MP3 player and a free web browser. If you want to scroll down a webpage, you need to do what you would with a digital newspaper, which is to hit the Next Page button. NationalGeographic.com loaded incorrectly due to the multimedia content, but it did have links to the main stories. We can forgive the so-so performance of web browsing, since the Kindle DX wasn’t created for that.

It’s easy to transfer songs to your Amazon Kindle DX so that you can listen to music while you read. This feature also makes listening to audio books very easy. You can plug the Kindle DX into your PC by unplugging one end of its cable from the power adapter and just plugging it into a USB port. While reading, we used MP3 to play back 2 Meiko tracks that we had transferred to the device earlier. Audio exceeded expectations, as music was both loud and clear through the two speakers included in the Kindle DX.

Your Kindle DX will have its own e-mail address, thanks to Amazon, so you can simply mail it files in Word, TXT, PDF, or HTML. You can drag and drop files from your computer to your device for free; however, if you download from Amazon via Whispernet to your Kindle DX, it will cost you 15 cents a megabyte. PDF files can be accessed through the main menu thanks to the built-in PDF reader.

Amazon’s leather cover costs $54.99 when purchased separately; however, it was included with our unit. It’s a really good idea to get one, since the display can get scratched by items inside a purse and it could be bumped. The hinge locks securely on the aesthetically pleasing leather cover. To release the device from its cover, just press a little button on the hinge.

Amazon claims that the battery in the Kindle DX can last an entire week with wireless on. If you turn off 3G, your Kindle DX will probably last over two weeks. After using the DX off and on for five days, the battery meter remained near full. Sadly, you won’t be able to take out the battery which must be replaced by Amazon when it malfunctions.

Basically, even though it is $110 less than it was originally, the $379 Amazon Kindle DX still is not the best choice for its core education audience. It presents limited access to notes, as well as an inability to create or export notes on side-loaded documents. Additionally, the typing experience leaves a lot to be desired. Therefore, it is hard to recommend this device to academicians. If you just read mainstream bestsellers, you may not need a reader with all these options; however, if you read newspapers, magazines and books voraciously, this may be the device for you.

Entourage Edge has 2 screens (causing it to weigh in at three pounds). It costs almost $500; however, it does have excellent note-taking capacity. If you only want to read mainstream books (both fiction and non-fiction) you will be better off with the Kindle 2 for just $189. It costs less, and it’s easier to carry around. The bigger screen size of the DX may be worth the price if your intent includes a lot of magazine content and newspaper usage.

I hope you enjoyed reading the Amazon Kindle Dx Review have a good day.