Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

Update: The Kindle 2 just got a $60 price-cut so you can get a $299 kindle 2. That makes it a clear winner in the kindle dx vs kindle 2 battle (not to mention not having to wait for 3-5 weeks for the kindle dx).

Kindle DX is available for order (3-5 week delay) – the Kindle DX is Amazon’s second, higher priced, Kindle line. It’s $489 and that’s not bad for a 9.7″ screen.

The big question is whether you should buy a Kindle 2 or get a Kindle DX and this post compares them on several important criteria.

Screen Size – Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

The Kindle DX clearly wins as its screen has 2.5 times the surface area of the Kindle 2’s 6″ screen. This might also be the rationale behind the DX name.

Kindle DX has 2.5 times size screen
Kindle DX has 2.5 times size screen

Price – Kindle 2 Vs Kindle DX

As it turns out Amazon kept prices low at $489. This is great.

Earlier Thoughts: The larger screen will increase costs a lot. In the best case, the larger screen is double the $60 price of the smaller screen, and with related costs, we get to a $459-$499 price point.

Note: Another 10″ eReader, the iRex Illiad, retails for US$859.00. Anything near that would make the DX a non-starter.

The Kindle 2 clearly wins on price with the new $299 price. However, the Kindle DX clearly wins on value for money.

PDF Support – Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

Kindle DX comes with an in-built PDF converter. This is huge and probably necessary when targeting college students. Kindle DX’s superfecta of –

  1. Larger Screen Size. 
  2. PDF Support.
  3. Cheaper Textbooks.
  4. Not having to carry heavy books around.
  5. Support from 3 of the big publishers and 60% coverage of textbooks.
  6. Reasonable Price at $489.

PDFs do not support taking notes, zooming, etc. – look at my kindle dx pdf faq for more details.

Ought to combine to turn Kindle DX into a huge bestseller.

PDF support is a huge win.

For the Kindle 2 you have the option to use a hack called Savory to support PDFs on the Kindle 2. However, the hack is unofficial, and it has to be uninstalled to get Amazon firmware upgrades. Plus it might cause problems. So, only consider it if you’re technical and willing to risk your Kindle 2.

Portability – Kindle 2 Vs Kindle DX

The larger size of the DX makes it difficult to carry and it won’t fit in a lot of handbags. Kindle 2 wins clearly on portability and this, along with its lower price, points to two lines of Kindles existing in parallel.

It is worth nothing that both are just around 0.3″ thin and weigh little.

Annotations and Keyboard – Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

Kindle DX has the same ‘notes’ feature as Kindle 2. PDFs do not support notes.

Another puzzler is the keyboard having just 4 rows (qwerty keyboards need 5). Perhaps an indicator that the input methodology on the Kindle DX is something innovative that allows annotations and a smaller keyboard without needing a touchscreen.

Update: It probably supports numbers via a shift. Kindle 2 wins as I don’t like the shift to get numbers option.

Target Audience

Kindle 2 targets people who read books.

Kindle DX targets people who read textbooks and periodicals. The price is not as high as expected, so I’d say DX is good for books in general too. If you can afford it, get the DX.

Web Browser – Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

Kindle DX is supposed to have a more fully functional browser. This is a no-contest as the K2’s browser is rather primitive.

Update: The details aren’t clear on this yet so will update when it’s clearer.

Additional Areas Kindle DX beats Kindle 2

At this point it seems that the Kindle DX has a lot of advantages over the Kindle 2 – screen size, the annotations feature, better browser, pdf support.

A few more areas it outshines K2 are –

  1. Value for money – A 2.5 times larger screen and PDF support for $130 more is a deal.
  2. Keyboard takes up much less of the device’s real estate. 
  3. It seems to have a wider space bar which would be a relief. 

More as updates come out.  

Additional Areas Kindle 2 beats Kindle DX

Kindle 2 is the clear winner on price and portability. It also holds up well in the following areas –

  1. Kindle DX doesn’t have a full qwerty keyboard and using shift to get to numbers is slow. 
  2. Kindle DX doesn’t have any page turn keys on the left side and this is an obvious disadvantage for left handed people.

Whispernet is still free which is great. Actually, the change in the pricing scheme for document conversions and transfers over Whispernet might be aimed at the DX – to make sure that the stipulation was in place before any college kids bought a Kindle DX.  

Closing Thoughts on Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2

The Kindle DX and the Kindle 2 have their own place in the kindle dx vs kindle 2 argument –

  1. Kindle 2 for price and portability and especially if you mostly read books.
  2. Kindle DX for pdf support and if you need a larger screen or read mostly in large fonts and the kindle 2 font sizes aren’t good enough.

31 thoughts on “Kindle DX Vs Kindle 2”

  1. 4 row keyboard not full qwerty? just lose the dedicated row of numbers, and have a shift function to access them.

  2. All three of these Kindle’s have black and white displays. The only way I would upgrade my Kindle 1 is if the most recent devices had color.

  3. I currently do not own a Kindle but hope to soon. I have been reviewing the Kindle 2 vs. the DX version and have some questions that I hope can get answered. I am buying this for my husbnad who is 70 and reads lots of books , magazines and would like to read USA Today every day.

    The magazine reviews on the Kindle 2 are not very good and was wondering if the DX will be better.

    They complain about not being able to see the pictures and read all the articles.

    So……should I buy the Kindle 2 or wait for the DX? Does anyone know when the DX is coming out as we are going on a trip in July and this would be great to take with us.


    1. Jennifer – the larger size of the Kindle DX means that magazines and newspapers can have a better more magazine style layout.
      There will still be issues because its a 16 shades of gray screen and nothing like a glossy color magazine.

      DX will be better because of the large screen size. By how much is difficult to say.
      As far as not all the magazine content and pictures being in the magazines – yes, there is some magazine content that is not included and the amazon reviews indicate which magazines have this issue – what magazines specifically were you interested in?

      DX rumors suggest a June release – however, its not a given.
      I’d call up kindle support at Inside the United States: 1-866-321-8851 ; Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927 . and specifically ask them when Kindle DX would be available and whether it’s in time for your vacation.
      Another thing is that you could order a week or two before your vacation. That way if Kindle DX isn’t out then, and comes out during your vacation and you want to upgrade – you can return the K2 (there’s a 30 day return period).

  4. E-readers are getting better and better. The DX seems to be great. Colour, when available, will make it even more useful for students. Sometimes you just need it. Thinking of engineering, medicine, art students and almost everyone else. But for text it will be great.

    Also a tactile bar for moving around in the text like the bar of the Nokia 6710 would be great.

  5. I am serious about getting the Kindle2 or DX in the next week. I am 65. I read for pleasure, books and magazines and audiobooks. Which product would be better served for me?

    1. Kindle 2.

      Please see the kindle review videos post for a video of the kindle 2 font sizes and if those work it’s better.

      Kindle 2 is lighter (doesn’t get uncomfortable holding it in one hand), more portable, cheaper.

      Kindle DX is better for magazines – however, there is no color in either so it’s not as if magazines will be much better on the kindle dx.
      The larger size is nice. However, the kindle 2 is fine for reading.

  6. My husband and I travel a great deal both in the US and out of the country. I generally drag along mountains of travel books–which are heavy and take up space on our RV or space in our carry on when we travel outside the US. I would love to get a kindle and download current travel books on to it thus cutting down on everything I usually carry. I note that there is a kindle 2,3 and DX. What is best for me as I will be using it basically for my new editions of Lonely Planet, etc.


    1. Judith, at the moment you’d be choosing between the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX (which is out of stock and doesn’t arrive for 4-6 weeks).

      Advantages of the Kindle 2 –

      Light weight – it’s just 10.2 ounces – about the weight of a paperback. The Kindle DX is 18.9 ounces and weighs as much as a hardcover.
      On the Kindle DX your hand(s) would tend to get tired if you don’t have strong hands.
      Kindle 2 has international wireless.
      Kindle 2 is just $259, while the Kindle DX is $489.

      Advantages of the Kindle DX –
      Larger screen size. This helps with PDFs and with the browser.
      Larger largest font size – you might need this if you need really large font to read.
      The Lonely Planet books will be better on the Kindle DX because of the larger size of the screen.

      If the Kindle 2 font sizes are comfortable for you – please see the kindle videos post, then Kindle 2 might be a better fit.

      It depends on what’s more important to you – larger screen size or lowerprice/lighter weight.

  7. I’m thinking of getting a Kindle 2. I’m only 15 so buying a Kindle 2 will suck my wallet dry. Do you think getting a Kindle 2 would be worth it? I don’t read story books all that often, but I am thinking of using it for homeschooling and text books. Also, could I edit my blogs through Kindle 2′s internet? I’ve heard its internet is limited, whereas Kindle DX’s internet is complete. Do you think I should wait until I get enough money to buy a Kindle DX or just get a Kindle 2 now?

    1. Both Kindle 2 and Kindle DX have limited browsers. It may no be possible to edit blogs through them – let me know what blogging site you use and will try it out and let you know if it’s possible.

      You should also check how many of your textbooks will be available in the Kindle Store. You may find that a lot of them aren’t available.

        1. works and it’s usable. It’s not very fast – however, it’s faster than most other sites because wordpress seem to have optimized it for use with mobile devices. Please note that ‘fast’ is a very relative term here. It takes a couple seconds for each page.

        1. you should check out the amazon associate program.
          When you write about science stuff add an associate link to a related product at Amazon – science book or something.
          Also, have a couple links to the Science and Gaming sections of Amazon Deals on your blog.

          You ought to be able to afford extra storage space soon.

  8. Any one can guide me!
    I have pdf books , bought from a friend(Used) and from fre sites.Which is better , as I want to transfer from my laptop to reader.

  9. I am very interested in getting a Kindle. I have noticed that this debate has happened well over a year ago. Since it is now 2011 and both the Kindle 2 and Kindle DX have both been out for a while, which one would be the best for me?
    I travel frequently out of the country through school and plan to study abroad in the fall. I carry about 6 textbooks and all my notebooks for college and it seems to weigh as much as I do. I also do read alot, but not as much as I want, and I figured it would be easier for me if I had something as small and portable as a kindle rather than my big, bulky book series.
    Being in school, professors seem to use alot of PDFs when homework is assigned online. I also am majoring in Business and possibly computer graphics eventually to own a photography studio.
    I am a fan of the bigger screen, but if you think the kindle 2 is a better option, i can live without that.
    Also, for internet access, would i be able to access my schools website for information?

    -Thank you so much, please reply as soon as possible, I am beyond anxious and torn on what to choose!!

    1. Audrey, a few things –

      1) Kindle DX 2 doesn’t allow notes in PDFs. Kindle 3 does, but it’s spotty and doesn’t work very well.

      2) Kindle 3 screen is entirely too small for PDFs.

      3) Kindle DX is better for textbooks and good enough for books.

      You really should try one out at Staples or Target (call beforehand to make sure they have Kindle DX 2 in stock and available to look at).

      Out of the two Kindle DX is definitely the better choice. However, it might not meet your note-taking needs.

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