Kindle DX Review

Over 250 people have put up their Kindle DX review at Amazon and the opinions are generally favorable. Here’s my Kindle DX review -

Kindle DX Review – Who is the Kindle DX suited for?

The Kindle DX is great for -   

  1. Textbooks - PDF support, low weight (no more heavy textbooks), low priced Kindle textbooks make it ideal for students. PDFs don’t allow notetaking.
  2. Business and Professional Use – You’ll love that kindle dx lets you carry around all your business and technical documents and PDFs.
  3. Anyone with low vision – Changeable fonts, eInk and landscape mode means great readability. 

The DX is good for reading newspapers, magazines though keep in mind that it lacks color and the navigation is awkward.

The Kindle 2 is a better choice -

  1. If you want portability. Kindle 2 is more compact, lighter, easier to carry around.
  2. If you mostly read books books – Kindle 2 is $130 less and size wise Kindle 2 -> Paperback; Kindle DX -> Hardcover.

Kindle DX Review – Photos

  1. Kindle DX from the front -

    Kindle DX front view

    Kindle DX front view

  2. Size comparison of the Kindle DX with the Kindle 1 - 

    Kindle DX Screen almost as big as Kindle 1 (which is same size as Kindle 2)

    Kindle DX Screen almost as big as Kindle 1 (which is same size as Kindle 2)

Kindle DX Review – Top 5 Features

  1. Large, Readable eInk Screen – The 9.7″ Kindle DX Screen is great for reading textbooks. A customer kindle dx review states -

    the screen is also sharper and crisper than my Kindle 2 in a side-by-side comparison: the text is darker, and the contrast is much better, making for better visibility overall.

  2. PDF Support - Kindle DX has official Adobe PDF support. PDFs look great and have page numbers. 
  3. Free Wireless Internet - Free Internet Access and Free Wikipedia so you can use it for reference. Do note that the browser has limited functionality. 
  4. Cheap Textbooks Delivered Wirelessly in 60 seconds – There’ll be good prices (Amazon Kindle Editions of books usually are $9.99 instead of $24.99). Amazon is claiming 60% of textbooks will be covered initially.
  5. Convenience – Carry 3,500 books and textbooks. Buy books and textbooks instantly, anytime. Change Font Sizes, number of words per line, and spacing between lines.

Kindle DX Review – DX Video

Look at my Kindle 2 Video page to see the eInk screen in detail. The DX screen is 2.5 times larger than Kindle 2′s, and kindle dx reviews confirm that it has better contrast than Kindle 2.

Kindle DX Review – Pros  

Top Kindle DX Pros 

  1. PDF Support - Official Adobe PDF support, reviewers note that PDF documents look great. Also, searching a PDF highlights the found terms. Plus page numbers for PDFs.
  2. Cheaper Textbooks. Cheap Books ($9.99 for new releases and bestsellers).
  3. Kindle for iPhone and WhisperSync – You can read a document or textbook across your Kindle DX, iPhone and iTouch. Your annotations, bookmarks and the page you’re on are synchronized wirelessly.
  4. Large Screen – The 9.7″ screen is a great size.
  5. eInk Screen – Close to zero eye strain. Much, much closer to reading a book than a computer screen.
  6. Auto-rotate – looks to be a good, solid feature.
  7. Read To Me - Provided publishers don’t turn it off for their books, books can be read out to you by the Kindle DX while you drive, cook, etc.
  8. You can change the font size, the number of words per line and the spacing between lines. 
  9. Really big largest Font Size making it great for low vision people.

    At the largest font size, a capital letter is 3/16″ tall (just under 1/4″). Full character height–from the bottom of a “g” to the top of a “d”–is 1/4″.

  10. Long Battery Life – Kindle DX lasts 4 days with wireless on, and 2 weeks with wireless off.
  11. Large Storage – The 3.3GB of available storage (out of 4 GB overall) gives you a lot of space (3,500 books).
  12. Free Wireless Internet – WhisperNet (in Sprint coverage areas). Free is much better than a $40 a month wireless data plan. Also, browsing the web in landscape mode is great.
  13. Kindle Store has 7,000+ free public domain books.

More Kindle DX Pros

  1. In-Built Dictionary and Wikipedia access.
  2. Free Cloud Storage – Any books you buy are stored in the Amazon cloud and you can download them anytime.
  3. Good Screen Resolution – 1200 by 824 with 16 shades of grey.
  4. Normal books are much cheaper in their Kindle Edition. Books usually retail for $9.99.
  5. More than 300,000 books.
  6. Good coverage of textbooks as 3 of the big textbook publishers are on-board. Addison Wiley, Pearson, Prentice Hall, Longman and many more.
  7. Light and Thin – The Kindle DX is just 0.38″ thick. Its also light at 18.9 ounces.

The thinness of the Kindle DX is a nice contrast to the large 9.7″ screen -

Kindle DX with 9.7" screen and PDF Support Kindle DX with 9.7″ screen and PDF Support

Kindle DX Review – Cons

  1. Price – The $489 price is definitely high (eInk technology is still evolving). Consider the Kindle 2 which is $359 (compare them at Kindle 2 VS Kindle DX).  
  2. No Color – eInk will not have color technology till 2011. There are other technologies (like Pixel Qi) that will have color ePaper before that.
  3. No Folders. There’s no way to organize your books and documents.
  4. No TouchScreen.
  5. For PDFs, text to speech, dictionary and 5 way controller don’t work. There are also no annotations or highlighting for PDFs. And there is no Table of Contents.
  6. Lack of extra storage – no SD card slot.
  7. Note-taking is painful. It’s nothing like just jotting down notes.
  8. The keyboard sucks.
  9. Screen Refresh Speed – Screen takes a fraction of a second to refresh. Do look at the Kindle 2 videos – screen technology is going to be the same i.e. how it looks, how it refreshes.
  10. No support for video.
  11. Only available in white.

Kindle DX Review – Recommendation

The Kindle DX is a very good choice if you are looking for a textbook reader or a reader for business documents – get a Kindle DX if you can live with the higher price. Its also an excellent choice if you have low vision.

Kindle DX is a reasonable choice for reading newspapers and magazines. 

For reading books or if you’d like a portable reader you can take everywhere with you, the Kindle 2 is the better choice.

Hope this kindle dx review helped you.

56 Responses

  1. What on earth could explain Amazon’s absolute refusal to add folders to the Kindle OS? I mean…multiple iterations of the first one, a whole second device and now a third and they still refuse to address the number one consumer request.

    We know it’s possible, it’s just freaking Linux under there. What is going on here?

    • absolutely no clue. This is easily the #1 usability feature they should prioritize. Can you imagine school kids trying to save their documents and textbooks according to subjects/classes? Its a nightmare.

  2. My big question is about Native PDF support in the older Kindles. I wonder Amazon might be able to update my Kindle 2 OS to natively handle my PDF docs.

    I don’t see why not unless the native PDF support isn’t going to handle zooming in on the page. Which might be an issue for even the larger 9.7″ display.

    • Darrel – zooming, panning and scrolling are not going to be supported in the DX.
      so there’s a chance they can’t work in PDF support. Even if they do, without those 3 abilities the PDFs will probably be too small.

      • Thanks. I finally saw that in the earlier post. That’s unfortunate. I could see that causing some problems even in the larger DX version.

        Especially for charts, and images where the E-Ink display doesn’t have the resolution to show things as clearly as they would be on paper.

  3. It’s going to be interesting to see how sales of the Kindle DX do if the rumored Apple tablet / media pad (or whatever it becomes) gets released. Apparently they’re going to bring out something with a 9 / 10 inch screen that will obviously be able to read e-books as well as a whole load of other stuff.

  4. I have a K2, and almost any book of even a slightly technical nature is problematic on my Kindle. Books on stocks & bonds have charts, and the charts can’t be read (even with enlargement) on the kindle. Science books for the general public which include exponents (eg. 10^40, which translates as 1 followed by 40 zeros) get printed as 1040.
    Text books are replete with this sort of data. Obviously, Amazon has to use improved scanner software to make the DX work. Is there any chance that this improved scanner software will be made available for those of us with the K2 who occasionally read things in science and economics?

    • Mike, for the Kindle DX Amazon has licensed Adobe’s PDF technology – so anything that is in PDF displays OK. For Kindle 2, at this point it seems like PDF support will not be incorporated – perhaps its due to the screen being too small for PDFs.

      So for Kindle DX – all PDFs should be fine.
      For Kindle 2 – PDF conversion is the only option and as you point out, it doesn’t work too well for technical documents.

  5. [...] Kindle DX Review The Kindle DX is available at Amazon for $489 (just pre-ordered one to get my place in line). Here’s a Kindle [...] [...]

  6. [...] Kindle DX Review You can get the Kindle DX at Amazon for $489 (preorders – DX ships in the summer). Here’s my Kindle DX [...] [...]

  7. That would be awesome but it’s not possible (yet).

    It’s not set up to display color because they are using the e-ink technology which lessen strains on the eyes, increases battery life and makes the reading feel more like a book.

    For reading, definitely Kindle is great at what it does but if you want a bit of everything, try a netbook (bit bigger but does all of those)

  8. Thanks Mike for sharing your experience with textbooks. I was thinking of getting a Kindle and hearing that sure is a deal breaker as an econ major.

  9. Switch11: no one has yet answered what is to my mind the $64 million question: will publishers be able to upload PDFs directly to the DX *via DTP*? If they can, that changes the whole ball game (Amazon wins).

    See http://www.nimblebooks.com/wordpress/2009/05/amazonfail-kindledx-when-will-publishers-be-able-to-upload-pdfs-to-amazon-dtp/

  10. Although I am not a comic book reader, I haven’t see any comments about the the Kindle DX might mean for comic books (alhough admittedly, a color one seems almost necessary for such.)

  11. I am not sure if I missed this or not. I am a Economics Major. Will the PDF’s be readable?

    • Tae – I don’t fully understand your question. If you mean to ask whether the figures and formulae will be readable – probably, because Amazon have licensed PDF tech from Adobe – so its about as official and ‘supported’ as it can be.
      There will be no color though so sometimes it might be difficult to distinguish graphs.

  12. I have a question for you: what if I buy a Kindle DX, and then move out, say, to England (where there is no kindle support at Amazon UK). Would I still be able to connect wirelessly to Google, Wiki etc? I understand I can still send my own-made PDFs to my kindle account (so I hope!), and then download them to the kindle or any PDFthat was bought somewhere else? Does this sound correct to you?
    Would I still be able to conenct wirelessly using other internet providers? I dont have a clue. I woudl love to have a kindle but I am not sure it is flexible enough in this matter

    • 1) You would not be able to connect wirelessly to any website and would not be able to buy books wirelessly. thats only available in the us. until kindle arrives in the uk that will be missing.
      2) Yes – you will be able to send any pdfs to your account.
      Kindle DX – I think it would support PDFs without converison.
      I don’t know how DX will handle self made PDFs. You should ask kindle customer service.
      3) No – you cannot connect wirelessly using other service providers.

      • wow. Thanks for the clarity! Appreciated. I think I will set for a ultramobile tablec PC then.

      • I use my Kindle 2 in England.

        Limitations I have:

        1) No whispernet, I have to download everything to my Mac and then copy the files over to the Kindle using the USB lead.

        2) No subscriptions (magazines, newspapers etc) as these require a US credit card.

        3) ebooks can only be bought from the US site. So to do that I have to: buy myself Amazon gift codes on the US site using my UK credit card with my address set to my UK address (Amazon doesn’t check locale when buying gift codes). I then switch addresses to a valid, but fictional, US address. Credit my account with the gift code and then buy using that credit.

        So a bit of a pain.

  13. Has anyone compared from the point of view of elderly users? Font increased, ease of use, grip, etc?

    • i’ve done a post on kindle 2 for low vision users. however, doing one for the kindle dx would be a good idea too.
      do you mean a comparison with kindle 2 ? what exactly do you mean by ‘comparison’?

      • I have 2 questions:
        1. it seems the Kindle DX would be best for someone visually impaired
        2. It looks like you can not access Kindle wireless in Collingwood area and Toronto although it appears you can access it with Kindle 2 – I don’t understand why the difference and if in future Kindle DX will allow you to do this.
        Jody

      • 1. Yes – the DX is indeed best because of the largest screen size and the largest font size.
        2. Kindle 2 International version use AT&T and has international wireless access. Kindle DX still uses the Sprint wireless network and only supports US.
        Kindle DX International is supposed to be out in 2010 – Amazon has confirmed it.

        You could get the Kindle DX and sell it afterwards and get the international Kindle DX. Kindle prices hold up very well.

  14. Hi !

    Anybody knows if KINDLE 2 can read PDFs with inserted video ?

    What about new KINDLE DX, is it possible to read a PDF with embedded video (avi, swf formats) ?

    Can we watch videos on our KINDLE or is the processor too low ?

    Thank you for your answers !

    • gafaell, there is no support for video.
      The eInk technology takes time for a screen refresh and video just isn’t possible.

      I don’t know how the K2 or the Kindle DX handle PDF with inserted video. However, since Kindles can’t play vidoe it’d be safe to assume they won’t be playing the videos in the PDFs.

    • The Kindle 2 can’t read PDFs at all and the (free) conversion process results in a really poor quality document. I believe the problem is the inflexible nature of the PDF format (in essence it assumes a fixed page size).

      No Kindle can or will be able to play Video both because the hardware (cpu, bus etc) aren’t powerful enough and because eink screens are super-slow: you’d be watching video at about 1 frame every 2 seconds with lots of ghosting. eink screens are optimised for ease of reading and low power drain.

  15. Update [Corrested after update from Chris - thanks Chris]: What Mr. Bezos meant is you can read a PDF one page at a time comfortably.

    Also on PDFs: Page Numbers, however no Table of Contents and no Notes or Highlights. Also you cannot use the 5way cursor at all.
    And you cannot increase the font size of the pdf – you can go into landscape mode and it increases the font size.

    • Where did you find out about this? I have read the reviews and it seemed to me that you can only put it in landscape mode to make the text larger, and the 5 way doesn’t do anything. Clicking Next Page just takes you to the next half of the page. I’m interested to read about the panning support.

      Thanks.

  16. i’ll change that. it was at the amazon forum and it was a mistake on my part.

    PDFs: Page Numbers, you can put it in landscape mode to get a bigger view.
    You can search and key term will be highlighted.

    You cannot:
    Use 5 way controller.
    Use Dictionary
    Use Table of Contents.

  17. So to clarify, if I am reading a textbook of mine in PDF format, and I need to reference something on page 435 while on page 541, is there an easy way to jump to a specific page in the PDF? I was not clear about some of the previous comments saying that the Kindle DX is unable to use the 5 way controller or table of contents while reading PDFs.

    • yes – there is a Go To Page and Go To Beginning feature.
      There is no table of contents support – you could go to the page that has the table of contents, and as long as the PDF hasn’t had pages inserted during conversion/scanning from the textbook version, you can just ‘Go To Page’ to the page numbers listed in ToC.

      And 5 way controller does not work.

  18. Quick question….does the reader work for foreign langauges such as French?

    • yes – there is even le monde available in the newspapers section.
      and you can find french books at gutenberg (a few) – i’ll add a photo or video for you if you’d like to see what it looks like.

  19. How would it display an A4 or letter sized PDF? Most of my own ebooks are in this format and they include black and white or grayscale illustrations, and text on two columns.

    I’d appreciate if anyone with a DX would get in touch with me so I can send him a PDF and he can take a pic or vid of how the pdf displays on the DX. My email is andreasfiligoi@gmail.com
    Thanks!
    Andrea

    • you have a landscape mode which has a bigger view. check out the kindle forums at amazon to get some kindle dx owner to test it for you.

  20. Is there a way to read it with the lights off in the room? I have only had it for two days and it might not be possible???

  21. Anyone have any recommendations for the books that best take advantage of the Kindle DX vs. the old Kindle? Amazon has a few featured but you can’t look them up this way…

    Thx.

  22. Can I unlock the 3G for any provider in my country? And customize freely the configuration — APN, for example?

    • Budims – not sure of what hacks are available or have been done. Haven’t read of anyone opening up the 3G card – However, you should search around for hacks.

  23. I am looking to buy a Kindle. I would like to use it for reading books, no real need for PDF files. I like the portability of Kindle 2 and the price, but I am bit worried about the screen size. It seems so small.
    My question is whether the larger screen is worth the 200 dollar difference? Or do you forget about the screen size once you start reading? Is it comparable to a regular book?

    • Alicia, the 6″ screen size is better suited for reading books than the larger 9.7″.
      It’s cheaper by $200 as you pointed out, it’s so light that one handed reading is easy, it’s more portable – throw it in a purse or carry it around easily.

      A good way to imagine the screen size is to take a normal paperback and that’s how big the Kindle 2 is – the screen is around 70% of that. Why not wait a few days and on the 6th it’ll be available to check out at the nearest Target.

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