Every 2nd week there’s a comment on this blog asking exactly what the font sizes on the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX are.
Guess the best way to answer the kindle font size questions is to put up a post with videos and all the information in one place. My Kindle DX is with a friend so no videos for that – just font size information.
Kindle Font Size – Kindle 2 Font Size Guide, Video
First, here’s a video –
For the Kindle 2, the key information is this (from Amazon itself) -
There are 6 font sizes, which correspond approximately to the following Microsoft Word standard font sizes -
Kindle Font Size 1 = 7pt
Kindle Font Size 2 = 9pt
Kindle Font Size 3 = 11 pt
Kindle Font Size 4 = 14 pt
Kindle Font Size 5 = 17 pt
Kindle Font Size 6 = 20 pt
The video should help clear up exactly what the Kindle 2 font sizes are. You can look at the appropriate font sizes in Word on your PC to get a better idea.
Form the video we can tell that the Kindle 2 Font Sizes actually correspond to -
- Kindle Font Size 1 = A little bit less than 7pt (actually a tiny bit less).
- Kindle Font Size 2 = Between 8pt and 9pt - closer to 9pt.
- Kindle Font Size 3 = Between 10pt and 11 pt, closer to 11 pt.
- Kindle Font Size 4 = Slightly less than 14 pt.
- Kindle Font Size 5 = A bit less than 17pt.
- Kindle Font Size 6 = 20 pt (a tiny bit less than 20 pt).
This is for the Kindle 2. It’s a really good range, and it’s going to get better.
The coming Super Font Size for the Kindle 2
Amazon have said that to make the Kindle more accessible they will, in addition to enabling Text to Speech for the Menus, add a Super Font Size that will be double the size of the current largest Font Size.
That would mean a 40pt size.
Bonus: Font Size Comparison – Kindle 2 Vs Nook Vs Sony Reader Touch
If you’re trying to decide between the Kindle, the Nook, and Sony Reader Touch and Font Size is a criteria, then consider this quick video –
Please note that the Sony Reader Touch Edition’s largest font size was not used (forgot to) – It’s bigger than the Kindle 2′s largest size. Also, the Nook is supposed to be pronounced Nuk.
The video clearly shows -
- (actually, this it doesn’t – just take my word for it ;) ) The Sony Reader Touch Edition has the largest font size. It’s XXL setting is around 22-23 pt in word.
- Sony also has the smallest font size.
- The Kindle’s largest font size is 20 pt. It also has the most options i.e. 6 settings.
- Nook’s largest font size is 18 pt.
- Changing Fonts using the LCD touchscreen on Nook is a bit of a pain.
If largest font size is your main criteria weigh the Sony’s 22-23pt largest font against its glare/lower readability. The Kindle is the best choice in my opinion, especially as it’s going to get a 40pt super-size font and accessible menus in mid 2010.
Both the Kindle and the Sony Reader Touch Edition have landscape mode, while the Nook doesn’t.
Here are the key things to keep in mind -
- Font Size doesn’t change in Landscape mode for normal books.
- It does change for PDFs – on both the Kindle and the Sony Reader Touch.
- Kindle does not allow changing font sizes for PDFs – except the fact that landscape mode gets larger text. Sony allows changing font sizes but it nearly always messes up formatting for larger font sizes.
- Landscape mode is helpful when bowsing the Internet and for some documents.
As far as font size – Landscape mode is not crucial.
Please check my Kindle Dyslexia post for a video showing what you can do with the Kindle, landscape mode, and the line spacing and words per line settings.
Kindle Font Size – Kindle DX Font Size Guide
There are a few things to keep in mind -
- The Size of the Kindle DX screen is 2.5 times the size of the Kindle 2 screen.
- Kindle DX does have landscape mode – Font size does not change in landscape mode (except for PDFs).
- The largest Kindle DX font size is larger than on the Kindle 2. It’s supposed to be (courtesy Brent Newhall) -
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″.
Not sure why Amazon haven’t provided a Kindle DX Font Size chart like they have for the Kindle 2.
Thanks to the Kindle for Kids Blog for highlighting the importance of Kindle Font Size
This post was inspired by an EduKindle article - What Middle School Students think about the Kindle.
It’s got this snippet which highlights the importance of Font Size and how much people underestimate the Kindle’s ‘changeable fonts’ feature -
The Seneca students are clear about their preference in font size, given a choice:
The font that everyone prefers to use with the Kindle 2 is the largest font size.
Um, that’s a 20 point font, far larger than what they encounter in their textbooks. So, a summary of this admittedly informal bit of research is that -
1) kids naturally select the largest font available because 2) it makes them read faster.
The changeable font sizes of the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX, and of eReaders in general, are a more crucial feature than people realize.