dx reviews review

There are now 244 dx reviews from actual owners at Amazon. To get a better picture of how owners like their Kindle DX, I went through every dx review and this post is the result.

If you prefer, You can look at a full kindle dx review. Else, lets proceed –

DX Review – Number of DX Reviews per Day

Gives a good idea of what DX supply looks like, given that supply is currently the constricting factor –

DX Review Rate - DX Reviews per Day
DX Review Rate - DX Reviews per Day

You’ll see that there are two distinct peaks and one trough –

  1. Peak when the DX first came out.
  2. Peak around July 4th. This could just be a lot of people finding time during the long weekend to review the dx.
  3. The trough stretches throughout – June 25th is when dx delays shot up to 4-6 weeks. 

Graph is courtesy NCES Graph Utility.

DX Review – Ratings from Owners

We’d covered dx review statistics before and had found this distribution amongst the first 100 legitimate dx reviews –

  1. 5 star DX review: 48 owners.
  2. 4 star DX review: 27 owners.
  3. 3 star DX review: 18 owners.
  4. 2 star Review: 3 owners.
  5. 1 star Review: 4 owners.

That translates to a 4.12 stars average on 100 reviews.

The current distribution, among the first 241 legitimate dx reviews, comes out to be –

  1. 5 star dx review: 122.
  2. 4 star review: 63.
  3. 3 star dx reviews: 38. 
  4. 2 star dx reviews: 8.
  5. 1 star dx review: 13.

Across 244 dx reviews, the average rating is 4.1188. That’s almost exactly the rating after the 100th dx review.

DX Review Insights

  1. The pace of people adding dx reviews is 244 over 26 days, which equates to 9.4 dx reviews per day.
  2. As a comparison, the Kindle 2 has 4,678 reviews over 133 days. That’s 35.2 reviews per day. Almost 4 times the rate of the dx.
  3. Assuming 1 out of 100 dx owners adds a review, that’s 940 dx kindles being shipped out per day.
  4. Perhaps the ratio is more, perhaps less.

An average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5 is pretty favorable (and it’s been around that mark consistently). After reviewing every legitimate dx review, it seems that supply problems are really holding back the dx.

Review of Kindle 2 with Video

It’s been 2 weeks and 2 days since I got my Kindle 2 and after reading through 4 full books I absolutely LOVE IT!   Here’s a comprehensive Kindle 2 review and a kindle 2 video review. 

It’ll help you get a very good idea of whether you ought to buy a Kindle  2 and the videos show the screen very well.

Kindle 2 Review – What It Looks Like

The Kindle 2 is a good looking device –

  1. The white color looks a bit plain – however, it makes it easy for the Kindle 2 to fade into the background and the book you’re reading to take center-stage.
  2. Kindle 2 is very, very thin.
  3. The keyboard is tiny – tiny buttons, tiny lettering.
  4. The Next Page and Prev Page buttons have been modified so there are no longer accidental page-turns.
  5. The back is now polished metal – however, the battery is non-replaceable.

Here’s a video of what the Kindle 2 looks like – [wpvideo alwBbPmy].

Kindle 2 –  What the Screen Looks Like

A lot of discussions have focused on the Screen and my thoughts are –

  1. Its very readable.  
  2. The background is very light grey and not white, and the text is dark grey and not black.
  3. If you have eye problems and need high contrast black on white – it won’t work. If your eye-sight issues are related to font size it works very well. 
  4. The six font sizes make for a great feature and allow even people with low eye-sight to read.

Here’s a video showing the contrast and comparing it with a paperback and a hardcover book – [wpvideo yJmdUa7v]. There’s a video showing font sizes below.

What Reading a Book on the Kindle 2 is like

Reading a book on Kindle 2 is –

  1. Very enjoyable. I find it a bit faster than reading an actual book.  
  2. Much, much more enjoyable than reading on a computer screen.  
  3. Does not tire your eyes.
  4. The 6″ screen size is a little smaller than ideal – 8″ or 9″ would work much better. One out of Kindle 3 and KindleText is going to have a 9.7′ screen.
  5. The ability to change font sizes makes things very enjoyable.
  6. Read To Me is a good feature. Do note that now its up to publishers on whether to allow the feature or not. 
  7. Kindle 2 fades into the background.
  8. Page refreshes are relatively quick.

Kindle 2 Review – My 10 Favorite Features 

  1. Ability to buy books instantly.
  2. Light weight and thin Kindle 2 is convenient to carry around and hold in your hand. Also, reading with one hand is easy.  
  3. Changeable Font Sizes.  
  4. Using Read To Me Text To Speech feature to let the Kindle 2 read to me.  
  5. Battery life – it goes on forever, especially if you turn off the wireless. 
  6. Free Internet Access and Free Wikipedia Access (not in Canada though so I’m missing this).
  7. It fades into the background.  
  8. I’m reading much more – In 2 weeks I’ve read 4 full books and snippets of a  lot of other books.  
  9. Most books’ Kindle Editions are cheaper than print editions. I don’t buy any Kindle books over $9.99.
  10. 16 levels of grey-scale makes for much clearer pictures.

Here’s a video of changeable Font Sizes – [wpvideo dXyaxN0G].

Kindle 2 – Good Features

  1. 86% of Kindle 2 owners love it – check my post on Kindle 2 Reviews from actual owners.
  2. Whispernet coverage is extended to more areas, and you can buy books instantly over WhisperNet.  
  3. WhisperSync which lets you read across different devices.  
  4. Kindle for iPhone App to let you read on your iPhone or iTouch.
  5. 2 GB Internal storage. 
  6. Saves Trees.
  7. MP3 songs can be played in the background.
  8. Powers from USB cable in addition to charger. So you can charge it from your PC or laptop.

Kindle 2 – Things I Wish Get Improved in Kindle 3.

This is not a wish-list for Kindle 3. Its just things that need to be improved based on my Kindle 2 review experience –

  1. A better keyboard – the keys are tiny and difficult to read and press.
  2. Improved navigation – the 5 way controller is useful. However, its slow and a touchscreen or better navigation is desperately needed.
  3. Folders – The ability to organize content into folders.
  4. SD Card slot to let you add more storage.
  5. Ability to work well with non-linear content i.e. newspapers, web pages, etc.

Kindle 2 – Software/Firmware Updates that ought to be done.

  1. Improve screen contrast by letting people choose ‘Read in Bold’ option, and also turn off anti-aliasing for the 2 smallest sized fonts.  
  2. Allow 3rd party applications.  
  3. Put in support for Folders.

Should You Buy a Kindle 2?

Based on the 2 weeks of owning and using a Kindle 2, you should definitely buy a Kindle 2 if you fall into one of these categories –

  1. Love to read books.  
  2. Travel a lot.  
  3. Commute to work everyday with a longer than 30 minutes trip.
  4. Want to read more books than you currently do.  BTW, it makes a great gift if you want to encourage kids to read more.  
  5. Are running out of space for books or are tired of moving with lots of books.

The Read To Me feature also makes it great for when you’re driving. However, it’s now up to Publishers to enable or disable this feature for their books and they might turn it off.

You can see a whole bunch of Kindle 2 Videos and video reviews of features at the Kindle 2 Video Page. Since Kindle 2 isn’t available at any store this is a good way to figure out what you’ll be getting.

You can find a longer list of Pros and Cons, and additional data like Comparisons with Kindle 1 at my detailed Kindle 2 Review post.

Kindle 2 Technical Specifications

And finally, the technical specifications –

Display: 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.

Size (in inches): 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″.

Weight: 10.2 ounces.

System requirements: None, because it doesn’t require a computer.

Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).

Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.

Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.

Connectivity: EVDOmodem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). See Wireless Terms and Conditions.

USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.

Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.

Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.

Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.

Documentation: Quick Start Guide(included in box) [PDF]; Kindle 2 User’s Guide(pre-installed on device) [PDF].

Warranty and Service: 1 year limited warranty and service included. Optional 2 year Extended Warrantysold separately.

I hope the Kindle 2 Review helped you and congrats on reaching the end 😉 .

Kindle – The Negatives

This post forms an important building block for The Kindle Decision aka the $400 Question – Should I Buy a Kindle?

The main themes of discontent spring from the ‘back button getting inadvertently pressed’, a lack of aesthetic beauty, no velcro on the cover, slow delivery times and/or the waits, and lack of good customer support. Interestingly, these are issues that for a V1 product are GREAT i.e. the Kindle is hitting the ball out of the ballpark for its major aims – the drawbacks are things that are easiy fixable in V2 and v3 and to be quite honest, customers are still giving the Kindle 5 and 4 stars.   Anyways, here are the drawbacks (I’ve listed at the end the set of drawbacks that ‘tertiary users and non owners’ have listed since those people have no business telling book lovers and afficiandos what sort of device they should want)[In Progress]

  1. Aesthetically Challenged
  2. Not the iPhone (not from owners – who don’t care)
  3. Monochrome (though people don’t really seem to care – representational systems ???)
  4. Not Cool (again owners don’t care and in fact loveit and think it’s great. so thisis from reviewers)
  5. Expensive (again only some owners think it’s expensive)
  6. Blog subcriptions cost $1 (no owner mentions this – so again this is a case of bloggers not knowing what readers want)
  7. Browser is experimental (people loved the browser)
  8. Difficult to navigate newspapers (doesn’t really come up – not sure how many users bought newspapers)
  9. Only a limited list of newspapers and weekly magazines.
  10. Prices for newspapers and weekly magazines were not all that great.
  11. When reading a kindle-book, it is impossible to know which page of the physical/printed version of that text you are on. In short, you could never cite the page number of a kindle-book. You could exchange the “kindle location” with other users of the device, but that’s not going to get you very far in a footnote.
  12. No coverage in Alaska – Michael Dingman writes: Tell me when I can use it here in Alaska. If it supported WiFi as well as EVDO I could.  (Not in Montana either.
  13. Delivery was late.
  14. Kindle Froze up and had to call customer service for help. 
  15. White, all buttons design is not good.
  16. When you pick up, put down, handle, etc you might hit a page button. I’ve learned to lock it before I put it down to prevent accidental page turning.
  17. My only problem is that I can’t use my gift cards from Amazon to pay for my new way to buy books.
  18. I really don’t like the way it renders links in a vertical list (even if there is only one) when you click on a line containing the link. It requires extra clicks and on the Kindle’s slow display, it can be downright annoying.
  19. If I could “fix” one thing, it would be having the page turning bars shorter so that when handling the Kindle I don’t accidentally turn a page. This has tobe the number one gripe. 
  20. Cover is less than the best – a little piece of Velcro would be awesome. Velcro issues reoccur.
  21. I’m rating the Kindle at 4 stars instead of 5 because the list of available Kindle editions is still relatively small. Amazon has made a good start, but it’s only a start. I’m disappointed when I can’t find a Kindle edition of a new release and after paying $400 for the Kindle I’m now reluctant to by paper editions.
    1. My only unhappiness so far is that there aren’t enough old titles available for this thing…I’d like to get Kindle versions of my favorite books, the ones I like to reread repeatedly
  22. I’m sure if it’s working properly the Kindle is great, but the lack of good customer service has turned me off from the product. after 6 week it arrived defective.
  23. [Edit: Honestly, this is a big, big faux pas on AMazon’s part – simply unforgiveable] Kindle works great but I was surprised when I found that a fiction book (Blasphemy) I was interested in purchasing cost $20 for the Kindle version and $15 for the hard cover version from Amazon. 
    1. Another Case: Only had one negative experience. Wanted Julie Garwood’s new book, Shadow Music. Came out on 12/26. Wasn’t available for Kindle purchase until 12/28 at a cost of just over $20, much higher than the cost of $9.99 I was expecting. She’s my favorite author so I paid it. What upset me was that something kept telling me to check back and on 12/30 they dropped the price to $9.99. Felt like I’d been taken. Will know better the next time I’m looking for a new release.
  24. The two button wakeup is a pain, especially as it requires two hands.
  25. The cover interferes with the2 button wakeup.
  26. I do wonder why the wireless/on-off switches were placed on the back instead of on top, but this is a small issue to me.
  27. You miss out on some content due to the very poor display of images. They are rendered in 4 levels of gray and are often not recognizable. Color or improved grayscale would be a welcome addition for version 2.
  28. As has been discussed ad nauseam, the Kindle is not a particularly elegant design. The plastic feels cheap to me, and the device very breakable. With reasonable care, though, I don’t think you need to unduly worry about the Kindle being fragile.
  29. I would like the power buttons to be on the front of the device, with perhaps a sliding “lock” feature, as in many MP3 players.
  30. A case of Bezos setting wrong expectations 😉 – Jeff Bezos told Charlie Rose on Rose’s TV show that one could download books “anywhere.” Not true. The area in which one can download are limited pretty much to the populated areas. We wanted to use the Kindle in our RV and while travelling to Nicaragua. We thought we could use it wherever there is cell phone service. Wrong.
  31. Ummm – some people want a backlight and some say its not necessary … One Reviewer: My only hope would be that future models include “backlighting” in the device.
  32. The on and off button is on the back BUT you have a short cut in the manual (yes – it was even fun reading the manual on the Kindle) that doesn’t fully shut it off but does hibernate it. 
  33. DRM and what exactly do you ‘own’. [More thoughts on this later]
  34. How do I lend books to my friends (to be very honest though – at some level i don’t really mind since i have lost so many great books and had to rebuy them or not have them anymore that i don’t mind not being able to lend – i’d much rather send them a chapter] + 6 kindles on one account means i can share with my family and close friends anyways
  35. Lack of support for common file formats (i think this is a separate story in itself – however like the ‘how to convert mobipocket books, i’ll be adding more sections).
  36. A really interesting note on a drawback/issue that a user points out –

    Secondly, Amazon has installed software that records what I am reading and when I am reading it and sends this information back to Amazon. I really don’t see why Amazon should know what books I am reading and when. They will know what I have bought anyway, as I have to buy kindle books through them – why should they know that I read book such-and-such for 2 hours at 1 am last night etc. etc. It starts to feel like something out of George Orwell’s 1984.
    I presume that apart from marketing, the reason is to detect if you are abiding by Amazons terms and conditions. If you are not (for example, if I did figure out a way of sharing the kindle book I bought with my wife on her kindle) this spy-ware will detect it and Amazon can then cancel your Kindle service (you will also lose access to all the books you have read).
    I really do not like the idea that Amazon could suddenly remove access to my whole reading collection that I might build up over several years.
    While I understand that Amazon and book publishers in general need to protect themselves from illegal copying of their books, I feel that the way they have made the Kindle and the way the terms and conditions of this product are written takes away the users rights and also their privacy. Until these things change I will (sadly) have to stick to conventional books.
    What a shame.
    Here is a quote directly from Amazons terms and conditions for the kindle
    “Information Received. The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service (such as available memory, up-time, log files and signal strength) and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device). Annotations, bookmarks, notes, highlights, or similar markings you make in your Device are backed up through the Service. Information we receive is subject to the Amazon.com Privacy Notice.”
    I would also recommend visiting the following website relating to the direction the Kindle’s terms and conditions is leading us and how our right to read will be affected in future generations (and perhaps even this one):