Refurbished Kindle DX – $220 Refurbished Kindle DX US

The refurbished Kindle DX US is available for $220 at Amazon. It’s a great deal and approaches the ideal Kindle DX price ($200).

Refurbished Kindle DX – Should you get the $220 Refurbished Kindle DX?

That’s a good question. There are two parts to this – Is the Kindle DX the right eReader for you? Is the Refurbished Kindle DX US a good Kindle DX to get?

Kindle DX is a good eReader – with pros and cons

The knock against the Kindle DX has always been the price and lack of mobility.

Kindle DX has several advantages – It’s got a 9.7″ eInk screen that is great for magazines and newspapers, its pretty good for books, it’s large enough for PDFs, you can choose landscape mode to make PDFs and browsing better, it has an accelerometer.

It’s well made and it comes with a 1 year warranty – the refurbished Kindle DX US also comes with a one year warranty.

Kindle DX also has several disadvantages – It’s quite large and hard to carry and hold, the PDF support is limited, it’s a bit slow (slower than smaller Kindles), it’s expensive, one-handed reading is almost impossible.

Overall, the Kindle DX is a good choice if you want an eInk screen, which is great for reading, in a size large enough to handle very large font sizes and magazines and newspapers and PDFs and webpages.

Refurbished Kindle DX at $220 is a pretty good choice

Your options are –

  1. $220 Refurbished Kindle DX US. This is very good value for money. It’s refurbished by Amazon and comes with a 1 year warranty. You can return it up to 30 days after it ships or up to the end of January if you buy it in December. The downsides are that it’s slower, it has slower page turns, and it uses the older generation eInk screen.
  2. Used Kindle DX US at $259. No reason at all to get this if the Refurbished Kindle DX US or a Refurbished Kindle DX is available.
  3. Used Kindle DX 1 at $249. This is the Kindle DX International. It doesn’t have the new eInk Pearl screen but the page turns are a bit faster and screen is a bit better than Kindle DX US. It’s still slow and page turns are still slow. It does use the older generation eInk screen – same one that the Kindle DX US uses. A refurbished version is sometimes available for $280 to $300 and is a decent option.
  4. New Kindle DX 1 at $329. There’s not really any reason to get this unless you really need 3G outside the US. It’s also not that much cheaper than the Kindle DX 2.
  5. New Kindle DX 2 at $379. The latest generation Kindle DX. It has the new eInk Pearl screen but not the software improvements in the Kindle 3 – It’s therefore not as much better than Kindle DX US and International as Kindle 3 is over the Kindle 2s.

If you look at value for money what you’re giving up with the refurbished Kindle DX US is – it’s refurbished and not new, there’s no 3G outside the US, it’s a little slower, it doesn’t have the new eInk Pearl screen, and it doesn’t have some of the speed improvements. It is, however, $159 cheaper than the $379 Kindle DX 2 and it’s a very usable device.

My recommendation would be to go with the $220 Refurbished Kindle DX US if it meets your needs – It’s pretty solid value for money.

$220 Refurbished Kindle DX – What do you miss by not choosing Kindle DX 2?

Here’s what you get with the Refurbished Kindle DX –

  1. A large 9.7″, second generation eInk screen that supports 16 shades of grey. It has 1200 by 824 resolution at 150 pixels per inch.
  2. A $220 price – that’s $159 less than a new Kindle DX 2.
  3. A one year limited warranty and a 30 day return period (end of January if you buy it in December). 
  4. PDF support – though it’s rather limited. 
  5. Great battery life – up to 4 days with wireless on and 2 weeks with wireless off.
  6. The text to speech feature, an accelerometer, 4 GB of memory of which 3.3 GB is available for your documents, built-in speakers, USB 2.0 cable to connect to your PC. 
  7. It weighs 18.9 ounces and measures 10.4″ by 7.2″ by 0.38″. The size does get in the way of holding it and carrying it conveniently.
  8. Sprint’s 3G network.
  9. Access to the Kindle Store and to Kindle WhisperNet.

It really is good value for money if you’re looking for a large screen eReader. Do note that it’s refurbished and not brand new.

Here’s what you miss out on by choosing Kindle DX US over Kindle DX 2 –

  1. The latest generation eInk Pearl screen which the Kindle DX 2 has. It has 50% better contrast.
  2. Faster speed. Page turns and the processor are slower on the Refurbished Kindle DX US. 
  3. Longer Battery Life. The newer Kindle DX lasts an entire week with wireless on and 2-3 weeks with wireless off. 
  4. The Graphite casing – The graphite color helps bring out the screen contrast more.
  5. Wireless coverage outside the US. If your home country is US the Kindle DX 2 gets free wireless coverage in over 100 countries outside the US.

Apart from the eInk Pearl screen and the faster processor there aren’t really any hugely significant differences. If you travel – the free wireless is a big deal.

After going through the Kindle DX 2 page in detail it’s clear that the refurbished Kindle DX US is a great deal at $220.

As long as you’re aware of what you’re giving up (eInk Pearl with 50% better contrast, faster page turns, faster processor, and wireless coverage outside the US) you’re unlikely to have any regrets. The refurbished Kindle DX US at $220 is a solid, solid option.

Refurbished Kindle 2 available for $119, Sony 350 for $119

If you missed out on the $89 Kindle 2 like almost everyone else you can get the refurbished Kindle 2 whose price has been dropped to $119.

The Kindle WiFi at $139 is a much better deal in my opinion. However, the refurbished Kindle 2 is pretty good too and has its advantages (free 3G access, larger page turn buttons).

Sony steps up to the plate – Finally!

Another great deal is the Sony 350 for $119 at Dell (found courtesy MobileRead). That’s $30 cheaper than at B&H Photo and SonyStyle.

It might be a price mistake so if you’re interested it’d be good to get it instantly.

This is on the Silver version which I have and it’s a steal at $119 with its touch screen and eInk Pearl screen. The downside is that you don’t get text to speech or Kindle Store books. You do get library books and ePub support.

Kindle WiFi at $139 Vs Sony 350 at $119

It’s quite a difficult choice – which is more than we have been able to say for a long time when comparing other eInk Readers with Kindles.

  • Kindle WiFi advantages – WiFi, Kindle Store, Kindle WhisperNet, text to speech, accessible menu, great customer service, Kindle App Store, synchronization across Kindles and Kindle Apps for other platforms, speakers, slightly larger 6″ screen (the 350 has a 5″ screen).
  • Sony 350 advantages – Touch screen, Library book and ePub support, extremely light, better looking, for the moment it’s $20 cheaper, freehand drawing, add your own screensaver photos, much more compact and thus more portable, slightly better PDF support. 
  • Common strengths – eInk Pearl screen, compact size (pocket edition is more compact), relatively cheap, third generation ereaders.

If you want touch or want an eReader that literally fits in your pocket or need support for Library Books and ePub then Sony 350 is it. In every other case the Kindle WiFi is a better choice. You could check out my Kindle WiFi vs Sony 350 review for a deeper look.

Sony Reader expands to Japan

The Digits Blog of the NY Times reports that Sony is getting ready to go Big in Japan. Sony is going to launch the new Sony Readers in Japan on December 10th, 2010.

It’s a very interesting story –

Sony kicked off today’s e-reader boom in 2004 with its introduction of the LIBRIe electronic reading device for the Japanese market. The product never quite took off … 

… in 2006, Sony introduced the Reader, a separate e-book reader it had developed at its U.S. electronics operations.

The market changed in 2007 with Inc.’s introduction of the Kindle e-reader in the U.S.

It’s news to me that Sony had an eReader out in 2004.

Sony aims to sell 300,000 Sony Readers in Japan in the first year and expects the market size to be 1 million eReaders by 2012. Well, good luck to Sony – we really need someone to give the Kindle competition and force Amazon to start improving Kindles faster.

$119 Refurbished Kindle 2 stock comes and goes

Update: Get the $119 Refurbished Kindle 2 at Amazon.

Not sure exactly what Amazon is doing with the $110 Refurbished Kindle 2 (US version) – However, stock for the refurbished Kindle 2 has varied between Sold Out and Available throughout the day.

There are reports of availability between 8 am and 9 am PST and at around 4:40 EST. This is after it was sold out for most of yesterday and available most of Monday.

Why would refurbished Kindle 2 US availability vary throughout the day?

Can’t think of any good reason there would be refurbished Kindle 2 stock at 8am, then refurbished Kindle 2 would be sold out at 9am, and then there would be more stock in another 4 hours – only to run out again. Going back to when it was first announced we’ve now had a day or so availability in a three-day stretch.

Anyone have any idea why there would be such sporadic bursts of availability?

In the past there have always been stretches of refurbished kindle availability broken up by a day or a few days. This is the first time it’s been varying so much through the course of a single day.

It’s almost as if Amazon is doing some elaborate experiment.

How does Amazon have so many refurbished Kindle 2 US units?

When Amazon ran the $150 Kindle offer at Woot it supposedly sold 4,380 or so Kindles in a few hours – It started perhaps at midnight PST and sold out around 8 am EST. With the $110 offer it was a refurbished Kindle 2 US (neither new nor global) but the lower price might have led to even more sales. Add on that it’s been available for much longer than the $150 Kindle was (in terms of total hours) and that it’s been available at Amazon – it would not be a stretch to assume Amazon sold 10,000 to 20,000 refurbished Kindle 2 US units in the 1st day of availability. Across the 2nd and 3rd day of sporadic availability perhaps another 3,000 to 5,000 units.

Where are these refurbished Kindle 2s coming from? Amazon stopped selling new ones in November or so and it’s hard to believe they would have 20,000 returned units sitting around for 6 months.

The only logical conclusion (at least it seems that way to me) is that Amazon are manufacturing new Kindle 2 US models and selling them as refurbished. Just an assumption so please don’t assume the refurbished Kindle 2 you buy will be a new one.

What are Amazon planning for?

Perhaps Amazon want to get a lot of people locked in to the Kindle ecosystem. Perhaps eInk had a lot of 6″ eInk screens left over after various eReader companies went bankrupt. Perhaps this is Amazon’s bargain line.

What we do know is – Amazon have established $110 as the entry-level eReader price. They are getting a ton of users into the Kindle ecosystem. They have either magically found a stash of 20,000 returned Kindle 2s or they have started re-manufacturing the US Kindle 2 and selling it as refurbished Kindle 2s.

Even a forthcoming release of the Kindle 3 doesn’t explain the sudden appearances and disappearances of  the $110 refurbished kindle 2 (US version). There has to be more to it than that.