Kindle DX Portable eBook Reader – Did Amazon Get it Right This Time?

Amazon.com’s new Kindle DX portable eBook reader follows the phenomenally successful Kindle and Kindle 2 portable book readers. Formally called a “wireless reading device”, the Kindle DX, as did it’s predecessors, is capable of downloading books and newspapers wirelessly over cellular phone data transmission systems. It is about the size and thickness of a letter-size notepad. While you must pay a fee for each book you download, there is no fee for the wireless data connection that connects you to Amazon. Amazon makes some publications available for no charge, including an electronic edition of the New York Times. Such advantages must be taken into consideration when looking at the Kindle’s higher purchase cost of $489.

Size Matters

The 9.7″ high display of the Kindle DX is the most obvious advantage over previous readers. The screen is two and a half times the size of the Kindle 2. This improves the reading experience of any book, and is especially helpful with reading newspapers, which allow you to scan a full page, then zoom in to an article. The next major difference is the 3500 book capacity, over the 1500 book capacity of the original Kindle. This difference may seem unimportant if, like most of us, you are not going to be reading even 1500 books on the reader, but with increasing use of graphics and the ability to store your own files, extra storage is nice to have. With 276,000 electronic books available for the Kindle DX, you certainly could fill it.

Formats

Of particular importance (and a deal maker/breaker for me) is that the Kindle DX is the first Kindle reader to allow native storage and viewing of the popular Adobe PDF format, the most commonly used format for electronic books. It was possible to view PDF files on previous Kindle versions, but the file had to be converted, with some quality loss compared to Amazon’s proprietary AZW format. Other formats viewable include HTML, TXT, Audible, Doc, JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Files can be loaded via either USB cable or via the Internet through Amazon for a small fee. Another new feature is subtle, but nice: If you rotate the Kindle DX from portrait to landscape position, it will automatically adjust the page so that you are viewing it properly.

The first two Kindle versions have been wildly successful with rave reviews. As a full-fledged PDF format reader with a much larger screen, the Kindle DX overcomes the greatest weaknesses of it’s predecessors, offering what may be the best eBook reading experience on the market, though only for those readers not put off by it’s premium price.