Amazon Kindle DX 1st Generation eBook Reader (D00611)

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Absolutely Astonishing!

Jul 6, 2009
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Clarity of the text, free wireless services by Sprint, PDF support, free book previews.

Cons:Not all books have been digitized, no built in back light, folders to organize, cost.

The Bottom Line: Buy the Kindle DX if you enjoy reading or if you have PDF's and you don't want to start up a laptop to read them.


I was not interested in an "ebook" reader when the first Kindle came to market but I've quickly realized how valuable the Kindle to be. I choose the Kindle DX for the larger screen but more importantly because of its native PDF support. I deal with a mountain of PDF documents at work and now I have my own personal library at my finger tips anywhere I go.

The Kindle DX weighs 18.9 ounces which is a little over a pound and I bought the Amazon leather cover which adds a little weight to the DX. The weight of the DX doesn't bother me and the leather cover adds some depth to the Kindle which makes it easier to hold; I was surprised at how thin the Kindle DX is.

I had two major concerns about the Kindle DX and they were readability and battery life.  I was worried that the text wouldn't be clear and difficult to read and that the battery would be drained after a day of use. To my surprise I was completely wrong, the text is clear and sharp and the battery is still going strong on the initial charge; it's been almost a week and I've had the wireless service turned on.

Kindle DX uses a new technology called electronic ink which allows for the clean sharp text and uses only a small amount of energy. I'm used to liquid crystal displays (LCD) and plasma televisions but the electronic ink that the DX uses is superior by far for displaying text. What's amazing is that the DX only uses energy to modify the screen, like changing the page in a book, and then stops using the battery. The display remains until you hit the "next page" button, then the DX will sip a little energy to change the display and that's how the Kindle can go for weeks on a single charge. Even you put the DX into a "standby" mode it shuts down with a random picture.

Amazon advertises that the Kindle DX can download a book in about 60 seconds and so far that has been accurate; I have downloaded 10 books from the Amazon store so far. Amazon either pays for the Sprint wireless service outright or the digital book fee is slightly higher to pay for the service. Either way, $9.99 for most books is a good deal in my mind and I like the fact that some of the books are free.
 
I'm running Vista Ultimate on my computer and the PC treats the Kindle DX as an external hard drive and there were no drivers that needed to be installed. When I plugged the DX into my system the AutoPlay menu opens and I select "Open folder to view files." By default there are three folders already established which are; audible, documents, and music. All ebooks from the Amazon store will go to the "documents" folder but if you need to copy your ebooks or PDFs from your computer to the Kindle then drop the files into the "documents" folder. The next time the Kindle reboots it will refresh its table of contents and your book will be listed. I have viewed a few large, 6 MB, PDFs and the DX seems to crawl a bit when changing pages and some of the other PDFs that range from 1-3 MB are very responsive. To be fair the 6 MB PDF is a magazine with lots of pictures from MaximumPC.com and all the others are mostly text. Unlike the Amazon AZW format for ebooks the PDF font size cannot be changed. The only workaround to zooming in is to rotate the DX so it becomes a wide screen. What's nice is there are free programs on the internet to allow the conversion of most documents to the PDF format so you can take just about anything with you.  I have used PrimoPDF before with great results and that program can be found at download.com.

I wish that the Kindle DX support folders outside the three listed above. I plan to use my DX for professional reading, personal reading, and an archive for reference materials. Since the Kindle DX can support over 3,000 books, magazines, and newspapers I feel it will become difficult to manage a large library. I would like to see user-created folders to allow the user to organize his or her library as needed.

Something that takes a little getting used to is the page change. The whole screen will flicker to black and then show the contents of the next page. I understand why the DX does this but it took me a couple of days to become accustomed to it.

Overall I'm very happy with my expensive purchase. The ebooks are relatively cheep and if you download it from the Amazon store, Amazon will keep it in your personal account just in case you delete the book from your DX. The comments and bookmarks are synchronized between the DX and the Amazon website. It doesn't appear that any books or PDF's that was loaded onto the Kindle via a PC will synchronize with your Amazon account.

Speaking of deleting a book from you Kindle DX, here's how you do it (the quick reference guide doesn't cover it). Hit the "home" button, then using the toggle stick move to the book you want to delete and move the toggle stick to the left. A "delete" dialogue will open. Deleting a book from your Kindle DX does not delete it from your Amazon account.


Recommend this product? Yes

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