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Amazon is positioning the Kindle DX as Newspaper 2.0. With a larger screen, it tries its best to mimic your favorite daily read without getting your fingers all inky. Amazon has deals with many of the big national and international papers, but it remains to be seen if dead-tree versions can be supplanted by expensive electronics.
The Kindle DX shares many of the same features of its little brother (5 out of 5 stars, Aug/09): the ability to download content via Whispernet, the nonglare screen, and cutting-edge digital ink. Of course, the Kindle DX is bigger--the screen is 9.7 inches diagonally, compared to the Kindle’s 6-inch display. And the DX has packed on the pounds, weighing in at 18.9 ounces, half a pound heavier than the Kindle.
The Kindle DX introduces a larger screen and native PDF support to the e-book reader. Too bad an awkward keyboard, missing navigation buttons, and the ongoing issue of price keep it from becoming the ultimate e-book reader.
Bigger isn't always better.
In addition to screen real estate, the DX offers a few new features of its own. A welcome addition is the native PDF support, which means you can put your own content on the device without paying Amazon’s conversion tax. The DX also sports an accelerometer, which will auto-rotate the display into landscape mode, useful for complicated PDFs or textbooks.
Amazon boasts over 300,000 Kindle titles available for purchase. With 3.3GB of storage available for content, you can cram 3,500 of those books on the device. That’s a lot of reading material. And there’s the rub. In order to recoup your initial outlay of cash, you need to read like nobody’s business. Throw in some periodical subscriptions and the Kindle DX might become cost effective…someday.
Reading on the Kindle DX is still a joy if you can get over the extra weight of the larger device. Size is where the DX wins--and fails. We found ourselves flying through books thanks to the larger screen. Finding a comfortable position during marathon reading sessions was a little bit harder, however. Lefties will certainly miss the left-hand Previous and Next Page buttons as well. What’s more, the keyboard on the DX is a step backward in execution. The tiny chiclet-style keys never feel quite right and the top row shares letters and numbers.
Besides newspaper readers, Amazon is hoping that the DX will be a hit with college students. We can certainly see the advantages of a Kindle versus multiple heavy textbooks, but the lackluster keyboard is going to be a huge hurdle for many students hoping to take notes alongside their digital texts.