Kindle DX Impressions

The Kindle. I have been wanting to buy one of these babies for a while, and when I kept reading about people buying my book on them, read Mike’s generally positive blatherings, and wanted something to read for my honeymoon last week, I gave in and bought one. There are two Kindles and as I wanted to spend more time reading newspapers while firmly plonked in my local coffee shop with a hot cup of java, I erred on the side of bigger is better and got the Kindle DX. In addition to the Kindle I bought the leather case to keep my little companion safe and sound.

‘lo and behold, the little fella arrived and I have been playing with it for a few weeks. A few notes:

  • Content – part of the reason I plumped for a Kindle and not a Sony Ebook reader is the sheer quantity of content available on Amazon. I know, I know, DRM sucks, and I don’t deny that, but the vast majority of the content on my Kindle today is actually from O’Reilly who provide DRM-free content. The Kindle DX supports PDFs really well, but I put my O’Reilly books on there using the .mobi format which works better and is searchable, zoomable etc. The in-built free access to the Kindle Store is awesome and I love the fact that I can download samples really easily. In fact, while waiting for our flight to Belize, Erica and I sat there and downloaded a stack of samples to see which books we wanted to read. Aside from reading normal books, I was primarily interested in a Kindle to access newspapers. Since I moved to the US I have been suffering at not having enough access to International news in a manner that is convenient, and in England I was treated to a healthy chunk of International news on the beeb every day. On the Kindle you can try newspapers for free for two weeks, so I subscribed to the New York Times and loved reading it with my coffee each day. I now feel better about knowing a modicum of what is going on outside our apartment.
  • Features – the DX feels sturdy and well made and is actually smaller than I expected. The screen looks stunning and really does look like printed ink and the page turn buttons are sturdy enough to mean that you don’t accidentally knock them. I love the ability to highlight content and save it, take notes and make bookmarks. Searching works really well and downloading content is a breeze. While I had heard about the Kindle reading content to you feature, I suspected it would be bollocks but alas, it is actually rather good. In fact, I drove the hour and a bit to Sebastopol at the weekend to FooCamp and the little blighter read the NYT to me and it was great. The DX also includes a noddy-ish MP3 player which works pretty well. Plugging the Kindle into my Ubuntu machine is simple for getting content on and off the device: it is jut a micro-USB mass storage device (it also charges from USB too). This made it really simple to get my O’Reilly books on there. The web browser on the Kindle is OK for plain text sites such as Wikipedia and I did try Gmail in it and it worked, but it was slow as hell.
  • So… – …have I actually used it or has it been a novelty, plonked back in the box after a few days of oohing and ahhhing? Well, I have actually been using it quite a bit. I love the fact that the Kindle puts content in my hands and in a form that I enjoy accessing. Sure, I can always read a normal book, and sure, I could go and buy a newspaper, but the reality is that carrying around books is a bit of a pain (right now I can carry around all my books in the Kindle) and I am always too busy to go and buy a paper. So far the Kindle has helped me read more, learn more and I have really enjoyed re-connecting with reading again.

So all in all, a pretty rocking device and I am tickled pink to have one on our coffee table.

  • Jono Bacon (jonobacon) ‘s status on Tuesday, 01-Sep-09 23:24:10 UTC –
  • Mike Basinger

    Yes, it is official. Jono’s is bigger than mine.

  • Andrys

    Wow, these impressions are so like mine, and they’ve stayed that way. And, like you I prefer to get the mobi versions so I can take advantage of dictionary, normal Kindle searches with sequential results lined up with context, and I love highlighting so I can discuss various parts with friends.

    Mike, He said he ‘erred’ on the size of larger, so was it all a mistake?


    • Andrys
  • Deryck Hodge

    I’m in love with mine, too. But I don’t have the DX.

    Does code format well on the DX? It’s not that great on the Kindle2, though I still read an unbelievable amount of tech books on mine all the same.

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  • markb

    looks good, is the kindle ever coming out in the UK?

  • Snark

    Yes, the kindle DX looks nice.

    How comfortable do you feel knowning amazon can remove any book it pleases without asking permission though?

    I’d rather have a dumb reader than an oppressive one…

  • Sirrus

    Unlikely. The reason being the “Premium Wireless Access To Amazon From Anywhere, Hurray!TM Copyright” the US store has set up.

    To me, the Sony Touch Edition Reader looks like a vastly better device, with a much better design as well. I wouldn’t bother with the Kindle at all.

  • plumpy

    Why couldn’t they work out a deal with a UK phone company to provide the same service? They’re just paying Sprint in the US.

    Despite your mocking tone, the wireless is really a great feature. It’s nice to wake up every morning and have the papers already there waiting for you. I’m in Paris for a month, so I have to keep hooking the damn thing up to a computer, and it’s fucking annoying. And, as I travel a lot (mostly the US), it’s nice to be able to download a new book wherever I am.

    The said, I’m definitely not as in love with it as Jono. I bought mine primarily for reading newspapers, and the Kindle is a poor substitute for a newspaper. But whereas I was previously spending over $1000/year on newspaper subscriptions, now I’m spending something like $240. (And I don’t have to worry about trying to find a NY Times in whatever city I’m in when I’m away from home.) So I’ll deal with it.

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  • Adam Williamson

    Sony has a network-connected reader now, too – the Daily Edition. Might be interesting to some people.

    Jono, I have a low-tech news solution you may find interesting: a Guardian Weekly subscription. It’s a small-tabloid format, 48-page version of the Guardian that gets mailed to me weekly. It’s very heavy on foreign news and contains zero fluff, only really good stories. So much so that I wish I could get it when I’m visiting the UK too, because reading the full paper is just a drag, with all its dull filler.

    If your political persuasions differ from mine, I think several of the other big national papers do a similar thing.

    Also, it requires no batteries :)

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  • Andrys

    Sirrus, Some who have both the Sony PRS-600 and the Kindle say that the Sony highlighting and annotations are relatively awkward to use.

    Adam, That Sony Daily Edition (PRS-2121), when it comes out, will have connection ONLY to the Sony Store. Doesn’t that sound like something you’d expect from the actual ‘store’ it’s going against?

    Through the Sony store will allow access to the Overdrive collection of e-books at one’s local library, many local libraries don’t have a great collection. And for some reason, the wireless won’t be able to download to the Sony Daily Edition from the library — it’ll need a computer for that.

    No direct access to the web either. The Kindle’s cellular wireless may be slowww but it goes anywhere you tell it to and is great for lookups when out and away from one’s computers and sometimes quite decent on mobile-optimized sites.

    • Andrys

      But I am hoping Amazon will support ePub (since they bought Stanza especially) and in mid-June, Bezos did say the Kindle will accept more file formats.

  • Mario

    I’ve bought a Kindle DX at Revolution Store few weeks ago and I’m really impressed with it. It’s wonderful. I love it!

  • pando


    Amazon is offering refurbished Kindle DX for $399.99! I’m gonna buy mine right now.


  • Mario
  • Tommy

    Nice article, the kindle has made some improvements. And the device is also equipped with global wireless and pdf support. The DX is quite expensive comparing to the kindle 2, and is overall used by businesses and professionals. Another group who is using this model are people with low vision, the large screen and the changeable fonts are a real help for these people.

    I have also found a nice review of the Amazon kindle dx

    I thought it was worth sharing

  • Javrous Miko

    I beleive this technology is in very early stage. It will become much more friendly, and much much cheaper in time.

  • Cnn

    Thanks for this great post!

  • sarat

    Hi I want buy Kindle DX… Is there any special software is required to connect Kindle Dx with linux computer??? Let me know how to transfer files….

    Thanks in advance…