This morning provided us with a neat deal for anybody interested in a slightly more expansive screen than that available on the usual Kindle. Today, April 15th, anybody who’s interested can snag themselves a Kindle DX for $80 less than the usual asking price of $379. Size isn’t everything, as the saying goes, but it’s a decent consideration for this purchase if you’re in a position to take advantage of it.
The advantages are fairly obvious and stem mainly from the larger screen. It gives you a lot more real estate to work with. This means the potential for better PDF presentation, which I find essential for any serious academic or technical reading. It also makes for more convenient reading of books on larger font sizes, since even if the screen refresh rate has gotten to the point of not being an issue it’s still obnoxious to have to flip after every hundred words or so.
The sacrifices that are required for the improved screen are minimal. Some people will find the weight a little bit much for single handed reading. It does weight slightly more than twice as much as my Kindle 3, it’s true. This emphasizes what I consider to be the only major flaw of the device: No buttons on the left side. You are required to handle all the controls on the right. Combine those two issues and you get a fair amount of inconvenience. From personal experience I would say that it goes largely unnoticed pretty fast in the face of the expanded screen, though I notice that some reviews on the site are a bit more vehement about the issue.
Keep in mind when you consider buying this that the current model of the Kindle DX came out slightly before the Kindle 3. As holdovers from an earlier generation of the product line, it still has a 5 direction navigation stick instead of the pad and it lacks WiFi capabilities. This last is especially a concern if you or the person you are buying for happens to live outside of the US, as the coverage internationally is less than ideal, by all accounts.
Overall, however, it’s a great product for reading. I’ve been using mine since a few weeks after it was released and have absolutely no complaints. Due to the size, it tends to get brought out mainly when reading a brand new book, for that fresh hardcover feeling, or when I need to look at something larger like a textbook or diagram. The DX handles pretty much everything I’ve thrown at it without a problem. The overall 4-star review status would tend to confirm my personal assessment, with the majority of negative reviews seemingly concentrating on problems with Amazon’s customer service or a now-resolved hardware problem when using the leather case being sold as an accessory.
As always, let me emphasize: This is not a tablet PC. I know it’s the same size as one, and it has a big screen, but this is a device for reading. It may be significantly more expensive than the Kindle 3, but it’s still a Kindle. Do not buy the Kindle DX expecting anything but a great way to read your books.