Kindle DX


The Kindle DX is being released on June 10 and can be pre-ordered. The Kindle 2 was released just a short time ago, February 24, 2009, so the June 10 release date is earlier than thought.

I think of the DX has extending the 2’s screen and thereby squishing down the 2’s keyboard. That’s fine with me. For an e-reader, a larger screen (9.7” vs. 6”) seems more important than a larger keyboard. The screen also auto-rotates from portrait to landscape. This is convenient since sometimes graphical elements or web pages are better viewed in landscape.

The DX also can read PDF files natively. By contrast, the 2 required PDFs to be converted. This native PDF support would enable me to take my documents with me electronically. Indeed, while the DX’s primary target market is readers of newspapers and magazines, a secondary target argument is academia, where students (and teachers like me) can read textbooks. (But see Will the new Kindle DX complicate plagiarism prevention?). Actually, the DX also would be good for me wearing my lawyer’s hat in that document-intensive profession.

The DX isn’t cheap at $489. Then again, the 2 isn’t cheap either at $359.

The DX is a better choice for me than the 2. Still, I haven’t yet decided to buy it. Like the 2, the DX lacks a backlight. While this increases battery life, it makes reading problematic in low light environments. With computer programming books, the 2 did a poor job displaying the code which was in a different font than the text. I want to confirm the DX doesn’t have the same problem. While the DX’s support of PDFs is a plus, I wonder if it will also display other file formats like text, Word, and so forth.

I’m thinking that a MID like the Viliv S5 or S7 might be a better choice for me as an e-reader. A MID would only be slightly more expensive than $489. However, a MID would have a backlight, support different file formats, and have a color rather than grayscale display. More important, a MID would be a full-fledged computer, not just a single-purpose device. But then again, I may change my mind, as my readers know I have done many times before when a new sexy gadget beckons.

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