Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kindle DX - My Review

I always love new toys, and this is maybe the best one I have bought since my first laptop. Not only will I mostly be able to stop adding physical books to my vast collection (much to my girlfriend's relief), but I will actually save money in the long term. At my current rate of buying books, the Kindle should pay for itself within three years.

So, my first disappointment was discovering that the USB port is TINY, and none of my various adapters could connect my memory stick to the damn thing. Then I discovered (because God forbid I should read the instructions) that my Kindle has an email address so that I can email PDFs from my computer to my Kindle - problem solved.

So the next order of business was to buy a few books. The number of books available as Kindle editions is disturbingly small when one's interest is more academic, such as psychology, neuroscience, and other less mainstream material. Some obscure things are available, however, so my guess is that this has more to do with publishers than with Amazon. I would like to have been able to call up my Wish List, but I couldn't figure out how to do that - maybe I can't, or maybe I'll figure it out later.

Reading a book is easy, enjoyable, and has only one annoyance - a slow page turn rate, but I am adapting to that. Images are black and white only, with no hope of color anytime in the near future from what I hear. But the images are crisp and can be enlarged.

The little keyboard is surprisingly easy to use. Navigating the unit itself is easy once you get the hang of it. It was pretty easy to get the feel of entering titles in the search bar (I am NOT a texter, so my thumbs are fat and slow).

Overall, I am fairly pleased for now. This is a pretty cool piece of equipment for anyone who is SERIOUSLY into books - not sure a casual reader would appreciate it as much.


Anonymous said...

You can use the USB cable that comes with the Kindle to connect it to your computer.

william harryman said...

D'Oh! Thanks, didn't even notice that the power plug was also a USB cable - maybe I should read the directions after all.


william harryman said...

Oh yeah, also found that I can go to Amazon on the web, and access my Wish List there.

Anonymous said...

It took me a day to figure it out myself :)

Anonymous said...

"The little keyboard is surprisingly easy to use. "

Your statement is the surprise to me. To refrain from bad words, I would have said that the DX keyboard is the worst implemented feature ever installed on a commercial consumer electronic device. Back in the beginning of personal computers, the worst thing that you could say about a computer is that it had a Chicklets keyboard. The worst of them was never this bad.

All I want the keyboard for is to advance through a pdf file to an arbitrary page. In theory, to go to page 123, I would press menu, down, execute, alt, 1, alt, 2, alt, 3, right, execute. This is absurd in itself, but the reality is much worse in that the keypress failure rate is about 50%, especially for the alt key.

To get any kind of reliability, I had to go to Staples to buy some unsharpened pencils with erasers to use as a stylus. Only then, by pressing keys with the eraser, with as much force as possible, could I see 1,2, and 3 appear on the screen.

Regards, Don

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for the Kindle to be available in Canada...

william harryman said...


I'm not much of a texter or a typer, so the keyboard didn't bother me much. I didn't have much of an issue entering keywords to find books in the kindle store, either.

But I have small skinny fingers.


Yosh said...

I am jealous of your kindle dx, although I do love my Sony Reader PRS505. Be sure and research how to strip the nasty amazon DRM from you kindle books :) is a good place to start. Enjoy!

~C4Chaos said...

good for you, bro.

in my case, i think i'll just wait for Plastic Logic's implementation of ebook reader (something i can actually bend), or for Apple to create a Kindle competitor.

i'm so spoiled with iPhone touch screen right now that i want an ebook with a touch screen and colored display :)

in any case, it's great that Amazon created a market for ebook readers. i never agreed with Steve Jobs that Americans don't read anymore :)