Amazon Kindle DX

The Kindle DX that was ordered for me for Mother’s Day arrived about 1 week too late to take to the beach.  However, the moment we arrived home yesterday, I ripped open the packaging to reveal an item approximately 1/10th the width of the box. I would like to thank Amazon for their ‘sensible’ packaging as it did not require wire cutters and  the fear of slicing off one’s fingers to open it.

The instructions for using the Kindle were so easy.  Plug it in, start shopping.   I was having a bit of trouble mastering the navigation but I forced myself to read the entire users guide, which is a quick and easy read.  Since I am used to the texting on my Treo (yes, I am still using that phone and am about convinced I am the only one left who has not moved onto a Blackberry), the keyboarding is quite simple.  I found that as long as the dog is not jumping on me while holding the Kindle, I can still hold it with both hands and thumb the keys to type.

Sometimes it is a bit hard to figure out where the cursor is on the screen, as sometimes there is a bit of a lag time when moving from page to page, but once you  understand that you have to be a little bit patient, then it is easy to overcome.

The font and backlighting makes it very easy to read during the daytime or with a lamp, and the text is adjustable to various sizes and spacing.  It would be nice to somehow have it light up to read in the dark, but after some thought there would probably be too much eyestrain.

When the Kindle is in sleep mode, it has some nice portraits of classic writers displaying in  varying shades of gray (as the Kindle does not display in color).  I guess these are to motivate you to move on from Twilight to some serious, good writers.

The Kindle has a few ‘experimental’ features that Amazon requests some feedback on.  I must say, right now the system is simple with as few gadgets and features as possible, and I am reluctant to request anything more that has been placed on it because then it will become too complicated.  The storage capacity is roughly 3.3 GB, which I easily  found in the User’s Guide just now while  I was checking my facts. It opened up to the last page I was reading yesterday.

I really like the bookmarking.  Yesterday when showing it to my mother, her one comment was asking me what I was going to do with all my bookmarks.  I have not ever found my bookmarks to be totally useful anyway, as they tend to fall out when my children throw my books off my bed so they can watch a ‘chick’ movie their dad won’t watch downstairs.

After reading the User’s Guide, I decided to check out the ‘basic’ browser capabilities.  Of course, the first website I checked was Giraffeweb.net.  I was quite pleased with the way the site gracefully degrades, as the Kindle resembles most other mobile devices.  The browser will not display media plug-ins (Flash, etc.) or Java applets.  This means there is to be no Youtube videos.  Right now I cannot say if that is good or not, but it certainly saves on the free bandwidth.

And, speaking of price, since this was a gift, I will not comment on the affordability issue. However, the cost of bestsellers is affordable, as well as magazine subscriptions.  I am not a fan of online magazine subscriptions because I am on the computer so much. I want to sit somewhere to relax and read.  The magazine subscriptions are very affordable and the best feature I see is the ability to save clippings.  This way I can save the most relevant information for later and store in a central location, instead of ripping out pages and using them as bookmarks later, only to be accidentally thrown away.

Now I am looking for a stretch cover or skin to protect it and that will accommodate a portable book light.  I also look forward to using my earplugs to listen to the books when in the car on long trips at night.

What having this Kindle really means is that I will only be recommending books for friends to read, as opposed to passing them on (unless they have a Kindle or Ipod Touch). I can no longer put the books into the drop boxes at the Library.  I will be taking only magazines out on the beach.  And, my arms will no longer be tired holding up heavy books like The Historian and the 7th Harry Potter book that I have yet to read.

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One Response to Amazon Kindle DX

  1. Ankit Desai says:

    I bought my Kindle 1 during the 1st 90 minutes it came out, before they sold out. It’s been my constant companion ever since. Yesterday my Kindle 2 arrived. I spent about an hour fiddling with it while at Google Engineering headquarters in New York City listening to a lecture on Groovy/Grails. Then this morning for the first time, I tried it in the wee hours of the morning to read my New York Times.

    Here are my impressions of the Kindle 2.

    The page turning and over all responsiveness it noticeably better than the Kindle 2. It makes a big difference to be able to flip pages with practically no delay.

    Kindle 2’s five position track lever is significantly better then Kindle 1’s up-down track wheel. On the Kindle 2 the interface for choosing sections and articles within the New York Times is much better. The thought that went into the new user interface of the Kindle 2 is so outstanding, that it makes reading the newspaper much better.

    The Kindle 2’s instant access dictionary is a great improvement over Kindle 1. On Kindle 2 the definition appears on the bottom of the screen automatically of whatever word you have put the cursor in front of. And unlike the Kindle 1, the definition on the Kindle 2 shows the how to pronounce the word (when you click on the definition to get the full definition).

    Kindle 2 text to audio feature is wonderful. This morning I listened to the New York Times with my eyes closed until I was awake enough to open my eyes. Then for a while I listened to the Kindle 2 read me the news while I watched the corresponding text on the screen. Toggling the audio feature is simple. All you do is press the same two keys that on the Kindle 1 were the keys that toggled the screen saver. The stereo speakers on the Kindle 2 are very good. The sound quality was excellent, even with the Kindle 2 leather cover attached to the Kindle 2.

    I consider my investment in the Kindle 2 a good one. Last night before retiring I gave my Kindle 1 to my significant other and showed her how to use it. We will be able to share the same books on both Kindles. Any book she orders on the Kindle 1 appear in the “archives” folder on my Kindle 2 and vice-versa. I can click on any book on my Kindle 2 “archives” folder and it copies (not moves) that book from the Kindle 1 to my Kindle 2. When my significant other buys a book on the Kindle 1, it is billed to my credit card, the one tied to my amazon account.

    The Kindle 2’s 16 shades of grey scale (instead of the 4 shades of grey on the Kindle 1) make the pictures much nicer to view. For example, the cartoons in New Yorker Magazine look great on the Kindle 2.

    In summary, I recommend upgrading from Kindle 2. It’s fantastic. I’m already bonded to it.

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