My First Impressions of the Amazon Kindle DX

This is my first ever product review, so don't expect much.

I opened up my Amazon Kindle DX last night and my first thought was that I was over whelmed by the packaging. I had to open the outer box, tear off a paper sleeve and then open an inner box. Opening a lot of boxes makes me nervous. I think because I get the feeling that it will make it impossible to return if I can't get it all back in the way I found it.

The Kindle itself was, of course, in pristine condition. I read the instructions (no really I did), but they were short and to the point. Plug it in - Turn it on - Start to use.

The device had a screen protector on it with some information printed on the protector. I read the information and then peeled off the screen protector. The words did not come with it. I was delightedly surprised to see that the words were not printed on the screen protector, they we actually on the Kindle display. I turned the Kindle on and the words refreshed with the Kindle welcome screen. The printing was co clear that I actually thought it was real printing.

Now to the device itself. I was a little concerned before it arrived that it would feel flimsy and breakable. It does not. It feels solid. It feels, to me, like the iPhone does. When handling it I don't feel like I need to treat it with kid gloves.

The display on the device is simply incredible. It's sharp and clean. I feel like I am reading a printed page. A lot of people complain that it does not yet have a color display. But these are people that do not understand that this is not an LCD device. The E-ink display is gorgeous. And even though it only supports 16 shades of gray, it still manages to display photos and graphics and charts VERY well. Certainly well enough for the types of material I read. I won't be buying an Ansel Adams coffee table book with it, but that's not why I bought it. 16 shades of gray is just fine for me, and for anyone that will use it for reading fiction, non-fiction, technical manuals, or anything else with words, diagrams, charts, etc. It may not be the best device for comic book reading, manga, or people that care about color. And frankly, if you care that much about color in the things you read, you will probably never leave the printed page.

UPDATE: It's funny that I forgot to mention the #1 reason I waited until now to get a Kindle. I have been interested int he Kindle for a long time, and the Sony Reader before it. But the lack of native PDF support always was a deal breaker. I hated the idea of having to repurchase or convert my existing PDF library. Now that the Kindle has Native PDF support, I am sold! And it works just as advertised!

The storage on the Kindle DX is excellent. It offers 3.3GB of space for your stuff. A LOT of people on the Amazon reviews were trying to say that this is not much space and that Amazon really dropped the ball here. One person even said that the Kindle DX would only hold 2-4 full size PDF books. Those people are idiots. Yes it would be nice if there was an SDHC card slot in there, but I am guessing that it is not for technical reasons that there is not. I decline to speculate further.

Personally, I think the 3.3GB is ample storage. The first thing I did was load up my existing library of PDF Books, magazines, and short stories. Those 121 files, took approximately 20% of the available space on my Kindle. For fun I threw four unabridged Audible audio books on there as well. They took up another 15%. So with all that, I am still at 65% available space on the device. And it's not like I can't hook it up to my computer and copy books and audio on and off of it at anytime I want anyway. So the fact that there is no SD card is find with me.

I have only had this thing for about 12 hours, so I can't speak yet about the battery life or the Kindle Store or any of the experimental features. I did "buy" a few free items from the Kindle store to try it out. It seems easy enough.

Anyone interested in hearing more about the Kindle DX, please contact me through my contact form. I think it is simply a fabulous machine, so far. I started reading O'Reilly's Tomcat: The Definitive Guide last night, and I was having a hard time putting it down. When I try to read things like that on my netbook or on the iPhone, I start to get eye strain from the backlight. On the Kindle DX, it was easy reading.

Kindle DX: Amazon's 9.7" Wireless Reading Device (Latest Generation)

Ben Nadel's Gravatar Jason, sounds pretty cool! I am very interested to hear what people would subscribe to on something like this. I see some people have published their RSS feeds.
# Posted By Ben Nadel | 6/12/09 12:37 PM
Jamison Judd's Gravatar Hi Jason,

Have you tried putting any academic-type PDF files on there? I'm interested in how legible an 8.5 x 11 page is when compressed to fit on the Kindle DX's screen. Thanks!

Something like:
# Posted By Jamison Judd | 6/12/09 12:56 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @Ben,

Yeah, I'm not sure about reading blogs on the Kindle. I think that it cost $2/blog/month, which is ridiculous. If that changes, then that would be awesome, cause I would love to be able to do it, but I'm not gonna pay that much for it.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 6/12/09 1:11 PM
Ben Nadel's Gravatar It will be interesting to see.
# Posted By Ben Nadel | 6/12/09 1:16 PM
Jason Dean's Gravatar @jamison, Thanks for the comment. Yes, resolution for publications like that was definitely one of my concerns. I wanted to be able to use it for technical journals, books and magazines. Well, it turns out it is great! I think it is very legible. AND you can even tip the Kindle on its side and it will zoom in and fill the screen for even better clarity for smaller type.

I downloaded the file that you linked and I took photos of the Kindle with Page 2 displayed. Here are the results. Keep in mind that these are digital photographs, not screen captures, so the clarity is better than what you see here.
# Posted By Jason Dean | 6/12/09 1:22 PM
Jamison Judd's Gravatar Jason, thanks so much for giving that a try AND taking photos! It looks terrific, and now I can't wait until my DX gets to me. This is going to make reading journal articles so much easier. Thanks again and have a wonderful weekend.
# Posted By Jamison Judd | 6/12/09 1:26 PM
Kevin Marino's Gravatar Nice to see a review from a tech professional perspective. Now I may have to actually drop the coin.

# Posted By Kevin Marino | 6/25/09 5:38 AM
Jason Dean's Gravatar Kevin, I highly recommend it. I may do a follow up blog post in the near future with further impressions of the Kindle. But I can tell you here I LOVE it. The battery life is fantastic, the display quality is excellent, and it is an all around great machine.

Also, if you decide to buy one, please consider using my affiliate link at the bottom of this post. :) (shameless)
# Posted By Jason Dean | 6/25/09 9:44 AM
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