Amazon’s (AMZN) new Kindle DX is noticeably bigger and more expensive than the flagship Kindle 2. It’s still a rather niche gadget for hardcore readers. But the DX is a good e-book reader that many people will want to buy.
We’ll reserve final judgment until we’ve had more time to use it. But here’s our first thoughts after playing around with one for a few minutes this morning:
- The extra screen space is worth the added device size, especially if you don’t plan on carrying the Kindle in a purse or jacket pocket. In other words, if you only carry it by hand or in a briefcase or backpack, it’s worth it.
- Like the Kindle 2, the DX feels very solid. And it’s impressively thin.
- The shorter, fatter keys are about as easy to type on as the Kindle 2’s round keys. But they don’t take as much space away from the screen.
- The bigger screen is obviously better for newspapers, textbooks, and documents. But it’s also going to be much better for reading novels. The Kindle 2’s relatively small screen is one of our biggest problems with that device.
- This is not going to replace academic textbooks any time soon. It’s nice that you can export your notes and annotations. But flipping between books and pages will be a real pain. Not the slowdown you need while cramming for finals.
- Another great feature: PDF reading capabilities, built in to the Kindle DX but not (yet) into the Kindle 2. This means you’ll be able to read documents and perhaps more importantly, free or less-expensive e-books from other vendors (or pirated).
- Amazon is now even further ahead of the competition in the e-book reader business. But an Apple “media pad”-like gadget could easily disrupt Kindle sales.
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