With a reading area that measures some 9.7 inches
diagonally, the latest in Amazon.com’s line of e-book readers is targeted at
the company’s most voracious customers. But the larger screen (which is roughly
62 percent bigger than that of the Kindle 2’s reading area) comes at a cost –
both literal and figurative.
Let’s get the literal out of the way first. The DX is
expensive: $489 to be precise. (A protective cover will run you an extra $50.)
That’s a $130 premium over the Kindle 2. And the price pushes the DX far out of
the reach of the typical Amazon customer.
That’s a shame, because the DX rights several shortcomings
of previous Kindles. The larger screen lets you see more text at once – which
makes it feel more like you’re reading a book – and works better with newspaper
and magazine content than the 6-inch screen on the Kindle 2.
It also has a bigger memory (with the ability to store up to
3,500 books, magazines or newspapers).
The ability to store and display PDF files is a handy one,
but it’s here that the Kindle DX begins to stumble. The inability to zoom in on
a document is a bit frustrating. And Amazon charges 45 cents for you to email
yourself a PDF. It’s pocket change, but it feels a bit like gouging after
paying so much for the device.
(Sure, you can dock your Kindle to your PC and manually
transfer PDF files, but it’s a hassle – and doesn’t mesh well with the Kindle’s
‘go anywhere’ vibe.)