Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Early Look at the Kindle DX

Amazon's newest electronic reading device, the Kindle DX, goes on sale this summer. This is an early look at the DX, which promises a host of new features, the best of which being a larger viewing screen than the previous model. The DX's viewing screen is a 9.7" diagonal (over 50% larger than the previous Kindle's 6"diagonal screen) E-Ink EPD (electronic paper display) with a resolution of 1200x824 at 150ppi and a 16-shade gray scale for sharp, clear text and images.

The new rotating display feature (unavailable on earlier models) allows for viewing both portrait and landscape pages, which is handy for browsing the web. Speaking of which, the DX also includes wireless Internet access capabilities for downloading books. Another feature exclusive to the DX is a built-in PDF document reader. The DX also includes native support for Kindle AZW, TXT, unprotected MOBI, PRC, Audible and MP3 file formats. Other formats will require conversion.

The DX includes Kindle's "Read-To-Me" text-to-speech engine, however, some e-book titles may restrict that feature. The DX offers much more storage space than previous models - a whopping 4GB internal memory, with 3.3GB of that available to store your collection of e-books. The battery life has been improved. With wireless Internet access turned off, you can read e-books for up to two weeks on one charge. Otherwise, battery life will vary depending on use, but it only takes about four hours to charge the battery through a USB connection to your computer.

The DX is about 1/3" thick and weighs 18 ounces. It includes stereo speakers, a headphone jack, an EVDO modem with Amazon Whispernet, a USB port, a rechargeable battery and an AC adapter.

The Kindle DX will sell for a suggested retail price of $489, but there are bound to be sales, especially during the holidays. With its larger screen and sharper images, the DX could prove to be the best electronic reading device yet. I recently read an article about the DX being used as a reader for college textbooks, which could save students a lot of money. The possibilities are endless. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for not only the Kindle DX, but for electronic reading devices in general.

Click here to pre-order a Kindle DX from Amazon.

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