Friday, June 19, 2009

Kindle DX PDF-handling and photos of relative size

A review of the Kindle DX by Boing Boing Gadget's Rob Beschizza.

I differ from his conclusion in that I feel that if you want to read only books or magazines (in text format) and especially if you want to do this anywhere you happen to be -- carrying your Kindle with you -- I feel the one to consider is the smaller Kindle 2.

  If you want to be able to read PDF documents (plentiful on the Net) with accurate layout of source pages or complex scientific magazine articles, or if you have eyes that prefer larger fonts and less page-turning, then the Kindle DX is one to consider.  Musicians will like this for sheet music, as page turning is easier with no page mixups.  It's reviewed as having an excellent image, but it's not as convenient to carry everywhere as is the Kindle 2, which is more like carrying a small book.

  The Kindle 2, though, does not read PDFs and requires a conversion - doable by Amazon and you can set up a free-send of the converted file to your computer for transfer to your Kindle or pay 15 cents per megabyte to send the converted file direct to your Kindle. The latter won't always be particularly accurate in layout but it can be annotated and highlighted, and the in-line dictionary can be used with it as well as text-to-speech.  A search of the Kindle will find words that are within the book.

He writes:
' If you're not sure about it because of the bigger size, check out our gallery of the Kindle DX alongside everyday items. Though based on the Kindle 2, it's the first version that seems a beautiful thing. '
First, as someone mentions at the site, few homes have "everyday items" like these.  It's an unusual photo essay of the feel of the Kindle DX in his home and the relative size of it against common objects there.  I liked the atmosphere that he set up for it.  The reviewer obviously is taken with the device.

  In the Comments area, there are reminders that no annotations are possible with the PDF file; Table of Contents links aren't supported; and no zooming is possible except for the font-expansion in Landscape mode (where you get half the page at a time but in more readable size).

  Bischizza updates the report, after receiving requests to test a particular PDF file:
' Update: Testing PDF for speed and compatibility, I tried a 2.4MB PDF of "All you can eat: autophagy in neurogeneration of neuroprotection," by Phillipp Jaeger and Tony Wyss-Coray. It loaded in 3-4 seconds, with 1 second transitions between pages -- same as plain text! Nothing in the document confused it, layout was good, including charts, pictures, superscript and greek letters, etc. Hilbert's Foundations of Geometry, full of pointy-headed Tex-set equations, was just as snappy. '
Here are a couple of small thumbnails from his gallery showing relative size of the Kindle DX.

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  1. Well, a friend of mine offered me $325 for my K2, so I've ordered a DX to replace it. My rationalization: I would prefer to read at font size 4 and the DX should display a reasonable amount of text at that size. PDF support is a plus, but the horrific keyboard concerns me. Also concerned about the potential screen fade issue (remember, my K2 is my 9th). Have you ordered one?

  2. Elmo,
    My Internet went out last week in the neighborhood when I was about to finally go ahead and order a DX, so I ordered it via wireless with my Kindle 2, interrupting the order to get a couple of gift certificate numbers from gmail to plug into my order so it wouldn't cost as much.

    It took me back to my order and the thing completed fine. I was pleased that I could order with the olde Kindle 2 :-)

    It won't arrive until Wednesday. Those who hate the keyboard also hate the K2 one and since we know it is not exactly one that we care to use more often than absolutely necessary that's no big deal for me. But we'll see.

    I've seen no reports of screen fade with the DX, and they seem to have fixed the problem with the last few weeks of K2 replacements.

    Good luck to us ! :-) I would not give up my K2 though. It's always with me. The DX will be for home use with other material.

  3. Unfortunately, it looks like mine won't ship til the end of the month, so I'm counting on you to provide astute observations to enjoy until then. I'll be particularly interested in how the text darkness and contrast differs from the K2, and of course our old nemesis; Mr. Sun Fade...;>

    And fortunately, Octovo makes the same type of cool sleeve case for the DX as the K2, so it will ready to roll when it finally gets here.

  4. Elmo,
    I'll at least take some pictures. Next to my K2 I guess.

    I met Bufo Calvin the other day and we both had the M-Edge Platform covers and when we compared the two Kindle 2 screens they were just about exactly the same brightness, contrast, etc.

    It's the only Kindle 2 I've encountered other than my own. I have several friends with the Kindle 1.

    If I decide to keep the DX, then I'll sell Old Reliable Kindle 1...


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