Sometimes, ok all the time, I hate being an early adopter of new technology. A few years ago I was one of the first people to review Sony’s eReader and have been on board the eReader bandwagon ever since. It’s one of those great technology products that you don’t know you need until you actually use one for any length of time. I use a Kindle 2 and love it, but I paid a pretty penny for it. Now the folks at Barnes and Noble have finally managed to get eReaders down to a reasonable price. The Nook now comes in a brand new Wi-Fi only version for the cost of $149 with 2 Gigs of built in space and there is a MicroSD card slot. I don’t understand the point of Color Navigation, but it’s there if you want it. I tried to use it once at a BN and didn’t understand how to use the thing, but at $149, I’m curious. There is a 3G version available for $199.
My love of the first Amazon Kindle didn’t come right away, it was a slow build that took a month or so for me to really appreciate its simple elegance. When I first got it, my initial reaction was this thing cost me $359?! I thought it was a cheaply made device with really big, dopey buttons that felt like they weren’t properly placed. My other complaint was that I wished the screen was larger. Well be careful what you wish for, because the new Amazon Kindle DX has more than enough screen space to spare and really solid buttons which somehow makes everything worse.
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When I first opened the Kindle DX, my reaction was, "man this thing is ginormous!" It’s a lot bigger than it looks in screenshots. It’s about the size of a standard sized magazine, but feels a lot heavier than the Kindle 1 and a little heavier than the Kindle 2. I’ve reached a capacity limit with my Kindle 1 so now I find that I’m spending half my time micromanaging the storage and the interface for transferring files from the Kindle 1 to the SD Card is kind of a nightmare. So I love the fact that the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX has built in storage now.
All three of you who care, Amazon is shipping the way overpriced Kindle DX Today, I preordered one for review so according to the shipping schedule I should get mine tomorrow. I made no secret of my love of the Kindle 1 (Kindle 2, not so much) so I’ll be curious to see the DX in action. While I was at a restaurant this weekend I whipped out my Kindle 1 and started reading it while waiting for my food, it’s the perfect size for just easily pulling out of my purse and setting it down in an small corner somewhere. I wonder if the DX will be too “big” to do that. I’ll find out tomorrow. By the time you add a $50 case holder for this thing it’s $550 which is outrageously expensive especially considering new books are $9.99! I know I’ll be sending it back after the review, there’s nothing Amazon can say that can justify this price.
Checked out the Amazon press conference and the Kindle DX is exactly what I want my Kindle to be – 8 1/2 by 11 that actually rotates is pretty hot and full PDF support (big deal for some, not for me as I don’t use PDFs for anything), and a built in 3.3 Gigs worth of storage. Not bad, not bad at all. It’s already up for pre-order on Amazon’s website and hey, unlike Apple they didn’t have to take the entire site down to post a little update. There’s been no release date announced yet, just that it’s comming later this summer, the problem is – the price is ridicuous. It’s going to retail for $489, plus $49.95 if you want a case, I clicked the Preorder button and when I saw the total at $538, I was like, um…No. No matter how cool I think the device is and how much I would love to replace my current Kindle with the larger one, I can’t do it. What about the saps who just purchased a Kindle 2 just a few months ago? Too bad Amazon doesn’t have some sort of trade in program.
Later today the folks at Amazon are holding an event to announce their new large screen Kindle DX. Rumor has it the new DX will have a new 9.7 inch screen, better support for PDFs and a better web browser. I have the first Kindle and absolutely love it – bought over 50 books for it and have a ton of fanfiction on it, tried the 2nd version and hated it. I don’t know enough about the new Kindle to pass judgment – I’ll order one and will play with it for a few weeks. But my initial gut reaction, based on the mockups – I don’t like it. I think if they make a larger Kindle that’d be great, but it needs to be wider and not simply “longer.”
The ideal size is 8 1/2 by 11 especially since the point of the new Kindle DX is to target the newspaper reading and college text book crowd. What good is having a longer but narrow screen going to do? Also navigating around the Kindle is a horrible experience, it’s a great device for reading from page to page, but nearly impossible to skip ahead and back to specific points – which is how people use Text Books. But we’ll see what they announce today. I’ll post a follow up after the Press Conference.