Just got a Kindle DX in my hands about an hour ago and first impressions so far are quiet good. The first thing I did is load up a bunch of technical PDF documents (SDK’s) I have gathering on my desktop. I transferred them onto the Kindle DX via the USB cable and it mounted like an external drive. A simple drag and drop to the documents folder and unmount was all it took. All the PDF’s displayed on the main screen of the Kindle. The problem with the 6″ devices is that PDF support is not very good because of the eInk screen size. Scaling down a PDF makes it unreadable so the 9.7″ eInk display works out very good. Page flipping and search works and so far I’m quite impressed. The cost of the Kindle DX is $489 which is very high compared to the 16gb Apple iPad. I would say the iPad will be a better device to store/read PDF’s as you don’t typically read them from cover to cover. At least I don’t, I typically reference SDK’s so using a iPad would work. The DX or other 9.7″ eInk devices costing $489 (or higher) may not be a viable products once the iPad is released.
I’ve been reading a lot about how the iPad could hurt sales of eReaders and quite frankly I don’t think this is the case. I personally own a Nook and I’m in love with the eInk screen technology. There is something about the non-glare screen that is very reminiscent of printed paper. You can read it in bed without blinding your spouse and the 6″ devices (Kindle and Nook) are easy and natural to hold. The battery life is amazing and you never have to worry about closing or powering up and navigating back to the last page you were on — the eBook reader experience seems pretty natural to me.
The iPad is a very innovative device that I can see serving a purpose in peoples lives but does not offer any compelling reason to use as an eReader. Sure, people are saying that you get more than an eBook reader, true. However, the key element in an ebook is the screen, otherwise, why don’t we all read books on our computers or iPhones/touches? The highly reflective glass screen used on the iPad/MacBook and iPhone is terrible (using a MacBook Pro with one right now) and will cause eye strain if used in areas where it can catch reflections — not good for reading a long book. Not to mention all the distractions fingerprints on the glass will cause while reading. The LED backlight will be too bright when used on planes and in dark rooms, when used outside in bright sun it will be worthless. The novelty of sliding to flip a page also seems like it will wear off rather quickly… there are no buttons to press to advance pages easily. The whole point of reading is to get enveloped in the story, not by visual elements that make what you are reading look like a physical book. I feel that the eReaders featuring eInk capture the analog pluses pretty well.
So where do I see the iPad fitting in? As a multimedia connected home control device of course! The form factor and price is perfect as the “second screen” we have been looking for in our living rooms and as this platform evolves I’m sure we will see more ways we can utilize this in our lives just not as an eBook reader — which is fine, because why is it bad thing to have a single purpose device that works very well?
Now that’s what I’m talking about! A full 8 1/2″ x 11″ eInk display with Native PDF Reader!
Here are the full details:
- Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines
- Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
- Beautiful Large Display: 9.7″ diagonal e-ink screen reads like real paper; boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and sharp images
- Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages
- Built-In PDF Reader: Native PDF support allows you to carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go
- Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle DX, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, no annual contracts, and no hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots
- Books In Under 60 Seconds: You get free wireless delivery of books in less than 60 seconds; no PC required
- Long Battery Life: Read for days without recharging
- Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book’s rights holder made the feature unavailable
- Big Selection, Low Prices: Over 275,000 books; New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases are only $9.99, unless marked otherwise
- More Than Books: U.S. and international newspapers including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, magazines including The New Yorker and Time, plus popular blogs, all auto-delivered wirelessly
I just placed my pre-order… once I get it, I’ll post a full review!