Monday, December 13, 2010

Kindle DX: A Side-by-Side Comparison

My mother's college roommate came into town this week and stayed with us. She used to be a librarian and a library sciences professor. Although she has some limited vision, her vision is so low that she is legally blind and has not been able to read a book in almost 15 years.

Last year, she and my mom bought my Kindle DX for me as a gift (which was lovely). My mom's college roommate finally decided to buy herself one of the new generation of Kindle DXs and she loves it. Although the buttons are almost impossible for her to read, she is learning how to use them by feel and by increasing the font to the second-to-largest size, she has been able to read again.

Since she was staying with us, I got to play around with her new kindle and see the differences first hand, although I did not try out the internet on it, so I cannot report on that aspect.

Kindle DX Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology

There were some notable great developments.

  1. The new Kindle DX is 50% brighter. There was a significant difference in a side-by-side comparison between the two devices.
  2. The new kindle has global 3G, which is fabulous.
  3. The pages seem to turn a little faster, although that might be my imagination.

Some things I'm still holding out for:

  1. The new 6 inch kindle has an improved PDF system, so that one can actually put notes on individual PDF pages. Seriously-- this is much more useful on the kindle DX because of the larger screen size. Why did they not add this new software to the kindle DX? It makes no sense to me.
  2. The font size on menus cannot be modified. As amazon has successfully marketed the device to those with low-vision, it would be useful to let them see their menus as well as the books.
  3. You cannot have the dictionary look up a word while the text-to-speech feature is in use or even paused. You have to actually stop the reading and look up the word before resuming.

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