One of my new year’s resolutions was to stop using Google Reader so much. The main reason for this is that I find myself spending (wasting) hours of my free time reading sound bites, headlines and trivialities without ever going any deeper. This observation goes for web surfing in general too. The alternative for me is the Amazon Kindle DX which I purchased for reading detailed and lengthy documents, papers, articles and textbooks (not novels).

Amazon Kindle DX

Having had the Kindle DX for around a week now, and being a Mac guy, I’m happy to report that I am not disappointed with my decision not to wait for the iPad. There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. The PDF support is very good – I have loaded about 30 PDFs onto the Kindle DX and they all work without any problems. However, some of them have large margins which make the text smaller in portrait mode. The Kindle DX has no zoom option, but rotating the display makes things a lot better.
  2. The build quality is very high. Nothing creaks or feels flimsy in the hand. It is very thin and isn’t too heavy. The buttons are well arranged and I don’t have any issues with the keyboard.
  3. The display is gorgeous. After using a very good 24″ S-IPS panel all day, the e-ink display for reading is a welcome relief and a real pleasure to use. In other words, it is very easy on your eyes. Text, diagrams and mathematical formulas are clear and sharp.
  4. It’s just an eBook reader, that’s it. This may seem like a disadvantage to some, but I thinks its great for a number of reasons. Firstly, I don’t get distracted by emails or surfing the web and secondly, the device is totally boring to my kids. Anyone who has kids and an iPhone will know what I mean.
  5. The Kindle store. After purchasing a couple of books, including 1 technical eBook, i have found the formatting and readability to be great. The kindle store has an extensive selection of books and is put together very well – the mobile network connection works flawlessly. For making purchases, my Amazon account details are stored on the device and Amazon set everything up automatically even before the device arrived.
  6. The wireless connection. As I’m using the Kindle DX in Europe, the wireless is roaming and web browsing is not allowed. However, it does support the online version of Wikipedia and the Kindle store. Signal strength is good and I have had no issues with it. Again, Amazon set everything up automatically before the device arrived.

Two slight niggles are: 1. PDF files with large borders and PDF files with restrictions. I will go into these two topics in a later post.