Travel Companion The size and shape of the Kindle DX matches well with the other devices you may already carry. If you tote an ultraportable or all-purpose laptop, the KindleDX will fit easily in the same bag. The Kindle DX slid in nicely right next to my ultrasleek MSI Wind U100 netbook (pictured here beneath the Kindle DX ). The Kindle DX is indeed slim, yet it felt sturdy to hold–something that surprised me, given its broader size. I thought it might feel fragile, or as if it were about to snap, an oft-cited concern as devices in general become smaller and thinner. Minimalist Design Like the Kindle 2, the Kindle DX has a minimalist design. On the bottom, the only port is the unit’s Micro-USB 2.0 connection. The device charges via Micro-USB, but the charging cable detaches from the outlet plug so that you can plug it into your PC’s USB port for data transfers as well. Direct-to-Kindle data transfers are more important with the Kindle DX, due to the PDF reader in the new device: PDFs can eat up 10MB, 20MB, or more if they’re large documents packed with images. Given that Amazon now charges 15 cents per megabyte for data you e-mail to yourself over the Kindle’s Whispernet service, that could add up quickly if you’re an avid viewer of PDFs.Minimal Buttons on Top, Too At the top of the Kindle DX, you’ll see a power slider switch and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Like the Kindle 2, the Kindle DX has text-to-speech reading capabilities, available for content whose producers permit the feature. Unlike the Kindle 2, which has a monaural speaker, the Kindle DX has built-in stereo speakers.Five-Way Navigation Joystick Amazon told me that nothing had changed about the five-way navigational joystick’s design, but I could feel a distinct difference between the one on the Kindle 2 I tested and the one on the DX I handled. The Kindle DX’s joystick was distinctly easier to move compared with the stiff joystick on the Kindle 2. At first I wondered whether that might be because the DX I tried was a preproduction device, but the Amazon rep I spoke with said the test unit reflected what we’d see on production units. Unlike the other navigation buttons on the KindleDX, the five-way joystick and its associated Menu and Back buttons are similar in size to those on the Kindle 2.
Big screen–and a price to matchThe Kindle DX is set to debut in the summer of 2009 for a whopping $489
Compare KindleDX with Kindle