Amazon Kindle DX

kindlecloseupI'm probably breaking all the rules, but I'm going to start with a conclusion, the Amazon Kindle DX is an amazing device. End of post...

...Or at least it would be if I lived in the USA. The Kindle with it's built-in "Whispernet" allows for purchasing and downloading books from Amazon and browsing Wikipedia and the web freely (apart from book cost obviously) until your heart's content, providing you have cellular (Sprint?) coverage in the area. Living in the UK, I'm somewhat out of that coverage area, so even after crossing the hurdle of ordering from an account, delivering to a US address and then getting it brought back here, you're limited to USB only transfer. After all that is it still appealing? Like the man from delmonte, I say "Yes!"

Fair enough you are losing some of the best additional features of the Kindle, but let's remember, what they are additional features. The Kindle DX is the e-book reader that makes other readers like the Sony and even Kindle 2, cry and run away. E-ink sceen
It's got a big 9.7" highly contrasted e-ink screen, about (haven't actually checked) 3.5GB of storage (which I've now filled), it's slim, light, looks cool, renders PDF, but more important than all that, you can actually enjoy an e-book like a real book! I know the purists out there are going to wax lyrical about paper, the feel of a book and bla, bla bla... You know what? I don't care. I love books too, but if I'm going on holiday or doing some development work, the last think I want is lugging a suitcase/bag around filled with books, especially text books.

That's why the Kindle DX, in my eyes, is a winner, it's an iPod for books, I can still have all the classics on my fuax-intellectual bookshelves, but if I'm going to leave the house and need a half-dozen iPhone dev books, I'll be talking the Kindle DX with me. And on a technical note, the refreshing of the e-ink screen is not as jarring as I expected, and performance wise it can open most books and PDFs about as quickly as an iPhone 3G can open an app :P

img_0056kOf course, before I even got a book on the device I'd already installed a hack from here which gave me SSH access and after a bit more jiggery-pokery let me share out my MacBook's internet connection and browse the Amazon Store on the Kindle. Important note if you plan on doing this yourself the one piece of advice I can give is this:

Register the device with your account while it's still in the US.

Otherwise, although you can browse the store, without registering, you can't make any purchases or use the web bowser via the reverse tether. Some might say it's a bit pointless anyway since you have to be connected to a PC anyway, but I'd still like the option, for completeness sake if nothing else.

I'll be waiting for a UK/Europe release and further playing with the device, but most of all I'll be reading.

If you've any questions or thoughts, you can catch me on twitter @grib

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Andrew Gribben @grib