Kindle DX dropped its price by about $100, I guess at the pressure of iPad and other ebook devices. This is good news to a lot of people who do not really want to read books on LCD/LED-based technologies. I recently lost my Kindle in a trip, so it is time to think about the next device to get to replace it.
Wei Sun recently sent me an email asking about my opinions about DX, I will put my thoughts below, as my review of DX after using it for about 6 months.
(1) How many academic papers do you read on it, and on printed form?
I put quite some papers into it, it indeed reduced my printing. But journals like MgtSci, MktSci, ISR have too small fonts (kindle’s font is slightly smaller than the real journals), so in the end, it is still not too comfortable to read on DX. Once you rotate it to read in landscape mode, the fonts are larger (larger than the real journals), but you need to do a lot of page-ups and -downs to read them. If the new version can improve the speed of page flipping, it will be better, otherwise, it is a headache to read journal papers. AER and JPE are fine because they have large margins and kindle can crop them automatically.
(2) Do you find it helpful for academic research?
Yes. I mostly read ebooks on it. It is best for ebooks and I love it. For PDF versions of ebooks, I can use a software called calibre to convert to ebook format so I can change the font on the device. DX has 3GB, I put hundreds of books into it, there’s plenty of space.
(3) In your opinion, are there any better alternatives? How about Apple ipad?
ipad is not based on E-ink technology, so it does not make a big difference from reading on a laptop screen. The biggest reason for me to buy kindle is that it feels like reading from paper on kindle, and it’s good to the eyes. For reading papers, I would not use ipad. An alternative to kindle is a device called QUE, you can google for it. I learned about it after I bought my kindle last december, but it then pushed off the release date, the most recent news was that it announced it would release on June 25. I don’t think many people have evaluated it now, but this half year delay for sure put a big damage on the product. For one, ipad is out, many people simply get ipad, second, kindle dx has dropped price, QUE’s price at $500 is too high now. But a nice thing is it has the largest possible E-ink screen on the market. The monitor is similar to normal letter-sized paper, so it will be like exactly reading a printed paper.
(4) Overall, do you recommend it at $400 as a research tool?
Bottomline: I would say if you read a lot of books like I do now (I did not have time to read books when I was a student), it will be really useful. Otherwise, hold for a little while to see how QUE performs.