The good:The Kindle DX's wireless connection now works overseas; offers 2.5 times the screen real estate as the smaller Kindle; native PDF support; you can switch from portrait to landscape mode by just turning the device; large library of tens of thousands of e-books, newspapers, magazines, and blogs via Amazon's familiar online store; built-in free wireless "Whispernet" data network--no PC needed; built-in keyboard for notes; faster processor speeds up the device; with 4GB (3.3 usable) of internal memory, it's capable of storing 3,500 electronic books; font size is adjustable; decent battery life; displays image files, and plays MP3 and AAC audio.
The bad:Expensive; no Wi-Fi; somewhat heavy compared to the Kindle 2; no expansion slot for adding more memory; no protective carrying case included; battery is sealed into the device and isn't removable; isn't compatible with loaner e-books from your local library that use the ePub format; if you're using the wireless service overseas, you're charged extra fees for downloading full books and periodicals; Apple's iPad offers far more functionality at nearly the same price.
The bottom line:Although it has all the positive attributes typically associated with a Kindle device, the arrival of Apple's iPad seriously affects the Kindle DX's viability unless Amazon lowers its price by at least $100.
Editors' note (July 6, 2010): As of July 2010, the version of the Amazon Kindle DX reviewed here has been replaced by a new model. The updated model is black (graphite) instead of white, its screen is said to have improved contrast, and it has a lower suggested retail price ($379).
Amazon announced on April 20, 2011, that a software update adding the ability to read e-books from participating local libraries will be added by the end of 2011.
Not long after Amazon updated the U.S.-only version of the Kindle and replaced it with a new international Kindle model, the company followed suit with the larger Kindle DX. This new model--now called the "Kindle DX (Global Wireless)"--runs on AT&T's network and can access content on cellular networks inside and outside of the U.S.
Aside from the switch in wireless carriers (the old DX used to be powered by Sprint, and didn't work outside the U.S.), nothing else has visibly changed--at least as far as the hardware itself goes. The 0.38-inch-deep DX is just a tad thicker than the 0.36-inch Kindle. And the Kindle DX's 9.7-inch e-ink display (1,200-by-824-pixel resolution) technically offers 2.5 times more screen real estate than the Kindle's 6-inch display. That extra screen comes at a price, both figuratively and literally, as the DX weighs almost twice as much (18.9 ounces) as the Kindle and costs $230 more, at $489.
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable e-reader and e-publishing expert. He's also the author of the novels Knife Music and The Big Exit. Both titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, and Nook e-books. Full Bio