I’ve been too busy traveling and reading my Kindle DX to get around to writing up the review that I promised last month. Since it’s been out for a month now and people have been reviewing it the whole time, I’m just going to cover the things that have made me especially happy and unhappy.

In general, the DX is a nice step up from the Kindle 1. The larger size is, as expected, a mixed blessing. The bigger screen is great, especially when reading PDFs, but the extra size and weight makes long reading sessions slightly less comfortable than the Kindle 1. I almost exclusively used the Kindle 1’s left-side page changing buttons, and I’m amazed that Amazon left them off of the DX.

I took my DX to Boulder with me last week and read 4 books along the way. The DX may be larger than my old Kindle 1, but it’s so much thinner that it’s easier to travel with. It’s easy to slip it into airline seat-back pockets and it fits into my laptop bag much better than the Kindle 1 did.

A few gripes: * It’s crashed a couple times on me. Holding down the power button forced a reboot. * With the wireless on, the battery life’s kind of short. Don’t expect more than a few days between charges, even if you aren’t using the DX every day. * The Kindle DX really needs a set of left-hand next/previous buttons. * The Kindle 2/DX software is a nice improvement over the Kindle 1, but it still needs work. It’s great for reading books, but once you give it more than 100 titles, you’re going to be doing a lot of scrolling. Amazon needs a better way to manage your library. * Wikipedia is ugly and slow on the Kindle. Amazon should spend some time building a Kindle-optimized version of Wikipedia. A bit of CSS and then optimizing the HTML a bit would go a long ways towards making it more usable. * PDFs with lots of small text are hard to read. Beautiful Security from O’Reilly is rendered in a tiny little font that’s readable on the DX, but it’s so small that it’s uncomfortable and it kills my reading speed. Removing the whitespace around the outside of the PDF would help with this; I’m going to look for a PDF post-processor to do it for me, but the Kindlle should really be able to handle this on its own. * The page tilt sensor is dumb. It’s prone to rotating your book for you while you’re busy reading. Fortunately, it’s easy to turn off.

All in all, I’m happy with my DX. I’d buy it again tomorrow if I had to (and if it didn’t have a ~1 month waiting list at the moment). If you’re looking for an ebook reader that can read PDFs and handle complex documents, then it’s the best thing on the market, IF you can live with the price and you don’t want to put more than 100 documents at a time on it. If you need more than that, then expect to spend a lot of time scrolling through the list of available books on the Kindle.

If you don’t care about PDFs, then I’d recommend that you just buy the Kindle 2. It’s way cheaper ($299 instead of $489), lighter, and smaller, and it’s more or less the same size as a paperback book. If you can handle cheap paperbacks, then you can live with the Kindle 2’s screen.