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Old 06-14-2009, 03:51 AM   #1
Sonist
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Complain to Amazon about the Kindle DX PDF limitations?

My Kindle DX is arriving on Monday, but I am already regretting the purchase, and may return it.

I purchased it for PDF, and for the larger screen.

I find the K2 too small to replicate reading a book: screen-changes every few seconds are annoying and distracting, IMO.

So the bigger screen is a winner, hands down. The PDF capability was the other main factor for me: I like PDF, better than any other format.

BUT, Amazon appears to have crippled the device, as far as PDF goes:

1. TOC doesn't work! - You'd think if they aimed this at students and textbooks, a TOC would be kind of important to get to the required chapters;

2. Hyperlinks don't work! This one is REALLY BIG, IMO: Most textbooks have footnotes. If you can't link to them, finding them can be a real chore. This by itself would be a reason not to take the Kindle DX seriously as a textbook reader, and to discourage potential purchasers;

3. Dictionary function not available! Again, this is just stupid, for a device which is supposedly aimed at an audience intent on learning. If anything, Amazon should have introduced custom dictionary capability in the DX;

4. Can't zoom! So, if you have a detailed graph, or a small print table, you can be excused from knowing what the content is during exams, because your cutting-edge studying device from Amazon can't zoom;

5. All PDFs filed under Personal Documents! Why?!! So, when you are looking for a title by an author in a hurry, you can never be sure where exactly it would be, among your 3000 PDFs, txt, and mobi files.

It's just amazing! You'd think, in these tough economic times, Amazon would be able to hire someone with an IQ of over 60, to implement PDF support on their new large screen device.

My question is, would enough whining make Amazon change their ways, and give us decent PDF support in the DX?

If so, maybe there should be a concerted effort. Let's flood kindle-feedback@amazon.com with complaints!

Or is it a lost battle, and should I simply return the Kindle DX, that could have been...?

Last edited by Sonist; 06-14-2009 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:14 AM   #2
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I dunno... my last three Amazon kindle emails didn't even get a response (and they weren't even complaining!) The "receptive" Amazon seems to be pretty much a phantom at this point.
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:22 AM   #3
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I don't know if emailing them would do any good, but I can't see any reason not to do it, either. Especially if you return it you might as well let them know that this is what cost them a sale.

Maybe CC Jeff Bezos
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:44 AM   #4
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You should definitely use the *kindle-feedback@amazon.com* to express your concerns. That doesn't mean you'll get a response or a change in PDF support but if enough people express their concerns, it's more likely change will come.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:50 AM   #5
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I do feel that once a large screen device comes out with full PDF support, sales for the DX will drop. One of Amazon's major selling points for the DX is it's PDF support. So why cripple it to such a large extent?
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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I do feel that once a large screen device comes out with full PDF support, sales for the DX will drop.
There is one already, Jon - the iRex DR1000.
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Old 06-14-2009, 09:56 AM   #7
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There is one already, Jon - the iRex DR1000.
I'll add with a more reasonable price.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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I don't think Amazon "crippled" the DX. I'm sure they are aware of the limitations and that they did what they could within the limitations of time, price and reliability. My guess is that due to the screen size they struggled to get the price under $500 and due to a desire to get the device out in time to implement textbook usage for next fall they rushed the release.

It's actually pretty apparent that the real money in ebooks is selling ebooks, not selling devices. The model is give away the razor and sell the razor blades, give away the printer and sell the ink, model.

In order to achieve cheap costs, they need manufacturing experience and higher demand. I remember when a cheap pocket calculation cost several hundred dollars.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katysax View Post
I don't think Amazon "crippled" the DX. I'm sure they are aware of the limitations and that they did what they could within the limitations of time, price and reliability. My guess is that due to the screen size they struggled to get the price under $500 and due to a desire to get the device out in time to implement textbook usage for next fall they rushed the release.

It's actually pretty apparent that the real money in ebooks is selling ebooks, not selling devices. The model is give away the razor and sell the razor blades, give away the printer and sell the ink, model.

In order to achieve cheap costs, they need manufacturing experience and higher demand. I remember when a cheap pocket calculation cost several hundred dollars.
But, the main reason for the DX is to be able to view PDF. I don't think this works as well as it should from what I am reading. There is no reason not to have ToC and internal link support at the very least. Amazon is trying to market the DX to schools and a lot of text books come in PDF. So without these basic functions, it wont work well to replace text books. It's not a matter of sell the device cheaply enough and then make the money on the content. It's a matter of the software on the DX makes it unusable for what Amazon is saying it is meant for. I can understand not having reflow on a 9.7" screen. But I cannot understand why no ToC and internal links.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Interestingly, the IRex's DR supports all 5 capabilities. If they can reduce the price and increase battery life, perhaps they might beat the KDX...
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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I think Amazon can't be using Adobe software to read PDFs. It' the only explanation that makes sense. Sony's current ADE implementation supports what you're looking for, why can't Amazon's. If Amazon doesn't fix things Sony could come in with a 9.7" reader and their current ADE implementation and do an end-run around Amazon for textbooks.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:49 PM   #12
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According to the DX's User's Guide, they are using Adobe: "Native PDF support via Adobe® Reader® technology". There may be several different licenses available from Adobe, and maybe they did not choose the most expensive?
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:15 PM   #13
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According to the DX's User's Guide, they are using Adobe: "Native PDF support via Adobe® Reader® technology". There may be several different licenses available from Adobe, and maybe they did not choose the most expensive?
See Amazon, Others License Adobe Reader Mobile SDK. This seems to be exactly the same SDK that Sony is using. The difference is that Sony is using all of the SDK, but Amazon is only using part of it.

The problem may be that much of the Kindle's software is in Java, so perhaps integrating the Adobe SDK was harder than Amazon expected. It would probably have been better for Amazon to go with a Java PDF reader, which I'm sure could easily support all that the current reader is doing.
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:40 PM   #14
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You should definitely use the *kindle-feedback@amazon.com* to express your concerns. That doesn't mean you'll get a response or a change in PDF support but if enough people express their concerns, it's more likely change will come.
Thanks, I added the email above, with a big red call to action

Just do it!
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by katysax View Post
I don't think Amazon "crippled" the DX. I'm sure they are aware of the limitations and that they did what they could within the limitations of time, price and reliability. My guess is that due to the screen size they struggled to get the price under $500 and due to a desire to get the device out in time to implement textbook usage for next fall they rushed the release.

It's actually pretty apparent that the real money in ebooks is selling ebooks, not selling devices. The model is give away the razor and sell the razor blades, give away the printer and sell the ink, model.

In order to achieve cheap costs, they need manufacturing experience and higher demand. I remember when a cheap pocket calculation cost several hundred dollars.
I don't think they Stuggled too much. I heard somewhere that the cost of manufacturing the Kindle2 was under $170 a unit, and is probably even lower.

they would need to sell about $600 in books atleast to make the same money they do on the hardware sale. not to mention the best sellers they are selling at a loss, it cost 9.99 and they loose a few dollars a sale because they are giving the publishers close to 14
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