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Old 07-14-2010, 12:29 PM   #16
abeaty
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I then popped the file into Acrobat, trimmed the margins, and loaded it back up. Perfection! Now it reads great in either landscape or portrait modes.

Finally, I tried a scanned PDF that wasn't the highest quality. After doing some margin trimming, I loaded it up not expecting much. However, it honestly looks better on the DX then on my computer. So far so good in the PDF department.
First off thanks a lot of the review. I expect our reading curriculum would be similar.

When you say you "popped the file into Acrobat, trimmed the margins", what Acrobat product are you talking about and what option within it? Reader?

Can you re-save PDFs that have no DRM? How about ones that have DRM?

Thanks a lot.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:37 PM   #17
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First off thanks a lot of the review. I expect our reading curriculum would be similar.

When you say you "popped the file into Acrobat, trimmed the margins", what Acrobat product are you talking about and what option within it? Reader?

Can you re-save PDFs that have no DRM? How about ones that have DRM?

Thanks a lot.
The product is actually called Acrobat, made by Adobe: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/

There are several cropping programs, I just so happen to have a school license to Acrobat, so I decided to use that. When I trim the margins, I basically just trim it so that the margins span from text to text on the left and right hand sides. This means that when the Kindle zooms to fit horizontally, the text will be bigger.

If the PDFs have no DRM, you can easily resave and upload them with the cropped margins. If they do, I am not sure. You might be able to crack the DRM but thats a legal grey area. I am actually not sure if the Kindle can even read protected PDFs. I do not have any to test it with.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:29 PM   #18
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I first looked into the iPad for to fulfill this want. It seemed perfect: large screen, decent battery life, internet, PDF viewers, etc. I was actually very excited about the prospect of getting one. I had to try it extensively in stores, however, before I would make my final decision. So into the stores I went, and out I came disappointed. I really wish I could have loved the iPad, but I didn't, at least for what I was doing. The screen just didn't do it for me. It was great for browsing the web or Facebook or the occasional game, but reading, whether it was iBooks or PDfs, just did not cut it for me.

It's difficult for me to explain why, but I couldn't get into whatever I was reading. Maybe it was the backlight, maybe it was the resolution or maybe it was the glare. Oh, the glare, the worst part of it. I thought "Well, the store lighting is pretty glare-inducing, so maybe it will be better in my usual reading environments." Then I realized that one of my usual reading places is at work, which has much the same type of lighting.
Exactly! I *wanted* to want the ipad, but it just didn't work for me. I'm getting ready to start grad school and will be reading a bunch of pdfs. So I thought an ipad would be perfect. But it's heavier and blared light into my eyes (I sit at a computer all day at work so I don't want *more* backlit documents thankyouverymuch). I just wanted to comfortably be able to read *a lot* of material. And the kindleDXG does that.

I may put some pdfs on there manually (via cable), but I may also just email some to my kindle straight from a reference search. Since I have a laptop for writing and I'll use it for annotating any pdfs that I want to make notes on...the kindle is simply for power-reading. Plain and simple, reading for pleasure and high volume reading. I have my laptop for applications, games, and writing papers.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:37 AM   #19
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Exactly! I *wanted* to want the ipad, but it just didn't work for me. I'm getting ready to start grad school and will be reading a bunch of pdfs. So I thought an ipad would be perfect. But it's heavier and blared light into my eyes (I sit at a computer all day at work so I don't want *more* backlit documents thankyouverymuch). I just wanted to comfortably be able to read *a lot* of material. And the kindleDXG does that.

I may put some pdfs on there manually (via cable), but I may also just email some to my kindle straight from a reference search. Since I have a laptop for writing and I'll use it for annotating any pdfs that I want to make notes on...the kindle is simply for power-reading. Plain and simple, reading for pleasure and high volume reading. I have my laptop for applications, games, and writing papers.

I'm glad you feel the same way. A lot of people thought I was crazy for not liking the Kindle. Guess I am not as crazy as I thought, I think.
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Old 07-15-2010, 01:37 PM   #20
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I just got my Graphite DX and field tested it a bit, and decided to share my experiences for all who are debating on whether to purchase one. The background story is a bit long so if you want to skip it then start on the paragraph starting with "Now onto the review..."

It was DOA when I got it in the mail. Not completely DOA, but unable to register, unable to use the internet, freezing, etc. I called up Amazon Customer Support and the rep walked me through different procedures of troubleshooting. I had already troubleshooted but was fine with doing again in case I missed something. Nothing worked, so he finally had me type 411 in the settings screen, which brought up technical information about the device. I read off to the rep the radio serial number, and that turned out to be the problem.

For some reason, when they processed my Kindle, they copied the wrong radio serial into their system. This number allows them to grant 3G access to specific devices, so that not just anybody with a 3G radio can tap into the service.

The Rep said he would call back when the problem was fixed. About an hour or two, he called back and said the technicians had put in the new number and that it should work. It did! I was so relieved that I didn't have to send it back. I really have to say that Amazon's tech support is awesome. I have never talk to a call center tech that has known to level he did about the device in question. It made me all the more confident that Amazon was the right company to deal with.

Enough digressing, back to the Kindle itself. I bought this to serve two main purposes. First, for pleasure reading. Secondly, I work in a research lab and have to read PDFs of papers and manuals constantly. It get's old reading them on a computer screen, especially when they can get to 300+ pages. I wanted a device that I could read these documents off of conveniently and without eye strain.

I first looked into the iPad for to fulfill this want. It seemed perfect: large screen, decent battery life, internet, PDF viewers, etc. I was actually very excited about the prospect of getting one. I had to try it extensively in stores, however, before I would make my final decision. So into the stores I went, and out I came disappointed. I really wish I could have loved the iPad, but I didn't, at least for what I was doing. The screen just didn't do it for me. It was great for browsing the web or Facebook or the occasional game, but reading, whether it was iBooks or PDfs, just did not cut it for me.

It's difficult for me to explain why, but I couldn't get into whatever I was reading. Maybe it was the backlight, maybe it was the resolution or maybe it was the glare. Oh, the glare, the worst part of it. I thought "Well, the store lighting is pretty glare-inducing, so maybe it will be better in my usual reading environments." Then I realized that one of my usual reading places is at work, which has much the same type of lighting.

So the iPad was out of the question, but where to go next? About a year ago, I was about to pull the trigger when the Kindle 2 came out, but I didn't. Partly because it plus the warranty were very expensive and partly because it didn't have an ounce of PDF support, minus OCR conversion. So I held off. However, both the Nook and the Kindle's price got cut right about the time I decided against the iPad.

I first checked out the Nook at Barnes & Noble. It was a decent device, but I didn't really jive with it. The design was a little better than the Kindle 2 in terms of aesthetics, but the touchscreen just seemed a little two slow for me. The navigation structure also bugged for some reason. Most of all, the demo PDFs on it looked absolutely horrible and there was no landscape mode.

All that was left to try was the Kindle 2. I knew every detail of it, from extensive research a year ago, but had never tried it in person. Target said they had one on display so I traveled about 40 miles to check it out. When I got there, the display model wasn't working, and it took the employee about 15 minutes to figure out what was wrong. When he finally got it working, the screened turned on, and it wasn't a functional model! It just looped through a slideshow of its features. I got to see the screen and hold the product in my hand, but the real features, such as navigation, refresh, etc. were still a mystery to me.

All this time, a DX would have been perfect, but I felt $500 was too expensive. Adding a warranty, tax and a decent case would have brought it to around $700, which was WAY more than I wanted to spend on a device.

But wait! The Graphite DX was announced with the large price cut! The minute I read about it on this forum, I knew it was the perfect solution. Without much hesitation, I made my decision and haven't looked back.

Now on to the review... I started off with PDFs. This is the PDF I loaded first, a document I had to read at work: http://www.xilinx.com/support/docume...ides/ug332.pdf In portrait mode, this PDF is fine for reading. The text is slightly small but my vision is good enough to read it. In landscape mode, the text is large and easy to read. For this particular document, the Kindle does perfectly without any alteration to the PDF.

I tried a different PDF, with large margins. Unfortunately I cannot post it here because of copyright regulations. In portrait mode, the text was pretty small but readable and in portrait mode the text was bigger but not large. I then popped the file into Acrobat, trimmed the margins, and loaded it back up. Perfection! Now it reads great in either landscape or portrait modes.

Finally, I tried a scanned PDF that wasn't the highest quality. After doing some margin trimming, I loaded it up not expecting much. However, it honestly looks better on the DX then on my computer. So far so good in the PDF department.

Now onto the books. I downloaded several of the free Kindle public domain books as well as Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series. The books look great! I have read that some people think the DX is too big for novel reading, but I honestly think it is the perfect size. It fits a lot of words on the page at a good size, so I can both read efficiently and with ease. I finished the first book of the series a few hours later, getting more lost into the story than even after reading physical books. For some reason, I was having a mental block with books, always looking at them and thinking I didn't have time to read. This Kindle broke that block though, since I can either choose to work or read for pleasure in one device.

Now, this isn't my first time reading a book electronically, just the first with e-ink. I read Dracula on the iPhone and honestly didn't enjoy the experience at all. I was reading at half speed and the LCD was relatively close to my face. Since the screen is similar to the iPad, I knew the iPad was not for me. The text of the book just didn't pop. Since it is uniformly backlit, the contrast just seems funky to my brain. I know some people are fine with it, but even after extended use, I could not get used to it.

After trying my cousin's Kindle 2, I noticed that the Graphite was a little speedier in navigations and refreshes. The web browser also seemed a little faster. However, these are qualitative measurements as I did not time actual performance.

But most of all, the screen! The screen is amazing. It makes the last generation of e-ink look unhandleable. The screen isn't quite fully white, but it is almost there. The contrast is amazing. That is all I can say. None of the pictures do it justice whatsoever.

So, all in all, I feel this new DX is highly worth the money. If you don't have to read documents, then I would say wait for the next Kindle with the new generation of screens. It will be worth the wait.
I am happy that yiu are satisfied as I was not when I was comparing Kindle and iPad. I actually bought both and returned Kindle DX after testing. Reasons:

1. I bought Dx global refurbished for 415 from Amazon. For what it offers its way overpriced.
2. PDF support is minimal at best. Table of contents and PDF links doesn't work. Navigation was slow with large PDFs. Managing a lot of PDF books in Collections is slow as well.
3. 3G free is marketing gimmick. Its only suffice to order books. Browsing internet on that 3G is pain as the browser is pretty old and basic and doesn't work on most of the web sites properly. Moreover Amazon could potentially charge you based on some of their own criteria that I did not see any details.
4. PDF looks OK in portrait mode but if the font is small in portrait for certain PDFs landscape viewing is not that optimal either. Navigating a single page requires three clicks to browse the whole page in three chunks. The only other way is to use Adobe Acrobat full version (costs in 100s as well) to make changes as you described originally. I'll add that price to Kindle cost as well because without cropping the book maybe unreadable on it anyway.
5. Proprietry format books bound only to Amazon. What if a certain book is lower on price on B&N?

If Amazon can fix the Pdf issues as above and lower the price to $150 its worth it. I am saying this becuase DX is specifically built to handle Technical books in PDF format but its main task doesn't work properly. If its not the PDFs it is better to buy the small Kindle. I think even that device is overpriced as well. Amazon knows that as you have seen the prices dropped recently and they will keep dropping now that they have competition which is good for us, the consumers.

For these reasons I stayed with iPad. The screen was never a problem for me.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #21
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I'm glad you feel the same way. A lot of people thought I was crazy for not liking the Kindle. Guess I am not as crazy as I thought, I think.
You mean the ipad. Cannot agree more and very nice review.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:14 AM   #22
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If you mean the older DX, I most likely will never get a chance, because I do not know anyone who owns one.

Wish I could be of more help.

M_Agnum,
Great review. I have the older DX and have always been struck by what I felt was a big difference over my Kindle 2 in that it's so vivid and, in my cae, the fonts seem uniformly darker and more solid than the thinner fonts of my K2 (which is a good one as other K2s seem, in photos, to be considerably less dark, probably due to variation of e-ink settings at the factory apparently changable by firmware settings as some seem to have been corrected with firmware version 2.5.x).

In any case, I have photos of my older DX at http://bit.ly/dxpics and wonder how these seem to you, relative to the Graphite you bought. I've seen pictures of other DX's the fonts of which seem less vivid to me and then there are other other older DX's that look pretty good even against the Graphite in photo comparisons except there is less contrast between the background and foreground when you see them together, which I guess is due to blacker blacks and minimally lighter background from what I can see in photos.

Thanks for your review, which is so thorough on PDF viewing.

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Old 07-20-2010, 08:43 PM   #23
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M_Agnum,
Great review. I have the older DX and have always been struck by what I felt was a big difference over my Kindle 2 in that it's so vivid and, in my cae, the fonts seem uniformly darker and more solid than the thinner fonts of my K2 (which is a good one as other K2s seem, in photos, to be considerably less dark, probably due to variation of e-ink settings at the factory apparently changable by firmware settings as some seem to have been corrected with firmware version 2.5.x).

In any case, I have photos of my older DX at http://bit.ly/dxpics and wonder how these seem to you, relative to the Graphite you bought. I've seen pictures of other DX's the fonts of which seem less vivid to me and then there are other other older DX's that look pretty good even against the Graphite in photo comparisons except there is less contrast between the background and foreground when you see them together, which I guess is due to blacker blacks and minimally lighter background from what I can see in photos.

Thanks for your review, which is so thorough on PDF viewing.

- Andrys
kindleworld.blogspot.com

It's honestly very hard for me to tell from your pictures. The contrast is much better looking in your pictures than in almost every DX 1st gen I have seen. I would say that the screen looks lighter on the Graphite but at the end of the day, I cannot say with any certainty as there are so many variables when trying to photograph black levels and contrast.

Wish I could have been more help.
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Old 07-21-2010, 01:18 AM   #24
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I spent the night reading on my new DXG.

OMG. DO NOT buy this...if you don't want to dislike all your other eink readers.

After a few hours with the DXG, my Sony 505 looks awful. The DXG is in another league when it comes to crispness and contrast,

I have 5 eink readers other than the DXG and they have now been relegated to the "try to sell" pile.

I am serious. If you buy this...you will not be able to use your old readers.
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Old 07-21-2010, 08:27 PM   #25
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It's honestly very hard for me to tell from your pictures. The contrast is much better looking in your pictures than in almost every DX 1st gen I have seen. I would say that the screen looks lighter on the Graphite but at the end of the day, I cannot say with any certainty as there are so many variables when trying to photograph black levels and contrast.

Wish I could have been more help.
That IS helpful for me though. I have been tempted to sell the older one to get the newer one if there is a large enough difference when a Graphite owner sees it. I felt that if you couldn't see it clearly by looking at the photos then I shouldn't sell mine for now.

There seems to be a bit of variance between screens on the older DX screen, but reports on the DXG really do seem to show there is a consistent, strong difference between it and just about all other readers from the reactions I've read. It's something I haven't seen in 2 years of reading the various forums.

Thanks for your response. Am pretty sure I'd want to get the Graphite if I saw these in person together, but until then I'll go on hold.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:11 PM   #26
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If you buy this...you will not be able to use your old readers.
I couldn't agree more. My old K2 and DX don't look good at all next to the Graphite.
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Old 07-21-2010, 09:35 PM   #27
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I am serious. If you buy this...you will not be able to use your old readers.
That's how I feel but I will keep a smaller reader around for when I don't want to carry my DXG.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #28
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That's how I feel but I will keep a smaller reader around for when I don't want to carry my DXG.
I agree. I'm going to keep my Sony Pocket Edition (PRS-300) for when I need a small, very portable reader. It is great for trips to a doctor's office, using on an airplane, etc. I added darker fonts to it and modify my ePubs via calibre to use those fonts. A bit kluge, but it works. But compared to the KDXG screen, it is still dull and dim. I just sold my Sony Daily Edition though as it is now superfluous to my needs.
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Old 07-24-2010, 01:58 PM   #29
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Yep. I have Dr800SG, Kindle 2, Entourage Edge and now bought a Kindle DXG. It blows them all away. The PDF - viewing support is ample.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:11 PM   #30
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I spent the night reading on my new DXG.

OMG. DO NOT buy this...if you don't want to dislike all your other eink readers.

After a few hours with the DXG, my Sony 505 looks awful. The DXG is in another league when it comes to crispness and contrast,

I have 5 eink readers other than the DXG and they have now been relegated to the "try to sell" pile.

I am serious. If you buy this...you will not be able to use your old readers.

I can't agree with you more, it is painful to look at my k2 right now, after having seen the GKDX screen...
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