Should You Buy a Kindle 2 or Kindle DX? A Side-by-Side Comparison to Help You Decide on an eBook Reader from Amazon

What’s a Kindle?

"Kindle" is the hardware, software and network e-Reading platform from Amazon.com. The hardware devices that are a part of this are the original Kindle, Kindle 2, Kindle 3 and the Kindle DX. They allow users to download and read ebooks, newspapers, magazines, and blogs among other media by connecting it to a PC via USB or over WiFi or 3G. A number of different document formats can be converted to Amazon's proprietary AZW format over Whispernet.

But what we're here to debate is what hardware device to choose – Should I buy a Kindle 2 or Kindle DX?

The different versions of the Kindle, first released in 2007, that have been available till now are:

  1. Kindle (original)
  2. Kindle 2 (White)
  3. Kindle 2- International (White)
  4. Kindle 3- 3G and Wi-Fi (White/Graphite)
  5. Kindle DX (original) (White)
  6. Kindle DX International (original) (White)
  7. Kindle DX International 2 (Graphite)
  8. Kindle 3- Wi-Fi (Graphite)

Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX

The Kindle 2 (currently $189) was first announced on February 23, 2009. The International version had a slightly higher screen contrast. It has 2 GB of internal memory, though only 1.4 GB is user-accessible. The slot for SD cards, which was on the original Kindle, is missing on the Kindle 2. An update in November 2009 added PDF support and better battery life.

Kindle 2

The Kindle DX has a much larger 9.7 inch screen than the Kindle 2 which has a 6 inch screen. The DX (going at $379) was launched on May 6, 2009. It also weighs in at a much heavier 18.7 ounces.

Kindle DX

Head to Head

When asking should I buy a Kindle 2 or Kindle DX, there are a few things one must consider. First, have a look at a comparison table I've drawn up. When you're done with that consider these 3 important points.

Kindle Comparison

1. Battery Life: With wireless on all the time, the Kindle 2 lasts 10 days and the Kindle DX 7 days. With it off, the DX can soldier on for 3 weeks and the Kindle 2 for a month.

2. Weight: The Kindle DX is noticeably heavier than the Kindle 2. For people who read while lying back in bed or on the move, this could be a problem.

3. Display: The size of the display on the Kindle 2 is 6 inches. It might be enough for most people who read on the move, but if you want a really large screen, then go for the DX which has a 9.7 inch screen. Both use e-ink technology, so it's the next best thing to paper.

So Should You Buy a Kindle 2 or a Kindle DX?

Most buyers would be happy enough with a Kindle 2. A 6 inch screen would put it around the same size as a standard paperback, which is pretty decent. The DX is heavier, making it uncomfortable for long reading sessions, does not have Wi-Fi (uses 3G) and is only really necessary if you want large screen real estate. Considering also that the DX is about $200 more expensive, I would conclude that the Kindle 2 is the perfect fit for most avid readers.

Do note that, recently, the Kindle 3 has been released with improvements that include a better browser. Get that if you find yourself interested in the Kindle 2.

Kindle 3

Image sources

Kindle promotional images all copyright Amazon.com

Screenshot copyright Gaurav