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Kindle DX Or The Kindle 2? Is Bigger Always Better?

Although the upcoming Kindle DX is being touted as new and improved, sometimes that doesn't mean a whole lot.

Amazon.com is betting that the DX's larger screen -- 9.7 inches vs. 6 inches on the Kindle 2 version -- will appeal to squinting readers. Text on the DX also will be clearer and sharper at 1,200 x 824 pixel resolution at 150 ppi vs. 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi for the Kindle 2.

But with a larger display screen, the portability factor certainly comes into play. Consumers also need to weigh in, well, the e-reader's weight. The Kindle 2.0 is a virtual feather at 10.2 ounces, while the DX is 18.9 ounces, and may give perusers pause when lugging it to the airport or train.

Storage on the DX also has been expanded " 4-GB internal memory (approximately 3.3 GB available for user content) instead of the older Kindle, which has 2-GB internal memory (approximately 1.4 GB available for user content). That means your Kindle library can hold up to 3,500 books, periodicals and documents compared to 1,500, which is still nothing to sneeze at.

Both the DX and Kindle 2 can be fully charged in about four hours and support charging from a computer through the included USB 2.0 cable.

And though both versions have a five-way controller that highlights words, the DX has the additional visual feature of an auto-rotating screen, letting readers see full-width landscape views of maps, graphs, tables and Web pages.

Additionally, the upgraded DX includes native PDF support. With the Kindle 2's PDF fixed-layout format, more complex PDF files ran the risk of not being correctly formatted on the device.

Ultimately, whether the DX or Kindle 2 is better is an individual decision based on how you want to use it. The improved PDF capability will appeal to business users but not so much to beach-goers. And are you really such a voracious reader that you know you'll need to store 2,000 more titles than the Kindle 2? Are the improvements worth $489 or can you live with the smaller version at $359? Remember, bigger is not always better.

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