Asus Puts Amazon Kindle for PC on Netbooks, Notebooks
Several Asus netbooks and notebooks sold by Amazon.com will now come with the Amazon Kindle for PC application preinstalled. Among other features, the app allows users to sync their e-books across their Kindle, PC or Mac, or to enjoy e-reader features without actually owning a Kindle.Asus announced May 24 that the Amazon Kindle for PC application will come preinstalled on several lightweight Asus netbooks and notebooks for sale on Amazon.com. The Kindle for PC application acts as a stand-in Kindle e-reader, allowing users to sync pages and pick up where they left off on their Kindle, Kindle DX, Mac or PC. The app also offers users access to the more than 540,00 titles in Amazon's online bookstore, priced from $9.99.
"We are thrilled that customers will begin to enjoy the Kindle for PC experience right out of the box with Asus devices," Ben Thacker, vice president of sales and product management with Asus, said in a statement. "Kindle is something our customers have been asking for and by pre-installing Kindle for PC on select long-battery-life products, we believe we are providing our customers an even richer PC experience."
Additional features of the application include the ability to search the Kindle Store by genre or author; to create new highlights, notes or bookmarks in a text, and to manage notes and highlights already created on a Kindle; and to adjust font sizes and the numbers of words per line.
Readers can choose from white, sepia or black color modes, and adjust the brightness of a text from within the application.
"We think customers are going to love the convenience and simplicity of having instant access to Kindle for PC from their Asus device and access to a massive selection of Kindle books," Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle, said in a statement. "Kindle for PC lets customers enjoy over 540,000 books in the Kindle Store even if they don't yet have a Kindle, and it's the perfect companion application for the millions of Kindle and Kindle DX owners."
Kindle for PC will come preinstalled on four Asus Eee netbooks with up to 11 hours of battery life, and two Asus ultra-thin and light UL Series notebooks, also with 11 hours of juice.
On May 19, Amazon announced updates to the Kindle for PC application and said the free software would "soon" become available on devices running Google's Android OS. The updates include the features noted above, with an emphasis on the Whispersync technology, enabling the synchronization of bookmarks, highlights and saved pages across synced devices.
While the Kindle is the most popular item sold by Amazon, the Apple iPad has emerged as a new competitor, and Google also recently announced that it will begin selling e-books online as early as June.
Analysts expect that while the iPad is likely to slow the Kindle's growth momentum, it's unlikely to impact Amazon's 2010 revenue.