According to two people familiar with Amazon’s plans, the company is planning to introduce a new, thinner Kindle this August. The new Kindle will mostly likely be in response to traditional competitors of Kindle, like e-readers made by Sony and Barnes & Noble, not the iPad, which is a recent introduction.
The new Kindle will not have a color screen or touchscreen capabilities. It will have a black and white screen with sharper contrast to make e-books look more like printed books. Amazon hopes to eventually make an e-reader with a color screen.
The Kindle and its competitor, the Nook made by Barnes & Noble, both sell for $259. Sony’s e-reader, which has a touchscreen, sells for $199. The iPad starts at $499. According to a research firm, about 6 million e-readers will be sold this year, which is twice the amount sold last year.
Amazon bought a company earlier this year that specializes in touchscreen technology, so a touchscreen e-reader with a color display could be a feasible future product for Amazon.
Via BusinessWeek, image via Amazon.
The introduction of books to PCs was a bit of a shaky one, but it’s finally starting to find its place in the market. Several companies have had tried to get a stake in this market, most notably Apple with the release of its iPad. Now we’re seeing a greater expansion in the e-book market.
Amazon Kindle is a software and hardware platform developed by Amazon.com, as a way to sell electronic books and have a device to work in tandem with their sale. After its release, Amazon released the Kindle for PC and Mac free of charge, allowing users to read Kindle books on their PC or Mac. However, Kindle still didn’t find its way everywhere. Fortunately however, Amazon has announced that Amazon Kindle for PC application will come preinstalled on some Asus netbooks and notebooks. This PC applications acts to fill in for the Kindle and will allow users to sync pages and continue reading from any of their other hardware. This will be a great move for Amazon, and give Kindle-lovers more variety when it comes to what device they should choose to read from. Amazon isn’t stopping there however, for it plans to have Kindle running on devices which run Google’s Android OS.
While this is great news for amazon, a dark cloud looms on the horizon. Kindle is currently Amazon’s most popular item, and it is sure to be threatened by the Apple iPad and Google’s advance into the e-book market.
Via eWeek, image via ScrapeTV
The ultraportable ASUS Eee PC 1201PN netbook is now available for pre-order on Amazon Germany. The 12″ ultraportable is currently available in three colors – black, silver, and red, and packs a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N450 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 250 GB hard drive, and a NVIDIA Ion graphics chipset. Other tech specs include Wi-Fi, gigabit ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1, three USB ports, and HDMI and VGA outputs.
The ASUS Eee PC 1201PN is priced at €479, or roughly $600 US. No information is yet available on the shipping date, but ASUS is planning on introducing the Eee PC 1215N netbook in July, which is essentially a hyped up version of the 1201PN with Optimus support and a new, dual-core Intel Atom processor. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on any future releases.
Amazon was probably not too happy about the release of the iPad because the iPad poses a major threat to Amazon’s Kindle. Though the iPad is more than an e-reader, it does have e-reader capabilities that have been touted by Apple. Amazon is astute and realizes this threat.
Though Amazon just posted earnings that exceeded expectations, its predictions for the next quarter are a bit more conservative. Amazon gets a lot of its revenue from the Kindle, so lower earnings would probably result from a slowdown in Kindle sales. Though the Kindle is an obvious choice for people who would want a device just to read books on, those who want more capabilities would be much better served by the iPad.
Via Tainted Green, image via Amazon.
Apple’s iPad looks set to be a huge success, and this has competing companies worried. If competing companies do not improve their products that are meant to compete with the iPad, these products simply won’t sell and will be overshadowed by the iPad. Obviously they do not want this to happen, so companies such as Amazon, HP, and Microsoft are hard at work creating products that will be able to compete with the iPad.
Amazon wants to hire a software developer to improve its Kindle by adding web browsing capabilities to it. HP has been heavily promoting its Slate tablet, especially the fact that it will support Adobe Flash (Apple’s mobile devices famously do not support Flash). Even Microsoft has said it intends to make a tablet called the Courier.
This has all happened before the iPad has even been released. After April 3, once we know definitely what the iPad is really like, more companies will offer iPad competitors.
Via ZDNet, image via Apple.
Dell, with some help from Amazon and Google, may be releasing an iPad competitor called the Dell Streak. The Streak will be a tablet that will have access to all of the e-books in Amazon’s Kindle store and everything in Amazon’s MP3 download store, which includes songs as well as TV shows and movies. This is a comparable to what the iTunes store offers.
The Streak allegedly will have a five-inch screen, which would put it between the iPhone and iPad in size. It is supposed to offer access to the Kindle store through 3G with no extra fees. This is an advantage over the iPad, which requires a data plan for 3G access. The Streak is supposed to be Android-based.
Both Amazon and Dell refused to confirm if this rumor is true or not. No one has speculated about the ship date or price of this unannounced product. A tablet processor manufacturer has said that it expects over fifty iPad competitors to be released this year.
Via Wired, image via Wired.
The introduction of the iPad may turn out to hurt consumers; in a rather strange and ironic turn of events, e-book prices could be going up.
Amazon, the maker of the Kindle e-reader, has been fighting with publishers over e-book prices. Amazon wants to keep them at around $10 per book; the leading publishers want to raise prices to around $15 per book. Apple has entered the fray, saying it will let publishers set prices for e-books on the iPad.
There does not seem to be a valid reason for raising e-book prices. E-books are vastly different than traditional printed books: you cannot lend an e-book to a friend, or sell it to someone else, or even put it on a shelf in your home. There are no printing costs associated with e-books, either. Logically the price of e-books should remain lower than that of printed books. Amazon understands this, but publishers seem to have a more shortsighted view of the situation.
Publishers should be focusing on getting more e-book customers. Instead, they may be alienating current and potential future customers with this price increase.
Via PC World.
One reason could be the extremely classy ASUS Super Hybrid Engine, a tool that allows users to, upon the tapping of a hotkey, speed up the processor for performance or slow it down to extend battery life. This, combined with the ultra-efficient Intel Atom N450 CPU, allows users to get up to 14 hours of juice.
Also encouraging such efficiency is the LED-backlit 10.1″ screen, coming in at 1024 x 600 pixels. Other features include 802.11/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Windows 7 Starter, Bluetooth, a Plug-and-Play flash card slot, 0.3 megapixel webcam, 1 GB of RAM with the option to upgrade, and a massive 750 GB of Hybrid Storage (250 GB in the HDD and 500 GB on ASUS’ web servers.
Amazon has announced a new option for authors and publishers, which will enable them to receive seventy percent of the royalties of sales for Kindle editions of books. Amazon is trying to make the Kindle more attractive than other e-readers, including Apple’s tablet (which, according to speculation, may have e-reader options). The new royalty option will be available on June 30.
Currently authors get between seven and fifteen percent of the list price of printed books and twenty-five percent of net for digital books. The new seventy percent option sounds good, but there are some catches to the policy. To get the seventy percent royalty, the list price of the book must be between $2.99 and $9.99. The title also needs to have Kindle features like text-to-speech.
Amazon is getting worried about the hordes of e-readers introduced lately, especially those seen at CES 2010. Apple’s upcoming device could be their biggest worry yet, if it comes through as expected at the end of the month.
Via ZDNet, image via Amazon.
The updated machine will cost $549 with a new processor option – the 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 can be exchanged for a beefier 1.86 GHz Atom N470 for an extra $100. The new netbook rocks Windows 7 Home Premium, rather than Windows 7 Starter, which is absolutely worth it.
Keep in mind: with the $100 upgrade comes the Atom N470’s multi-touch capability. Other features include a 10.1″ screen, 2 GB of RAM, GMA 3150 graphics from Intel, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
The specs of the 12.1-inch ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook have been out for a while now, and they’re truly something to look forward to – 2 GB of RAM and 250 GB of storage on a machine selling for a mere $500. But while the netbook was anticipated to go on sale by December, that’s only a half truth – you can pre-order the Eee PC 1201N right now, but you’ll have to wait until January 15 for it to ship.
If you can stand the wait, get to it – pre-order your own ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook here.
The selling point of this Amazon creation is that you can read Amazon Kindle books without buying the actual Kindle e-reader. Amazon’s trying to target roughly 85% of the computer-using population with this new application. Although reading on your netbook may not be as great as reading on an e-reader, at least they are around the same (convenient) size as a book.
To access and navigate Kindle for PC, you need to first download and install it. You can then sign into your Amazon account, where you will see your previous book purchases. Books can be sorted by title or author. Double-clicking on the book downloads it. You can navigate the pages of the book by using the mouse, arrow keys, or page up/down keys. There are 10 font sizes to choose from and Whispersync allows you to pick up from where you last left off when switching devices (from a Kindle to a netbook or vice versa).
Amazon has recently released some promotions on their website for laptops. They include a $75 gift certificate with the purchase of an ASUS UL20A thin and light laptop and a $100 gift card with the purchase of an ASUS UL50A or ASUS UL80V laptops.
The gift certificates are valid on purchases made off Amazon.com, but since the website sells a whole slew of items, they can basically be used just like cash. If you’re interested in buying a netbook, like the Samsung N130 or the Android Acer Aspire One, you could even do that too.
Coby Electronics, known for its super-cheap PCs, has put up a few netbooks for pre-order at Amazon.com, known as the (get ready for this) 10″ NBPC1022XPBLK netbook and then 12″ NMPC1220XPBLK. Say that three times fast.
The 10-inch model has a weak 2.45 hour battery life and pretty standard specs (1.6 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB HDD) and the 12″ netbook has the same specs with a slightly weaker battery. You can find them for pre-order at $318.99 and $423.99, respectively.
With Windows 7 just on the horizon, plenty of consumers out there are sure to be concerned with the premiums associated with upgrading to the OS. Amazon has put together a promotional plan to alleviate those concerns, so if you’re on the market for a new notebook or netbook anyway, you might be interested.
Here’s how it works:
- Get a new laptop, desktop, or netbook on Amazon with Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, or Ultimate. This must be done between June 26, 2009 and January 31, 2010 for most machines, though vendors can shorten the period if they wish.
- Follow the links at the bottom of the Amazon page to the website of your chosen computer’s manufacturer.
- Instructions will be available on their specific guidelines on how to upgrade – follow them!
- Enjoy Windows 7.
This should be an attractive option for students who want a new computer for the upcoming school year but want to get in on Windows 7 without buying two operating systems. Check it out!
Get ready everyone, because the Asus Eee PC 1005HA is almost here! It’s available for preorder at Amazon.com for $349.99. (This offer is so far only available in the United States though.)
The design of the 1005HA netbook is similar to that of the Eee PC 1008HA, but the 1005HA offers a longer battery life (8.5 hours of juice with a 6-cell battery, supposedly). Learn more about the 1005HA here.
The new Samsung N120 netbook is but a week old and has already seen astounding success with astronomical sales numbers. It’s made the 25 bestselling netbooks list on Amazon, whose affinity for netbooks is well documented.
Whatever the reason for the netbook’s success, it’s definitely going to get bigger from here on out.
Comparing netbooks with similar products is inevitable. Netbooks highlight mobility and accessability for a low cost, but they aren’t the only devices to do so – ultramobiles, smartphones, and laptops (to an extent) all emphasize these qualities.
So while it might seem a little strange to compare netbooks with the new Amazon Kindle 2 reading device, you have to admit they have a lot in common. The Kindle 2 is immensely portable, costs $360, and packs a heck of a lot into its tiny frame… just like a netbook. In case you don’t know much about it, the Kindle 2 is a 3G device specified for reading. You can download any of the “230,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available” in under 60 seconds, read what you want, and store up to 1,500 items in the 2 GB hard drive.
A recent blog post by Karen DeCoster at LewRockwell.com discussed the Kindle 2 in relationship to netbooks, mentioning a few major problems with Kindle. Firstly, she mentioned that, though the Kindle 2 offers access to all kinds of media, “most of it is modern, junk fiction, or cheeseball non-fiction. There are some serious works of literature or non-fiction available, but it still has to be “popular” before that occurs.” Of course, if you’re a major reader of popular fiction, it’s quite possible that the device would be great for you.
She also mentions that Kindle seriously taxes you for news subscriptions; for example, the New York Times costs $14/month. Kindle can subscribe you to blogs, but mostly only mainstream ones. Unlike on a netbook with a web browser, access to blogs through Kindle can cost you around 1.99/month. It’s not a lot, but the numbers add up.
The $360 price tag isn’t horrible. Unlike nearly all netbook mobile broadband plans, Amazon doesn’t charge Kindle users monthly for 3G. There’s no browser on the device, making most of the point of 3G null, so the inclusion of the feature is only really meant for access to new things to buy.
DeCoster then suggests an alternative: netbooks. The particular model she mentions is the Eee PC 1000H, and we think she’s heading in the right direction. The Kindle device is sleek and pretty, but so are a lot of netbooks. For $360 you can get a lot more than just access to reading materials – you get word processing,the ability to connect with printers and any USB device you’d like, web browsing, and in the near future all kinds of other tasks. A costly device like this doesn’t deliver what it could, and netbooks are the way to go.
If you’re still interested, you can get the Amazon Kindle 2 here.
The latest Amazon netbook deal on the market may also be the most useful. The Samsung NC10, which we found to be incredible upon reviewing, has gotten a new, cheap Special Edition offer that might just make the NC10 the greatest netbook ever.
The new deal offers you a 5900mAh 6-cell battery that supposedly will get you a glorious 9.4 hours of juice. The trackpad has also be increased, which is amazing news – in our recent review, we discovered that the trackpad was uncomfortably small:
“The touchpad, to contrast with the keyboard, is something of a dissapointment. It’s quite narrow vertically, which means that scrolling long pages is going to require a lot of movement that wouldn’t otherwise be necessary.”
Amazon has a special relationship with netbooks. Amazon’s recent holiday season was ultra-successful, in part due to sales of the Acer Aspire One. You can also find a mini-site on Amazon designed specifically for netbooks.
Aside from the boosted battery and trackpad, you get the standard NC10 package: a 10.2-inch LCD, Intel Atom N270 CPU, a 160 GB HDD, and 1 GB of RAM.
Anyone who says netbooks aren’t getting into the mainstream has lost all possible justification. Amazon, for whom the Acer Aspire One netbook made some serious cash this holiday season, has opened a new netbook section on their site. If that’s not proof of growing netbook popularity, what is?
The site has sub-sections for more info on Most Wanted, Bestselling, New Arrivals, Top Brands, and a few other relevant netbook-related categories. Their are also forumlike discussion sections around, so if you’re in the market for a netbook you’d best be checking those out.
Not eveything’s completed at the site. As Geek.com noted, a few of the netbook pages were non-functioning, so it looks like things are still being straightened out over there. Be sure to take a look!