We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Software Reviews
15,499 Reviews

Kindle for PC review (2012)

FREE

Manufacturer: Amazon

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Kindle for PC is a very capable, full-featured and free e-book reader with great extras.

When you hear the word 'Kindle', what's the first thing that comes to mind? For most people, this would be Amazon's smash hit e-book device, with its svelte looks and crisp e-ink display. But even if you don't want to shell out for a separate device, you can still enjoy many of the Kindle's benefits for no charge, thanks to Kindle for PC.

With its range of powerful, dedicated hardware devices, Amazon could almost be expected to neglect its Windows application. Instead, it has continued developing it, added compelling features, and made it into one of the best e-book reader applications available for Windows today. See also: Group test: what's the best e-reader?

When you first launch Kindle for PC, it prompts you to log on to your Amazon account. Once you do, your books are displayed with beautiful cover images. Double-click a book, and it instantly downloads to your computer.

Once on your computer, double-click the book again to start reading. If it is a book you bought on Amazon and started reading on another device, Kindle for PC will ask if you want to go to the last page you've read. It will also show any notes and highlights you've made in the book, even when reading it on another device, making for a seamless cross-device reading experience. See all: PC Advisor software downloads.

Much like with Kindle devices, you can opt to ready our book in one of several fonts and font sizes. You can also control the color scheme (black, white, or sepia background), and its brightness. This is a very helpful feature when reading in the dark--and combined with the application's full screen mode, it goes a long way towards reducing eyestrain from monitor glare.

Modern computer monitors tend to be wide, and lines can stretch on and on. While you can increase the margin size (much like with a physical Kindle), Kindle for PC also lets you reflow the text into two columns. This makes for a beautiful layout, almost reminiscent of a physical book spread out for reading.

Kindle for PC uses Shelfari to provide instant facts about the book you are currently reading. There is another feature Kindle for PC provides, which is something I can't do with my "real" Kindle 3 device. This is something called Shelfari Extras, and it provides instant context for the book you are currently reading. Shelfari is a community website owned by Amazon since August 2008. It is essentially a large catalog of books, where users are invited to tell the world about what they've read and fill in particular bits of information about every book, such as key characters, places, and even define special words used in the book.

With Kindle for PC, you can simply click the name of a character in the book, select More, and click Shelfari Extras. If it's a well-known book, a definition for that particular character will pop up ("John's brother, separated at birth"). This worked for the book I was testing Kindle for PC with, and frankly, it blew me away. It is a brilliant use of crowd-sourced information: The more people read the book and talk about it, the better the database gets.

Kindle for PC Expert Verdict »
Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

When all is said and done, Kindle for PC still runs on a PC. It can be a small notebook computer, but it's no physical Kindle. That is not necessarily bad, but it certainly makes for a different reading experience.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Amazon Kindle for Android review

    Amazon Kindle for Android

    Kindle for Android provides another way to access and read your purchased Amazon Kindle e-books, but it lacks key features.

  • Goodreads review

    Goodreads

    Goodreads is an independent online community for book lovers, with a powerful, Netflix-like recommendation engine helping you find new and interesting books to read.

  • Amazon Kindle 5 (2012) review

    Amazon Kindle 5 (2012)

    For less than £70, the new Kindle is Amazon's cheapest eReader yet. We take a closer look to see how it compares to last year's model. Here's our Amazon Kindle 5 review.

  • Amazon Kindle 2 review

    Amazon Kindle 2

    Critical design changes make the Amazon Kindle 2 more appealing than the preceding model - but while Amazon has succeeded in enhancing its e-book reader, it has done little to advance the device to the next stage.

  • Amazon Kindle for PC review

    Amazon Kindle for PC

    Reading books on computer displays may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Amazon Kindle for PC handles the basics of its job well.


IDG UK Sites

Motorola Moto G2 release date, price and specs: Best budget smartphone gets upgrades

IDG UK Sites

How to join Apple's OS X Beta Seed Program: Get OS X Yosemite on your Mac before public release

IDG UK Sites

Why the BBC iPlayer outage was caused by a DDoS attack: Topsy and Tim isn't *that* popular

IDG UK Sites

How to make an 'Apple iWatch' using an iPod nano and a 3D printer