So I recently bought a Nook, and several people have asked why I chose it in order to help them make a decision. I must admit – it wasn’t an easy decision to make. I was originally waiting to hear more about the Microsoft Courier but apparently that product got nixed. I considerd the iPad, but since my husband is probably going to get one eventually for his graphic novel and comic book reading pursuits – which I don’t really read a lot of – I decided to invest in a less expensive device that’s dedicated to reading books and uses e-ink technology. He and I could always temporarily switch devices if needed. Plus I already have an iPod Touch, and the Nook and Kindle 2 are less than half the price of the iPad.
So I narrowed it down to Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle 2. Here’s a table I made comparing the two:
|Display:||6″ diagonal E Ink display and 3.5″ LCD color touchscreen||6″ diagonal E Ink dsiplay|
|Reading a book on either device pretty much looks the same. However, Nook has a color touchscreen at the bottom for navigational purposes that also lets you see book covers (bought directly from Barnes & Noble only) in full color.|
|Size:||7.7″ x 4.9″||8″ x 5.3″|
|The Nook is slightly smaller. Not enough to make a noticeable difference, however.|
|Weight:||12.1 ounces||10.2 ounces|
|The Kindle 2 is slightly lighter. I’ve held both in my hands before – I didn’t feel a difference.|
|Internet Access:||Free wireless via AT&T; Wi-Fi, Free Wi-Fi in B&N stores; 3G only||Free international wireless via AT&T and WhisperNet|
|I don’t know much about Kindle’s WhisperNet, but I’m pretty cool with Wi-Fi and 3G. I don’t need it on this device much anyway except for buying new books and checking the news.|
|Storage:||2GB, expandable||2GB internal (1.4G for user content)|
|They both have around 2 gigabytes of memory, and can hold up to 1,500 books out of the box. However, the Nook’s memory is expandable (via microSD) whereas the Kindle 2 isn’t. That put Nook ahead for me.|
|Battery life:||10 days with wireless off. Removable,rechargable battery pack.||14 with wireless off (4 days with wireless on). Non-removeable rechargable battery pack.|
|Kindle 2’s battery is reported to provide up to 14 days of reading without needing to be recharged, whereas the Nook lasts about 10 days. While both have rechargeable battery packs, only the Nook’s is removeable and therefore replaceable without having to replace the entire unit. As someone who’s had plenty of issue with dying rechargable battery packs with other devices, this was a big plus for Nook for me.|
|Nook has a virtual keyboard that is displayed at the bottom half of the device in the color LCD touchscreen. Kindle has an actual textile keyboard built onto the device. Honestly, I prefer actual keys that I can feel (so I can type without looking at the letters) over a touchscreen keyboard, but it wasn’t an absolute deal-breaker.|
|Audio:||MP3 player, mono speaker, 3.5mm stereo audio jack||3.5mm stereo audio jack|
|Audio Books:||Supports Audiobooks, music/MP3s||Text to speech; Audible audios books supported|
|You can listen to MP3s and Audiobooks on both, which is nice. Yes, you can listen to music while you read a book. The one advantage Kindle 2 has in this area is its text-to-speech functionality which automatically reads certain ebooks to you. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on this too terribly though, as I prefer the professional done audiobooks to auto-generated readings anyway.|
|Formats Supported:||EPUB, PDB, PDF, Non DRM PDB, Audible, MP3||Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible, MP3, MOBI, PRC, PDF, HTML, DOC|
|Not compatible with:||Kindle (AZW)||ePub|
|Here’s the most critical yet most confusing area – book formats supported. The Nook supports EPUB, PDB, PDF. TXT and DOC. Kindle supports TXT, MOBI, PRC, PDF, HTML, DOC, as well as the Kindle’s own AZW format. You can’t shop on Amazon.com and buy Kindle books to read on the Nook, and you can’t read books bought from Barnes & Noble’s online store on a Kindle. That sucks either way you look at it, to me.Now the interesting thing is that I spend far more money on Amazon than I do at Barnes & Noble, but when specifically talking about books, I tend to buy a lot more books from Barnes & Noble because there’s a great B&N store less than 2 miles from my house.
So this was a tough choice for me. What finally gave Nook the advantage though was the fact that the Nook can read ePub files. I already had a lot of ePub books on my laptop. I had a few Kindle books too, but I can still read them on my PC or on my iPod Touch using the Kindle App. Really, it’s a toss up. I recommend you consider where you buy your books from most often.
|Store:||1,000,000 books at Barnes & Noble online store||400,000 books on Amazon.com|
|I can’t say that these numbers mean much to me. To be honest, there are still books I can find on Amazon.com that I can’t find on Barnes & Noble’s online store. Not enough that has caused me personally a lot of concern.For a while, the Kindle 2 was winning simply because it seemed that MORE of the specific books I look for are there. Sometimes books are cheaper on Amazon.com, but sometimes they’re cheaper at Barnes & Noble. I have a B&N Membership as well as a Amazon.com credit card, so I get lots of great discounts for both stores.
To tell you the truth though, I’m trying to make an effort to buy more books directly from publishers’ sites more often, to put a little bit more back into the pockets of publishers and authors. But since I hang out in brick and mortar Barnes & Noble A LOT, it makes sense for me to be able take advantage of the free access to full books while I’m I the store, so Nook has the advantage here. Only by a smidgeon, though.
|They’re the same price and both come with a standard 1-year warranty.|
|Charge Time:||3.5 hrs, includes charging via PC USB||4 hrs, includes charging via PC USB|
|Both can be charged either by being plugged into an outlet via an attachable adapter, or via your PC USB.|
|They both have okay web broswers on them – but I have yet to find a need to surf the net on my eReader. The dictionary is essential, though.|
|With the Nook, you can share some of your ebooks with friends for up to 2 weeks, using the LendMe technology. You can share your Nook books with people with other Nooks, Apple devices, Blackberry, PC or Mac, with the ability to share with Android and Windows Mobile devices soon. Kindle 2 doesn’t have anything like this.|
|Synching:||Apple devices, BlackBerry®, PC, Mac||Apple devices, PC, BlackBerry® and Mac|
|You have the ability to read the books you bought for either device on your Apple, BlackBerry, PC and Mac devices as well. On the Kindle 2 the last page you read on one device will be sychnronized on all other devices. Nook is coming out with this functionality soon.|
|Other Pros and Cons:|
|There are some other things to consider. The Nook allows you to read full books while you are in the store. Also, the Nook is an Andorid-based reader, which implies to me that it has a lot of capability for expanded functionality in the future. It already has Sudoku and Chess on it, which wasn’t really necessary but is a nice little bonus since I love both games.The Kindle 2 is a second generation device, which means it may be a little more polished and reportedly has higher speed performance than the Nook. The Nook has recently pushed free software upgrades to the device to try to improve its performance, but to my understanding there is still some ways to go. The Kindle 2 also has Wikipedia access and may be more popular than the Nook at this time.|
Overall, it was a very close tie between Nook and Kindle 2. I had a really, really hard time deciding, especially since I love to shop at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In the end, Nook won out because of the ability to replace the battery pack and upgrade memory, sharing abilities and it’s tie-in to the Barnes & Noble physical stores. The availability of games and support of the ePub format also helped me decide, but in all likelihood I might have been satisfied with either.
Got any questions for me?