The Kindle Fire vs The Nook Tablet

Kindle Fire
Kindle Fire

The two giants of the e-reader industry have recently announced their contenders for the holiday season. Their designated champions, the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, are certainly leaner and meaner than any generation before them- but which is best? This article breaks down the various pros and cons for each, pitting the two against each other to see which portable reader is the better deal.

Selection

There's no point owning an e-reader if you can't buy your favorite books!

The Nook Tablet

Barnes and Noble's catalog is a close second to Amazon's, if not better, to the point that it may not really make a difference which store you go through. Barnes and Noble has made the leap into the digital market very competitively, and is more than capable of giving Amazon a run for their money. The Nook store claims to be the largest in the world, with over two and a half million books.

The Kindle Fire

Amazon has long led the way in e-book conversions. In fact, they now sell more electronic books than paperbacks! As such, they have a vast catalog of titles available for one-click downloading, with something like three million books at your fingertips.

There is also Amazon Prime's new library service, which allows you to 'check out' one ebook per month at no cost, which may be a great option for casual readers, or anyone looking to save a buck.

The two stores stack up pretty evenly against each other. I did a few random price matches and found no significant differences in ebook costs. So, as far as selection goes, there's not much to gain or lose either way.

Both tablets also support other media like music, videos, and games. Barnes and Noble relies on other providers for most of this, while Amazon draws from its own huge selection. For ease of use, the edge goes to Amazon but, again, the edge is so slight as to make little difference.

The Verdict: Tie

Size, Power, and Battery Life

The whole point of an e-reader is to provide easy access to your favorite books anywhere in the world. This means size is a huge feature. Consumers want a reader that is big enough to read comfortably, but small enough to carry in a bag. They also want a powerful computer running the reader for speed and storage capacity. So, which reader comes out ahead?

The Nook Tablet

The Nook Tablet is no slouch, either. While also having a 7" screen, the Nook comes in a skosh lighter at 14.1 oz. Where it really shines though, is its processing power. The Nook has 16 GB of storage AND SD capabilities, making it possible to store as many books as you please. The battery lasts up to 11.5 hours while reading, and 9 hours while watching video. The Tablet is fully internet-accessible with an easy to use and vibrant browser.

The Nook's screen is also a color multitouch, with over sixteen million colors and anti-glare technology meant to keep reading easy on the eyes.

The Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is a sleek, handsome machine coming in with a 7" display and 8 GB of memory. That's about 6000 ebooks, for you bookworms out there. Amazon also offers free cloud storage for content, meaning you can access a theoretically infinite amount of media wherever you have wi-fi access. The Kindle Fire weighs a feathery 14.6 oz, or less than a pound. The battery can last up to 8 hours while reading, or 7.5 while watching video. The Kindle Fire uses Amazon's Silk to browse the web, powered by Amazon's own web services cloud.

The Kindle Fire abandons the e-ink of previous Kindles in favor of a sturdy multi-touch, color screen that is thirty times harder than plastic.

The Nook Tablet seems to be the clear winner in this section. Packing more power into a smaller space, the Tablet excels in everything from battery life to storage capacity. While Amazon's alternative cloud storage is better than Barnes and Noble's SD plan, the ability to access those stored items without wi-fi gives the edge to the Nook.

The Verdict: Nook Tablet

Price

Finally, it's important to consider the price of each reader.

The Nook Tablet

Price: $249

The Kindle Fire

Price: $199

Includes

  • One free month of Amazon prime
  • Free cloud storage

This one is simple! The Kindle Fire is cheaper while offering a few more incentives to buy. Amazon is actually selling the Fire at a loss, they're so confident readers will be back for more. The Nook's extra power will cost you fifty dollars more than the Kindle.

The Verdict: Amazon Kindle

Conclusion

No matter which e-reader you eventually go with, you're sure to find yourself with a powerful library in the palm of your hand. Both companies have produced a marvel of technology, and both should be commended for their results. I can't wait to see both of them on the market, competing on the market. However, I personally believe Amazon's Kindle Fire is the better full package, and you can be sure it's going on my Christmas list this year.

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