Nook vs Kindle

Nook vs. Kindle

If you are in a quandary about which electronic reader to choose perhaps I can help you. Both I and my wife have owned an original Barnes and Noble Nook. We have also owned a Kindle 2 and a Kindle DX. We are avid readers as you might have guessed.

It goes without saying that when Amazon announced the release of the Kindle 3 we were one of the first couples to pre-order. We both ordered the wi-fi only and the wi-fi G3 model. For the reasons I have explained below we both prefer the Kindle to the Nook even though the Nook is a good device, particularly the Nook Color.

Screen Contrast

Amazon claims that the Kindle 3 has a 50% better contrast than any other e-ink device including their Kindle 2. Whether it is 50% better I don’t know but it is certainly much sharper than both the Kindle 2 and the Nook. With the Kindle 3 there won’t be a problem reading in a poorly lit room.

If like me you like to read before you sleep then using the Kindle 3 means that you don’t have to have a good strong reading light on and wake your partner like you have to when using the Nook or Kindle 2.


Speed

The Kindle 3 electronic reader compared to the Nook is very fast indeed. When using the page turn button the page refresh was much quicker than both the Kindle 2 and the Nook. Indeed the Kindle 2 is faster than the Nook anyway. However, the slow page refresh on the Nook does not seem to detract from the joy of reading a book and I didn’t find it at all annoying. The more important speed feature is the way that the devices are navigated. Kindle uses a 5 way rocker to move the curser around and the curser moves very fast. However on the Nook you have to activate the colour LCD Touch screen which sleeps when not in use to increase battery life. This is done with a virtual rocker device and you have to touch it to move the curser around however the curser moves around very sluggishly, which is to say the least quite frustrating.

The Nook has since had a software upgrade and it does respond much quicker however it is not as fast as the Kindle.

Battery

The Kindle 3 has a very long battery life. I’m getting 2 weeks of battery life with the wi-fi on and 3 weeks using the wi-fi half the time. The Kindle 2 has a battery life of around 10 days and the Nook has no more than 5 days of battery life. The colour LCD Touch screen is probably to blame for that.

Weight

The Kindle 3 is lighter than the Nook and you can feel the difference even though it’s only a few ounces. The Kindle 3 can be held in one hand in its case for a multi hour reading session with no fatigue problem at all. Try holding the Nook in its case for more than half an hour.

Where the Nook beats the Kindle 3

Customer service is easier with the Nook and its human because you can take your Nook into any Barnes and Noble store. Also while you’re there you can enjoy a cup of coffee whilst reading any book for free for up to half an hour. Sometimes, when in a Barnes and Noble store you get surprised with an in store special deal which might include a free book.

Eventually your battery is going to run dry and will lose its ability to retain a charge. The Nook’s battery is easily replaced and not an expensive item. However, when you need to change your Kindle 3 battery you have to ship the device to Amazon and they will ship the same model back to you but it won’t be the device you originally bought. If you are not happy with this there some outlets that sell Kindle batteries and a quick check on YouTube will find a ‘how to change a Kindle 3 battery’ video. Of course the Kindle 3 warranty will be broken however by the time you need to change the Kindle 3 battery the warranty will have expired anyway. 

ePub

Amazon does not use the ePub format it uses its own ebook format. This means that if you want to borrow an ebook from a library unlike the Nook you have to use a piece of software called Calibre which allows you to translate from one ebook format to another. The one disadvantage with this is that it doesn’t unlock copy protected ebooks. So you can’t buy an ebook for your Kindle 3 and then translate it to ePub to read it on your Nook.

Memory

The Kindle 3 has twice as much memory as the Nook at 4GB to the Nook’s 2 GB. However, the Nook’s memory can be upgraded to 16GB. You cannot expand the Kindle 3 memory but then you don’t have to as the 4GB is enough memory to hold over 200 books with ease and if the Kindle 3’s memory fills up you can always delete the books you have no intention of reading just yet and restore them for free at a later date.

ebook Lending

Both the Kindle 3 and the Nook support ebook lending where you can lend a book you have purchased to someone else who has the same device for up to 2 weeks.

The Nook Color

All the comments made about the Nook apply to the original Nook not the latest Nook model. The Nook Color seems to have moved away from a reader type device and uses an LCD screen rather than an e-ink one. It is more versatile than the Kindle 3 and can be used to browse the web, play games or watch a movie, but it’s not 3G and it’s heavy. You’re not going to hold this one in one hand. Unlike its predecessor it does not have a user replaceable battery either.  It seems to be more in the realm of an iPad or something like that and of course the price reflects this.

Summary

The Kindle 3 and the Nook each have their own advantages and disadvantages. I like the Nook's user replaceable battery, ePub format compatibility, and in store experience. But overall I would strongly recommend the Kindle 3 because it has a much better performance than the Nook and its high contrast screen makes books easier to read with less eye strain. Finally, it's smaller and lighter so it has portability and is more comfortable to hold in one hand for multi-hour reading sessions.

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Comments 7 comments

Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Aha, answers quite a few questions I had on the Nook vs Kindle subject. So hard to decide to buy one of these, they are changing every time you turn around it seems, each trying to outdo the other. Great topic.


one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 5 years ago from Olney Author

Glad I could be of help...thanks Frieda


billyaustindillon profile image

billyaustindillon 5 years ago

I keep looking at the kindle and nook and they are most impressive - especially for text books etc - I still love a good book or magazine but am slowly converting.


Patty 5 years ago

I download books from my library's website and various websites with free ePub books to my Nook. Epub with open DRM is fast becoming the standard format and Kindle is behind the times or simply being very greedy. For this reason alone, I would never get a Kindle. If they don't soon follow suit, their market share will no doubt fall.


one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 5 years ago from Olney Author

Thanks Patty..you are dead on....I addressed that as an advantage for the Nook I believe.


Susan 23 months ago

- Sasha,You SO deserve to be indelcud in this list of ICONS. You are a risk taker, a mover-shaker and do things your way staying true to yourself, your style, your core values. You push boundaries, challenge the status quo and that takes chutzpah to put yourself out there like that, knowing not only your product will face critics (good and bad) but yourself as an artist will as well. BUT, that is what ICONS do and we are grateful for them because, if we are smart, we pay attention and learn from ICONS on how to be better at being our best selves at what we do as well. Hope we can have another one of those amazing talks like we did at Catersource/ES real soon. Enjoy your presentation in NYC and I know you will be fabulous and inspiring as always. You certainly inspire ME!T.


Chuck 23 months ago

Supgirsinrly well-written and informative for a free online article.

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