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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.