E-Reader Showdown: Nook vs. Kindle 3

Jun 4 07:25 2011 Frank Wiley Print This Article

Many people are setting aside their books and picking up a reader's tablet instead. Two of the most popular reader's tablets are the Kindle, available through the online reatiler Amazon.com, and the Nook, produced by Barnes & Noble.

Many people are setting aside their books and picking up a reader's tablet instead. Two of the most popular reader's tablets are the Kindle,Guest Posting available through the online reatiler Amazon.com, and the Nook, produced by Barnes and Noble. Two important things to consider when purchasing a tablet is how much you are willing to spend and the ideal size of the device. The Apple iPad 2 and Motorola Xoom are tablet computers that provide users with most of the functions of a regular computer. These devices, however, come at a premium. The Xoom retails for about $600 while the iPad 2 is currently selling for about $800. Once you've decided that you don't need or want these more expensive tablets, you'll probably want to consider the Nook and Kindle, which are designed primarily for reading books and little else. They are, however, well very well suited for this purpose, and their size and display reflect this. They are a bit smaller than the iPad, allowing them to be carried effortlessly (unlike some novels), and their displays are black-and-white and non-reflective allowing them to be read in both darkness and bright sunlight with ease. In addition to price, the displays of the Nook and Kindle are perhaps the device's greatest advantage, as too much glare can cause eye strain and bright sunlight can make standard lcd and led displays difficult to read. The devices also cost hundreds of dollars less than tablet pcs.

On Amazon.com, the Kindle currently retails for $139 and comes with a 6 inch screen with high-contrast E-Ink technology. The device weighs about 8.5 ounces and the battery can last up to 2 months as long as the wireless connection is disabled. The Nook, sold at Barnes and Noble, as just recently seen a price drop to match the Kindle at $139. The Kindle sports a 6 inch touchscreen with E-Ink and weighs less than 8 ounces - only slightly less than the Kindle. Given the similarities between the two devices, it is important to consider the minor differences. While the Nook is touchscreen, the Kindle has buttons to navigate selections, etc. Whether you chose one or the other is really a matter of preference. In reviews of the two devices, users generally found both systems responsive and easy to use, though Kindle users will often say the button system is more intuitive and has a slightly faster reponse time. If you are looking for a color screen, the Nook Color (with a 7 inch screen) is available for $249. Be aware, however, that the color screen comes at a cost; the battery life is reduced to 8 hours, about the same as the iPad 2.

What about book selection? Both the Nook and the Kindle have access to a huge electronic library. At the moment, the Nook claims to have the largest pool of reading material with over 2 million titles available through Barnes and Noble. The Kindle has access to about 950,000 books and periodicals through Amazon.com. One very nice and often overlooked feature of both devices is "book lending" option, which allows users to share books for up to 14 days. This feature has been available on the Nook for some time, and has recently become available on the Kindle as well.

If you are looking for a device solely to read books, a Nook or Kindle-like book reader is probably the way to go. Both devices are fairly comparable in terms of features and capability, and largely comes down to aesthetic preference. We recommend you talk to current users and try both devices if possible. With prices continuing to fall, the Nook and Kindle book readers represent an affordable way to downsize your library and make reading much more portable.

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About Article Author

Frank Wiley
Frank Wiley

Frank J. Wiley is a senior editor at SciNet.cc, a website containing many helpful consumer electronics review articles. For more information on the Nook, Kindle and other tablet and reader products, please visit our Kindle vs. Nook webpage.

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