Comparing eBook Readers: Kindle vs Nook

27 November 2011

In this review we compare Amazon’s newest generation of Kindle eBook readers with the newest generation of Barnes and Noble eBook readers, the Nook. Models compared include the Amazon Kindle Touch, and Kindle Fire, versus the Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color, and Nook Tablet.  This review includes our quick-look Feature Comparison Chart; Editor’s Choice recommendations on the best product; and links to product information, discount pricing and customer reviews. For a more extensive look at the Kindle models, see our review: Comparing Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Fire eBook Readers

Kindle vs Nook Feature Comparison Chart:

- Kindle Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color, Nook Tablet

The Kindle Feature Comparison Chart below shows side-by-side comparisons of each feature so you can see which models have the features you want. Any feature that we especially like is highlighted in GREEN. Click on the chart for a larger image.

See the Editors Choice Notes after the comparison chart for product reviews, and links to  product information and customer reviews.

Kindle, Nook feature comparison, Kindle versus Nook, Kindle vs Nook, Kindle Touch, Kindle Fire, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color, Nook Tablet

(click for larger image)

Kindel and Nook Review

As you can see from the comparison chart above, both the Kindle and Nook eReaders are excellent designs, and very comparable in most respects; either family is a worthy choice. Your choice may depend most on if you already have a relationship with Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you have already purchased Kindle books from Amazon, then you get those free if you buy a Kindle through the same account. In otherwords, the Kindle title is associated with your account, not with a particular Kindle. As you upgrade to various new Kindles, your previous purchases can be downloaded to the new device. This is the same with Barnes and Noble.

Beyond that, the question is do you want a “reader” or more. If you are mostly reading books, the black and white display models (Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, and Nook Simple Touch) are more readable for books, especially in daylight. If you want a tablet that can do more browsing, streaming movies and multimedia, the color tablets will be better for you (Kindle Fire, Nook Color, and Nook Tablet). But that added functionality comes with increased price, heavier in the hand, and reduced battery time.

To get the lowest pricing for the Kindles, you’ll have to buy the ad-supported Special Offers versions. The ad-free versions cost $30 to $40 more, depending on which model you go for. The ads are minimal – they don’t appear in e-books; they only appear at the bottom of the home page and as screen savers when you turn your Kindle off.

In the table below, we provide brief reviews of the new Kindle and Nook models (Kindle Touch, Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Fire, Nook Simple Touch, Nook Color, and Nook Tablet), along with quick links to each model. Click on the links for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.


Kindle Touch

Wi-Fi 3G
The Kindle Touch comes in two models – Wi-Fi and 3G. The 3G model allows you to download books when you are away from a wi-fi network, in most countries. The Kindle Touch is very similar to the Nook Simple Touch. It mostly comes down to which brand – Amazon, or Barnes and Noble – do you use most.Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Unlike the Kindle Keyboard (see below), the Kindle Touch features a touchscreen display that allows you to tap unknown words to call up definitions in the dictionary, highlight sections of text to send to a friend, or search, shop and type with a virtual keyboard. Additionally, Amazon has included EasyReach, a feature that lets users hold Kindle Touch with either hand and still turn pages comfortably. It makes it easy to page forward by simply tapping on most of the screen area. Tapping in a narrow area near the left edge of the device turns to the previous page; and tapping on the top part of the screen brings up the toolbars for further options.

The Kindle Touch also offers X-Ray – a quick way to get more information about some aspects of the book like historical figures. Tap an idea or topic, and X-Ray will take you to Wikipedia and Shelfari to learn more.

 


NOOK Simple Touch


Comparable to the Kindle Touch, the Nook Simple Touch has slightly better readability thanks to “Best-Text” technology for sharper ultra-crisp fonts. It has twice the battery life of the Kindle Touch or Kindle Keyboard. It also has a MicroSD card, which expands storage up to 32GB. Barnes and Noble has more titles available – 2.5+ million book titles compared to Amazon having 1+ million titles.

Click on picture below for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Click on picture below for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

NOOK Simple Touch™ - 25% Faster, Longest Battery Life, Now Just $99 at BarnesandNoble.com!


Kindle Keyboard

Wi-Fi 3G
The Kindle Keyboard is similarly featured as the Kindle Touch, but replaces the multi-touch with a keyboard and side button page turning controls. If you find a keypad preferable to the multi-touch display touch key entry, then go with the Kindle Keyboard models. As with the Kindle Touch, The Kindle Keyboard comes in Wi-Fi and 3G versions. If you want a much bigger display, checkout the Kindle DX, which, in addition to the keyboard, has a 9.7″ E Ink display.None of the Barnes and Noble Nook family have keyboards. So if you want a keyboard, the these models are your best option.

Kindle Keyboard has a five-way controller for on-screen navigation, highlighting text or looking up words. For searching and note-taking, Kindle Keyboard uses the physical keyboard.

Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

 


NOOK Color


Comparable to the Kindle Fire, the Nook Color has slightly better readability and similar battery life, and similar price. Unlike the Kindle Fire, the Nook Color has a MicroSD card, which expands storage up to 32GB. Barnes and Noble has more titles available – 2.5+ million book titles compared to Amazon having 1+ million titles.

Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Click on picture below for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

NOOK Color™ - The Award Winning NOOK Color with Email, Web, and Apps - Now Just $199 at BarnesandNoble.com!


Kindle Fire

Wi-Fi
The Kindle Fire is Amazons first color display Kindle. Much lower cost than an Apple iPad, and comparable to the Nook Color, it features Amazon Silk technology for rapid web browsing, streaming video, full-page color magazine presentation. As with most color LCD displays, the Kindle Fire is reflective and can show glare if you are in a bright setting. The Kindle fire is also the heaviest of the Kindle eReaders. It comes in a Wi-Fi version only – no 3G available yet.

Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Click on pictures for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

 


NOOK Tablet


Comparable to the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet has slightly better readability. It has twice the storage of the Kindle Fire. It also has a MicroSD card, which expands storage up to 32GB. The Nook Tablet speaker is mono, compared to stereo on the Kindle Fire. Barnes and Noble has more titles available – 2.5+ million book titles compared to Amazon having 1+ million titles.

Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Click on picture below for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

Barnes&Noble.com


Kindle Cases

Kindle Touch Kindle Fire
There are many cases available to help protect your kindle. The two here are our favorites. The Kindle Touch case has a built-in light for reading in dark settings. The light provides even lighting across Kindle’s entire screen, and draws power from Kindle device. No batteries required. Both cases are made using premium leather – looks and feels great. The Kindle Fire case can act as a stand to hold the Kindle in horizontal or vertical position.

Click on pictures at right for detailed product information, pricing, and customer reviews.

 


Please leave a comment below and let us know what Kindle you are thinking about getting, what you get, and what you think about it. Also, If you have a product you would like us to review, let us know through our Suggestion Box.

Thanks!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

KatieD November 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

This is the first I had heard that you could download previously purchased books to your kindle for free! My Kindle Touch is scheduled to arrive today, so it is nice to know I’ll have a small built in library for free. Do you know if the device ships with these titles preloaded?

Reply

SimplifyMyChoices November 29, 2011 at 9:22 am

Hi Katie,

Sorry, we are referring to previously purchased Kindle titles. Once you purchase a Kindle version of the book, you can download it any time, for any Kindle that is registered to you, for all time. The title is retained in the Amazon cloud. You don’t need to keep it on a particular Kindle for fear of losing it. As you upgrade to new Kindles, the titles will still be available for free.

Reply

Sony User November 30, 2011 at 6:04 am

I own a Sony pocket-sized e-reader that is a couple of years old. I have purchased many titles and am concerned that if I upgrade to the Kindle I will not be able to transfer them. It is my understanding that they are compatible with the Nook
product(s). Is this correct?

Reply

SimplifyMyChoices November 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

Yes. The Nook supports ePub format, which is an open standard for ebooks, developed by Adobe.

Sony uses the “ePub” standard, so any reader that supports the ePub standard will read your Sony ePub titles. You will likely have an AdobeID, which allows up to 6 reading devices.

If you bought your book titles a while ago you may need to re-download them to make sure you have the ePub version of your books and not the lrf version. On your new Nook, when setting it up, Adobe Digital Editions and the nook must be activated using the same Adobe ID.

Reply

Sony User November 30, 2011 at 3:17 pm

The question then is if the Fire will support the format?

Reply

SimplifyMyChoices December 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Agreed. If it were me, I would have Amazon support ePub. It is in the customers best interest. But perhaps, as the largest book seller, they are trying to lock customers in to their proprietary standard. We’ll see. This is why competition can be good. Keeping the pressure on to do the right thing.

Reply

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Diane May 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Hi,
can you help me? I am either going to buy a nook tablet or Kindle fire. I want it for my daughter to read, watch movies, play games, etc. My question is which on will I be able to download the most free books from? I know if you are an amazon prime member you can download a free book a month…which device is a better value for getting free books? Also- which one has the most storage for non book related items? thanks!

Reply

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