Kindle vs Nook – the comparison

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There are many similarities and differences between the Kindle and Nook tablets. It’s a bit like comparing cars or other giant corporations who strive to be the best in their particular market. For example, comparing a Chevrolet and a Ford. Each has various features and benefits that make one more appealing to people than the other. It’s a matter of taste. But still, there are some significant differences making  one of them way more useful. Interested? Continue reading.

The Kindle is made by Amazon and was released in 2007. The Nook is made by Barnes & Noble and was released in 2009 as a competitor product. Let’s look at the similarities and then the differences between these two highly innovative product lines.

They both use the same processors, namely a 16 Hz TI Omap4 dual-core processor. Both are compatible with Wi-Fi and neither of them has a camera or GPS. They both vary in price depending on which product in the line you choose but the Kindle is usually cheaper. You can choose an LCD screen which is 7 inches, 169 pixels per inch and its screen resolution is 1024 x 600. The screens are scratch-resistant and have anti-glare properties.

You may decide to go with the E-ink screen which very closely resembles the pages of an actual book and it doesn’t generate any light. The pages won’t refresh as fast as the LCD pages. You can read it even when it’s bright outside, unlike the LCD screen. Most of the higher-priced, Amazon brand E-ink cases have a built-in light for inside reading.

There are many differences between the Kindle and the Nook ranges. The Nook’s battery is replaceable and the Kindle’s battery is integrated. The Kindle lacks the microSD slot that the Nook possesses. The Nook has the LendMe feature which the Kindle lacks.

Apart from the most basic Kindle which has a keyboard-only operation, all Nook and Kindle devices offer both a keyboard and a touch screen. However, the keyboards are different. The Nook has a touch screen keyboard while the Kindle has a small physical keyboard just below its screen.

The Kindle offers access to over 15,000 apps while the Nook currently has close to 1000 but is trying to boost its range of products to catch up. Kindle offers books for free while the Nook currently doesn’t. Perhaps this will change in the future. Amazon also offers movies and music which Barnes & Noble don’t offer as yet. However, they have joined forces with Netflix and other 3rd party vendors to help meet this growing demand from the public.

The Nook has 16 GB of storage space but only 1 GB is able to be used for material you haven’t purchased from Barnes and Noble. However, there’s a slot for memory cards so you can add another 16 GB that way. The Kindle has 8 GB of storage space and you can also use free cloud storage in the EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud). Battery life is generally better with the Nook at around 11 hours without having to use Wi-Fi. The Kindle lasts around 8 hours and its battery can be recharged in only 4-5 hours.

You can also load books onto the Nook from other sites such as Google Books. The Kindle can only be used for Amazon products. You can only download books from the US for the Nook at this point in time but there’s talk of it going international to try and match the Kindle. The Kindle lets you buy and download books from over 100 other countries as well. It’s essential that you check your country is on that list as there’s no point buying a Kindle if it’s not.

Because these two major manufacturers are in a constant battle for their share of the market, they’re always considering newer, more improved versions all the time. Both are considering including some forms of gaming on their devices which will improve their marketability.

You’ll need to decide whether you’re only going to use your device for reading or for Wi-Fi internet access as well. The latter means you’ll need to be near a Wi-Fi hotspot if you wish to access the net or download books. You don’t have to remain connected once they’re downloaded as they’re stored on the reader.

The wireless feature drains the battery life more rapidly from any device so you have to keep that in mind when using it. If you travel a lot, you may want to choose the 3G option because it uses the cell phone network to access the internet. It’s still only capable of downloading books, newspapers and magazines so don’t think you can just surf the net whenever you feel the urge.

3G is more expensive than Wi-Fi and it’s a prepaid service so you need to weigh up your options carefully before choosing your product and method of access. The Kindle Fire doesn’t have a 3G version because it relies on the “cloud” for the entertainment options such as online Amazon audio and video streaming.

When making your final decision about whether to buy a Kindle or a Nook, you have to weigh up all the pros and cons of both. While there are some similarities, there are lots more differences that have to be taken into account. One major factor has to be the types of formatting you can access through the reader.

The Nook is currently limited to only supporting PDFs, MP3s, EPUB and PDB files. On the other hand, the Kindle supports a wider range of files including: AZW (Kindle), PDFs, TXT, MOBI, DOC & HTML (through conversion), PRC, AA (, AAX and MP3 files. If you need access to lots of different formats, the Kindle is the better option. However, if you can convert files into PDF format, you can get either reader.

The final decision is up to you but I strongly suggest to choose Kindle because it’s the only eInk reader on the market which can receive documents wirelessly. As a result, you can send any web page, document to your Kindle and even subscribe to RSS feeds and receive their full-text contents without connecting the device to your computer! As you might guess, everything mentioned above can be done using SENDtoREADER – my web app delivering web pages and RSS feeds to its users’ Kindles. All you need to start using it – register on the site and install its bookmarklet. Once that’s done, try to send this post to your Kindle Reader. And don’t forget to visit Sendtoreaders’ subscriptions page and subscribe to the popular “The Economist – Print edition”, “Lifehacker” and other periodicals.

Conclusion: there’s sure to be more advances in technology made by both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Before buying products from either company, do your due diligence to ensure your product does what you need it to do before spending any money. Consider what your needs are now and what they may be in the future to avoid wasting money.