Sunday, June 12, 2011

New Nook v.s. Amazon Kindle

Today I went to Barnes & Noble store and attracted with a Nook display. Coincidentally, I was also carrying my Kindle with me, so now I have a chance to compare it visually. First of all, the overall physical size of the new Nook is smaller than Kindle, because it has got rid of physical keyboard. Instead, a visual keyboard would be displayed whenever needed. As you might have known, this new Nook is now equipped with touch screen and I guess it is capacitive touch screen as it is very responsive. The screen area is actually about the same as Kindle's screen.

For the resolution, Kindle is tad better. This is based on my visual check by starring at each screen very closely (I got to remove my glasses to get better visual). Letters on Kindle are darker and smoother (but not much better), but Nook screen is whiter. Screen refresh rate (refresh between page) is faster on the Nook. Page buttons are located the same as Kindle (page-up and page-down are on left and right edge of the body). For the weight, I guess Kindle is slightly lighter on my hand, but it's hard to make a correct and accurate judgment without put them on scale.

Something interesting is the power life. Nook is apparently is the winner, at least according to the sales person. It can last up to 2 months with Wi-Fi turned off, while on Kindle is about a month. Price wise, Kindle is a bit cheaper, especially if we're OK with ads-supplied screen-saver version of it. On Amazon website, the ads-supported version is $114 (with no sales tax if we buy from California, and no shipping cost), while the Nook is $139 + sales tax. The web browser on Nook is better.

For the collection of books available, Amazon seems has little bit more selection, but B&N is catching up quickly too. A feature that's not available on Kindle is "Rent" and "Read in store", and this would make Nook very appealing for some users who want to borrow a book from friend or just want to read a book in B&N store (although not all e-books can be read or rented). I hope Amazon will match it with the similar offering. Nook is also EPUB-compatible reader, while Amazon's Kindle uses a proprietary format (Mobile-pocket-based MOBI format with DRM added). While many books can be converted with a tool such as Calibre (EPUB to MOBI and vice versa), others are nonconvertible.

Internally, they both are based on Linux, although Nook is Android-base. No surprise the Nook is faster because it uses more recent hardware, while Kindle has been a year old in the market. I think Amazon is preparing a next gen one. Just wait and see a couple of months as rumors say the will introduce the new one. The rumor also says Kindle might have a touch screen too (some people in the internet forum wish Amazon not to arm it with a touch screen. I don't understand what's the reason behind it yet).

Overall, I guess they tie in many comparisons. Only our preferences can tell which one to buy. If I haven't had Kindle, I might buy this new Nook because it's cute (very portable and almost fit in my shirt pocket) and has some features not available on Kindle.

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  1. I'm glad I found this review through the Google engine.

    I'm a husband, father of 3 boys (and another boy on the way), and a dentist. I have no time to hang out in the bookstore, but I love to read. So, I am looking at these devices, too. My research has basically come down to exactly what you've said here.

    At first, what had me sold on the Kindle was the apparently-better ebook selection of the Amazon store, but I've come to learn that the only real upper hand that Amazon has is in periodicals, not books. Since I am looking at books, I don't think there is a real advantage to either device.

    The big thing that concerns me is this: where will B&N BE in 10 years? I'd like to think the company is indestructible, but look at what's happening to Borders? They are filing for bankruptcy.

    Amazon has its interests pretty diversified (ie, they aren't totally dependent on book sales), so I think they will be around for a while. But even then, if they had problems, then you're in the same boat.

    The difference, to ME, is this: ePub. It is becoming the standard, and if something happens to B&N, I can download my ebooks and transfer them to another device. If something happens to Amazon, I have to keep my Kindle working, or else lose my whole library.

    Thanks for your review. I found it very helpful!

  2. Ditto on the time crunch. I get to read a few pages at a time if I'm lucky!
    Don't let the file extension be the final deciding factor for you. The file extension .epub and Mobi can just convert from one to the other and back again...with free software.
    My husband bought me a Kindle and I returned it and purchased a Nook Color. But...before he returned it I took the Kindle in to the BN and compared the Nook Color and the Kindle side by side. I felt like I had DOS in one hand and Windows in the other. With the speed of cell phones these days I find I have little patience for something that doesn't move as fast as I can touch it. Windows (the NOOK) won.
    Cover Slut: (admit it)
    Search feature and “CLICK” every time
    I had over a thousand books for the Kindle with in the first week and if I wanted to find a book, I had to scroll through them all to find it. Yes, it has a search feature but like it or not, we are attracted to covers, maybe not judging by them (okay sometimes judging) but we are attracted to covers. Also, I remembered books by their covers. The Kindle had me clicking through each title even if I wanted to see the cover. We are a Product of "faster, faster, faster" and Veruka Salt “I want it now.”
    Oh, and don’t forget night reading. Kindle = Book Light and Nook Color = Night time reading feature (inverse screen)
    Not an easy decision to make, for now I know I can’t have it all…E-ink, light weight, and night reading without a night light. (as far as I know)

    Good LUCK!