Home > Other, Tech > Kindle vs. the Nook vs. the Apple e-Reader?

Kindle vs. the Nook vs. the Apple e-Reader?

This Christmas was the Christmas of the e-reader. I had bought a Nook for my wife as a Christmas gift the first day it was available for pre-sale. Unbeknownst to me, my father-in-law bought a Kindle 2 for both of us. So now, we have the two big boys of the e-book devices I’m ignoring the Sony e-reader for the time being since it has a small market share.

The similarities between the two are as follows:

  • e-ink reading identical
  • both need light as neither have a backlight. The more light the better
  • built-in wireless and free 3G AT&T support
  • Ability to listen to MP3’s while reading
  • Downloads subscribed periodicals automatically
  • Sync across multiple reading devices to farthest point read
  • Direct purchasing from online stores
  • built in reference (dictionaries)
  • Small form factor and 6″ screen
The Barnes and Noble nook

The Barnes and Noble nook

There are differences, of course. The nook uses the colored touch screen as the menu and it takes a bit longer to figure out the menu tree than the Kindle. The book covers are displayed in full color. The Menu items are much richer than the Kindle. As an example, you can scroll through the menu items ala the iPhone. Yes, this is more aesthetic rather than functional points but, hey, it looks better and costs the same. Where it falls flat is the speed of loading items.

They resolved the issues with the pages, where users complained of a lag between one page and the next of about 2-3 seconds with the 1.1.1 update released on December 25th, BUT the lag manifests itself in the opening of a book. The lag is remarkable. Between 30 seconds to one minute to get to the book. It constantly says “Formatting” while waiting. This is in comparison to the 10-20 seconds for the Kindle.

Also (and this is personal preference) I like a real keyboard better than a touchscreen keyboard. I also like the small joystick/selection device on the Kindle (the little nubbin).

I really wanted to like the nook but, in my opinion, the Kindle still takes the crown for usability and efficiency.

Mockup of potential Apple Tablet.

Mockup of potential Apple Tablet.

There is also the potential of a new eReader entering the fray, one that cannot be ignored. Apple has recently, and secretively I might add, registered, through their European legal representatives, the domain “islate.com.” Sounds like the announcement that Apple is planning next week is related to a multi-funtion device. We have to wait and see.

Categories: Other, Tech
  1. Scott Hall
    January 13, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Ody,

    Question for you, since you are venturing forth into the world of eBooks and such. Do you have any concerns over DRM and/or being locked into one device because of the DRM?

    Personally, the whole DRM issue kept me away from purchasing mp3’s from vendors because of my fear that should the vendor go away, my purchase was locked and no longer usable/movable. That same concern, combined with my fondness of physical books will likely do the same for me and eReaders.

    Any who, here is a little piece on concerns around DRM’s with eReaders, in case you are interested. http://techdirt.com/articles/20091230/0956377548.shtml

    Thanks for the comparison!

  2. Ody
    January 13, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Yeah, I worry about that too after the infamous “1984” incident with the Kindle. But you and I know that we can overcome most DRM controls. Here’s a link to an article on gizmodo.com about just that idea (hacks).

    http://gizmodo.com/5201206/kindle-2-gets-pdf-and-epub-ebook-converter

  3. Jackie
    January 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    I like the review. I did decide to go with the Nook . I think the lag issues will be worked out. I love being able to see the book covers in full color.I love that barnes and nobel lets you purchase your ebooks with paypal.I love that they have an actual Brick and Mortar store. I also think it has alot of room for growth. I had the first kindle and I loved it but it only had wireless via whispernet by sprint and there was no wireless coverage here.I also Love the looks of the nook better.
    I love the idea of the “Tablet” and I know it will be a great gadget from apple but I am sure its going to be in a much higher price bracket .
    Of course I wont be able to actually handle the nook until Feb. 12th but I am looking forward to it.

  4. Scott Hall
    January 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Interesting. Thanks!

    Something else that I was unaware of, with the Nook at least, is that Google Books can be accessed. This is a wrinkle that I had not considered. I found out Via Penny Arcade, so I do not know the veracity of the information but that is a huge plus, in my opinion, for the Nook if Kindle does not support this as well.

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