Amazon Kindle versus Barnes and Noble Nook

I’m going to start out by warning you that will be a long post as I plan to cover everything I’ve known so far about both the Kindle & the Nook. I know of at least two people who have a Kindle & I have seen them. I have not yet laid eyes on a Nook.

Well I decided the other day to look at any updates there may have been for the Kindle as I have wanted one for over a year now. I was happy to see the following "Kindle Library Lending

Later this year, Kindle customers will be able to borrow Kindle books from more than 11,000 libraries in the United States through the new Kindle Library Lending feature.

When Kindle Library Lending is launched, you will be able to check out a Kindle book from your local library and start reading on any Kindle device or free Kindle app for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone. Kindle Library Lending will provide the same unique features as Kindle and Kindle books, including the ability to read on any Kindle or free Kindle app, Whispersync technology that synchronizes your notes, highlights and last page read, real page numbers, and more. After a library book expires, if you ever decide to check it out again or purchase it from Amazon, all of your annotations and bookmarks will be preserved.

You’ll be able to borrow Kindle library books from any of the more than 11,000 libraries that work with OverDrive, the leading provider of digital content solutions for libraries.

Availability of books and length of loan will vary by library. Kindle Library Lending will only available for U.S. customers at launch."

I guess now is as good a time as any to list the versions of both the Kindle & the Nook. I’ll start with the Kindle Kindle, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers, Kindle, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6" Display, Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, 6" Display (In either Graphite or White.), Kindle DX, Free 3G, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 9.7" Display. On to the versions of the Nook Barnes and Noble NOOK eBook Reader (Wi-Fi only) [ Black & White ], Barnes & Noble NOOK ebook reader (Wi-Fi + 3G)[B&W], Barnes & Noble NOOK Color eBook Tablet.

I’m not sure what Barnes and Noble mean by the "Borrowing" listed as only on the Nook color only means at See which Nook is right for you.

With that announcement I have dropped all consideration I had for a Nook as the only feature it had that the Kindle in a lower standing in my opinion is now gone. Since both devices are going to or already support the same network I don’t see that as being a major difference between them. If you want to find out if your library is participating you can do a search at OverDrive to either find books or if your Library participates. You can also check for a full list of devices that are supported at OverDrive’s Device Resource Center

There are a few other minor issues but none of them are deal breakers for me. Here in the order that I can think of differences between the Kindle & the Nook.

  • The Kindle does not have a user replaceable battery & the non-color Nooks do. The color Nook does not have a user replaceable battery. From what I’ve read the battery in the Kindle’s battery typically lasts for three years so not a deal breaker in my book.
  • The Kindle does not have any support for color while one version of the Nook does. The color screen means it has a backlight & will run the battery dead faster.
  • The Kindle can run for up to one month of reading while the Nook gets only 8 hours for the color & only 10 days for they grey scale. (All mentioned times are from the respective manufactures site & are with the wireless turned off.)
  • The Kindle does not have a port for expansion, the Nook can accept a microSD card of up to 16 GB for the non-color versions & the color version can accept a microSD card of up to 32 GB . But since Amazon says "Delete with abandon. We automatically keep an archival copy of your Kindle books-—re-download for free, anytime. We even back up your last page read and annotations, so when you re-download to the device you can pick up where you left off with all of your notes still in place." I don’t care as much about the lack of expandability on the Kindle.
  • The Kindle has 802.11 b/g for the wireless models. The Nook has 802.11 b/g on the non-color model, while the color nook has 802.11 b/g/n.
  • The Kindle uses buttons for the interface while the Nook uses either a small 3.5 inch color touch screen or a 7 inch touch screen in the case of the color Nook. Remember the color interface means it has back lighting which will eat up the battery life & will most likely have issues when trying to look at it outside.
  • The Kindle has 4 GB internal storage (approximately 3GB available for user content). The Nook has 8 GB for the color & 2 GB for the other versions (Actual formatted capacity may be less. Approximately 5GB available to store content, of which up to 4GB may be reserved for content purchased from the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store.).
  • The Kindle comes in 6 inch or 9.7 inch display sizes. The Nook comes in either 7 inch for the color or 6 inch for the other models.
  • The Kindle has "Free Access at AT&T Hotspots". While the Nook only has Free Wi-Fi® in all AT&T hotspots for the versions that are not color. Obviously the Nook also has Internet access at Barnes & Noble stores.
  • The Kindle can do Portrait & Landscape View on all currently sold models while only the Nook color has that feature. The non color nooks are Portrait only. (I don’t remember if the 1st generation Kindle had the landscape view option.)
  • The Kindle has the following dimensions 7.5" x 4.8" x 0.335" while the Kindle DX is 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38". The Nook is 7.7" x 4.9" x 0.50" for non color versions & 8.1" x 5.0" x 0.48". (Where " indicates inches.)
  • The Kindle is 8.5 oz. for the Wi-Fi only, 8.7 oz. for the Wi-Fi & 3G, & 18.9 oz. for the DX. The Nook is 11.6 oz. for the Wi-Fi only, 12.1 oz. for the Wi-Fi & 3G, & 15.8 oz. for the color Nook.
  • The Kindle has WebKit-based browser in the 3rd generation as well as the DX. Only the Nook color has any mention of having a web browser.
  • The Kindle has apps for the following devices Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Macintosh, Windows PC, & Windows Phone. The nook has apps for Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Macintosh (beta), & Windows PC. (Sorry Nook but I want a Windows Phone & I don’t like beta software either.)
  • The Kindle can read books to you I only see mention of the Nook color having this feature.
  • The Kindle has native support for
    • Documents: Kindle (.AZW, .AZW1). Text (.TXT), Unprotected Mobipocket (.MOBI, .PRC)
    • Audible: Audible (.AA, .AAX)
    • Music: MP3 (.MP3)
  • The Nook color has mention of support for other formats & they are Word, Excel and Powerpoint document support. I didn’t see any other formats listed for the Nook.
  • The Kindle does have support to convert the following formats over to the Kindle format.
    • Microsoft Word (.DOC)
    • HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
    • RTF (.RTF)
    • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
    • GIF (.GIF)
    • PNG (.PNG)
    • BMP (.BMP)
    • PDF (.PDF): (PDF support added to 2nd generation, 3rd generation, & DX devices.)
    • Microsoft Word (.DOCX) is supported in our experimental category.
  • The Kindle has two ways to send the converted documents to your computer either via email or through the USB cable. I assume the Nook can only do it through USB as I was not able to find any information on that subject. If you send it to your @free.kindle.com address it will be sent to your Kindle via Wi-Fi or if it is sent to your @kindle.com address it will send it to your Kindle via 3G & you will be charged according to the size of the document up to your per document limit. If the document exceeds the limit it will be sent to your @free.kindle.com address and a notification will be sent to your Kindle.
  • The Nook color has support for POP & IMAP in email, while the Kindle & other Nook models do not have that support. (I was not able to find an app that adds email support for the Kindle)
  • The Kindle has an app store with several free games along with some paid games & other apps. The Nook comes preloaded with Chess & Sudoku & only the Nook color can do crossword puzzles or download additional apps in the Nook store.

At the time I wrote this you can get the Kindle for $114 Wi-Fi with special offers, $139 Wi-Fi, $189 Wi-Fi & 3G, or $379 DX. While the Nook is listed as $149 Wi-Fi, $199 Wi-Fi & 3G, or $249 Color. (These prices are coming directly from amazon.com for the Kindle & from barnesandnoble.com for the Nook.)

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