Kindle Vs Nook: My Experience

Posted on January 14, 2010
Filed Under handhelds | 56 Comments

Nook and Kindle

Update: Since this post seems to have gotten a lot of traction and still gets hits and comments, I should point out that whether you choose the Kindle or the Nook, my new project Ebooks from TV is great for either!

I am blogging this from a Barnes and Noble cafe (specifically, the one at Market Commons in Myrtle Beach.) I meant to come in and do a final head to head comparison between my Kindle 2 and the new B&N Nook. I have previously done tests where I set the two of them side by side and done the same operations to get as close to a controlled test as possible. I can’t do that today because at the customer service desk where the Nook has been, there is now an empty anti-theft cable dangling. I’ll do what I can without the refresher. (Update: They put it back, and I did do another few minutes of fiddling and took this photo with my camera phone. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t show the screen differences well.)

As ground rules, because this kind of post is always a lightning rod for haters: I took the time to gather data and am posting dispassionately my first-hand experiences with both devices. Any comments of the form of “Device X sucks, you are stupid” will be summarily deleted. I brought data and science to the table, knee-jerk comments without them are valueless. I am very far from an Kindle fanboy and advocate. I did this comparison because one day my Kindle will die and if the Nook impresses me it could well be the next device. I did not approach this with a foregone conclusion and then gathered data to support my prejudice. My experience thus far is that talking to the very few Nook fans is a lot like arguing theology with a Branch Davidian. It doesn’t matter how much sense you make, the conversation is going the same way every time. Nook fans, rise up and be reasonable please. You have a stereotype to overcome, with me at least.

Now the results: When I first did this a week ago, every single operation on the Nook was slower. The opening of a book was very slow on the Nook (15-30 seconds), compared to less than a second on the Kindle. Turning pages in an already open book was slower on the Nook. I’d hit the button on both simultaneously, and the Kindle page would have been finished refreshing before the Nook started. Interestingly on the Nook, paging backwards was faster than paging forward. Both operations were slower than on the Kindle, but compared to itself, the Nook can page backwards more quickly.

Changing fonts between the two is radically different. In the Nook’s favor, it allows the choice of different fonts where on the Kindle there is no choice. In the downside, because of the increased complexity of the menuing and the very long refresh time of the book itself when you do change fonts, it is between 20 and 40 seconds between deciding to change fonts on the Nook and looking at the changed fonts. This is the same whether changing the font itself or just the size. On the Kindle 2, there is a dedicated button for the font menu. One can hit the button, use the 5-way controller to select a new font size, select it and looked at the refreshed page in about a second, two if slow. With the 2.3 software update, you can do the same for changing between portrait and landscape modes. I just timed myself and that was about 3 seconds total, which includes having to navigate a few rows down on the menu.

I’ll have to say that I find the menuing and the controls on the Nook pretty unsatisfying and significantly harder to use. The Nook is trying for a dive with a higher degree of difficulty here, it is true. However they aren’t executing on it. I found the touch screen very difficult to select the correct thing consistently, the swiping of the book covers to not work very well, and the menu structure organization to be convoluted. In March 2009 when I took my Kindle out of the box, it took maybe a minute to figure out every common operation and bit of navigation. I’ve spent half an hour over several trips fiddling with the Nook and still am not always certain where I should be navigating to. It completely perplexes me when at any list screen, such as the library management page (equivalent to the Kindle’s “Home” screen”) that one can only move up and down the list from the touch screen. The page up and down controls do nothing in that case. You are looking in one spot but the controls require you to manipulate from a different spot, one on a touch screen with a target narrow enough that me with my fat fingers must pay attention to exactly where I’m trying to click. It is not a good experience.

It felt this way from isolated tests, but setting the two devices makes it clear that the Nook has better contrast on the screen. The “print” is darker and the background is lighter. That is the one aspect that I think is clearly in its favor. The devices are of very similar weight and dimensions. The Nook is slightly shorter, and barely thicker. I think for most real users, you wouldn’t notice any difference in size or heft. For myself who occasionally likes to Tweet from the device (having no iPhone and using my Kindle as my own ubiquitous connection) the keyboard is awesome and even if the Nook adds a web browser then it will be a soft keyboard at best to type in URLs, which seems like it would be a drag.

In the final analysis, I’d recommend against buying the Nook 1.0. This is not a final, durable recommendation. I didn’t buy a Kindle 1.0 or any other Gadget 1.0 either. I find it best to let other people break in the worst problems and I’ll swoop in later when those are fixed. For the identical money and with the differences in usability, I don’t think $259 today is a good investment for a Nook 1.0. The good thing for Nook users is that most of my problems with the device are potentially fixable in software (B&N demo I used had 1.1.0 version on it.) Just like the Kindle’s 2.3.0 update made the device significantly better, a future software update could make the Nook much better. If I were an undecided consumer, I’d make B&N fix it before I gave them my money.

Let me finish with one point beyond the head to head comparison. A lot of talk is floating around with the possibility of an Apple iTable or future apps going on the Nook because of the Android operating system. One thing that gets lost in all this talk is that I consider it a strength not a failing of the Kindle and Sony Reader and Nook that they are not general purpose devices. Even with the web browser on the Kindle, this whole thing only really does one thing well, and that’s display text for you to read. It’s about sitting down and reading. You can tweet or check email in a pinch, but it will never be your first choice to do it on the Kindle the way you would on a laptop or iPhone/Blackberry. It’s possible but not fun. What it is best at is being a device you can sit down with on a couch or a beach or the middle seat of an airplane and read. And read and read. I have enough reading material on mine today that I could read for 2 solid months before I exhausted it, and there is still 1.1 Gigabyte free. A tablet, or adding more apps on these devices is the wrong direction in my life. I say I’m a reader and that I enjoy reading, but if you look at my actions the last 10 years I don’t actually read for pleasure that much anymore. Haivng a device that enables reading but doesn’t enable much else is a plus for me, and being an e-ink version of a laptop or an iPhone isn’t good for my particular needs. Milage varies, but for what is important to me today, that’s it.

Final score: I prefer the Kindle 2, but I’d love it to have the better contrast of the Nook. The Nook has a lot of potential but I’d seriously recommend that at the very least, you make the software get better before you give B&N $259 of your dollars.

Update: Since this post seems to have gotten a lot of traction and still gets hits and comments, I should point out that whether you choose the Kindle or the Nook, my new project Ebooks from TV is great for either!

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Comments

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56 Responses to “Kindle Vs Nook: My Experience”

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  1. Andrys on January 14th, 2010 7:32 pm

    I’ve never seen a review before with which I agreed on every single point, pro and con. For one thing, I value the ability to use the Kindle web browser for lookups while out on the street but, as you say, it is not fun! But it’s been really helpful.

    And you say it all with panache too. Really enjoy your writing.

    – Andrys

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  3. The Kindle vs. the Nook | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home on January 15th, 2010 9:05 am

    [...] Evil Genius compared the two and found that the Nook was much slower in various ways ranging from opening a book to page [...]

  4. Comment Permalink
  5. Matti on January 15th, 2010 10:27 am

    Received a Nook for Christmas, and have to say that your assessment is fair. It’s an appealing device physically, but the touchscreen control software is whack — so far. My consolation is that it all can be fixed via firmware, and I’m hoping updates are on the way.

  6. Comment Permalink
  7. nookverse | Kindle Vs. nook at Evil Genius on January 15th, 2010 11:30 am

    [...] Vs. nook at Evil Genius Beth wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 11:30:46 AM Evil Genius talks Kindle Vs. nook and opts to go with Kindle for the moment due to nook’s sloooooooowneeeeessss. EG does like [...]

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  9. Steve on January 15th, 2010 11:58 am

    Does the Kindle you used for comparison have a font hack on it letting you use a darker font or is the comparison against a standard Kindle with the grey fonts?

  10. Comment Permalink
  11. Friday Link Love 1/15 | Brad’s Reader on January 15th, 2010 12:35 pm

    [...] Kindle Vs. Nook: My Experience [...]

  12. Comment Permalink
  13. dave on January 15th, 2010 1:15 pm

    Andrys, When I’m at a SF convention where I want to use Twitter to find out where parties are at but don’t want to be glued to the screen, it is perfect. Thanks for the kind words.

    Matti, I think the hardware is really nice although I’m less smitten with the touch screen than many seem to be. If the Nook team gets a software update out there that makes the device more responsive, I’m happy to amend my opinion.

    Steve, This is default Kindle. I had some hacks on at one point but took them off so that they didn’t prevent the automatic updating. I might reapply them, or better yet Amazon could fix this themselves so that I don’t have to fiddle with something they should make right.

    This post has gotten more traction than any in a while. This is almost like the days before Twitter/Friendfeed/et al when I used to blog regularly!

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  15. Ash on January 15th, 2010 5:59 pm

    I’m a nook owner and I’m really pleased with it. I’ve never used a kindle, but I’m puzzled by the importance people seem to place on the speed of page turns. The nook seems to turn at a perfectly acceptable speed – at least as fast as physically turning a page. The great strength of the nook over the kindle is its ability to display ePub books, which has allowed me to buy books from three different outlets, including one overseas. As I understand it, the kindle is tied into Amazon and Amazon only.

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  17. dave on January 15th, 2010 6:29 pm

    Ash, your understanding is incorrect. I use Calibre which lets me download ePub books and will convert them and even place them directly on my Kindle for me. I have books on my Kindle from numerous different outlets.

    http://evilgeniuschronicles.org/2010/01/05/kindle-tools-i-am-using/

    If it doesn’t bother you, that’s great. Every operation I performed on the Nook was slower than the Kindle (or Sony Reader for that matter). It gave the whole thing a sluggish feel that bummed me out.

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  19. Andrys on January 15th, 2010 8:22 pm

    Ash and Dave,
    Yes, it’s like having to operate a remote control and then waiting for it to take effect on something in the distance. Even typing on the virtual keyboard, it takes a second for the character to show up on the screen which is a bit disconcerting, but only if you’re used to more immediate response.

    The Nook is okay if you haven’t used an e-reader where the steps are direct and the results almost instantaneous. I say all this despite finding the Nook better looking and very pleasant all in all, except for trying to operate it with am alien but colorful, sorta, external controller that’s built in :-) Dictionary and highlighting methods or not finding the notes once you’ve put them in can be painful.

    The nook added 1.11 firmware and that made things worse after a decent 1.10 and I think it’s a good sign that they’ve not announced a new firmware fix until they have had time to test it.

    And people should remember that the Nook has a 14- (rather than 30-) day return policy.

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  21. Dan on January 15th, 2010 10:19 pm

    Those who value the ability to look up words instantaneously while reading e-books will want to know that the Kindle’s dictionary feature is currently vastly superior to the Nook’s. I was stunned to discover how limited and difficult to use the Nook’s dictionary feature is. The dictionary on the Nook is difficult to find, it cannot handle inflected word forms, and it provides no way to search for entries directly (through text input or navigation to nearby entries as opposed to selection of on-screen text). This is a serious limitation in my view, and I would strongly urge anyone who would use the dictionary to consider this before buying.

  22. Comment Permalink
  23. Grand Strand Bloggers » Blog Archive » Grand Strand Blog Roundup for 01/16/10 on January 16th, 2010 6:44 am

    [...] Evil Genius Chronicles: Kindle Vs Nook: My Experience [...]

  24. Comment Permalink
  25. eca on January 17th, 2010 10:49 am

    i bought my husband the kindle after going through a lengthy review process of both kindle and nook devices.

    he reads slower than me. i read really fast. he reads more often than i do and he reads a wider range of books. he looks up stuff on wiki all the time while reading (partly because of what he reads). he will also travel much more for his job than i will.

    we did do a comparison of random books and found more books available on amazon than on barnes and noble (essence of decision being one example)

    on the kindle, the menu controls are VERY intuitive and very easy to use. you do not need a manual to jump right in and start using the device. also, it’s very slim, making it easier to transport. the dictionary is great. i love the ability to just start typing in a word and look it up and it pops up on the bottom of the screen (you can go to a whole page entry if you want by clicking the “more” symbol).

    one positive of the kindle is you can actually turn it off and your bookmarks, notes, highlights, etc are not lost. if you turn of your nook, you lose everything. Why is this an issue? If you travel, go to a hospital, or anywhere they ask you to shut off your device, you have to shut it off. Not sleep, not airplane mode, shut it off. He would hate to be on an airplane, reading, bookmarked, and then lose everything b/c he had to shut off the device for a few minutes.

    Also, the load time between the On2Off of the Kindle is LIGHT YEARS faster than the nook.

    on the nook, which i played with 011610… the 1.1.1 update did make the machine much faster than the original nook firmware, but it was still slower than the kindle. the page turn buttons were much firmer (which i did not like). the touch screen was nice, but very slow. even the lady helping us seemed embarrassed that she’d push a button and nothing would happen. then said “you have to push it the right way” … it’s a touch screen… it should work if you touch the screen.

    the size of the touchscreen is VERY limiting, which is why i think people are having a hard time navigating through it. if you do not mind spending some time to look up words, make notes, highlight, etc – then that’s fine. not all people would (i wouldn’t, my husband would). but it takes a significant amount of time to do things and then go back to the book.

    honestly – if you’re an avid and INVOLVED reader, i say go for the kindle. it provides the best “real book” experience right now. it’s instantaneous. and the toggle moves just as fast as you do.

    if you like to read, like shiny new toys (like people who get an iphone and use it to 20-50% of it’s capability) – then the nook is for you. i LOVE the nook because it’s pretty, the accessories are pretty, and it has customizable screen savers, text styles, etc (i don’t want to buy a device to hack it-kindle or nook) but as far as using it to read books, it makes me so sad. it has so many issues. :( it’s so slow. i can’t justify getting this other than “it’s pretty” – but it’s pretty enough to make me hesitate LOL buying anything.

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  27. eca on January 17th, 2010 10:52 am

    oh i forgot to add… i looked up words on the dictionary on the nook ( in little women on the demo they had) and it could not find contentedly, lecture, or happy. It did find tree though.

    the kindle automatically looks up words on it’s tiny pop up on the screen as you toggle through, which i thought was annoying at first (i felt like “hey ,why are you doing that, i didn’t tell you to look anything up”) but it was super fast and only does it when you toggle. then bam, back to reading.

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  29. I has a nook! | (Semi) Intellectual Blathering on January 25th, 2010 12:51 pm

    [...] Kindle Vs Nook: My Experience (evilgeniuschronicles.org) [...]

  30. Comment Permalink
  31. Ron on February 3rd, 2010 12:41 pm

    Great article – really. I’ve read a lot of them. Probably more than is justified given the relatively low cost of the purchase (it’s not a car – LOL). But I enjoy it and being impartial get a kick out of Nook & Kindle fan-boys a la PC v Mac. I just don’t get why people can’t enjoy something and think something else is okay for others too. I us a Mac and have for years, but by no means hate PCs, and in fact consider myself fluent in that world too.

    I perhaps am uniquely qualified to comment here though as I received both a Kindle 2 and Nook for Christmas. LOL I got to play with both side to side after the Nooks 1.1.1 update. I found the Kindle’s software and general OS (if you can call it that) more polished and responsive. But the Nook “felt” better and seemed to have more potential. Plus I just don’t understand why the Kindle doesn’t have expandable memory or a replaceable battery?!

    I wouldn’t need expandable memory if it was just for Amazon books thanks to archiving. But for music, for viewing webpages, and especially now that Amazon is releasing apps for the Kindle (perhaps an email client, a planner/calendar, and more) doesn’t that beg for more than just 1.5 GB of usable local storage?

    Still, the nook has expandable memory and a more open OS, yet B&N hasn’t announced any plans to offer apps or additional features let alone expanding their agreement with AT&T to include internet access, which I understand is locked out via the SIM, not just as a result of no browser. So it’s expandable memory is less needed.

    In the end, I returned them both :( I’d love to see a K3 address some of the hardware limits or a Nook address the internet access and software limits. Until then, I’ll wait what may only be weeks or months for the best of both in one device. No, I don’t think that is an iPad for at $630 (with 3G) at the low end plus $30/mo for data and a backlight only screen with no reading preference setting or ability to use MS Office as a MacBook can.

    Keep your fingers crossed for new and improved versions on the near horizon! Were I a betting man, I’d bet a Kindle 3 will be superior to an updated Nook.

    Live long and prosper friends!

    PS – One feature that REALLY bugged me about Kindle – no prices in list view on search results!?! Really!? That’s the main (maybe only) UI related que they could take from B&N.

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  33. Jennifer on March 12th, 2010 10:59 pm

    I really appreciate this review and the comments afterward. Until today, I was pretty convinced I was going to buy a Nook because of the replaceable battery and expandable memory. Then I went to B&N and played with the demo.
    I was really disheartened by what I thought of as an unresponsive touch screen, the lag was pretty noticable. I’m quick with gadgets but I had a hard time figuring out how to navigate – and again, the lag bugged me. I was still thinking I’d buy it but they had no covers in the store. (does this make ANY sense at all)? I absolutely refuse to carry one without a cover, I know myself. I’ll throw it in my purse and get on an airplane and it’ll get all scratched up the very first day. So, I decided to wait.
    I got to touch a Kindle-gen 1 a couple weeks ago and the response seemed much quicker, but I held it for less than 5 minutes so my memory is a little foggy.
    Now I’m back on the fence and have no idea which one to buy. I’m pretty sure whichever I end up with will make me happy and I sure can’t figure out why I’m spending so much time trying to figure out which one.

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  35. Lisa on March 30th, 2010 11:46 pm

    Have you put any of your personal documents on your Kindle? Word Docs? PDF files?

    I’m curious about how well that works…

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  37. susan on April 12th, 2010 11:12 pm

    I am living out of the country and get to the U.S. about every six months. Have there been any improvements to the Nook that would cause you to change some of your comments? I want to get an ereader the next time I am in the U.S. and am waffling between the Nook and the Kindle. I am technologically disabled so I need something that can be easily used. In addition, is there a way to get books from B&N when one is outside of the country?

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  39. Kathryn Levingston on April 16th, 2010 9:28 pm

    Susan,

    I am trying to decide which e-reader to buy right now as well, and that is how i stumbled across this article. I was reading the comments when i saw yours, and decided to answer a few of your questions about the nook. They have made a software update, but if it fixed anything that was a huge problem, i don’t know, as i don’t own one. I also wanted to tell you that, no, you can’t buy ebooks internationally. I hope this helped!

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  41. Tiffanyanne Sawyer on April 25th, 2010 2:01 pm

    I am on the fence about which reader to buy, but if there is one thing I can tell you it is this.

    A reader is a reader.
    A multimedia device is a multimedia device.

    I bought a net book with the thought I could use the kindle for pc app and a netbook would do so much more. I love my netbook it is one of my favorite toys but I hate to read on it. Glare, boot up time, backlit screen, and I tend to walk around with a book, not with my netbook.

    Oh and a 3 to 5 hour battery time? no way
    get a reader

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  43. Heather on April 29th, 2010 10:25 am

    I also just found this article as i too am on the fence about the kindle/nook.

    I have heard loves from both sides and do know there was a nook update as well as a kindle update coming…

    so does anyone have any thoughts? do you get discounts on books you buy from the nook if you have a BN card? is the kindle really better?

    oh the thoughts one has to have about this !! too funny !!!
    Well to all of us on the fence…i hope we decide soon (or a family member just buys us one!)

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  45. Kelly on May 1st, 2010 10:20 pm

    I found this review very helpful. I was originally leaning towards the Nook, then I saw all these negative reviews, but I wasn’t sure if they were unbiased. Now that I read your review, I feel I can make a good decision. Kindle 2 in my pick.

    Thank you!

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  47. Mary on May 2nd, 2010 4:00 pm

    Susan, Yes you can buy ebooks internationally. It depends on which country you are in though. The Kindle 2 is actually US and International. The cost of books are a little more expensive as you have to pay a fee since you don’t reside in the states. What that fee is I don’t know. I’ve been looking into buying a ereader a months now. Just haven’t decided on which one. I think I am leaning towards the Amazon Kindle since it has more of a battery life and less issues. But the Kindle also is on it’s second generation. I am hoping that the Barnes and Noble Nook will come out with a new generation soon because I think that I would like that more than the Kindle once it is updated. I just don’t know. I do know that I want something that I can read a book on, not something that I can check my email, go to facebook, etc. I have computers and various other equipment for that. Time will only tell though.

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  49. Laura on May 4th, 2010 8:25 pm

    I have a nook and when I first bought it, it was in it’s first version of firmware. Now I have updated and many of the problems mentioned above have gone away. It’s slow rate of turning pages, the blinking, the freezing…all gone. The navigation buttons do take about a day to get used to, but once you do the touch is great. The slow drag on the covers has been fixed too. I find the screen is clearer on nook than Kindle and love the fact it supports more than one file format. I can even change amazon’s books into the nook format if I want (through a different website, but it is easy). I am so much happier now that the new update came out. I also love the games feature too.

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  51. Robyn on May 7th, 2010 2:08 pm

    According to some of the customer reviews on Amazon, K2 owners were not able to transfer their newspapers and periodicals from the Kindle 1. There were also complaints that the audible function had been taken off the K2. There are various other problems noted on the Amazon K2 page by reviewers; see 1 star.
    I’m trying to decide between the nook, K2 and the bebook neo. Would love to hear of your experience on any of those topics.

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  53. Robyn on May 7th, 2010 3:17 pm

    This is part of a comment from a customer reviewer:”I bought two books by George Orwell in December for my Kindle 2. Two days ago Amazon removed them from my Kindle and gave me a refund. I did not want a refund, I wanted the content I had already purchased. I called and talked with Amazon customer support and was told, in a nutshell, “tough”. Amazon says it is out of their hands because of a dispute with the publisher.”
    Is it true?

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  55. John on May 10th, 2010 11:05 am

    I would love to see another comparison of the nook after the latest firmware upgrade of v1.3

    On my nook page turning is much faster, not that it really bothered me before but it is faster.
    One of the biggest difference I found which other people complained about in the past is the responsivenes of the touch screen. Just a light touch now is all you need. It’ really really nice.

    Webbrowser is Ok, I found both the Kindle and the nooks webbrowser to be rather cumbersome and takes a learning curve. The nooks color screen gives it an edge of the kindle.

    With the bugs hashed out and preformance enhanced. and having been around both for quite awhile. To me it’s a no brainer. As of right now the Nook is the superior e-reader. The Kindle does not support e-pub. If you buy books from other stores besides the Kindle you do have to convert them. And any old files you own you have to to send them via email to Amazon to have them convert them for you for a fee. It’s a page out of the old Apple ipod/itunes.

    The nook does support e-pub, that is huge its a drag and drop, less a hassle for the average person.

    The fact you can to your local B&N and hook up to their wi fi and read any book is a ver nice feature. It really had it’s customers in mind.
    Also the fact you can go to any Barnes and noble for any issues. No mailing it back. Face to face service is another nice feature,
    Free Fridays on the Daily as well.

    With the new firmare update and it’s better performance the nook is the better e-reader bar non. A few months ago, the Kindle, sure, but now, The kindle’s navigation, look and basically usesless keyboard along with it’s tie in to Kindle’s format (again a page out of iTunes) no expandable memorary, no color,

    Im sorry as of right now the Nook really is head and shoulders above the Kindle.

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  57. Christiana on May 16th, 2010 6:11 pm

    Regarding international purchasing of digital content – a B & N technical support chap confirmed it is not possible on a Nook if you a using an IP address outside North America. If you have purchased it prior to leaving North America, you can donwload internationally; but if you later decide you want to buy something, say when on vacation – that’s not possible, so . . tough. The B & N guy confirmed that Amazon have got the international rights/agreements sorted, so with Kindle 2 you can puchase and download anywhere, with a small additional charge if you are outside North America. B & N have yet to address that issue.

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  59. BeckyT on May 31st, 2010 3:44 pm

    After oggling over a Nook while on a plane departing for vacation that a fellow passenger had, I decided to make the leap and get an e-reader. The Librarian in me detests paying for books but the ability of the Nook to read ePub sold me. The 1.3 version of software was available shortly after purchase and I can say that the downsides mentioned in the original review back in January 10 are completely gone. The books load in seconds (even Seabiscuit which is over 900 pages), the pages turn faster than I could turn them by hand, and the touch screen while clunky at first is a breeze once you get the hang of it. I’ve never used a Kindle or played with one (there are no stores to go see) but I did do some hands-on shopping at a B&N store before buying the Nook. It fits nicely in my purse and goes with me everywhere. I can load my music on it too (not iTunes). On the downside, the Nook isn’t really for books with a lot of images like children’s books. The images load quickly, but can’t be seen very well. The Nook is better for adult reading.

    My only beef with the Nook is that it does not require the use of a PIN to purchase a download. So if I leave it laying in the airport anyone who picks it up can download all they want before I have an opportunity to fix it. B&N’s method is to have you change your password on your account without un-registering your Nook – that will disable the Nook. Well that’s a day-late and a dollar-short by then. I do not understand what could be so difficult to require a 4 digit PIN to confirm a download. I’ve sent several messages to their customer service and have only received dismal canned responses or an email reply asking me if I’m having trouble with my password. Infuriating. So I put a limited credit card on the account to lessen any damage should I lose my Nook.

    In all, I’m very pleased with it and have let all my family and friends know that a B&N gift card is just the ticket for future gift-giving for me.

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  61. edward lehmann on June 4th, 2010 11:51 am

    I appreciate your insite on the two devices. For me I no longer have space for books in home, so an e reader is the next best choice. I have looked at the ipad, but I am not an apple fan. Yes perhaps one in a few that is not a fan of there products. I just tried the nook in a bn store and you are right on with some of the slowness, but for me a four second lag is not a big deal.

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  63. britt on June 13th, 2010 1:49 pm

    i agree with you edward the ability to lend/ get a book from a library is a great idea and improvement from the kindle but the free internet and also the wider range of books is a great idea. i still dont know witch one to get.

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  65. Jett on June 16th, 2010 8:43 am

    Your statement that the Nook has better contrast on the screen pretty much says it all. Reading is what I do with it, so the best screen is the best device.

    However, in the past month I have tried to buy several books for my Nook that were not available via Barnes and Noble eBooks. Those same books were available for Kindle. What good is the better screen if I can’t get the books I want?

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  67. Mark Chakwin on June 17th, 2010 2:00 am

    Hi
    I bought a Nook –used it and I think it generally delivers well. The clarity of the screen is exactly what this reviewer says — very good.

    The Nook’s navigation is a bit tricky, & took a day or so to master, but now I frankly don’t even notice zipping into the documents, or books or wifi or settings.

    I am two touches from font changes, so that Kindle switch does not seem so keen.

    The battery life in heavy use (maybe four hours of reading a day, wifi on about 30% of the time) is only about four (4) days, the next six days I used it less and it seems to hold charge better, But I do have gripes –and I may return my Nook because of them.

    #1. limited selection of newspapers and magazines. Kindle has at least double, maybe triple the choices for newspapers and magazines. Especially foreign editions –Nook is lacking. Of course who can read more than one or two papers a day and magazines a week, but you want the widest possible choice of content and for periodicals that you will read, and B&N and nook are not up to Kindle. (THIS surprised me –but check it out between the two sites, there are some common titles, and then Kindle has some strange stuff, but it also has more foreign titles and just more –both magazines and newspapers).

    #2. The newspaper feeds right now don’t work. As I type this on 16 June 10, I have not received my daily edition of the International Herald Tribune for three days –I call the very friendly help desk several times and they can only tell me that they have server problems and “tomorrow it will be fixed.” . . This is the second tomorrow that it has not been fixed. (oddly enough you can still buy books from BN now without a problem. . only the mag/news content and my online account are dead in the water..”until tomorrow.”

    #3. the complementary reader is not so hot. By this I mean the reader you might want to down load to your PC to read your content when you are supposed to be working ;-) or when you’re on your PC/MAC. I downloaded the BN ereader so I could read my Nook content on my MAC when I happened to be using it instead of the Nook. I was very disappointed at the austere, barebones, limited simple ebook reader that was provided –perhaps the PC/windows version is better (and I have read some announcements that say the IPAD version is very good), BUt the MAC Ereader for BN/nook is not so good. Frankly, it is diappointing. Oddly enough, I already downloaded (and used) the Kindle (reader) for MAC and it is tremendous. I think it is slick and works very nicely (but you can’t get periodicals -those are reserved for kindle ;-( But it almost makes me want to buy the Kindle!

    OK my final thoughts on the Nook/Kindle, I also agree with the reviewer, these devices are reading machines not twenty-function gadgets to entertain and distract. They work! I have enjoyed reading old and new material –it reminded me how little time I made for simply reading lately until I got the Nook.

    Now I am back enjoying the several-books-at-once drill, with a little of each when I can find time and I wonder why I did not do this earlier.(Actually I had a smart phone and did read on it, but that was quite a straining experience).

    I think if “tomorrow” does not bring access to my account and deliver of my IHT, I will return the Nook (after almost 10 days of reading a lot!) and try the Kindle.
    I worry, however, since I am told Kindle supports fewer ebook types and does not have wireless –which was neat in the house and some places.

    But I do think the extra periodical choices and perhaps more reliable network may be better.

    hope this helps

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  69. c.a on June 17th, 2010 5:25 pm

    Thank you for this! I want to buy the Kindle now thanks to your review. :)

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  71. Eugene on June 25th, 2010 7:13 am

    I live in The Bahamas,bought my wife a Nook and now am sorry because she can’t purchase any books. I can.t exchange or get a refund as the time period has past.If you buy the Nook make sure you travell to the US every week to download/purchase books.
    Sorrry I wasted my money on the Nook, so people outside the US be aware of this.Even the Barnes n Noble gift cards wont allow you to get books,US credit cards wont either as you don’t reside in the US.

    Going to buy a Kindle!!!!

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  73. Kindle or Nook- Please help solve the dilemma! on July 1st, 2010 7:57 pm

    [...] the Kindle and the Nook. David Slusher, author of “Evil Genius Chronicles” ran a post titled “Kindle vs. Nook: My Experience”. He performed side-by-side tests of Kindle and Nook. He liked the Nook but leaned toward the Kindle [...]

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  75. Lynne on July 4th, 2010 3:00 pm

    My mom has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disesase) and has lost 98% of her hand/arm function. She loves to read, but cannot hold a book and has such difficulty turning the pages. Went to B&N to look at the Nook and was disappointed. It looks like someone will have to open the books for her and navigate the menu. She needs something easier to handle. Any suggestions?

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  77. bcb on July 9th, 2010 2:16 am

    a rooted nook is better i think …………
    nook uses droid apps.
    you can pop in a 8g mem stick.
    jam out on pandora on it while reading a new stream or book on trook

    check your email and tweeting on it if you want.

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  79. nancy on July 17th, 2010 5:45 pm

    ok..so I’m confused.I want one or other.The nook being slow and sluggish is not sounding good to me.I read 3 novels a week,sometimes 2.I am out of space and gave away books.
    I want to read,something to toss in a big bag and with a cover.
    SOunds like I’m better off with the kindle…I was off to get the Nook.I’m close by to Barnes N Nobles,I should “LOOK”/HOLD it..I need the epub feature.And love the lend a book feature..(sigh) yeah..still confused but leaning to Kindle.

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  81. john on July 21st, 2010 1:45 pm

    @nancy, the reviews of the nook being slow and sluggish are very old reviews. They have gone through a series of 4 firmware updates, the best one being V1.3. The performance is very snappy and page turning and opening up books is alot lot faster now.

    IMHO is a step up over the Kindle, especially since you have a Barnes and Noble close by, you can take advantage of the In Store Experience and such.

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  83. Ich on July 23rd, 2010 2:57 pm

    I’m happy with my Nook.

    It reads PDFs well, I guess due to a firmware upgrade. I tried some other readers when I was in China and they all seemed very sluggish to me. I don’t feel the Nook is sluggish at all. I haven’t tried a Kindle; from what I’ve read, it’s probably faster, but my Nook is certainly fast enough. I like the versatility I’m allowed with my Nook (customizable screen savers and wallpaper good functionality with PDF’s and compatibility with different formats).

    @Eugene, if you can get access to a proxy server in the U.S. you’ll be able to buy books from there. I suggest Witopia, but there are others.

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  85. Zamiel on July 25th, 2010 4:04 pm

    I’ve had both the Kindle2, and the Nook. I prefer the Nook. Here’s why:

    1. ePub format support means I can get books from all sorts of places. I’m not just stuck with B&N. I can go to the local library, I can go to Borders, and I can go to the Sony bookstore. ePub is quickly becoming the MP3 of e-readers, and while you could convert your ePubs into AZW/Mobi for the Kindle, the original format is better and the Nook can read DRM’d ePub from other sellers. The Kindle can’t. If you want to BUY books, the Kindle is locked into Amazon.

    2. PDF support is better on Nook. The Nook was designed with Adobe’s software, and has always supported PDF since launch. The Kindle had add it as a firmware update, and it’s spotty. Sometimes the fonts on a PDF on the Kindle are way too small, and the Kindle is picky about changing font sizes for PDFs. The Nook can change the font sizes, and it handles page breaks and formatting a lot better when it comes to PDFs.

    3. WiFi is plentiful, free, and fast. While I still have the 3G support with the Nook, I can turn off the 3G and just use my home’s WiFi. I can get free WiFi support in B&N stores and anywhere there’s an AT&T hotspot, too. The Kindle was nice with the 3G, but that was the only choice.

    4. Feels better in the hand! The Nook has a nice grippy feel. It’s a little thicker and more narrow, too. You aren’t fumbling with a keyboard, or extra buttons either. It’s not easy to accidentally change pages on the Nook, while this happened to me every once in a while on the Kindle.

    5. The Nook has next/previous page turn buttons on both sides; The Kindle does not. If you need to go back a page on the Kindle, the previous page button is only on the left-hand side. The Nook also lets you turn pages by swiping the darkened touch-screen with your finger, which feels very natural.

    6. Frequent updates. The Nook has caught up to the Kindle in terms of page-turning speed thanks to updates. It has also added search functions, and will be adding the ability to sync across devices in the near future. In short, because it’s Android-based, it’s easy for B&N to update the Nook, and they do it well.

    7. Better web browsing experience. The Nook lets you navigate web pages with the touch screen (you can see them there, too). This means you actually touch links to get to them, instead of needed to press buttons to scroll around on a web pages. The touch screen keyboard is faster and more responsive than the Kindle2 keyboard. The WiFi makes it possible to do some real browsing, as well.

    8. Customization. You don’t have to hack a Nook to put your own screensavers and wallpaper on it.

    9. User-serviceable. The Nook lets you change the back plate, add your own storage expansion (MicroSD cards) and change your own battery (for $30) when it finally dies. The Kindle doesn’t have memory expansion at all, won’t let you change the appearance of the device without using decals, and requires you to send the Kindle to Amazon along with $80 when your battery dies.

    10. Barnes & Noble never deleted anyone’s Nook purchases. Amazon did. While I understand and forgive Amazon for the “1984 Incident”, I also see it as a weakness in their purchasing system. When the books are so tightly-controlled, and require the unit to “check in” every once in a while, there are bound to be questions about your content. Amazon handled it well, but it still happened in the first place, and it shouldn’t have.

    The Kindle 2 is a really, really nice e-reader. I wouldn’t turn one down if it were given to me again… But I prefer the Nook at the moment. They seem to have taken Amazon’s idea and improved upon it.

    It’s also nice to be able to go back to a retail store if I need to return/exchange or get warranty replacement. No waiting for shipping.

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  87. Celestialicat on September 7th, 2010 3:30 am

    Hello. Zamiel, thank you for posting that review…you sorta swayed me back into wanting to get the Nook. I was looking for a more recent review as well. I was reading the previous reviews and was getting a bit wary.

    My husband will be getting me one on Thursday, so I may be back to leave my own review. :)

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  89. SpiritsLIght on November 27th, 2010 2:54 pm

    Has anyone compared the Nook and the Kendle to the ipad?
    I know the ipad costs far more than either of the ‘readers’….but is it worth it????

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  91. Dcshoegnome on December 29th, 2010 12:59 am

    My girlfriend saved up b&n gift cards since November because her brother had a nook and she was impressed.she is loyal to borders and I wondered why she wanted to go with b&n? We went today finally tO get it and she almost cried when they told her it was sold out. So I googles the next b&n and it was an hour drive. We got it home and it wouldn’t turn on. She almost cried again it’s now midnite and after leaving it charge and reading all the terrible feedback and horrible reviews it turned

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  93. shiromi on January 24th, 2011 12:34 am

    It’s all very well discussing how the devices match up but what I learned from experience is the support for the device. I bought a Nook, had it for 6 months, and overnight it dumped all 80 of my books. Twice. Four hours, five phone calls, several unkept promises, one BBB complaint and two weeks later, I finally got a replacement Nook. My father-in-law meanwhile had issues with his Kindle, got ahold of someone in 2 minutes and one week later had his replacement Kindle. So for me, i’m gonna sell the Nook and get a Kindle, because that experience was just ridiculous. And I still have to see how the return process goes because they’re holding my credit card hostage. Oh joy.

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  95. Brent R Jones on January 29th, 2011 7:24 pm

    Wow the reviews go out of date fast. Kindle 3 is superior to NOOK and SONY. Best Buy has them side by side and Kindle 3 wins easily.

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  97. Mishka on February 13th, 2011 12:07 pm

    I am looking for a reader for the wife, she is Chinese and reads English well, but she will need a Chinese Dict… installed to translate words not recognized.

    So what should I choose to buy her?

    Thank You

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  99. Robin on March 7th, 2011 7:58 pm

    I read the reviews here and at http://nookvskindle.Info and I think the Nook Color wins the race. With the Nook Color I can read ebooks, plus I can read magazine subscriptions in color (what I do mostly).

    Even if you consider the expected price drop on the iPad from Apple since they introduced the new version, the Nook Color is still 30% – 35% less and has all the functionality I am looking for.

    This is my $0.02 worth but would welcome opposing points of view before I pull the trigger on the Nook Color.

    Thanks

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  101. Lisa on March 22nd, 2011 11:06 am

    I have both a nook and a kindle. Go for the kindle. The nook interface for page turns is not an actual button – you press on the case at a designated spot. When you read alot, as I do, the case will crack at the page turn press location. There is no repair for this. They want me to buy a new nook!

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  103. Jell on March 25th, 2011 12:35 pm

    LISA:
    About the nook case cracking at the page turn location: that was an issue on only the first generation of nooks. 2nd generation and on should not have this problem. Also, if you purchased the warranty with your device there is no way B&N should be asking you to buy a new nook. If they told you this at a B&N store my advice is to call the tech support number, or go to a different store. It is a defect in THEIR product and you should not have to pay to replace it (ie: it was not your extensive reading that cracked the case,rather it was a defect in the design). Also, when the touch screen at the bottom goes to sleep, you can turn pages with a swipe of your finger, which I find much faster and easier.

    I have a black and white nook and have also owned a Kindle2 in the past. I definitely prefer the nook. nook is now running software v1.5, which fixed almost all of the complaints listed here, like slow page turning, web browsing, etc. Also, nook offers some features that far surpass Kindle. For example, nook supports ePub files while Kindle does not. You can convert ePub files for the Kindle with a special program, but it’s not required for the nook. Also, the nook battery is replaceable and they sell the batteries at B&N stores! This was huge for me, because I couldn’t last for 2 weeks without my nook if I had to send it in just to get a new battery. The nook also offers expandable memory; with a microSD card I can store up to a ridiculous 17,500 books on my nook(my Kindle does not offer expansion slots). Also, the nook offers “lend me” books, which I love because I can share them with my mom and other nook users. In addition, B&N now offers more than 2 million titles, which is now more than Amazon offers.

    I don’t mean to say that the Kindle has no great features, because they do. I did use the text to speech feature sometimes, although the voice was so-so. The Kindle can also be used internationally a lot easier than the nook. If the touch screen navigation bothers you, avoid the nook or get a capacitive stylus (at an apple store) or make your own at home. Also if you are looking for a fair comparison, don’t ask a B&N employee because you will not hear anything positive about the Kindle (obviously).

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  105. Robin on April 23rd, 2011 3:41 pm

    I think both the Kindle and the Nook have good things to offer, but from what I have read here and a poll on http://nookvskindle.info, it seems most people are gravitating towards the Nook Color. I’ve seen several comments in several blogs from current owners of ereaders that they would have purchased the Nook Color if it was available when they bought their ereader or if it was a bit cheaper.

    I like the idea of color, but then again not sure it is worth the extra $100.

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  107. Sandra on June 17th, 2011 2:44 pm

    I recived my Kindle as a christmas gift last year. I love it. My friend bought her a nook color a few months back and loves it. The one thing I love about my kindle was when i lost all my books that i bought for it. I called amazon and informed them of what happend. They asked that I send them my kindle and I would get my new on the next day. True to their word I not only recived my new kindle but I also stilled had all my books that I thought were lost. So for me it will be my kindle. I understand the woohoo of color, internet and all the fun to the nook but for me a reader all I need is my kindle

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  109. nick on June 17th, 2011 11:28 pm

    Well me and my brother are huge readers (8 books a week?) And i got a nook while he chose a kindle after hiis kindle was ruined in a accident (mad ex+baseball bat: Not good) he dicided to get a nook and another kindle as he had alot of money to spare, after A couple of weeks he said he loved boith of them as the first problems were resovled with a nook update.All in all he says there equal and its a matter of personnel prefrence but nook is better for younger readers.(wrote this reveiw with my nook,pretty easy no problems)

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  111. Ken K on July 2nd, 2011 7:16 pm

    Great review! Thank you.

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