Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Altadena, CA
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My wife and I've been experimenting with eBooks and the product landscape is changing very quickly. Amazon Kindle is probably the most popular, though Barnes & Noble's Nook is gaining popularity and marketshare. I compared the Kindle to the Nook and felt they were pretty much the same. With the Nook, you have access to Barnes & Noble store and they've created an online experience similar to the store. Likewise, the Kindle is tied to amazon.com. Both claim extensive collection of books, etc. And, there's an unlimited supply of free books on the Internet.
From a technical perspective, both use EInk screen, which is not backlit, does not consume batteries while displayed and tries to look like a printed page. In low light situations, we found the page to be a bit dim. Others have commented on having a reading light. I found that page turning on the Nook results in a page to black refresh, which takes a bit getting used to. I didn't like this. We also found the Nook to be somewhat unresponsive at times, probably due to the slow processing speed.
I think the Nook wins out with its support for multiple formats, epub, pdfs,... with the ability to share books and check-out from local libraries. Navigation on the Nook is through a color touchpad near the bottom, while the Kindle uses keys. Nook has support for microSD card. The Nook is based on the Android operating system and comes with Sudoko and Chess. I suspect there will be other games or crossword puzzles in the future. Nook also has a primitive web browser. Nook comes in wifi and 3G versions. Both Nook and Kindle are leap-frogging each other with new versions and updates.
I think they are the wave of the future and great devices. Having gone through all this, I purchased a Nook for my wife. The wifi version is $149 and the 3G/wifi is $199. Literally, the day after I bought this, Barnes & Noble announced their new color version, faster speed, more memory..... (aka poor man's iPad). This is a wifi device at $249. I just returned the Nook and I'm waiting for the launch of the color model. Both the Barnes & Noble online support and bookstore staff are impressed with the new color model and recommended that we wait for the color version.
The one drawback that I see is the Nook B&W claims 10 days on a charge. I don't think we saw that, as we've charged it several times in 2 weeks we had it. The color version is listed at 8 hours. This could be a problem, constantly having to charge the device.