Nook Review Roundup

As each major blog gets its official nook review out a much clearer picture of Nook Vs Kindle is emerging.

It seems the Kindle and the Nook have turned things into a two-horse race.

The grand conclusion after factoring in every nook review and every nook vs kindle comparison seems to be –

  1. Things aren’t perfect and they aren’t bad. The Nook has significant pros and significant cons and its a good competitor for the Kindle.
  2. The Nook is slow and the lack of speed is it’s main flaw. B&N blame Android 1.5 and promise to fix the speed issue with a January software update. 
  3. Averaging out reactions gives the Kindle a slight edge. 

Let’s dig deeper into each nook review and after that we’ll go over the Nook speed problem and all the pros and cons.  

What does each Nook review conclude on Nook Vs Kindle?

  1. Technologizer Nook ReviewThey recommend delaying your decision since Nook isn’t available for Christmas and needs to get the January software update to fix its issues so it can trump the Kindle. 
  2. Engadget Nook Reader ReviewFeel the Nook doesn’t fulfill its potential. Here’s their video review – [viddler id=c86812b7&w=437&h=309]
  3. Slashgear Nook Reader ReviewVery pro-Nook and pick it as the best eReader. They state the UI as the Nook’s biggest advantage (Yup, it is strange they’d pick the one element every other reviewer thinks is a weakness). 
  4. Gizmodo Nook Review‘if you have to pick one, stick with the Kindle’.
  5. BloombergIt sort of says the Nook’s slow speed kills it. However, it concludes that a multi-purpose device will kill dedicated eReaders.

Average out these reactions and the Kindle holds the edge – you might want to dig into a deeper Nook Vs Kindle comparison post.  

Nook Review – Speed Kills

The single biggest con of the Nook is speed. Please jump to the Pros and Cons sections if you don’t care about speed or are just reading this nook review to feel better about your decision.


It is perhaps the most critical of the Nook’s sluggishness –

But the Nook falls short in one critical area: speed. In just about every important function — opening a book, turning pages, and especially starting up — it lags behind its competitor.

How slow is it on start-up? Achingly slow.

Bloomberg also point out that a Nook start-up (power on, not from sleep mode) takes 1 minute and 50 seconds (they say that on the Kindle it’s 3 seconds).


Also very critical of the speed –

… your rhythm is thrown off by one major factor: the extremely sluggish response of the device.

That’s right, you’re not zipping and zooming through any of these menus, you’re patiently waiting for the device to do its thing.

That laggy scrolling we saw in the demo the day this was launched? Not really much better in the release version.

Engadget, like Bloomberg, think this is the major flaw of the Nook i.e. its unoptimal software implementation.


Technologizer thinks Nook is slow even for eInk –

 And the Nook’s most serious drawback is that it’s slow even for an E-Ink reader. 

It flips its virtual pages noticeably more sluggishly than the Kindle or the Sony–not a crippling flaw given that you need a moment to move your eyes back to the top of the page anyway, but still a flaw.

B&N then throw Android under the bus –

Barnes & Noble representatives told me that the speed of the device is limited by its use of Google’s Android 1.5 operating system, but the company is working to optimize the experience in a software update which it plans to push out to Nooks in January.


They don’t like the sluggishness either –

I found the capacitive interface to be handy, but it also revealed the bugginess of the early software.

Scrolling could be sticky, tapping the home button or the screen occasionally did nothing, and using the directional pad to navigate text made me yearn for the Kindle’s physical mini-joystick.


Slashgear disagree –

Ease of use is the biggest element in the nook’s favor, with the touchscreen UI perhaps the most intuitive way of navigating the ebook experience that we’ve tried.

It certainly seems that in their rush to get the Nook in for Christmas season B&N didn’t get enough time to optimize Android 1.5 for the eInk and LCD dual screens.

Nook Review – Pros of the Nook

The Nook has some significant pluses –  

  1. The eInk screen (same as that of the Kindle) is great for reading.
  2. The 3.5″ color capacitive touchscreen is a good addition.
  3. LendMe – lend a book one-time to one friend. 14 days at most and you can’t read a lent eBook. 
  4. ePub support.  
  5. Looks Better.
  6. Store browsing in B&N locations – free WiFi to access ebooks and browse a book for up to an hour per 24 hour period. This feature arrives in 2010.  
  7. Battery life is good (10 days with wireless off, 2 days with wireless on and music on) but a bit less than the Kindle (14 days with wireless off, a week with wireless on).
  8. Memory Card Slot to expand memory.
  9. Replaceable Battery.
  10. AC adapter that supports international voltages (same as Kindle – you will need a physical plug adapter for both adapters). 
  11. It’s more compact than the Kindle. Nook is 7.7″ by 4.9″ by 0.5″ while the Kindle is 8″ by 5.3″ by .36″. 
  12. More music player options. 
  13. B&N ebooks can be read on the PC, the Mac, the iPhone, and the Blackberry. Kindle ebooks are limited to iPhone and PC.
  14. Android and whatever advantages that might mean in the future – apps, etc.
  15. What advantages WiFi might mean in the future.

These are all just pros listed in the reviews.

Nook Review – Cons of the Nook

The cons other than the slow speed –  

  1. Book costs are higher than at the Kindle Store.
  2. It’s a bit thicker and heavier than the Kindle.  
  3. No support for Audible audiobooks. 
  4. No Text To Speech.
  5. Not able to buy books outside the US – magazines are available.
  6. No browser i.e. no free internet and no Wikipedia.
  7. The home button sometimes need two taps.
  8. Can check time only on the Home screen.
  9. The touchscreen is not very good – it’s nothing like the iPhone screen.
  10. There are occasional bugs.
  11. Does not seem to have a screen rotation option – something both Sony and the Kindle have.

These are all cons listed in the reviews.

Nook Review – Our Recommendation

It’s pretty obvious that the Nook’s sluggishness is a real problem. The software update in January promises to fix that.

  • If you can’t wait until the Nook software update in January buy the Kindle now.
  • If the slow speed isn’t a big issue, then check out my detailed Kindle Vs Nook Review.
  • If you can wait to see if the Nook’s sluggishness is fixed by the January software upgrade – that’s a good option.

You might even decide the Nook in its current incarnation is right for you – in that case best of luck and hopefully you get the speed issue fix soon.

There’s little doubt that Nook Vs Kindle is close. Reviewers tend to give the Kindle the edge (except for Slashgear) – However, they agree it’s a 2 horse race now.

The common consensus across every Nook review seems to be that the Nook may not be a Kindle killer, but it is a very good competitor. Kindle and Nook will both be improving constantly to try to become the clear #1 choice and that’s great for Readers.

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