The Kindle 3 faces competition from a Nook Color that is more Android Tablet than Dedicated eReader. Before we jump into Kindle vs Nook Color let’s list a few disclaimers -
- Kindle 3 and Nook Color are completely different devices. Kindle 3 is the best dedicated reading device and Nook Color is, unexpectedly, the best Android Tablet under $300 and a passable eReader.
- Nook Color doesn’t come out until November 17th - So this Kindle vs Nook Color review is based on information and photos provided by B&N.
- This is a Kindle Blog and a blog focused on dedicated reading devices. Please factor in the unintended but implicit bias against a do-everything, LCD screen, mini-iPad device like the Nook Color.
Let’s start by looking at the Nook Color’s advantages.
Kindle vs Nook Color – Nook Color wins a lot of areas
The Nook Color is pretty impressive and it clearly wins some areas -
- You can do more than just read – video, music (Pandora’s preloaded), color photos, games.
- 7″ color touch screen with 1025 by 600 pixels. That’s a slightly bigger screen than the Kindle 3 with color and touch.
- If both color and touch are important to you consider the previous benefit as two benefits.
- Value for money – If you’re looking for an Android Tablet or an eReader that can do more than just read $250 is a really good price.
- Supports ePub and library books.
- Android 2.1 so you get the promise of Android.
- Android based App Store that might get more apps than Kindle App Store since there are so many Android developers. For the moment Nook comes with Sudoku, Crosswords, and Chess.
- Retail – It’s sold through WalMart (which doesn’t sell Kindle) and through other stores that do sell Kindle (such as BestBuy).
- 8 GB Memory and a microSD card slot.
- It’s a LCD screen tablet so web browsing, games, and apps work much better.
- You can use QuickOffice to create, edit, and view Office files. This is a very impressive feature.
- It looks very good. Supposedly Yves Behar or some fancy design company designed it. It has a slot at the bottom left where you can add charms and stuff. Just the sort of thing to let you make it uniquely yours.
- Thanks to color and B&N’s new-found focus on kids and magazines the Nook Color is a very good choice for children’s books and for magazines and newspapers.
- Features you can access at B&N’s stores like reading any book for free for up to an hour a day.
B&N has certainly done well with what it had to work with - it’s positioned Nook Color very uniquely and it has created a surprisingly good Android Tablet.
Kindle vs Nook Color – Apples and Oranges
It’s worth pointing out that Kindle vs Nook Color is an almost pointless comparison.
- Kindle is a dedicated reading device for people who love to read. It’s an uncompromised approach to reading.
- Nook Color is B&N’s attempt to reframe what an eReader could and should be. It’s a reading device that is not as good for reading but offers the ability to do a lot more. It’s what the iPad Mini threatened to be – a $249 Tablet that tests the resolve of book lovers and caters to casual readers.
- It’s very likely that you will clearly prefer one – If you read less than a book a month and can’t afford the iPad then Nook is your dream device. If you love to read books and read often enough to justify a dedicated reading device (a book a month or more) then the Kindle is your dream device.
Depending on how much you read and how much you would like to read Kindle vs Nook Color is a very easy decision. If you would like to read more or if you already read a lot pick the Kindle. If you read once in a while pick the Nook Color.
Kindle vs Nook Color – Areas Kindle wins
The Kindle does very well in some areas -
- Kindle is 100% focused on reading.
- The eInk screen is great for reading. It’s readable in sunlight and easy on the eyes as it reflects light.
- You get the Kindle Store which is better than other stores in both book availability and price. B&N’s store isn’t bad but it’s a clear second.
- Great battery life. 10 days with wireless on. 3 weeks with WiFi on. Up to a month with wireless off. The Nook Color lasts a paltry 8 hours.
- 3G connectivity in addition to WiFi. This is pretty useful – especially as it bundles in free Internet browsing.
- Kindle 3 is $60 cheaper. Kindle WiFi, at $139, is $110 cheaper.
- Much lower weight – Kindle 3 weighs 8.7 ounces while Nook Color weighs a painful 15.8 ounces. The weight of the Color Nook will be a deal breaker for a lot of people.
- More compact and thinner - Kindle is 7.5″ by 4.8″ by 0.335″ while Nook Color is 8.1″ by 5″ by 0.48″.
- Kindle is available now. You don’t have to wait till the 17th of November.
- Kindle App store is further along than Nook App Store. There are 3 free games and 3 paid games and by the time Nook Apps arrive (early 2011) there might be dozens or hundreds of Kindle Apps.
- Kindle’s Read to Me feature reads books to you. This can be turned off by Publishers – However 50% or so of books have this enabled and it’s a very useful feature.
Kindle 3 and Nook Color are suddenly competing in completely different markets. B&N has done a great job of reinventing the Nook as a device that will steal casual readers from the Kindle and will also appeal to people who can’t afford the iPad or want an alternative.
It’s a stroke of genius. B&N has decided to create an entirely different market – It’s a market that is much larger than the market for a dedicated reading device and as long as a $300 mini-iPad doesn’t materialize B&N ought to do very well. Quite frankly, if someone had told me the best Android tablet would come from Barnes & Noble it would seem absurd but that’s exactly what Nook Color might be - the best Android Tablet, the best value for money Android Tablet.
Let’s see if the actual device lives up to the promise.
Kindle vs Nook Color – They’re totally different devices
It seems B&N has decided it can’t beat Amazon at its own game so it’s trying to change the game. The Nook Color is a very, very different device from the Kindle -
- You should get the Kindle 3 (or the Kindle WiFi) if you want – a dedicated reading device, the best reading experience thanks to eInk, the best range of ebooks at the lowest prices, free Internet browsing, amazing battery life, the text to speech feature, lightness and compactness, immediate availability.
- Basically, the Kindle is the best device for people who love to read or want to read more.
- You should get the Nook Color if you want – color screen, touch, a device suited to magazines and newspapers, color children’s books, the promise of Android, the ability to do more than just read, ePub and library book support, expandable memory.
- The Nook Color is, arguably, the best Android Tablet and much better value for money than something like the iPad.
Kindle 3 is the best device of its type (dedicated reading device) and the Nook Color is, rather surprisingly, the best device of its type (tablet you can also read books on). As long as you prioritize your needs and pick the one that better suits your top needs you can’t go wrong with your Kindle vs Nook Color decision.