Nook Color vs Kindle vs iPad – comparison of the reading experience

This Nook Color vs Kindle vs iPad comparison will only look at the reading experience – what it’s like to read books on each.

The Kindle has an eInk Pearl screen and is built solely for reading – So it has a natural advantage, and is expected to have the best reading experience. 

We simply want to see what the trade-offs in the reading experience are, when you pick a multi-purpose device – whether it’s a ‘Reading Tablet’ like Nook Color or an ‘Everything Tablet’ like the iPad.

The Reading Experience on Kindle, Nook Color, and iPad

What’s it like to read a book on each of these three?

Reading on the Kindle is like reading a book

Kindle provides the best reading experience. A solid 9 stars out of 10. It’s a lot of fun and it’s ideally suited for reading books.

Reading on the Kindle offers a few solid advantages – eInk looks like print on paper, there’s no backlight shining into your eyes, you can read in bright light and direct sunlight, it doesn’t hurt or bother your eyes, amazing battery life, compactness, low weight.

Since the Kindle is built for reading from the ground-up, it also offers other advantages – a lack of distractions, free Internet reference via free 3G, in-built dictionary, a text to speech feature that works quite well, a great Kindle Book Store, reading across all your devices.

The two things Kindle specializes in are – reading books, buying books. Those are the only two things it specializes in.

Main advantages of choosing the Kindle will be that you will get the absolute best reading experience, you’ll read more than you used to, and you’ll have to spend less on the Kindle itself.

There are also several disadvantages – there’s no touch-screen so it’s a bit awkward to move around and enter notes and highlights, there’s no color so illustrations don’t stand out, the 6″ screen isn’t ideal as it’s a bit smaller than a paperback page, the support for PDFs is spotty.

Reading on Nook Color is like reading a book-sized LCD

Nook Color offers a decent reading experience – 7.5 stars out of 10. It’s quite fun and is adequate for reading books, surfing websites, and for some PDFs. It can be a bit tiring on your eyes.

By creating a ‘Reading Tablet’ B&N does a few great things – keeps the focus on reading, keeps the weight reasonable, delivers a decent sized device with a good 7″ screen, delivers color and touch, delivers a screen with a back-light, delivers a $249 Reading Tablet that is great value for money.

It also creates a few problems – it’s a LCD screen and despite the anti-glare layer it can’t be used in bright light or direct sunlight, battery life is low at 8 hours with wireless off, it’s not easy on the eyes, it’s not suited for long-form reading, at night the bright glow will keep you awake longer.

At the moment Nook Color specializes in – reading (to quite an extent), buying books, web surfing (to an extent),  being a tablet (to a limited extent). Nook Color doesn’t specialize in doing movies and games. The Nook App Store might cause Nook Color to evolve into a full-fledged Tablet – However, it’s far likelier that the focus will remain on reading.

Main advantage of choosing Nook Color will be that you’ll get a device with a focus on reading, which provides a decent reading experience, and still lets you do things other than reading. It’s more of a Tablet than an eReader – Yet, it provides a decent reading experience.

Reading on iPad is like reading from a rather large, hardcover-sized LCD

iPad delivers a reading experience that is somewhere between 6 and 7.5 stars out of 10. It’s well suited for PDFs, magazines, newspapers, and websites. It’s decentish for reading books. It’s a bit tiring on your hands and eyes.

There are two main drawbacks – the awkward size and the LCD. Depending on what you think of the size you’ll either hate it (6 stars) or find it quite enjoyable (7.5 stars).

iPad does some things very well – it provides color and touch, it provides a large 10″ screen, it provides lots of apps so you’ll find an app no matter what type of reading you’re looking for, it provides both Kindle for iPad and Nook for iPad, it handles things well (great usability), it provides a backlight.

iPad also has some disadvantages – LCDs tend to tire the eyes, there are tens of thousands of distractions, there isn’t really anything in the iPad to encourage reading, the size and weight are huge problems, it’s unreadable in bright light and sunlight, it’s expensive.

iPad specializes in – doing everything, letting you read from any store, letting you get a decentish reading experience, letting you read PDFs and other documents that benefit from the large 10″ screen.

Main advantages of choosing iPad will be that you’ll be able to read without losing the ability to do 10,000 other things, the screen size will be big enough for most types of reading, and you’ll get a decent reading experience.

Nook Color vs Kindle vs iPad – Which would you choose if they were side by side?

Usually, the Kindle. If you had all three side-by-side, and had to choose one to read on, you’d always choose the Kindle for books and long form reading.

The Nook Color would be your choice if you wanted to read at night, and didn’t have the Kindle’s neat ‘cover with built-in reading light’. It would also be your choice for books in color, illustrated books, and perhaps even magazines. Nook Color is also quite good for browsing websites.

iPad would be your choice for anything that requires a larger screen – PDFs, newspapers, magazines. iPad might be a slightly better choice than Nook Color for websites.

It’s quite an easy decision. Kindle for books. Nook Color if you’d like color, or can’t handle the large size of the iPad. iPad if you end up reading a lot of PDFs and magazines, and don’t mind the awkward size.

Areas Nook Color, Kindle, and iPad win – The long, complicated list

Let’s go through all the areas of comparison we can think of beyond reading experience –

  1. Screen Size – iPad is better than Nook Color, which is slightly better than Kindle.
  2. Color – iPad and Nook Color tie. Kindle doesn’t have color. 
  3. Pixel Density – Kindle and Nook Color are close at around 167 pixel per inch. iPad is quite a bit behind.
  4. Battery Life – Kindle wins by a mile. iPad beats Nook Color.
  5. Weight and Size – Kindle wins. Nook is within striking distance. iPad fails as it’s heavy and awkward.
  6. Memory and Memory Expansion – Nook is best with a memory card slot. iPad is next as it has a lot of memory. Kindle is last as it only has 4 GB memory.
  7. Store – Kindle Store is best but iPad wins because it has both Kindle Store and Nook Store.
  8. Reading Software – Kindle is best. Nook Color’s reading software is very well done. iPad has both Kindle and Nook reading apps – However, they aren’t as good as the real thing.
  9. ePub – Kindle fails.
  10. Library Books – Kindle fails.
  11. PDF support – iPad has the best PDF support. iPad’s screen size also helps. Kindle and Nook are quite a bit behind.
  12. Lack of distractions – Kindle wins. The other two aren’t suited for focusing on reading though Nook Color is much better.
  13. Surfing – iPad is best, Nook Color is close, and Kindle is last.
  14. Value for Money – Kindle WiFi and Nook Color are probably tied. Kindle and iPad are next. Also depends on what you value – If you don’t value reading, you might not value the Kindle at all.
  15. Price – Kindle WiFi is just $139, Kindle 3 is $189, Nook Color is $249, and iPad is $499.
  16. Customer Service – Amazon, without a doubt. Apple and B&N are decent too.
  17. Infrastructure and Support – All three do a decent job.
  18. Apps – iPad easily wins. Kindle has a fledgling App Store. Nook App Store isn’t even open yet.
  19. Physical Keyboard – Kindle wins. The other two only have virtual keyboards.
  20. Ease of Use – Kindle wins.
  21. Openness – Neither of the three is open. Nook Color probably wins as it’s based on Android and you can easily root it.

As you can clearly see – Each of Kindle, Nook Color, and iPad has its strengths and weaknesses.

Nook Color vs Kindle vs iPad – Who this Nook Color vs Kindle vs iPad comparison is not for

There are three groups this review is not for.

People who think reading isn’t worth a separate device

If you feel that reading isn’t worth a dedicated device, or that reading doesn’t add value, then you should definitely get a Tablet. If a device has to be usable for more than just reading, then an Android Tablet or the iPad would be a good choice.

The LCD compatibles

There are some people who are naturally suited to LCD screens. If your eyes don’t get tired reading a book from a LCD screen, if bright light at night doesn’t affect you, or if you can’t ever imagine any screen being better for reading than a LCD screen – pick a Reading Tablet or a Tablet. An eReader would be a waste for you.

Apple people

If you feel Apple products match your aesthetic sensibilities, and are the best products ever made – get the iPad. The iPad is a decent enough reading device.

Kindle vs Nook Color vs iPad – Regret Minimization

Will you regret buying a $139 Kindle WiFi or a $189 Kindle 3?

If you love to read, or like to read, or want to read more – Never.

In every other case – probably.

If you’re buying a Kindle for PDFs or magazines – Probably.

Will you regret buying a $249 Nook Color?

If you want the absolute best reading experience – Yes. The minute you see eInk Pearl on a Kindle 3, or Sony Reader 350, you’ll wish you’d chosen a device with an eInk Pearl screen.

If you are LCD incompatible i.e. you can’t read for long stretches on LCD screens – Yes.

If you want a device focused on reading that can also do other things – Never.

If you want a cheap Android Tablet, and are comfortable rooting your Nook Color – Never.

Will you regret buying a $499 iPad?

It’s very hard to say. The iPad is very hit or miss – my recommendation would be to try it out first. If you’re planning on reading books on it – actually read a book on it before buying it.

If you want the best reading experience, or if you’re LCD incompatible – Yes, you’ll regret buying the iPad.

If you’re more of a creator than a consumer – Yes.

If you want a device that does more than just read – No, you’ll love the iPad.

In almost every other case – No. You may or may not get your money’s worth, as iPad is a very hit or miss device – However, it’s unlikely you’ll regret it.

Kindle has the absolute best reading experience, Nook Color has the most potential

The Kindle and Nook Color are both focused on reading, and will help you read more. Kindle sacrifices everything else to bring you a 9/10 reading experience. Nook Color accommodates your other interests/pursuits while bringing you a 7.5/10 reading experience.

Kindle and Nook Color are probably the best devices to go with if reading is your first priority, or even if it’s a top 3 priority. If reading isn’t a top 3 priority, or isn’t a priority at all, then it’s best to go with the iPad.

Nook vs Kindle vs Nook Color, incremental Nook improvements

The Kindle now faces off against both the eInk based Nook 1 and the LCD based Nook Color. Not only does Amazon have to worry about Nook vs Kindle vs Nook Color, it has to worry about the fact that B&N is stealing Amazon’s incremental improvement concept (kaizen).

In this post we’ll look at different facets of Nook vs Kindle vs Nook Color and also at the multitude of ways in which Nook Color improves on Nook 1. It’s almost as if B&N sat down for a Kaizen training session with Mr. Bezos and then started working on Nook Color.

Nook vs Kindle – The gap is narrower

A few weeks ago the Nook 1.5 software upgrade was announced. It might not seem like much but it addresses some areas in which Kindle was hammering Nook –

  1. Now you can sync your place in a book across Nooks and Nook reading apps. This adds a lot of convenience and now Nook has a feature that a lot of Kindle owners love. 
  2. The ‘My Shelves’ feature is the equivalent of the Kindle’s Folders feature. This is another big Kindle advantage that B&N has negated.
  3. Password protect your Nook. Yet another Kindle feature that Nook was missing and isn’t any more. 
  4. Faster Page Turns – Still not as fast as Kindle but noticeably less slow than before. 
  5. B&N also mentions Improved Search but it’s still not very good.

While B&N has been doing this Amazon has started sending out games from the Kindle App Store and has announced that it will add the lending feature. The lending feature is a bit of a big deal when it comes to selling Kindles and Nooks.

However, the real impact would be adding ePub support and/or support for library books. That’s still missing and that’s still Nook’s main advantage over the Kindle.

B&N has also added two pluses in the recent months –

  1. It’s done a lot in terms of increasing retail availability and making sure Nooks are actually available – it’s even available at WalMart now. Kindles are available at Target, Staples, and Best Buy but only in theory – multiple stores are claiming they get only 2 Kindles a day and lots of users have complained about not being able to find Kindles in stock.
  2. In the Nook 1.5 upgrade B&N added the ability to password protect your purchases. This is a feature the Kindle is missing.

B&N has improved the Nook more since Kindle 3 came out than Amazon has improved the Kindle 3. That should be very worrying to Amazon because two of its strengths are constant incremental improvements and reacting very quickly to rival’s improvements.

Is Kindle 3 better than Nook 1? Yes, it’s got the eInk screen and lots of improvements and a faster processor and an easier user interface and faster page turns. However, the gap is a lot less than when Kindle 3 first came out and Nook 1’s retail availability is a lot better.

You can’t let a last generation product compete with you – Amazon has the opportunity to blow away Nook 1 and it ought to go all-out.

Where’s the Kindle 3.5 upgrade with better PDF support and support for library books? Where’s the next killer Kindle WhisperNet feature? What is Amazon waiting for – Has it assumed the battle is already won?

Kindle vs Nook Color – Different devices with an intersecting market slice

Just finished a Kindle vs Nook Color Review and comparing the Kindle 3 and the Nook Color head to head was very revealing.

  1. Firstly, there are just as many improvements in Nook Color (over Nook 1) as there are in Kindle 3 (over Kindle 2). Amazon is the software magic company with its lead in Cloud services and its infinitely scalable website and all its optimization algorithms – How on Earth is B&N managing to keep up? Why is Amazon not able to pull away?
  2. Secondly, the Nook Color manages to be a better choice for people who read around a book a month. That’s very, very significant. It means that instead of having a market of 40 million people to itself the Kindle only has a market of 20 million people to itself.

The latter was a very stunning realization. The Kindle is undoubtedly the best option for people who read more than a book a month. However, Nook Color edges out the Kindle when it comes to people who read 1 book a month or less. It also edges out iPad.

If Nook Color takes off, and it might, that’ll give B&N the financial strength and morale boost it needs to make a really good Nook 2 and a really good Nook 3.

A Kindle Color or a Kindle Tablet is sorely needed. The whole Kindle Reading Apps strategy is a trap – It seemed like Amazon was getting something for nothing and then B&N came out with a reading tablet and started eating up the casual reader market. Kindle Reading Apps should be add-ons that go out alongside a Kindle Tablet and a Kindle Phone – not replacements.

Nook vs Nook Color – Kaizen at the level of Amazon

You could argue that B&N made a fundamental mistake by choosing LCD over eInk. However, it ends up with a device perfect for casual readers.

Apart from the LCD choice B&N doesn’t make very many mistakes – In fact it improves things across the board.

  1. In the main menu B&N gets rid of ‘The Daily’ and ‘Reading Now’ tabs and rolls the ‘Games’ and ‘Audio’ tabs into a section called Extras. It also puts the ‘WiFi’ tab into the Settings Tab. The result is that there are now 6 main tabs in the Nook Color Main Menu and it fits on the screen. It makes the most important menu on the Nook Color a lot easier to use.
  2. B&N went from having almost no search to devoting an entire tab to search and making the Search an ‘instant’ search. It’s really very good and uses the touchscreen very well.
  3. Instead of a ‘LCD-eInk marriage from hell’ we now have a very well done Touch Interface. It’s not silky smooth – it’s just easy to use.
  4. The keyboard is so much better it’s a pleasure to use compared to the Nook 1’s ‘type the wrong keys constantly’ keyboard.
  5. Nook Color replaces whatever super slow processor and buggy code the Nook 1 had with a 800 MHz processor and code that’s reasonably fast.
  6. Nook Color uses an IPS LCD screen. That’s ridiculously good for a $250 device. Using LCD instead of eInk hurts reading but not as much if it’s a very high quality LCD screen. It also has much better pixel density than the iPad and about the same pixel density as Kindle.
  7. The Design is a big improvement. It could have used a few more buttons but it does a lot of things right design-wise including getting rid of the all-white casing of the Nook 1.
  8. The browser is really very good and uses the touch screen well – It’s instantly much better than the original Nook’s decentish browser.
  9. It makes the home page customizable and gives users 3 home screens they can set-up any way they like. That’s a great touch because who wants a boring list of hard to arrange book titles like the Nook 1 had.
  10. Nook Color makes lending very easy by including a LendMe Network App. Nook 1 owners had to use Internet forums and keep track of things themselves. Now users can just use their Nook Color’s LendMe App – though they still have to find other Nook owners on the Internet.
  11. Sluggish page turns on Nook 1 versus instant page turns on Nook Color.
  12. Need for a reading light on Nook 1 versus back-lit screen on Nook Color.

Perhaps Kindle 3 had a similar or larger number of improvements – However, Nook Color was working from such a poor base (Nook 1’s software and usability were both terrible) that its improvements seem more impactful.

Please Note that someone who hasn’t used Nook 1 might find the Nook Color less impressive. It’s not as smooth as iPad and that’s actually OK as it’s half the price. Whether or not you’ve used Nook 1 you’ll find Nook Color impressive for the price. If you love reading, the Kindle is still the right choice – However, Nook Color is a better choice for people who ‘read once in a while’.

Nook vs Kindle vs Nook Color – Amazon needs to move quickly and make BIG changes

Amazon is faced with a unique and unexpected challenge. Nook Color represents a threat that wasn’t supposed to materialize until the 7″ iPad 2 arrived in early 2011. It’s a 7″ LCD screen device that’s actually focused on reading and does a decent job. It also comes in at $250.

At the same time the Nook 1 has improved enough that the Kindle 3’s complete domination of the dedicated eReader market no longer seems guaranteed.

Here are 5 completely unsolicited suggestions Amazon should consider –

  1. Stop being complacent. A lot of people stopped thinking about the Nook once the Kindle 3 came out – think that extends to Amazon. In customers’ eyes things like support for library books and support for other book stores makes the Nook 1 a legitimate contender.
  2. Be proactive instead of reactive – Why isn’t Amazon the one coming out with a ‘reading tablet’? Why isn’t it bundling physical books with ebooks? Why is it not sending out software updates every 2 months?
  3. Focus on winning the eReader battle rather than winning the ‘who sells more ebooks’ battle. Ultimately, the company that wins the eReader battle will have the eBooks market to itself.
  4. Stop depending on Kindle Reading Apps. It’s lunacy to promote another device in TV ads and to start depending on devices that other companies control. Amazon should think about how tightly it runs its own platform and whether it would sell a B&N reading app and then wonder why it’s assuming other companies will keep giving it a free ride.
  5. Beat Nook and Sony Reader on device and software as thoroughly as Amazon beats them on book store and services. Sony Reader 350 is lighter, more compact, has touch, and looks better than Kindle WiFi – that should be unacceptable to Amazon. Kindle needs to be a better eReader than the Sony even when you strip away the book store and infrastructure supporting it.
  6. Make sure no one beats Amazon at its core strength i.e. incremental improvement. If Nook 1 manages to improve in 4 key areas Amazon should have a software update out within a month that improves Kindle 3 in 10 key areas.
  7. Add Revolutionary to its evolutionary (incremental improvements) greatness. B&N is taking a big chance with a ‘reading tablet’ that might end up in a big empty pit between Tablets and Dedicated eReaders – or it might create a new market. Amazon really should be taking chances like this. Sooner or later a reading device that has a fresh new approach is going to beat dedicated eReaders or carve up the market – might as well be a device from the Kindle family.

All of this brings to mind 2009 when Amazon sat on its Kindle lead and did nothing until Nook 1 arrived with PDF support and the fancy navigation touchscreen and jolted Amazon out of its slumber.

With rapid improvements to Kindle 2 (like adding PDF support within weeks of the Nook announcement) and by releasing a ‘better across the board’ Kindle 3 Amazon showed it can fight back. However, it’s gone back to sleep. This time, instead of being aware of the danger Nook Color and Nook 1.5 pose and waking up, it’s taking the easy way out and assuming that B&N has killed itself.

Nook Color is eating away at the casual reader market and Nook 1 is clipping at the Kindle 3’s heels. Both are very real threats and no amount of ‘We’re No. 1 and B&N is probably financially insolvent’ sentiment is going to change that. Add on the Press’ non-stop love-fest for a certain Tablet and you have a very hard next 9 months for the Kindle.

Nook vs Kindle vs Nook Color is not a fight Amazon can win over the long term – It needs a Kindle Tablet, it needs a lot of software improvements, and it needs a color eInk Kindle 4. It also needs them yesterday – though within the next 6 months would probably work. The Kindle is under threat on all fronts and it’s time Amazon started acting like it.

Kindle vs Nook Color Review

The Kindle is an eInk based dedicated reading device and the Nook Color is a LCD based Reading Tablet – This makes a Kindle vs Nook Color Review a very tricky proposition.

If you read 2 or more books a month then the Kindle is the better choice. If you read less than 1 book a month then Nook Color is a better choice.

This Kindle vs Nook Color Review is relevant only to people who read around 1 book a month or those who don’t know whether they should get a device dedicated to reading (Kindle) or a device focused on reading (Nook Color).

Kindle vs Nook Color Review – Reviewing Nook Color’s advantages

Nook Color comes in with a huge list of advantages over the Kindle (some of which don’t necessarily apply to reading) –

  1. It has a beautiful 7″ color screen which makes little difference for books but a lot of difference for children’s books and magazines. The screen also has slightly higher pixel density (169 ppi) than the Kindle’s screen (167 ppi). The screen is an IPS screen so it’s really good.
  2. Nook Color has touch which is a good feature to have for usability and for games and surfing. Web surfing in particular really benefits from the touchscreen.
  3. At $249 it provides better value for money than Kindle 3 ($189) – though not better value than Kindle WiFi ($139).
  4. Nook Color supports library books and ePub. A pretty significant advantage if you depend on Library books.
  5. It has a microSD card slot which lets you expand the memory (you can switch memory cards so in theory there’s unlimited memory). It also has larger on-board memory (8 GB) compared to the Kindle (4 GB).
  6. It has password protection on purchases. Kindle really needs this feature.
  7. Nook Color supports Word and Office files. This includes the old and new formats of Word (doc, docx), Powerpoint (ppt, pps, pptx, ppsx), and Excel.
  8. Nook Color has better PDF support.
  9. Nook Color has limited video format support – only MP4 video.
  10. It looks better than Kindle – a part of it is having a color screen, another part is a streamlined and unique design.
  11. Once B&N lets apps in there will be a lot to do – Apps will be able to use the color, touch, sound, accelerometer, and other features to great effect.
  12. Nook Color has an accelerometer so you can choose to have the orientation switch automatically.
  13. It lets you set up your own home screen and arrange objects on it and change their size. It also lets you set up your own custom wallpaper.
  14. There’s lending (one time only per book, for at most 14 days) if Publishers have enabled it for the book. It’s a limited feature but it does add value – Kindle will add it later this year.
  15. You can root the Nook Color i.e. strip away the B&N controls and layer. That means you can go to the underlying Android OS and use Nook Color as an Android Tablet with Android Apps. This does require technical savvy and voids your warranty so it’s not for everyone.
  16. Nook Color supports AAC and MP3 format music files while Kindle only supports MP3 format. Nook actually has a complete music player with support for playlists, shuffling, repeat, and more. Nook Color also has the Pandora music streaming app.
  17. B&N Store related features. You get free WiFi in B&N stores and can read any book for free for up to an hour a day. This is a feature that Publishers can disable.
  18. It has a back-light so you can read it in low-light conditions without needing a clip-on reading light. Please note that this affects some people’s sleep patterns so if you feel you aren’t sleeping as well once you start reading books on LCD screens at night it might a good idea to stop.
  19. Nook Color’s document organization section gives you more options in terms of separating books you buy from your own documents and in terms of letting you view books and magazines and newspapers separately. If you like book shelves the Nook Color has a Shelves feature that lets you arrange your books into shelves. 
  20. Nook Color has a choice of 6 different fonts and 6 different themes (night view, Sepia, etc.). Kindle only has 3 variants of Caecilia font and doesn’t really have themes.
  21. Nook Color just lets you do a lot more things – Touch and Color make Web surfing much better than on Kindle, the DRM’ed ePub support lets you buy books from other stores and get books from libraries, the games look better with color and are easier to play because of touch, photos obviously looks better, some video formats are supported.

The Nook Color is a very impressive Tablet and it does a decent job of focusing on reading.

Kindle vs Nook Color Review – Reviewing Kindle’s advantages

Kindle focuses on providing an uncompromised reading experience and it does a great job of it. It has lots of advantages over the Nook Color –

  1. The eInk screen is great for reading. It’s just like reading print on paper and doesn’t hurt your eyes and works in bright sunlight. If you are LCD-incompatible then there’s little doubt – You should get a Kindle.
  2. There’s a focus on reading and distractions are minimized. Kindle is terrible at everything other than reading – So the path of least resistance is to read books.
  3. It’s much easier to get lost in a book on the Kindle – This goes beyond the distractions aspect. In 2 weeks with Nook Color have only read Alice in Wonderland and that’s a small book.
  4. The Kindle Store is the best ebook store with the widest selection of new books and the best ebook prices. 
  5. Kindle WhisperNet provides a lot of great add-on services like synchronizing your place in a book and synchronizing notes and highlights.
  6. Kindle has incredible battery life (10 days with wireless on, a month with wireless off) while Nook Color battery life is just 8 hours with wireless off.
  7. Kindle is very light and compact. At 8.7 ounces it’s much lighter than Nook Color (15.8 ounces).
  8. Kindle 3 has both 3G and WiFi while Nook Color only has WiFi. 3G wireless is free in areas with AT&T network coverage and includes store browsing and Internet browsing.
  9. Kindle is available internationally and there are over 100 countries with Kindle WhisperNet coverage – For US Kindle owners this means free store browsing and free Internet over 3G in all these countries.
  10. Kindle has Text to Speech – this is a great feature. Publishers can turn it off and some do (40% to 50%) – However, the rest don’t. It also works on documents you add yourself but not on PDFs.
  11. Kindle supports Audible format for audiobooks – Nook Color doesn’t.
  12. Kindle has stereo speakers while Nook has a mono speaker.
  13. Kindle, thanks to the Kindle App store, has more games than Nook Color. Nook Color comes with Chess, Sudoku, and Crosswords while Kindle has Scrabble, Solitaire, Sudoku, Mahjong Solitaire, Texas Hold’em Poker, and a few more.
  14. Kindle is cheaper. You can get the Kindle WiFi for just $139 while Kindle 3 is $189.
  15. Kindle has a largest font size that is much larger than Nook Color’s largest font size. It also has more font size options (8 vs 6 for Nook Color).
  16. Kindle is simpler to use – things like searching the Kindle Store and purchasing Kindle books are very straightforward. Nook Color does have a nifty ‘instant’ search feature for on-Nook searches.
  17. Kindle works in bright sunlight and bright lighting conditions. Despite the ‘glare reducing layer’ the Nook Color isn’t readable in bright sunlight or under bright lights.

The Kindle is clearly better for reading and for focusing on reading. It is definitely not a Tablet and is not suited for anything other than reading.

Kindle vs Nook Color Review – the Kindle is dedicated to reading

The most crucial thing about the Kindle is that it’s completely dedicated to reading – If you want to read more or if you read a lot already and want a device that’s completely dedicated to reading then Kindle is the right choice.

Here are a few key things about the Kindle –

  1. Everything revolves around reading. The eInk screen is perfect for reading. The free 3G Internet access and Wikipedia access is more tailored to reference than to browsing. All the add-on features are add-ons to reading.
  2. Amazon focuses on providing an excellent eBook Store which you can access over 3G. It provides reading related features like syncing your place in a book across Kindles and Kindle apps. There are Kindle Reading Apps for other platforms so you can read even when your Kindle is not with you.
  3. Amazon has stuck with eInk and stayed dedicated to reading.

If you like to read or would like to read more Kindle is a good choice. If you love to read it’s a great choice.

Kindle vs Nook Color Review – Nook Color is a Tablet focused on reading

The Nook Color is a reading Tablet – to be more precise it’s a Tablet that does a few things to keep the focus on reading.

  1. It uses Android as the underlying OS but has built a layer over Android which is focused on reading. The main focus is on your books and your Documents Library and on the B&N Nook Store.
  2. There’s a LCD screen but it has a special layer over it to reduce glare. It doesn’t really make much of a difference but it’s nice that B&N tried.
  3. There will be a Nook App Store but it seems that only reading focused apps will be allowed in.

B&N have kept a tight focus on the reading capability of the Nook Color. This, however, doesn’t change a few facts –

  1. Nook Color is fundamentally a Tablet and a very capable one.
  2. Things like browsing are great because you have a 7″ touchscreen in color.
  3. It’s just as good for games and photos and surfing as it is for reading.

In a sense B&N is taking a multi-purpose Tablet and doing minor hardware changes (special anti-glare layer) and some sizeable software and policy changes (reading oriented top software layer, focus on reading apps) to create a device that is focused on reading and better than iPad and Tablets for readers.

The $250 price is also a key part of this ‘reading tablet’ strategy.

If you think a device should do more than just read while also providing a decent reading experience the Nook Color is the perfect device for you.

Kindle vs Nook Color Review – Conclusion

The grey area was – Which is the better device for readers who read 1 book a month?

After doing this Kindle vs Nook Color review it seems that the Nook Color is.

Kindle is clearly the better choice if you read more than 1 book a month, if you want to read more, or if you want an uncompromised reading experience. It’s a device dedicated to reading and provides the absolute best reading experience.

Nook Color is perfect for casual readers. If you read 1 book or less a month or if you want a device that is good for reading and can also do other things well then Nook Color is a great choice.

If you have the Kindle and Nook Color side by side you’ll almost always prefer to read on the Kindle. The worrying thing for Amazon is that Nook Color is better or much better for pretty much everything other than reading books and buying books.

The Kindle wins out in this Kindle vs Nook Color Review when it comes to pure reading experience and suitability for reading. The minute you expand into reading plus anything else the Nook Color pulls ahead.