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Selecting the Right e-Reader: Kindle 2 or The Nook – Which is the Better Choice?

Selecting the Right e-Reader: Kindle 2 or The Nook – Which is the Better Choice?


Years ago the idea of reading a book in electronic form was the stuff of science fiction. Now there are not only ebooks and e-readers, but the number of titles is growing daily. And there are many e-readers to choose from. The two main contenders are the Kindle 2 and the Nook.

The Kindle 2

The Kindle from Amazon is in its second iteration with the Kindle 2. This e-book reader is slim and lightweight, measuring just 1/3 of an inch thick and weighing in at 10.2 ounces. Books are delivered wirelessly over a 3G network – globally – and there’s no contract or need to connect to a computer to get content. A reader can use their Kindle2 worldwide – pulling down content as it’s needed. There’s also limited internet searchability, the full Wikipedia is available, and a complete dictionary is onboard.

The Kindle 2 can carry over 1500 books and read pdfs that are transferred from a computer. (The original Kindle needed an interim step or the user had to pay a fee to get pdf content on the Kindle. This is no longer the case.) There are over 420,000 books available, along with a large number of national and international periodicals and newspapers. The content is delivered in under a minute and books cost less than their physical counterparts. And the Kindle 2 displays e-ink on a screen that reads like real paper. Even in the sunlight.

The Kindle 2 is less bulky than the original Kindle. And the weight is just right. Reading on the Kindle 2 feels just like reading a physical book. The battery life is excellent. It can go for several days without a charge – especially if the wireless connection is turned off when not in use. There’s an experimental feature on Kindle 2 that allows for books to be read aloud. This is excellent given that Audible.com content can be transferred from a computer to the Kindle 2 and read aloud by the Kindle. The Kindle 2 also can read any book or newspaper aloud. It supports jpg and mp3 files, and non-subscription purchases can be shared among Kindles registered to the same Amazon.com account.

What’s not fantastic about the Kindle 2?

The Kindle 2 doesn’t support the EPUB format and so cannot make use of free content on Google. It’s also not possible to share books with friends or access WiFi with the Kindle 2.

The Nook

This newly-introduced e-reader from Barnes & Noble has a number of useful functions. It’s half an inch thick and weighs 12.1 ounces, giving it the feel of an actual book. It’s got a color touchscreen for easy navigation and receives books wirelessly over a 3G network – new content available only in the US – as well as via free WiFi in Barnes & Noble stores, although a user cannot search the web with the Nook. There’s no contract for the 3G network. Personal photos can be used as a screensaver and a complete dictionary onboard.

The Nook can carry about 1500 books and read pdfs that are transferred from a computer. There are over 500,000 books available, along with a large number of national and international periodicals and newspapers. The content is delivered in less than a minute and costs less than physical material. The Nook uses e-ink and can be read in sunlight.

The battery life is excellent. It can go for several days without a charge. It does not have text to speech although it does support jpg and mp3 files. It’s possible to lend books to other Nook owners – whether or not the devices are registered to the same account. A reader also has options for customizing the back cover of the Nook and can set a personal photo as the screen saver.

What’s not fantastic about the Nook?

The Nook doesn’t allow the user to search the internet. Content cannot be purchased and downloaded when outside the US.

Which is Best?

The biggest differences between the Kindle 2 and Nook are that the Kindle 2 allows internet searches and international purchases while the Nook does not. On the other hand, the Nook reads EPUB material and allows device users to lend content while the Kindle 2 does not.

It’s simple to decide which e-book reader is best when the needs of the reader are considered. If a reader frequently travels outside the US and wants to travel light – the Kindle 2 is the obvious choice because of the ability to access new content and search the internet with one device. If international travel and internet searchability are not urgent needs for the reader, the Nook has more free content and customization options available, along with the ability to share content among friends not all registered to one account.

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