The world of technology has been littered by the two most popular brands going head-to-head. We have had Spectrum v Commodore 64, VHS v Betamax, Apple v PC, iPhone v Android and now we have Amazon’s Kindle Touch against Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch. So the big question is what is the best eReader?
I have been fortunate in my job to test both these devices (and another six of the leading eReaders) and have to say it was one almighty battle. I’m going to split this article into the five areas that I always use when testing eReaders: Design, Display, Performance, Additional Features and Value.
Both manufacturers have taken different slants here. The Kindle has gone for a very simple and elegant design in a nice silver finish, whereas the Nook has gone for a black rubber type design. Both devices have similar functions with the Nook having the advantage of physical page turn buttons on the device whereas the Kindle just has the option of swiping across to turn the page. Personally I have gone for the Kindle here as I prefer the look and feel when using it.
Kindle 1 v Nook 0
It was pretty much impossible to split these two here as both use the same eInk technology and have utilised it equally well. A draw
Kindle 2 v Nook 1
Again it was next to impossible to split here. In use both are equally fast accessing menus, performing page turns and downloading books. The Nook had a slight advantage in downloading books, but the Kindle Touch made up for that in the page turns plus it also comes in a 3G version. Again I put this one as a draw.
Kindle 3 v Nook 2
Now up until very recently I would have given the Nook the edge here as it uses the Android operating system and comes with a myriad of cool features. The Kindle though has just released a new Firmware update that has more than help it catch up with the Nook. It also has the advantage of audio, so you can download and play music tracks, play audio books and use a neat text-to-speech facility. A win for the Kindle here.
Kindle 4 v Nook 2
Finally (and some say most important category) we come to value. Comparing like with like both the Kindle and Nook wi-fi versions retail for $99. Look a bit closer and you’ll see that with the Kindle Touch, the $99 version is the ad version, the ad-free version costs $139. Now personally I can put up with the ads along the bottom and as a screensaver as they disappear when you are actually reading a book. The Nook’s $99 device is ad-free, so on that basis I’m awarding the point to the Nook. If you can put up the ads then there is no difference in the price.
Kindle 4 v Nook 3
So there you have it, after living with these devices for a couple of weeks, my recommendation is the Kindle Touch. The Nook Simple Touch is also a very good eReader and you won’t be disappointed with either one.