The two main rivals in the eBook reader market makes for a healthy slugfest with features that are now fairly common in both with just a few competitive edges here and there to distinguish the two. It’s really between Amazon’s 3rd generation Kindle DX vs Nook reader from Barnes & Noble – a natural product rivalry with Amazon staring out as the world’s first online bookstore beating the world’s largest traditional bookstore Barnes & Noble to cyberspace leadership.
But as they say, it’s often just a matter of time for the competition to gain parity and keep up. Barnes & Noble did that with its online presence and with and strong answer to Amazon’s e-reader, though 2 years late. But Kindle remains the clear market leader with the Nook threatening its position.
It can be difficult choosing between the latest generation these two readers, both enjoying decidedly a growing market following with the Kindle having the edge. And if you don’t have your priorities spelled out, the decision can be a bit agonizing. But if you do, it can be easy.
While both readers sport the same e-paper display technology, the Barnes & Noble reader has a 3.5-inch color LCD display contiguous with it under the e-display for navigating through content. That can be an edge if you’ve been used to touchscreen smartphones. But if you like QWERTY keyboard on your smartphone, the KindleDX has to be your choice.
Screen display area looks deceptively similar but the Nook3G takes up the lower bottom with the touchscreen LCD leaving only a page display of 600 x 800 resolution while that on the Kindle-DX offers a larger 825 x 1200 resolution. If you want a larger page display, the choice is clear.
Weight can be a deciding factor. The 18.9 oz from Amazon is sure to tire your wrist holding it up to read much earlier that will the 12.1 oz from B&N.
The one made edge of the Amazon eBook reader is its Text-to-Speech feature which allows the book to be read out loud. While it makes reading a listening chore, the feature has its practical advantage as it allows you to do some emergencies without missing a beat on what you’re reading. It’s also a helpful feature for kids learning to pronounce words, foreigner learning the language and even the blind getting book content. That’s what you won’t get in the contender.
Amazon’s Store boasts a library of 725,000 books. B&N has thrice that number. So if the wealth of titles is a priority to you, the world’s largest bookstore can’t disappoint and the Nook takes advantage of that.
The DX only has 3G connectivity while the Nook-3G has it plus WiFi. Both offer their data connectivity free with the Amazon’s Whispernet and the AT&T network. This feature may not matter to people who don’t bother with hotspots.
While the Kindle-DX has twice the onboard memory at 4GB, the Nook has microSD support for up to 16GB. If the 3,500 eBook titles that can be stored on the Kindle DX won’t be enough for you, then the Nook has to be your choice.
By Erik Astrand
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