Introduced in 2007, Amazon's Kindle electronic-book reader hit the market two years before Barnes and Noble's Nook arrived in 2009. As of 2011, the Kindle 3G is the most current version of the Kindle, while the Nook's most current model is the Nook Color. Unlike Apple's iPad, the Kindle and Nook Color are primarily for e-book functionality, though both do feature several multimedia functions. Comparing them according to several key features will help you make an educated choice between them..
Dimensions and Power
One of the first things you will notice about the Kindle and the Nook Color is their compact size and lightness. Released in August 2010, the Amazon Kindle 3G measures 4.8 inches wide, 7.5 inches tall, 0.33 inches thick and weighs 8.7 oz. The Nook Color, released in November 2010, weighs 15.8 ounces and measures 5 inches wide, 8.1 inches tall and 0.48 inches thick. When fully charged, the Kindle 3G's battery provides up to 4.5 hours of battery life, while the Nook Color's gives 3 hours.
Display and Memory
The Kindle 3G has a 6-inch monochrome display touchscreen and uses electronic ink technology to display 16 shades of gray at 600 by 800 pixels of resolution. The Color Nook displays full color on a 7-inch thin-film transistor active matrix screen at 1,024 by 600 pixels of resolution. Plenty of room for e-books exists on both of these devices. The Kindle 3G features 4 gigabytes of internal memory, three of which are available to the user, while the Nook Color features 8GB.
Neither the Kindle 3G nor the Nook Color needs a personal computer for 3G network or Wi-Fi connectivity. The Kindle 3G connects directly to Amazon.com's e-bookstore through a dedicated network called Whispernet. A card slot for expanded memory is built into both units, as is a USB port for connection to a computer or other electronic device. While both feature a built-in music player, the Nook Color also offers streaming audio through an integrated Internet radio feature. E-books in compatible formats are available for purchase and download from each of the companies' websites.
While both the Kindle 3G and Nook Color support some of the same text file types, such as PDF, TXT and DOC, the Kindle 3G also supports AZW, HTML and PRC file formats. The Nook Color also supports the EPUB file format, while the Kindle 3G does not. Still image formats supported by both computers include BMP, PNG, JPEG and GIF. Each device supports MP3 audio file formats, while the Nook Color also supports AAC files. Only the Nook Color provides video playback.
- CNET Reviews; Amazon Kindle (3G/Wi-Fi); David Carnoy; Aug. 2010
- CNET Reviews; Barnes and Noble Nook (3G/Wi-Fi); David Carnoy; Dec. 2009
- CNET Reviews; Barnes and Noble Nook Color; David Carnoy; Nov. 2010
- CNET Reviews; Amazon Kindle; David Carnoy; Nov. 2007
- CNET Reviews: Amazon Kindle (3G/Wi-Fi) Specifications
- CNET Reviews: Barnes and Noble Nook Color Specifications
- Photo Credit Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images
How to Compare Kindle Models
All models of the Kindle come with the basic interface and "e-Ink" display technology that sets this line of electronic readers apart...