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Barnes & Noble Nook Vs Amazon Kindle - Which is the Best eReader

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									Amazon's Kindle eReader has been the leader, at least in the US, of the
eReader market since the introduction of Kindle 1 in 2007. Sony has held
2nd place with 30 - 35% of the market.But now there is a new kid on the
block. In October '09 Barnes & Noble announced its nook eReader that
sold out on pre-order within a few weeks.The nook is revolutionary
primarily in its looks. It will be hard for your average gadget boy/girl
to see one and not develop a serious craving. But does this mean that the
nook is the best thing since the printing press for bookish boys and
girls?Let's look at and compare some of the features of the nook and the
Kindle eReaders.For the most part reading on the nook's e-ink screen is
very similar to reading on the Kindle eReader's e-ink screen. Both
eRreaders use the same or a very similar reading screen.What is
dramatically different, and what in fact attracts many people to the nook
eReader is the small LCD touchscreen under the e-ink screen. On the
Kindle, navigation is accomplished by using the chicklet keyboard and the
5-way controller. The controls for the nook are mostly accessed through
using the LCD touchscreen.The nook's touchscreen is also used for
browsing books in your library or for selecting books to purchase from
Barnes & Noble over the wireless connection. A virtual keyboard is
available on the LCD screen for typing.The nook's color LCD screen looks
really nice and would seem to be a very desirable feature, but there are
problems with the software implementation, which we will get to in a
bit.Connectivity:The Kindle eReader has a 3G wireless connection through
AT&T for the Kindle Global, and Sprint for the Kindle 2. Amazon calls
its wireless service "Whispernet". Using Whispernet, you can usually
purchase and download a book within a minute or less. You also can use
the somewhat clunky but functional browser to access the internet, check
email, research your reading on Wikipedia, even access another online
ebook store than Amazon to purchase and download books, etc. With Kindle
Global you also have access to the Kindle store in many other countries
besides the US, though you have to pay a surcharge for downloading a book
on the Whispernet outside of the US.The nook eReader has both a WiFi
connection and a 3G AT&T wireless connection. The difference is that
the nook's connection can only be used for purchasing and downloading
books from Barnes & Noble. No internet, no Wikipedia, you cannot use
it to connect to another online ebook store and purchase books.The nook's
WiFi connection will be useful if you carry your nook eReader into a
B&N store as it will download coupons and special offers to your
eReader. You can also use the WiFi to browse ebooks while in a B&N
store, but you can only read each book for a maximum of one hour in a 24-
hour period. These in-store features are not yet fully implemented so we
don't yet know how useful they will prove to be.SharingOne of the nook
eReader's features that received a lot of press coverage is the ability
to lend your ebooks to friends. Unfortunately, this feature is not as
great as first thought. For one thing, publishers must opt in to let
their books be loaned. Some have said they will not allow this. Also
there are restrictions: you can only loan a particular book once ever,
and only for 14 days. While a book is loaned out you cannot access it on
your own nook.The Kindle does not at this time allow this type of
lending. However, you can share ebooks with up to 6 (it can vary by
title) Kindles that are registered to the same account. This works well
for multi-Kindle families. It is even possible to set up a reading club
with your Kindle owning friends if you feel comfortable sharing a single
credit card to register your Kindle eReaders to.Other FeaturesOne nice
feature that the nook eReader has is a user replaceable battery. The
Kindle's battery is hardwired in and therefore will need to be sent back
to Amazon for replacement ($60). Amazon says that even after 500 charges
(ten years or so) these batteries will still hold 80% charge, so this may
not be an issue for most people.The nook also accepts an SD card for
additional storage. The Kindle only has its internal storage, but that is
enough to hold around 1,500 books, so this may also not be an issue for
you.A nook feature that has not received any official Barnes & Noble
acknowledgment is the ability to borrow ebooks from your local library if
they use Overdrive's digital distribution service. To do this you need to
install Adobe Digital Editions on your computer and use that to sideload
the ebook onto your nook. You can borrow an ebook from the library for 14
days, after which it will be automatically deleted. You cannot renew
library ebook checkouts. To find out how useful this feature will be in
your case you should check your local library website. Most libraries do
not have a large catalogue of ebooks yet. Kindle does not support
borrowing library ebooks at this timeThe eBook StoresNo matter how
attractive the hardware, an eReader's primary purpose is to read books.
Since today's eReaders tend to be tied to proprietary DRM formats for
current titles, you want to make sure that the hardware that you choose
is backed up by the best ebook store(s).The nook's primary ebook supplier
for DRM'ed ebooks will of course be Barnes & Noble. You can also
purchase DRM'ed ebooks from other online sellers that support Adobe
Digital Editions. The nook is also compatible with non DRM'ed EPUB and
PDF format.With Kindle you will purchase most if not all of your DRM'ed
titles from Amazon's Kindle store. Kindle also uses a few other formats
for non-DRM'ed ebooks such as MOBI and PDF. Public domain ebooks are also
available for the Kindle eReaders. I suspect that at some point Amazon
will also have to allow EPUB compatibility for the Kindle, as there is
increasing pressure for this.Many people disparage the Kindle's being
locked into Amazon's ebook store for DRM'ed ebooks. While this may be
true to a large extent, the fact is that the Kindle store has more titles
available than B&N and all of the online stores selling ADE format
ebooks put together. In most cases Amazon's prices are less as well,
although Barnes & Noble has been trying to match their prices.If you
primarily read books on the current best sellers lists you will likely be
able to find these available in most formats at similar prices. The more
off the beaten path your reading is however, the more likely you are to
find what you are looking for at the Kindle store.So Which eReader is
Best - Kindle or nook?If the nook eReader had not been rushed to market
to make the holiday 2009 season, and if Barnes & Noble had waited
until they had the software ready and the bugs worked out, then I would
say that the nook would have been a very close second choice and maybe
even equal to the Kindle.In fact, the nook at present is crippled by its
faulty release version software and unless B&N gets it fixed in a
timely fashion the nook will be leapfrogged by the next Kindle release.
Barnes & Noble has said that they are working around the clock to
update the software and fix the current nook problems; and to their
credit they have released a couple of updates as of this writing. However
there are still lots of bugs and the nook is slower than the Kindle,
which will be distracting when you are trying to immerse yourself in that
next great book. In its present state the LCD screen does not play well
with the e-ink screen and can be very frustrating to use.Also, I prefer
the Kindle store. My reading tastes may be different than yours however,
so I would suggest you make a list of books you want to read and make a
price and availability comparison between the Kindle store and B&N's
offerings. Higher ebook prices can add up pretty quickly.The Kindle's
ability to connect to the internet and Wikipedia, etc. is also not to be
underestimated.I think that the nook eReader has the potential to be a
great eReader and possibly equal the Kindle, but it is something of a
gamble buying one now and waiting to see if Barnes & Noble can get
all of the glitches fixed in time and also match the Kindle store's
offerings.

								
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