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Haroot's avatar

The Kindle, the Sony Reader, or the Nook?

Asked by Haroot (2113 points ) November 6th, 2009

So recently I became interested in purchasing an e-book reader, mainly because I tend to read several books at once but despise the chore of hauling them around.

At first I only knew of the Kindle. But a quick visit to my local Best Buy introduced me to the Sony Reader. Oh no. Choices.

And then I read on gizmodo.com that Barns and Nobles is coming out with the Nook. More choices.

I really have no experience in this field, so which would you recommend? Or if you know of another, better e-reader, by all means tell me.

My main care is selection. I guess the next two cares would be memory and physical size. I don’t like bulky that much.

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21 Answers

CMaz's avatar

Sony Reader Daily with 7” display and AT&T 3G wireless. Amazon pioneered wireless in their Kindle readers and each has a Sprint EV-DO wireless modem inside so you can buy and download books and periodicals from Amazon. With the Sony Readers you’ll use your desktop and the included USB cable to download and transfer books. You can also put books on a Memory Stick Duo or SD card (the Kindle 2 and DX don’t have card slots). Sony’s desktop application, now available for both Windows and the Mac, works much like iTunes: you’ll use it to copy books to the device, sync notes and purchase books from Sony’s reasonably large selection of titles.

dpworkin's avatar

Right now I prefer the Kindle 2, not because the technology eclipses anything else; it doesn’t—but because it’s so easy to purchase books, and there is such a huge selection.

buckyboy28's avatar

I would say Kindle. The free internet access is a HUGE plus. Aside from the huge selection of books, you can also get newspaper and blog subscriptions sent to your kindle daily, and you can browse wikipedia on it.

J0E's avatar

I don’t think many people know about the nook yet, but from what I’ve seen it looks better than the Kindle.

dpworkin's avatar

Yup, @J0E, it prolly is better. But what will you read?

J0E's avatar

@pdworkin From what I read the nook has a much bigger ebook library.

robmandu's avatar

Huh… from what I’ve read the Nook offers much of the same features as the Kindle 2, plus some additional items as well, like:

- color screen browser
– no wasted space on a physical keyboard
– lend ebooks to your friends
– special access to goods when physically in a B&N store.
– over 1 million ebooks, newspapers, and magazines available at bn.com (vs. 369,548 for Kindle on amazon.com)
– memory expansion
– replaceable battery

[ Disclaimer: I don’t own an ebook reader, nor do I intend to anytime soon. ]

dpworkin's avatar

I am under the impression that the size of its library depends upon the fact that a lot of its books are in the Public Domain, so you don’t need a nook to read those anyway. If I’m wrong, I apologize. No question it is nicer technology, though.

robmandu's avatar

Here’s a comparison chart between Kindle2 and Nook.

dpworkin's avatar

@robmandu I don’t find AT&T very appealing, and I don’t find the differences very compelling. I can put any format book on my Kindle, too. It just takes on extra step. Big whoop.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I have an original Kindle…the Nook & the Sony look awesome to me. I love the convenience of being able to download a book from Amazon in a minute or less while I’m lying in bed reading, though.

I also like that Amazon keeps my books even if I delete them off from my Kindle.

robmandu's avatar

@pdworkin, that’s fine… it’s all about how you’d use it.

But if it were me:

- AT&T ain’t too bad around here. It’s NY and LA where folks have the most problems with iPhone saturating the bandwidth.
– Having freebies and swag offered to me just for being in/near a B&N store would be cool. Good for their business and good for me.

Replaceable batteries and expandable memory actually kind of turn me off. After enjoying some of Apple’s excellent work in sealed laptop batteries (8 hours!) I now look at expansion as a kind of way to upcharge the consumer.

Still, as I said earlier, none of the ebook readers make a real compelling offer for me. So, just educate yourself on the pros/cons/features and enjoy what ya got.

gemiwing's avatar

None of the above. Wait another year until everyone can agree on a format (or at least fewer of them) and that when you buy a book YOU own it.

dpworkin's avatar

I think the new stuff is cool, just not sufficiently cool to warrant additional expenditure yet.

drdoombot's avatar

I’ve been using Sony’s oldest Reader model, the PRS-500, for a little over 2 years now and I still love it. It gets the best battery life out of all the readers (despite it’s age, I still get nearly 3 weeks of use on a single charge).

When making a decision for which eBook reader you want to buy, the most important consideration is where your books will be coming from. If you’ll mostly be getting books from the public domain and ahem less-reputable sources ahem, then save the extra cash and get a reader without wireless purchasing capability. However, if you like to read the newest releases and hate hooking things up to your computer, there’s no beating the convenience of browsing and purchasing directly on your device.

If I was choosing between the Kindle and the Nook, I’d go with the latter. The refresh rate on e-ink screens is not great. It’s wonderful for book reading, but not great for internet browsing. The Kindle’s book browsing happens on the e-ink screen, which I imagine might be clunky. On the Nook, however, the book browsing is done on the color screen, with normal refresh rates and an experience similar to desktop internet browsing (or more accurately, smartphone internet browsing). All internet and device navigation happens on the color screen, which would definitely make the entire experience smoother. Plus, you can type right on the color screen for notes/annotations, dictionary lookup, search, etc. In my opinion, it’s better than having a physical keyboard.

In general, when purchasing any electronics, if you have the option to get a device that has expandable memory and replaceable batteries, always go for it. You never know if/when you’ll need more storage space and you don’t want a faulty battery to force you to use a company’s costly repair service when you can buy a new one and change it yourself.

ish1212's avatar

JUST BUY THE BOOK.

Haroot's avatar

Eh, I’m leaning towards the Nook. But I’m disappointed at the selection a bit. They don’t even have a Clockwork Orange, one of my favorite books.

missteachypants's avatar

People you do realize that the NOOK reads PDF and epub right? epub is indusry standard. Places like fictionwise.com offer both formats and they have a HUGE selection of books and have sales as well throughout the year. I recently purchased from one sale $80.00 worth of e books, none more than $3.00 and those were full length novels. That ability is why I went for the NOOK and love it.

stevenb's avatar

Thanks missteachypants!

missteachypants's avatar

You’re welcome Steven! Fictionwise seems to also have a spin off section affiliated with the site for KINDLE owners with the MOBI format for anyone who has one. I cant tell you if they also went on sale because I discovered it after the fact. Selection is also much smaller from my brief skim.

In defense of the KINDLE several friends have one and love it.I was just a little annoyed that i was soo pricey-It started out close to $400 buck (I know I stalked it LOL LOOONG time!) but when the Nook was announced they slashed the price identially to the price the NOOK was going to be $259 (they’d reduced it a little beofre that as well) ability to read PDF was introduced on the KINDLE after all thistime..a feature the nook was released with.

I have no issues with amazon-for print they have the best selection and I prefer the black and white screen of the KINDLE (even my cell is the simplest on the market LOL). All that sold me on the NOOK was the ability to read pdf and e pub (Sony does too) and the larger size (bad eyes!). And the fact I didnt have to buy direft through Amazon. I have ALOT of books in PDF format and love ficitonwise as I said, which is why KINDLE wasnt even in the race. After their switch to PDF, I considered but stuck with the NOOK. Lets hope I made the right chocie!

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