This is my highly unscientific, non technical comparison of my Nook and my Kindle. It’s very subjective so you might find yourself disagreeing and that’s ok. It’s just unfortunate that there’s no easy way to test drive a Kindle without ordering it, sight unseen from Amazon.
Size- The Kindle is noticeably smaller than the Nook. It’s thinner and weighs a lot less. I have freakishly tiny little girl hands so I find the smaller Kindle much more pleasant to use.
Overall exterior- Cosmetic color differences aside, Kindle and Nook differ wildly with their functionality. Nook has the touchscreen navigation and virtual keyboard and Kindle has the built in keys. I happen to prefer the keys I can touch.
Navigation- Although I do like having physical keys, the menus on Kindle are hard to navigate and the lack of page numbers makes finding my place when I accidently hit the “back” button for the 67th time a pain. Nook has the option to return to the last page I was reading regardless of whether I’ve navigated away from it or not and the menu options are intuitive and easy to use. Nook wins this round.
Features- I’d say the two are about neck and neck. They both play MP3 files and let you side load new books. There are even games available for both. Kindle does have the interactive option to create sharable “clippings” and that seems like it would be fun, but I haven’t really used it so I can’t say yet how much I actually enjoy it. They both have lending options.
Battery life- Kindle has noticeably longer battery life (provided that the wi fi is shut off) than Nook. The touchscreen navigation is a huge power sink. If I were going on a long trip where I might not have easy access to a power source, I’d pick the Kindle.
The reading experience- I don’t really see a difference between the two displays. The display screens are close enough in size to be considered the same and I don’t prefer one to the other in readability. Nook displays the time at the top of the page all the time and with Kindle you have to push the menu button repeatedly to check the time. Plus, Nook as page numbers (sort of) whereas Kindle gives a percentage and a “location”. Not very helpful. I prefer Nook in this area.
Shopping experience- I prefer shopping at Amazon to B&N. I’m just more comfortable with it and there’s more selection. Plus, the weak wi fi signal on my Nook makes it hard to shop from my bedroom where I do most of my reading. Either way, I will continue to do most of my shopping online and send it to my readers later.
Price- I bought them both the same day. I paid for Kindle and got 2 day shipping for $12 and still only paid $150.98 total. I picked Nook up myself and paid over $160 with tax. If money is factor, you save a considerable amount going with the Kindle because you don’t have to pay a dime for shipping if you are willing to wait.
So all things considered, I prefer the Kindle. Granted the bulk of that choice is based on a combination of the sexy design and affiliation to Amazon. They are both really cool devices and I prefer either one to paper books. I think I’ll make that my next list.