On September 28th 2011, Amazon introduced not one but a full half a dozen new eReaders making our task of picking the Best eReader even more difficult. Actually this time around we believe there is a clear winner (at least until Barnes & Noble puts out another eReader) and you can read all about it here on our Amazon Kindle vs Nook Simple Touch eReader comparison.
3 specific questions you must ask yourself
Kindle, Nook, Kobo or Sony eReader?
If Kindle, which Kindle? Kindle with Special offers or not? Kindle with 3G + Wi Fi or Wi Fi only?
$79 Kindle, Kindle Touch or Kindle Keyboard?
As you can see, it does look a little complicated, but we have done our best to make it simple for you!
Here is a comparison of some features of the Kindle, Nook, Kobo and Sony eReaders
6.5" x4.5"x 0.34"
Listen to music while reading
Listen to audio/audible books
Text-to-speech - reads out non-audio ebooks loud
Costs extra $50
No monthly 3G bills
6.8" x 4.7"x 0.4"
Slot for microSD card up to 34GB
6.6" x 5" x 0.47"
2 months +
Slot for microSD card up to 34GB
6.5" x 4.5" x 0.4"
Listen to music and audio/audible books
Slot for microSD card up to 34GB
6.875" x 4.375" x 0.375"
Nook, Kobo, Sony
Is the Kindle or Nook YOUR Best eReader?
This is really subjective and is highly dependent on the varying needs of different people. Here are some examples.
The Kindle Touch with Wi Fi + 3G is your best ereader – if you need 3G
The Kindle Touch suits you best (with or without 3G depending on your needs) – if you like to listen to music while reading your ebook or you want to take advantage of audio/audible ebooks and/or the text-to-speech feature
The basic $79 Kindle suits you best – if you do NOT need a touch-screen, audio features or 3G in your eReader (please read our Kindle Touch vs basic Kindle comparison because with the touch-screen version, you’re getting a whole lot more for the extra $20)
The Nook Touch is your ebook reader of choice – if you are in the habit of visiting your local B&N store frequently (inside Barnes and Noble stores, you can read any Nook Book for Free 1 hour per day) or you already have a bunch of Nook eBooks
Want 3G? Amazon Kindle is your only option
That’s right! If you want 3G in your eReader, the Amazon Kindle is your only option. The Nook Touch doesn’t have it, the Sony eReader doesn’t have it and the Kobo Touch doesn’t haven’t it (the older models of some of these had 3G, but the latest models do not)
If you want an ereader with 3G, the questions applicable to you are the following.
Do you need the Amazon Kindle Touch or Kindle Keyboard? We recommend the Kindle Touch with 3G over the Kindle Keyboard with 3G because it has a touch-screen, is lighter, is smaller and looks sexier! If you want more details read our Kindle Touch vs Kindle Keyboard comparison.
Do you need the Kindle with Special offers or without special offers? We recommend the Kindle Touch with special offers because we believe that the ‘special offers’ do NOT interfere with reading. Ads are NOT displayed when you’re reading. Watch the video we made on this page, Kindle WITH special offers or WITHOUT special offers.
Want Audio? Amazon Kindle is your Best eBook Reader
The only two electronic book readers that have audio features are the Kindle and the Sony Reader (current model:PRS-T1WC).
With the Sony Reader, you can listen to audio but it does NOT have the text-to-speech feature.
The Kindle Touch and Kindle Keyboard can play audio as well as read out loud/narrate (text-to-speech). In addition, it is also $30 cheaper than the Sony Reader, that’s why we say the Kindle is the better option when it comes to audio features.
Because the Kindle has a better web-browser than the Nook Touch – none of them are really good, but the Kindle browser is better. Again with the pinching action of your fingers, you could zoom in and out on web pages on the Kindle, but not on the Nook Touch
Because the Kindle Touch has twice as much built-in memory (4GB) compared to the $79 Kindle (2GB), Nook (2GB), Kobo (2GB) or Sony (2GB) Readers.
If you are already convinced that the Kindle Touch is the BEST eBook Reader for you, Click Here.
Kindle with Special Offers (ads) is a Pain – HELL NO!
First of all, lets get the Kindle eReaders ‘With Special Offers’ and ‘Without Special Offers’ out of the way. That makes the rest of our eReader comparison a lot easier and we would only have to choose from 7 Kindles instead of 12 Kindles!
We sincerely believe that ‘Special Offers’ will NOT hurt you. The ads are displayed either as a 1/2 and inch strip at the bottom of the home screen of your Kindle (as shown on the image on the left) or on screensavers. Neither of these will interfere with your reading. You will NOT see them when you are reading an eBook.
The Ads DO NOT interfere with reading eBooks – watch video
Have no doubt, the Amazon Kindle is NOT perfect
As far as we’re concerned, the following are the main deficiencies of the Kindle eReaders
They do not have an expandable memory – in contrast, the Nook Touch, the Sony Reader as well as the Kobo Touch have a slot for a microSD card that lets you expand its on device memory by up to 32GB. Would you need that extra memory? That’s a different question altogether. The 4GB on the Kindle Touch already holds 3,000 Kindle books, but if that ain’t enough for you, you may want to consider one of the other eReaders.
They do not support ePUB format ebooks – many libraries and various online digital collections have ebooks in the ePUB format, so if your Kindle couldn’t support ePUB books, you wouldn’t be able to make use of these free books. This shouldn’t stop you from buying a Kindle because of 2 reasons.
You can convert DRM free ePUB books to a format that Kindle supports (MOBI format) using a free 3rd party application on http://calibre-ebook.com/. The ePub book converted to Kindle Mobi format will also allow highlighting, annotations, and font-size adjustments as well as a better search process.
More than 11,000 US libraries now have Kindle Edition ebooks which you can wirelessly borrow to your Kindle – read all about borrowing Kindle Books from your local library here.
Here are the 3 detailed comparisons between the
Kindle Touch and Nook Touch
$79 Kindle and the Kindle Touch
Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch
The Kindle Touch is BETTER than the Nook Touch because of the following features
The price – $40 less ($99 vs $139) (UPDATE: B&N brought down the price of the Nook Touch to $99 – so the price is the same now)
There is a 3G option – Nook does NOT have a 3G compatible option (3G on the Kindle costs an extra $50 – but some people don’t mind paying that because they need it. The Nook doesn’t have that option, even if one is ready to pay that extra cash)
Audio – MP3, audible books, text-to-speech; the Nook eReader doesn’t have any of these options either. Hope you have watched this video on Kindle audio features and read the detailed review by now. If not, you can watch it again below.
Please skip this video on the Audio Features of the Kindle, if you’ve already watched it earlier!
EasyReach touch-screen – we think the multi-touch touch-screen of the Kindle Touch eBook reader is superior to that of the Nook touch due to 2 reasons. Firstly, turning pages on the Kindle Touch with one hand is much easier than on the Nook simple touch. Secondly, the Kindle Touch has some advanced functions like pinching and zooming in and out (to change the font size). You can watch the video below or read our detailed Kindle Touch vs Nook Touch multi-touch screen comparison (click to open on new tab/window).
Some advanced functions of the multi-touch touch screen of the Kindle Touch
Another video showing how the pinching function makes it easy to change font size
Kindle Touch has a 4GB internal memory compared to the Nook’s 2GB internal memory. (however, both offer free cloud storage and the Nook also comes with up to 32GB expandable memory – but of course that means extra $$ for the microSD card)
Better web browser – none of them are good, but the Kindle browser is better. Again with the pinching action of your fingers, you could zoom in and out on web pages on the Kindle, but not on the Nook Touch (will update with a video soon)
Tax free on most states – The final price you pay for the Kindle Touch is $99 because residents of most states in the USA don’t have to pay taxes when shopping through Amazon. In contrast, you will be paying taxes when you shop through Barnes and Noble meaning you will be paying somewhere around $107 – $108 depending on your state of residence
The Kindle Touch BEATS the $79 Kindle e-Reader because of the Following Features
Instead, it has a 5-way controller – (this is the BIGGEST shortcoming on this 4th generation Kindle) this can become a hassle especially when you are trying to type something because you have to navigate to different letters using this 5-way controller. Basically, when you want to type something (e.g. searching the Kindle Store, highlighting phrases, annotating, looking up words etc. etc.) a virtual keyboard comes up and then you need to navigate to different letters using the 5 way controller. This is a lot of work compared to the Keyboard Kindle or the touch-screen Kindle. This is the biggest sacrifice you have to bear with if you want to save that $20 (instead of purchasing the Kindle Touch)
There is NO 3G option – this can be a problem if you travel around a bit OR you don’t have wireless internet set up at home. Remember, accessing Amazon’s 3G service is completely free; that’s right NO monthly bills, just that additional $25-$40 that you pay upfront for the 3G upgrade. But with this basic Kindle, there is NO 3G option even if you were willing to pay that extra $30
Comes with only 1 month of battery life (although we don’t think it’s an important one, the Kindle Touch has 2 months battery life: 1 month vs 2 months – really doesn’t make a big difference)
Only 2GB memory/1,400 eBook capacity vs 4GB memory/3,000 book capacity of the Kindle Touch eReader (again, 1,400 books is plenty)
The last two points were mentioned just to make the story complete, however they should not influence your decision about going with/against the basic Kindle. The previously mentioned points are the more important ones
The Kindle Touch is BETTER than the Kindle Keyboard e-Readers because of the following features
Keyboard Kindles are Larger and Heavier
They LACK that MODERN look
And DO NOT have a touch-screen – all other major brands of eReaders (Nook, Kobo, Sony) have touch-screens. Touch-screens are NOT just about looks – they are also convenient
So what’s the Best eReader?
Depending on your (traveling) life style, your best ereader would be either
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