NOOK vs Kindle eReader Comparison

What is the eReader that suits YOU Best?

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

  1. Kindle, Nook, Kobo or Sony eReader?
  2. If Kindle, which Kindle? Kindle with Special offers or not? Kindle with 3G + Wi Fi or Wi Fi only?
  3. $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

  • Price

  • Touch Screen

  • Audio

  • 3G

  • Built-in memory

  • Expandable memory

  • Dimensions

  • Weight

  • Battery life

  • Basic Kindle

  • $79

  • NO

  • NO

  • NO

  • 1GB

  • NO

  • 6.5" x4.5"x 0.34"

  • 5.98 ounces
  • 1 month
  • Kindle Touch

  • $99

  • Yes

  • Yes

    Listen to music while reading

    Listen to audio/audible books

    Text-to-speech - reads out non-audio ebooks loud

  • Optionally available

    Costs extra $50

    No monthly 3G bills

  • 4GB

  • NO

  • 6.8" x 4.7"x 0.4"

  • 7.5 ounces
  • 2 months
  • Nook Touch

  • $99

  • Yes

  • NO

  • NO

  • 2GB

  • Slot for microSD card up to 34GB

  • 6.6" x 5" x 0.47"

  • 7.48 ounces
  • 2 months +
  • Kobo Touch

  • $99

  • Yes

  • NO

  • NO

  • 2GB

  • Slot for microSD card up to 34GB

  • 6.5" x 4.5" x 0.4"

  • 6.5 ounces
  • 1 month
  • Sony Reader

  • $129

  • Yes

  • Yes

    Listen to music and audio/audible books

    NO text-to-speech

  • NO

  • 1.3GB

  • Slot for microSD card up to 34GB

  • 6.875" x 4.375" x 0.375"

  • 5.9 ounces
  • 1 month
  • Winner

  • Basic Kindle

  • N/A

  • Kindle Touch

  • Kindle Touch

  • Kindle Touch

  • Nook, Kobo, Sony

  • Basic Kindle

  • Sony PRS-T1

  • Nook Touch

Is the Kindle or Nook YOUR Best eReader?

kindle touch review

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.

Who cares about audio features on an eReader? Watch this video and read the detailed review on why audio features may be useful for a ebook reader (click to open in a new window).

Why else is the Amazon Kindle Touch the Better eReader?

  • Because it has a more advanced multi-touch screen compared to the one on the Nook Touch (watch the video and read the detailed comparison of the touch-screen functions of the Kindle Touch and Nook touch we made on another page)
  • 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.
  • Kindle Touch is better than the $79 Kindle because the 5-way controller can be more messy than you think (read the Kindle Touch vs $79 Kindle comparison for further details)

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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!

kindle with special offersFirst 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!
best ereader 2011We 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.

Want to learn more? Read the detailed post we made on Kindle with Special offers or Kindle without Special offers OR watch the video below!

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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.

kindle touch vs nook touchHere are the 3 detailed comparisons between the

  1. Kindle Touch and Nook Touch
  2. $79 Kindle and the Kindle Touch
  3. 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

The audio and text-to-speech features can be useful

  • It has no touch-screen – the touch screen is not just about looks, it can be very convenient (see videos on the Nook Touch vs Kindle Touch comparison)
  • 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

  • The Kindle Touch – With Special Offers ($99) OR
  • The Kindle Touch 3G – With Special Offers ($149)

Convinced that the Kindle Touch or $79 Kindle is the right eReader for you?

Go here

Would rather settle for a Nook Touch?

Was this Amazon Kindle Touch Review helpful? Do you think it helped you figure out what the best eReader is? Please let us know by leaving a comment below! It will help us improve this and others who are trying to figure out which eReader suits them best!

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Leave A Reply (36 comments So Far)


five × = 5


  1. gaby @ Starting Fresh
    550 days ago

    My Kindle 2 just broke. I’ve been waiting for the ipad 3 and suddenly found myself looking for a replacement e-reader. Thanks for the systematic and detailed review.

    For the small segment of your readers that own the older Kindle models, it’s helpful to know that if your older Kindle breaks after the 1 year warranty has passed, Amazon offers the option of replacing it with the Kindle keyboard for $40. If you want to swap the old Kindle for the Kindle Touch, Amazon will also accept and trade-in the older keyboard but offer very little for it ($14).


  2. Uday
    591 days ago

    Hi,

    Thanks for this detailed review of e-book readers. I’ve almost settled on Kindle touch + 3G. I live in India and want to know how best can I use this “free” 3G connections? Can i browse anything on this connection or am i just allowed to browse wikipedia for free?

    Thanks,
    Uday


    • Admin
      591 days ago

      Unfortunately it’s just Wikipedia and Amazon store of course :)


  3. D. Esan
    619 days ago

    Once again your review only compares what the spec sheets already tell you. The thing I am most concerned about is the file format limitations on the Kindle (AZW) & Nook (ePub). It would seem to be a lesson unlearned from Sony about limiting file formats. (Beta vs VHS; WM vs MP3) It is hard to look at the available ebooks offered. Since I see some of my favorite retailers offer ePub only and others offer AXW formats. Is there any resolution on the horizon?


    • Admin
      619 days ago

      hmm… I think we compare more than just what’s said on the spec sheets, have you seen the videos? You’re right, we don’t address the eBook formats – will update soon.

      Well as far as ePub goes, you can always go to calibre-ebook.com to inter-convert any (I haven’t personally tested all possible combinations) format.

      Hope that helps!


  4. Samsebenayme
    620 days ago

    I think how about compare the Kindle Touch with Nook Simple Touch. What a better now?


  5. Kathy
    621 days ago

    Thank you for your response. One follow up question: Regarding the print clarity between the Touch and the Keyboard versions… I’ve read some about the non touch versions having more of a contrast between the print and background that makes it more clear/sharp for reading. The Touch I understand has more of a grey background, and the print is ‘softer’, but not as sharp. … does that make it seem a little blurry for reading? Your opinion is much appreciated.


    • Admin
      619 days ago

      Hi,

      I don’t want to comment on if Kindle KB font looks crisper or not simply because it’s subjective. But what I will tell you is that the Kindle Touch font is not blurry at all. On the videos you may think it’s blurry, but that’s only because of the quality of the video. However, the Kindle Fire font is much sharper and nicer, I guess you’d expect that from a LCD screen!
      Hope that helped and sorry about the delay!
      Admin


  6. Kathy
    621 days ago

    These reviews are just what I’ve been looking for! However…how about review/compare the Kindle Keyboard 3G, with the Kindle Touch.


    • Admin
      621 days ago

      Well in short, both of them have 3G models and audio. One thing the keyboard version has and the touch doesn’t is landscape mode. The touch-screen adds a lot of extra functionality and I honestly can’t see any positives of the keyboard over the touch other than the landscape mode. It’s heavier, larger and way less sexier :) And when you want to highlight/annotate something you need to navigate using the left right up down buttons – no fun.
      Hope that helps! Sorry if I sound like the Kindle touch-screen designer :)


  7. Megan punuhotu
    633 days ago

    160 the amazon kindle dx 160 longer, lighter and still thinner than a standard first generation kindle, the kindle dx is the new must have gadget for booklovers.


  8. Igor
    637 days ago

    Dear all,
    I have question regarding the Kindle Touch WiFi and web browsering. Am I right that I suppose that this Kindle Touch WiFi allows to browse all webpages (e.g. google mail) by using WiFI as the previous models. Or only Amazon website is allowed through WiFi connection?
    Thanks for reply
    Igor


    • bereview
      637 days ago

      You are allowed to browse anything, not just Amazon content using Wi Fi. But with 3G, it’s only Amazon :(


  9. Karen Baker
    638 days ago

    Hi.it would be great if any of these readers could take uploaded pictures to display. Any chance of that happening?


    • bereview
      638 days ago

      The Nook Touch has the feature. You can have screen savers using pics of your choice. I should update the table if it already doesn’t have that information. Thanks!


  10. Marindoc
    638 days ago

    The advantage of 3G benefits the traveler who does not have to seek out “hot spots” to download newspapers, periodicals but it seems to come at a price: compare Nook 2 touch battery life of 1 hr X 2 months vs Kindle 3G touch of ½ hr X 2 months- probably not a significant factor. The factor of technical support has not been addressed. The advantage of taking a Nook to your local B&N store for advice vs. necessity to use web for Kindle support or waiting to talk to a person who has to get information from another technician or manual cannot be overstressed. The advantage of text to speech, while not up to vocal standards of audiobooks is a plus on Kindle Touch, particular when you are drowsy on a long plane flight, or driving/riding in an auto. Lastly, I presume when dealing with 3rd party vendors e.g. library sources or free source material both are similar? My Choice : Kindle 3G Touch


  11. Andy
    640 days ago

    You’ve got great insights about kindle fire,kindle touch,kindle reviews,kindle books,kindle fire reviews 2011, keep up the good work!


  12. Linda Smith
    641 days ago

    I am quite disappointed in this review. I could care less if people want Nooks, i-pads or Kindles, but reviews like this should at least contain factual, non-misleading statements. Your comparison of the Kindle Touch and Nook Touch contains multiple inaccuracies.

    First, both of the Touch e-readers are $99.

    Second, the dimensions of the Nook are 6.5″ x 5″ x .47″ and it weighs 7.48 oz. The dimensions of the Kindle are 6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″ and it weighs 7.5 oz. Come on. Those are virtually identical.

    A fair assessment would be to say that if 3G and Audio are important to you, go with the Kindle. If more memory and perks like the free hour of reading at the B&N stores are more important, then go with the Nook.


    • bereview
      640 days ago

      We apologize Linda.

      The pricing was $139 when we wrote this, will change it ASAP.
      On the size and weight, yes we agree, but just for specs sake the Kindle touch is smaller. But will change it to reflect your views, because what we’ve said may be misleading.

      Thank you for taking the time to point out those errors, we really appreciate that and we also approve comments that talk about our weaknesses, not just its strengths. Thanks again!
      Admin


  13. DarlaB
    642 days ago

    I appreciate the information. I am purchasing for my elderly mother in law who absolutely loves to read, but will sometimes leave her books and is also having a hard time with her hands. I think the touch will be better for her since she will be able to have the books read to her if she likes and the option to access amazons 3g for a one time payment is AMAZING.. The one thing that I didnt read is whether or not the screen is easy to adjust so that she can make the words bigger if she needs to….


    • Admin
      641 days ago

      Thanks for the question Darla. Yes definitely you can easily increase the font size. See image below
      Choice of 8 text sizes and 3 fonts for the Kindle


  14. Cindy Saliba
    644 days ago

    Comments were very helpful. I’d like to get my husband an ereader as he reads a lot and is traveling a lot. He’ll always have light at night so that is not an issue. He has not liked some of the touch phones he has had because of size of font and finger accuracy.
    Is this an issue with the Kindle? Where can I actually go look at one?
    thanks


    • bereview
      642 days ago

      With the Kindle, it won’t be an issue because there are like 6 font sizes! You can check out the local BestBuy or Staples!


  15. Grace
    646 days ago

    Battery life is important because we travel a lot, and charging isn’t always an option.
    Contrast or backlite is important because lighting is not always good or even available. Also glare in direct sunlight can be an issue. Can you tell me if the light issue is adequate in the Kindle touch.


    • Admin
      645 days ago

      Hi Grace,

      Thank you for your questions! Yes if you do travel for prolonged periods, battery life does become important. In that case you may want to consider the Kindle Touch with 3G as well.

      Contrast and backlighting are two different things. Screens with backlighting are LCD screens. The only Kindle with an LCD screen is the Kindle Fire, all others have E-ink screens. With E-ink screens, you get NO glare from the sun, but with LCD screens you do get a glare. But with an LCD screen you don’t need external lighting to read under low lighting conditions, but with an E-ink screen such as the one on the Kindle touch, you will need an external lighting source to read at night! There are lighted Kindle covers on Amazon that you can purchase!

      Hope that helps!


  16. D.B. Rodgers
    647 days ago

    I bought a Nook about a year ago, spent like $220 on everything and I’m just so annoyed that I didnt get my monies worth. I’m thinking of selling my Nook, and getting a Kindle, I’m still not sure which one, lol, but the information was very helpful and I can make an educated decision, so thank you. :^)


  17. mary
    649 days ago

    good review again.

    i hadnt known that there was a 3G kindle –and with no monthly charge. wish it had color tho.

    thanks!


  18. Dan Thew
    650 days ago

    I have been considering the e-reader for some time but had not been able to locate comparisons. This review was a God-send. Thanks so much for the information it was very helpful in many was…keep up the good work.

    D.T. Thew


  19. Neville Maxon
    653 days ago

    hmm… I don’t think I will type too much on the Kindle, so I’m going to settle for the basic Kindle. 20 bucks is like 3-4 eBooks :) I don’t plan on using it for listening to MP3s or Audiobooks, that’s what the iPod is for :) Anyways, detailed review, touches on many aspects others don’t!


  20. paul koger
    654 days ago

    needs to go more indepth. let me see keyboard vs touch; how it works pictures, more info


  21. Grady Cail
    654 days ago

    Wow, fantastic review! Thanks I was just about to get the $79 Kindle and now I may invest that extra $20 after reading this!


  22. Gwenelda
    656 days ago

    Call me wind because I am absolutley blown away.


  23. John Elliott
    658 days ago

    Yes, this review helped. I love my local free library, read 3 books a week, so not really convinced that I need a e-reader. If I purchase, it will be the Touch with 3G, I liked the basic Kindle but this review steered me away from that. And like the concept of the Fire !! Would I be able to read books on it also, with the “plain paper” concept? Guess I’ll buy Touch, and let my wife buy Fire !


    • bereview
      655 days ago

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your comments! Great to hear that you’re an avid reader!

      We also have not seen and touched the Fire yet. But from what we know, yes you can read all the ebooks using the Kindle apps, but it is not an ‘E-ink screen’. It’s an LCD screen. So it is theoretically NOT as good on the eyes as the regular Kindles with the E-ink screens! Hope that was helpful!


  24. Matthew C. Kriner
    664 days ago

    You saved me $80!
    I was about to buy the new $80 ($79) Kindle and now I am totally going to wait till the Kindle touch comes. I can totally see how the 5 way button can be a problem!


  25. Gregory Hurley
    666 days ago

    I’m not 100% convinced that the Kindle Touch is the right choice or not!
    I AM VERY happy with the $79 Kindle, sure it doesn’t have a touch-screen – the 5 way controller really doesn’t bother me. I search for stuff on the computer and download it to the Kindle, that way I don’t have to bother typing using the 5 way button.
    I don’t use the Kindle to listen to music or audiobooks – so that doesn’t bother me either. I’m happy about the 20 bucks I saved which I will use for Kindle books!