Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi

Now that Amazon has introduced the Kindle WiFi, a.k.a. the Kindle 3, to compete with the Barnes and Noble Nook WiFi, let’s take a look at Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi to determine which is the best ebook reader to choose.

The good news is that you can’t go wrong with either, they’re two of the best ereaders on the market, and choosing one just depends on a few different factors. They both cost about the same price, the Kindle is $139 and the Nook is $149. And if you need an ereader with 3G wireless, then consider the fact that Amazon and B&N also offer both of these ereaders with free 3G wireless from AT&T for $50 more each.

The Advantages and Disadvantages are directly comparing Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi, meaning that the advantages for the Kindle are features that the Nook doesn’t have and vice versa.

Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi: Kindle Advantages

Kindle WiFiKindle WiFi

  • New Pearl screen has 50% higher contrast than the Vizplex screen used on the Nook.
  • Amazon has more content: Over 630,000 total ebooks available in the Kindle ebook store.
  • Almost 200 newspaper and magazine subscriptions available, compared to B&N’s 35.
  • Now supports collections (folders) for organizing ebooks.
  • Better PDF handling and more features for PDFs.
  • More memory: 4GB compared to the Nook’s 2GB.
  • Available to over 170 countries.
  • The Kindle’s battery life is much better at 10-30 days, compared to the Nook’s 4-10.
  • Several exclusive free ebooks added monthly.
  • 30-day return policy vs Nook’s 14 (unless you buy the Nook from Best Buy, which has a longer return policy of 30 days).
  • Text-to-speech (if approved by publisher).
  • Audio Guide reads menus aloud for the vision impaired.
  • Compatible with audiobooks from
  • Keyboard more functional for typing and adding notes.

Kindle Disadvantages

  • Amazon’s proprietary ebook DRM isn’t compatible with other ebook readers.
  • Doesn’t support EPUB without conversion and doesn’t support PDB format like the Nook does.
  • Not compatible with free ebooks from libraries.
  • No memory card slots.
  • The Kindle Store has limited sorting options.
  • No images of book-covers on home menu’s book list.
  • No in-store promotions.

Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi: Nook Advantages

Nook WiFiBarnes & Noble Nook

  • Supports Adobe EPUB and PDF DRM, meaning ebooks can be purchased from many websites other than B&N.
  • Compatible with for free ebooks through local libraries. How to »
  • Color LCD touchscreen pane for navigation, typing, etc.
  • Lend a purchased ebook one time for 14 days (if approved by publisher).
  • Can view book covers and browse by book covers.
  • B&N’s ebook store is easier to browse through and there are more sorting options.
  • No large keyboard; uses a virtual keyboard instead.
  • Micro SD card slot.
  • In store ebook promotions for free ebooks.
  • User replaceable battery.
  • Personalize screensavers.
  • Games: Play Chess and Sudoku.
  • Android operating system is hackable.
  • Android has more versatility and potential for future apps and improvements.

Nook Disadvantages

  • Not available internationally.
  • Limited ebook organization options, no customizable folders.
  • Notes, highlighting not very functional.
  • Misleading ebook selection saying they have over 1 million; subtracting the free ebooks, B&N has 166,119.
  • No text-to-speech.
  • Poor PDF support.
  • Battery life is less because of color screen.
  • Heavier.
  • No landscape mode.
nook from barnes and noble

12 Responses to “Kindle WiFi vs Nook WiFi”

  1. I’m always impressed how accurate you folks are. There are a lot of details to try to get right, and The eBook Reader does it splendidly.

    One teensy-tiny footnote: one of the Kindle advantages listed is the 30-day return period vs. 14 for the NOOK. If you buy the NOOK at Best Buy, you can get a 30-day return period. However, most Best Buy stores aren’t carrying the Wi-Fi version of the NOOK, just the more expensive 3G version, so the statement is fairly accurate as-is.

    And it’s just a matter of perception, but rather than saying that the NOOK is “heavier”, I’d say that the Kindle is “lighter”. Even the NOOK is pretty darned light-weight.

    • Thanks for your comments, Doug; I always like hearing from you because you obviously follow the industry carefully and know what you are talking about, especially when it comes to the Nook. I didn’t think about Best Buy. I bet some folks who are in Best Buy’s rewards program (whatever it’s called) probably get something like 90 days to return items.

      I agree that the Nook is pretty comfortable to hold for long periods weight-wise, but in all fairness it is the heaviest 6-inch E Ink ereader out there. And by quite a lot compared to most others. It weighs nearly 100 grams more than the Kindles. The Alex is the only one that comes close and it’s still over an ounce lighter, despite it’s larger size (not sure how that worked out).

  2. Appreciate these current update comments. Still struggling with choice(s) here due to heavy emphasis on Calibre and daily magazine/periodical usage. Some nonfiction interest, and very little fiction. Have used Sony Pocket and Daily Edition, Nook, Kindle 3. Greatest concern is choice of USB2 connection for ALL (except wireless) input, output, power activities on Nook and Kindle. The daily need to input new content (about 8 sources) seems better using SD card on Sony Daily Edition and causes me less concern about heavy physical wear on the small USB connector. Cost is surely a concern and $299. is not likely for the new PRS-950 …. for us. Next best choice would be new Touch Edition (PRS-650) …. still over $200. and wait a few months.
    Would like to hear other user thoughts about heavy daily use of only one input interface vs easy, external SD card access. Perhaps I’m overemphasizing this issue ?


  3. The good thing about Calibre and the Kindle 3 is that you can set it up to automatically deliver daily news to the Kindle via WiFi for free. Just turn it on in the morning and the news is there. Of course you don’t want to do this over 3G or Amazon charges a delivery fee.

    Sony’s memory card slots are among the most easily accessible, even with a cover on. The Nook’s Micro SD card takes a little more work to get to.

  4. Couldn’t you also do the same thing with Calibre and the Nook? I believe Calibre support both the Nook and the Kobo Reader. Since you are using Calibre to get the news feeds, it seems it wouldn’t be any different using them over the Kindle 3 for this purpose unless the Kindle 3 uses Calibre directly. Otherwise, don’t all three have to connect somehow with your computer to access Calibre and the news feeds it has downloaded?

    Part of my reason for asking is that I am seriously considering an ereader purchase and have been leaning toward the Nook. The possible fly in the ointment with any of these is that I run Linux at home, and I know there are extra hoops I will need to jump through to make any of these work with my computer However, I like the idea of being able to access ebooks from a local library, although mine does not yet have much of a selection. That as much as anything is what has the Kindle 3 in third spot on my short list, although if it works better than the others with Linux, that would certainly boost it higher.

    • With the Kindle you can set up Calibre to send the news feeds to the Kindle’s free email address so that you don’t have to sync or sideload content using a computer. Even though other ereaders like the Nook have wireless, you can’t send news feeds from Calibre to the devices directly via wireless because they don’t have the ability to receive them without manually downloading the content or transferring it via USB cable.

  5. Thanks for the great Review! This black friday I’m planning on buying my First e-reader, And I would be using it mostly for a PDF Viewer. I’m using just straight Text Pdf’s with a Color Title. Which Ebook would be better for handling this task? And If you could, could you explain the Process of converting the Pdf to a E Book format for each e-reader if possible?

  6. Almost Forgot, IF you use Amazon to Directly Convert Pdf to AZW Do they charge money? And does it make the pdf alot easier to read?

  7. Hi Chris,

    It’s difficult to say with PDFs because they all vary so differently. Testing them is pretty much your best option. 6-inch ereaders are notoriously not so great for PDFs because of the small screen size. But if the PDFs are basic text PDFs like you said then reflow should work pretty well, or converting them to AZW with the Kindle (it’s free unless you choose to send the converted file to the Kindle via 3G; you can send it over WiFi for free, or transfer it via USB).

    If you do go with a smaller reader, the Sony Readers and PocketBook readers are the better choice when it comes to PDF support, the Kindle 3 is pretty good too. Otherwise you’ll want to go big if you want better PDF support: the iPad, Kindle DX, PocketBook 902/903.

  8. doubtingtom,

    in chatting with a cables and connectors guy on a flight to China he reports that the micro USB performs much better than the mini USB in repeated mechanical tests.


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