Amazon's Kindle 2 and the Barnes and Noble Nook are the two main heavy-weights in the battle of the ebook readers this year. There are many similarities, and critical differences in the two. What are they, and which is the better digital ebook reader? Let's take a look.
E-Ink Display Screens- Both the Kindle 2 and the Nook use the same "E-Ink" technology for their display screen. Reading for hours on end on these eBook readers isn't like staring at a computer screen. The E-Ink screen displays the words just like (or even better than) looking at a real book.
The Nook, however, has an additional color navigation screen underneath the display screen. This touch screen allows you to scroll through titles of books, magazines, and other publications. There is also a touch keyboard display on this screen. No reviews are available yet for the screen performance, but consumers will soon tell all.
Wireless and 3G- Both the Kindle 2 and the Nook boast wireless capabilities. You are able to download books and other publications if you have access to a wireless network. If no wireless internet is available, then 3G cellular capabilities will allow you to download in that situation.
International Availability- Here is a major difference between the two ebook readers- International capabilities. The Kindle 2 boasts the ability to download books and full usage in over 100 countries, whereas the Nook is only fully functional in the US. Of course the Nook device will work in the sense you can still read books out of the country, but you cannot add more books or publications. This is obviously a very important point for international customers to take into account.
The Nook's Lending Capability- The Nook has the ability to let you lend out your books to others that have downloaded the Barnes and Noble software. You don't necessarily have to have a Nook to receive the lent books, just the software. One should know that lending time is only 2 weeks and the person who lends the book cannot use it during that time. A good feature? Customers will tell over time.
Storage Space- Both the Kindle and Nook have base memory of 2 GB, which is good for about 1,500 books, however the Nook allows for extra space to be added to increase the titles to upwards of 17,500. Is 2 Gigs enough? Well, read one book a day and you'll have 4 years of reading material!
Other Differences- The Kindle boasts a slightly lighter device, text-to-speech technology, and a web browsing capability, whereas the Nook doesn't.
One other notable difference is the Google Android software in the Nook. Barnes and Noble chose this software, banking on the development of applications by software developers that will work with the Nook. We'll have to see how the software performs and if there is an iPod like popularity in applications.