Kindle vs. Nook (Again)
Note: this is a comparison of the 2012 models. If you’re looking for a head-to-head between the latest and greatest, super spiffy, 2013 models, please click here…
This time last year, it was very much a case of the Kindle Touch versus the Nook Simple Touch in the run up to Christmas. Whilst the e-reader market isn’t quite a straight two horse race, it’s very much the same again this year.
The two champions have been updated and are back to slug it out for festive sales in 2012. If you’re looking for an e-reader, be it for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, then these two are very definitely the main contenders. Which should you choose? Read on and find out –
Paperwhite v Glowlight – Weights and Measures
There’s not a great deal to choose from between the two readers as far as weights and dimensions go. The Paperwhite is a little taller and not quite so wide as the Glowlight. The Nook is quite a bit thicker – but that’s partly because of its ergonomically curved back, which some people like.
The Kindle weighs in at 213 grams (7.5 ounces) and the Nook is fractionally lighter at just 197 grams (just under 7 ounces).
Whatever way you look at it, both devices are light, portable and suitable for easy operation with only one hand.
For both of these readers, the lighted display is, appropriately enough, the focal point. It’s also where the Paperwhite starts to pull away from the Glowlight a little.
When all’s said and done, the Glowlight is the Nook Simple Touch with the addition of a light. Amazon’s Paperwhite has a new, high contrast, whiter display with more pixels per inch than the Nook.
The Paperwhite is noticeably better to read on, and the light is more even than that of the Glowlight – although many Paperwhite users have, if not complained, pointed out that there tend to be 4 “high spots” of light near the bottom of the Paperwhite’s display.
Both readers project the light onto the display rather than using a back-light (as you would find on a computer or a smartphone for example). That means that both retain the enjoyable reading experience associated with e-ink displays.
Charging Time And Battery Life
It probably depends upon your viewpoint, but personally I feel that the time between charges is more important than the time taken to charge (in general). On that basis, it looks like the Paperwhite is easing further in front of the Glowlight now.
Based upon an average of 30 minutes reading per day, Amazon claims 8 weeks battery life between charges for the Paperwhite. B&N is just a little vague, but their website claims “over 1 month” between charges for the Glowlight.
Charging from flat to full takes 4 hours for the Kindle and 3.5 hours for the Nook.
Paperwhite v Glowlight Storage
Both devices have 2GB of on-board storage. About 1.25 GB of that will be user accessible, which equates to enough memory to store around about 1,000 e-books.
Both Amazon and B&N offer free cloud storage for all of the content that you buy through them, so there shouldn’t be much charge of running out of memory.
The main difference between the two devices is the fact that the Nook comes with a slot for an SD card – missing on the the Paperwhite – which will let you boost the memory up to whopping 32GB should you wish. That’s going to let you carry something like 30,000 books around with you.
That would be more than you could conceivably read in a lifetime, so it’s debatable just how useful that option will be for the average person. Nevertheless, it might be something that you find useful – in which case, the Nook’s the one for you.
Paperwhite v Glowlight – Other Considerations
Both the Paperwhite and the Glowlight are selling for $ 119. However, as anyone from B&N’s marketing department will be happy to tell you, $ 119 gets you a Paperwhite with “special offers” (adverts), whereas the Nook comes with “no annoying ads”.
You can get rid of the Paperwhite ads by paying another $ 20, and your Kindle will then cost you $ 139 – which, as anyone from the Amazon marketing department will tell you, was the price of the Nook Glowlight before the Paperwhite hit the market.
As always, Amazon has worked hard to keep the price down. The Paperwhite comes with a charging cable which you can plug into your computer’s usb port. If you want to plug it into a wall socket, you’ll have to pay another $ 10 or so for a suitable adapter. The Glowlight ships with an adapter as standard.
The Nook is available with Wi-Fi connectivity only. You can choose from Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus 3G for the Paperwhite. It won’t be a big deal for many people, but if you find yourself out of Wi-Fi range, but within a cellphone signal area, on a frequent basis – when traveling for example – it might be a good option for you.
Physical Page Turn Buttons
There are no physical page turn buttons on the Paperwhite. The Glowlight has physical page turn buttons on either side of the display, so you can thumb backwards and forward through the pages of an e-book if you prefer that to swiping.
The Nook has a smooth surface on its e-ink display. The Paperwhite seems to have a very slight texture to the display cover. Some people say that it even feels like paper.
Paperwhite v Glowlight – And The Winner Is?
The Paperwhite does take things on a little further. Amazon is probably justified to claim that it is “the world’s most advanced e-reader”. After all, it is the most recently updated.
The white(ish) display, the improved pixel density and the more evenly distributed light are enough, in my opinion at least, to tip the scales (firmly) in favor of the Paperwhite.
Paperwhite versus Glowlight – Summary
|Dimensions (inches)||6.7 x 4.6 x 0.36||6.5 x 4.5 x 0.47|
|Display||6” e-ink||6” e-ink|
|Pixels Per inch||212||167|
|Overflow memory||No SD card – cloud storage||SD card slot – up to 32GB|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi of Wi-Fi & 3G||Wi-Fi|
|Battery life (30 minutes/day)||8 weeks||“over a month”|
|Charge time||4 hours||3.5 hours|
|Charger||USB||USB or wall socket|
|Price||$ 119 with ads
$ 139 without
|$ 119 (no ads)|