Kindle Fire vs Nook Color

So in the Battle of the Kindle Fire vs Nook Color….which comes out on top?

Kindle Firevs   

The Screen

The Nook

The Nook Color has a 7 inch color touch screen that is capable of displaying 16 million colors at a resolution of 169 pixels per inch (ppi).  It has an anti-glare laminate to enable inside and outside use.

The Fire

The Fire also has a 7″ color touch screen, capable of showing 16 million colors at a resolution of 169 ppi (pixels per inch).  Amazon have chemically strengthened their screen to be 20 times stiffer and 30 times harder than plastic, making it extra durable.  There is also an anti-reflective coating.

The Winner?

The Kindle Fire due to the strengthed screen.

 

The Size and Weight

The Nook

8.1″ x 5.0″ x 0.48″ and 14.6 ounces

The Fire

7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″ 15.8 ounces

The Winner?

The Kindle Fire, smaller and lighter but with the same size screen.

 

The Battery

The Nook

Barnes & Noble state that the battery on the Nook Color will last for 8 hours, though they state this is 8 hours reading, not surfing the web or checking your email.  They don’t state how long the battery will last perfoming those activities, though it’s clear that doing anything using the Wifi will eat battery.

The battery takes about 3 hours to charge, but note: you can only use the supplied cable to charge your Nook…you can’t use any old USB cable as Barnes & Noble have added some extra pins.

The Fire

Amazon state that the battery on the Fire will last 8 hours.  They do make the proviso that that’s with Wi-Fi switched off, though they don’t limit it to just being used for reading.

The battery takes about 3 hours to charge and whilst Amazon don’t specifically say you can use any USB cable, you can, and I have!

The Winner?

The Kindle Fire, for flexibility, both on usage and cables!

 

Content (Books and Movies)

The Nook

The Barnes & Noble Ebook Store has over 2.5 million books, including 194 of the 205 current New York Times bestsellers. The company has signed up a whole load of newspapers and magazine providers, including The Times, The Wall Street Journal, Esquire and National Geographic. Magazines come through with the layout and images intact. You can read them as a full page or in article view, which re-flows an individual story into a more readable template.

So, how do you go about getting all of that?  You activate the Wifi connection and the ebook is sent to your Nook Color.

However, if it’s movies, music or apps that you’re after, you’ll need to be heading off to one of the third-party suppliers that Barnes & Nobel recommend as they don’t carry any other content than books.  Oh, and a word of warning…you can only buy ebooks from Barnes & Noble if you are in the US or Canada…if you are outside of these countries you will not be able to access the book store 🙁

Also, be warned: there’s currently no legal way to rent or purchase video files on the device for those frequent times when you don’t have reliable Wi-Fi Internet access, such as on a long flight.

The Nook’s music player seems like an afterthought. It’s awkwardly designed and awkward to use. Trying to find music can be frustrating, and the player–like the tablet’s menus–is locked into vertical orientation.

The Fire

The Kindle Store offers over 1 million books to buy and more than a huge 2 million books for free!!! Amazon is also busy pressuring publishers to offer e-book readers better value and you’ll see that Kindle e-books are considerably cheaper than a lot of rival e-reader books.

You get to enjoy your favorite magazines with glossy, full-color layouts, photographs and illustrations.  Access over 100,000 movies and TV shows, including thousands of new releases and all your old favorites.

You get Kindle books, movies, games, magazines and apps through the Amazon store…it’s simple and all in one place.  Amazon also has a facility called Whispernet which allows you to buy a product on the Amazon store and automatically get it downloaded to your Kindle.

With Amazon you can also access the Kindle Store internationally too so you don’t need to worry about running out of reading material whilst on holiday!

The music player lets you sort by playlists, artists, albums, and songs.

The Winner?

The Kindle, or rather the Amazon store that’s there to support it!

 

Formats Supported

The Nook

EPUB (including Non or Adobe DRM) or PDF file types,CBZ, XLS, DOC, PPT, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPT, MP4 or Adobe Flash Player formats, MP3, AAC, Load photos and create personal wallpaper: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP

The Fire

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8, Adobe Flash Player formats

The Winner?

The Nook…it offers many more choices than the Kindle Fire.

 

Apps and Games

The Nook

Barnes & Noble says that it has over a 1,000 apps, and expects to have “thousands” by year’s end.

The Fire

Amazon states that there are more than 8500 apps available for the Kindle Fire in it’s App Store.

The Winner?

The Fire.

 

Connectivity

The Nook

Built in wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi® (802.11b/g/n)

The Fire

Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, or enterprise networks with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks

The Winner?

The Fire.  Although on the face of it, the Fire and the Nook both have WiFi capabilities, the Fire actually supports many different types of Wifi Network and customers have had less problems connecting up their Fire to older Wifi Networks than Nook customers have had.

 

Sound

The Nook

Headphone socket and single mono speaker located on the back of the Nook

The Fire

Headphone socket and top-mounted stereo speakers.

The Winner?

Definitely the Fire…you can’t listen to movies or music properly without stereo speakers and mounting the speaker on the back of the Nook makes it impossible to lay the Nook on your lap.

 

Memory

The Nook

The Nook Tablet only reserves 1GB of space for dragged-and-dropped user content (basically audio and video files). If you invest $15 to $25 in a microSD card, you can have up to 32GB of your own content.

The Fire

The Fire comes with 8GB storage which isn’t exandable on the device, but it does come with  5GB free online cloud storage provided by Amazon (although you do need to be connected to the Internet to be able to use it).

The Winner?

For conveniences sake I think that the Nook wins this one, just because you don’t have to go online to use the additional storage, although there is a one-off cost associated with it in order to by the microSD card.

 

Speed

The Nook

The Nook has a single processor and a clock speed of 800 MHz.

The Fire

The Fire has a dual processor and a clock speed of 1 GHz.

The Winner?

The Fire

 

Price

The Nook

Currently around $195

The Fire

Currently around $199

The Winner?

The Nook (by a whisker!)

 

Customer Service

The Nook

B&N has very stringent return policies although you can just walk into a store and ask for help.

The Fire

Amazon’s superior customer support and easy replacements are a powerful advantage. They will often offer to replace an out of warranty Kindle, if you are having any issues.

The Winner?

I’m going to go with both here!  I think that if you prefer dealing face-to-face with someone then the Nook may be the way to go, although you need to take into account that the person you are dealing with in the shop may be very knowledgeable about books, but not quite so savvy about technology.

Amazon, though not face-to-face are great at sorting out problems and have a fantastic reputation for fixing things without asking too many questions.

 

Web Browser

The Nook

The Nook Color’s browser works, but it requires more taps to perform tasks, and navigating among multiple windows takes too many steps.

The Fire

The Fire uses Amazon’s Silk Web Browser which has tabs, just as the Android 3.x Honeycomb browser does. The Silk browser makes working with bookmarks easier, and it gives you lots of settings for fine-tuning the way it works.

The Winner?

Kindle Fire‘s browser is superior to the Nook Color’s, although text looked sharper in the Nook Color’s browser than in Kindle Fire’s.

 

Personalization

With Android devices, you can choose the apps, shortcuts, and widgets that you want on your home screens. But both the Kindle Fire and the Nook Color have custom interfaces built on top of Android 2.3, and those custom interfaces give you far less freedom to tweak them.

The Nook

You can add your own image as wallpaper to any of the three home screens. You can also move favorite books, periodicals, or apps to sit anywhere on one of the home screens–including layering icons on top of one another. A scrollable carousel of recently accessed or received books, periodicals, and apps runs along the bottom of the screen. If you don’t want something to appear there, you can just delete it.

The Fire

The Fire has a cleaner-looking home screen, but it’s fairly locked down. You can’t select a lock screen image or a background wallpaper of your own, and you have no control over what appears in the central carousel, which covers everything from books and periodicals to music and movies to apps and Web pages–and you can’t delete any of them

The Winner?

The Nook

 

Last Minute Thoughts?

The Nook

Many customers have reported problems with the NC’s power cord – the initial cord and the replacements keep on breaking.

 

The Fire

Many customers are displeased with the absence of an external volume control button.

The Fire sounds much better using headphones than the Nook

 

The Winner?

I think that I would have to go with the Fire…the fact that the Nook’s power cord keeps breaking and that’s the only way to charge the device is a serious problem!  If you don’t have any power it’s no consolation that any of the features are any better!

 

My Verdict

Scores: Fire 9 points, Nook 4 points

I really, really, really wanted to like the Nook, but the power cord problem was a big one for me.  I really enjoy reading and didn’t want to not be able to read my book because I couldn’t charge my device.  I loved the idea of being able to personalize my device and in that the Nook wins hands down, but it’s little consolation to me knowing that it’s personalized if I can’t turn it on!

I guess with the Kindle Fire I feel safe…safe that I can charge it even if I lose the cable…safe that I have the backing of Amazon and their no-quibble guarantee…safe that the Amazon store is there with all it’s books, music, movies and apps for me to play with.

If you’d like to see more about the Amazon Kindle Fire, click here or  Buy Now

If you’d like to see more about the Barnes & Noble Nook Color, click here or Buy Now

 

Your Thoughts

Do you have a Kindle Fire or a Nook Color…I’d love to hear your thoughts on how they stack up.

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