Chart: How the Nook stacks up in the e-reader race

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The Nook, Barnes & Noble’s new ereader, has upped the ante. With a small, 3.5-inch LCD screen in the lower quadrant, the Nook adds touch capabilities that the Kindle definitely does not have.

So who will win the ereader race? While no one in particular has to “win” the race, it’s abundantly clear that Amazon has a head start. B&N was late with their readers, starting with a Kindle-like IREX and ending up with an odd duck that uses e-ink for text display but also adds a bit of UI richness with the color LCD. The specs promise an interesting experience and it’s especially nice to hear that the device will last for 10 days with wireless off, a bit longer than any of the Kindle family in practice although, in theory, any member can hit the 14 day mark.

The real value in these bookstore-backed ereaders is discovery and shopping. Sony’s offerings, for example, lost quite a bit of ground even though they were first to market. A vibrant and wide-ranging bookstore is key to an ereaders success which is what makes the Nook quite interesting.

Another interesting tidbit – the Nook, because it’s built on Android, should run Android apps natively, turning the Nook into more of a computing device than a standalone reader.

No one has to lose in this race. However, when it comes to standards and potential sales Amazon may have to change its attiutude towards sharing in order to beat the Nook’s “lending” functionality which allows users to “give” their books to other Nook users outside of their immediate circle.

I’m just glad to see a little competition. Amazon will be the better for it and B&N seems to know what people like.

kindle

kindledx

sony

irex

Device

Kindle

Kindle
DX

B&N Nook

Sony
Reader Daily Edition

IREX
DR800SG

Price

$259

$489

$259

$399

$399

Screen Size

6 inches

9.7 inches

3.5 inch LCD/6 inch epaper

7 inches

8.1 inches

Touch Screen

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Rotating Screen

No

Yes

TK

Yes

Yes

Storage

2GB

not expandable

4GB

not expandable

2GB

Expandable up to 16GB

2GB

expandable via Memory Stick and SD

No on-board memory, comes with 2GB
SD card

Wireless

AT&T

Sprint

AT&T 3G and Wi-Fi

AT&T

Verizon

Gobi

chipset for worldwide use

Bookstore

Amazon

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Sony eBookstore

Barnes & Noble

Content Availability

350,000+ books

newspaper, magazine, blog
subscriptions

350,000+ books

newspaper, magazine, blog
subscriptions

750,000+ books

“Users can purchase books,
newspapers or magazines from a wide variety of sources”*

*not available over 3G unless
purchased through built-in bookstore

100,000+ books

One million public domain books via
Google*

Participating local library
rentals*

*not available over 3G

750,000+ books

“Users can purchase books,
newspapers or magazines from a wide variety of sources”*

*not available over 3G unless
purchased through built-in bookstore

Natively Supported Formats

Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible, MP3,
MOBI, PRC

Kindle (AZW), PDF, TXT, Audible,
MP3, MOBI, PRC

ePub, “multiple DRM solutions,” PDF

ePub, PDF, JPEG, BBeB, RTF, TXT

ePub, “multiple DRM solutions”

Formats Supported via
Conversion

PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

HTML, DOC, RTF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

Word, more to come

DOC, HTML, “other text file
formats”

Not sure yet, will update when more
info is available

Web Browser

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Other Features

(lists
may be incomplete)

Bookmarks, annotations, dictionary,
Wikipedia, search, audiobooks, iPhone sync

Bookmarks, annotations, dictionary,
Wikipedia, search, audiobooks, iPhone sync

Dictionary

Highlighting, annotation,
dictionary, handwritten notes with included stylus

Bookmarks, search, included stylus,
“users will have the ability to download content to the device while
traveling abroad next year”

Available

Now

Now

Nov 30 ‘09

December ‘09

October ‘09

(Europe in mid-2010)

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