Nook or Kindle Fire? Or neither?

OK, I now have both a Nook and a Kindle Fire, and I ‘ve used both (along with an iPad 2) long enough to form some opinions.

I’m working on a post to share my thoughts about the pros and cons of each platform. Any questions you want me to answer? If you’ve used either or both, feel free to share your experiences in the comments.

12 thoughts on “Nook or Kindle Fire? Or neither?

  1. I have a Nook Simple Touch that I bought in the first week of release. Prior to that I had been using my iPad as an eReader but didn’t like that I couldn’t use it outside and had started having issues with eye strain. The original Nook was a little too clunky for my taste but I liked that idea of being able to side load, get Overdrive Books from the library, etc… Amazon has addressed most of these issues with the ability to mail files to your Kindle and with Kindle lending through services like Overdrive. For me I really need a separate dedicated eBook reader so I can read outside and avoid eye strain. At this point I am happy with the Nook simple touch but worry about the ecosystem in the long term with B&N already talking about spinning it off… Amazon should be around forever. At this point I would buy the cheapest kindle ereader and limp along with my original iPad for video, game consumption.

  2. I got my wife the Kindle Fire for Christmas and was pretty happy with all except the fact that it is so slow. I checked the updated software and found that I had the latest. How can you speed up a Fire.

  3. I think I would vote “neither.” I’ve got a Fire and a Kindle Keyboard, and I find that for acutal book reading, I always go for the e-paper. Fire will be nice for traveling – rent a movie to watch on the plane, for example. If they both dropped dead, I’d replace the e-paper one but not the Fire. (Then wait for a Win8 tablet instead of the Fire).

  4. Ed,

    I’m interested in your impressions of screen density and quality in using these as every day e-readers. Also, I think it’s worthwhile to talk about whether you can get the apps you need on the Fire and/or the Nook. Is sideloading necessary and an actual advantage on the Fire as compared to the Nook?

    Also, I’m interested in whether the smaller devices will support the needs of most people who don’t care about processors or numbers of apps or who is two tenths of a second faster than whom. Is the iPad worth double the price of the other devices?

  5. I had a Kindle Fire but returned it. The Fire just didn’t offer enough to justify its price, and the family agreed. My son prefers his Kindle Touch, my daughter had a Kindle but prefers paper books, and my wife likes her iPad. I didn’t like the chunkiness and tiny screen plus the fact that it was just too big to hold comfortably in one hand. The free month of Amazon Prime was nice for Christmas presents though.

  6. I have both a Kindle Fire and an iPad. The graphics for the iPad are great, but I really like the size of the Kindle Fire for convenience. I can use it in any room in the house to watch movies from Netflix or Amazon or read ebooks. I also have the Kindle app on the iPad. While on the road, the Kindle is easier to take along and gets used more.

    As a former MVP (IE&Outlook Express) I’ve always been interested in advances in computing for individual users rather than for the workspace. I love the iPad and the Kindle Fire about equally and recommend either one to users. I’m interested in your view on the matter.

    Thanks for asking.

  7. I have a Kindle Fire which I love, however the glossy screen shows fingerprints and smudges terribly (drives me nuts), as does the IPAD2 we have at work. What is the best way to clean these screens? The Fire does at times seem difficult to respond to my touches – especially the tiny little “settings” icon at the top. I have an Audible account and like that my audible books are available to me on the Fire. For internet browsing, the Fire is too small for my eyes, but for the $199 price vs $499 for the IPAD, I’ll live with it.

  8. Gave a Kindle Fire to wife for Christmas. When the limitations are known it is a pretty good device. We still use Gen 3 Kindle for real book reading since we like the screen better for that. It works well for light (Facebook) web browsing and streaming of media. It is not an iPad but it also costs 40% as much. It is an nice inexpensive middle ground device. I think the next version of it that will be lighter and faster will be the sweet spot. Just like the difference between iPad 1 and 2. Also I still debate the lack of hardware home button? Oh and I wish magazine people would make magazine editions rather than android app editions. I am looking at you Wired.

  9. I have the Touch and Fire. The problems that I have (1) sort order of these devices are different; (2) on the Fire, I can’t get the Send to Kindle application to work; and (3) when I try to copy files via USB doesn’t work for me either.

  10. My wife was an early adopter of the original Kindle, and she loved it. From that experience, we knew that the Kindle was easy to read both inside and outside, easy on the eyes (no eye strain), and it kept your fingers clean. I bought my wife a new Kindle a year ago (sadly, before the Touch and before the tremendous price drops) and I took her old one. I have to say I’ve read more on this device than I have in 30 years.

    We have Wintel laptops and Android smart phones (and Wintel desktops for the heavy lifting), and have no need for an “in-between” device, so a tablet holds no appeal for us. So the Fire and Nook, with their sunlight-unfriendly color screens (as opposed to the black and white e-ink of the non-Fire Kindles) and web browsing capabilities, just don’t do it for us. Were I to buy a new reader today, I’d probably buy a Kindle Touch. So I vote “neither”.

  11. One comment I see repeated here, and elsewhere, is that you can’t beat e-ink screens when you are reading for extended periods; especially when you consider reading outside and the great battery life. However, now also having a first gen iPad and a Fire I find the Fire to work well as a reading device and my wife appreciates that I can browse the web, light emails and yes, play Angry Birds on the Fire so I am not hogging the iPad! When she asked why I didn’t buy a 2nd iPad I realized the price was the justification – and I am fine when I think of it as a $200 tablet for those uses. I did side-load a different launcher (and other apps) as I really did not like the Fire carousel. Unlike others, I really don’t notice performance being a factor with my usage. And, when I consider the price of $200 the only hardware issue I notice on an ongoing basis is the glare with the screen. Not a perfect device but again, different expectations at this price. I chose the Fire over the Nook due to the price difference and ultimately I felt the Fire would be a more successful device with the corresponding app and peripheral support due to Amazon. I felt B&N shot themselves in the foot by offsetting the space advantage and other specs by the way they locked it down. And, when you add an SD card to the price difference suddenly you are looking at close to a $300 Nook tablet compared to a $200 Fire.

    If I were limited in what I could own a touch e-ink reader would be first priority, iPad second and Fire third. Frankly, I think your ebook investment would drive which e-reader you choose to buy today. I have used the latest generations of both the touch Kindle and touch Nook and they both work fine as readers and now Overdrive library books function in both environments so that differentiator is gone. As a first gen Nook owner, I have side-loaded several epub readers on the Fire and ironically have settled on the Nook Android software to read my epub books on the Fire now. I don’t know if the Kindle software can be loaded on the Nook 2nd gen tablet but could do the same with that device if possible.

  12. To be honest, I haven’t tried either for any lenght of time. I’m currently holding out for the Asus MeMO 370T that was announced at CES. They say they are going to target $250 as the price point. Runs ICS and from everything I’ve seen it is very fast.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s