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Nook vs Kindle: How Do These E-Readers Stack Up?

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Kindle e-reader on a wooden table.
eReaders are an effective way to read several books at the same time.
Photo by Danielle DeGroot for Safe Smart Living, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024.

As a bona fide book nerd, I am always looking for ways to read and store more books. The invention of e-readers (also called E-readers, eReaders, and e-book readers) was a huge game-changer. Bookworms like me can now access millions of books and stock up powerful personal libraries, all in the palm of our hand. Some allow you to do more, like surf the web and take notes. Pretty awesome, right? These devices have changed the way many of us read, but when it comes to NOOK vs Kindle, which one is better?

Deciding which e-reader is right for you depends on what you want to use it for and the different features available. Along with the initial investment price, memory, battery life, screen features, versatility, color vs. black-and-white, size, and book prices all factor into which one works best for your needs. Ease of use is also a considerable factor. I’ve owned and tested several different types of e-readers and took an in-depth look at the Kindle and NOOK to learn more.

View Kindles On Amazon | View NOOKs At Barnes & Noble

What Do You Want To Do With Your E-Reader?

Before picking an e-reader, you must determine what exactly you want to use it for. Are you planning only to read books with few distractions, or do you want the capacity to surf the web, use other apps, and watch videos? If reading without distraction and having access to millions of titles is your main goal, an e-reader is likely your best bet.

Consider a tablet-based system if you want to do more than read e-books and take notes. While tablets have color screens, most e-readers are not equipped with this capability. E-readers run using an E-ink display to give the appearance of a paper book page. Tablets use backlit, color LCD screens. While they have e-reader capabilities, these devices operate differently and have, in many cases, more capabilities than the e-reader. This is something to keep in mind if having color on the screen is important to you.

Once you’ve determined your main function and intent of use for your e-reader, you can better choose which device will work for you. You can learn a little more about e-readers vs tablets in the video from PB Tech below.

7 Must-Have Features

What features should you take into consideration when picking an e-reader? That all depends on your personal reading habits, how often you plan to use it, and the specific features that stand out. Of course, everyone has different preferences regarding what they want from one of these devices. Some main things to look for are storage capacity, lighting, battery life, screen features, ease of use, screen features, special features, sound capabilities, size, whether you want a color screen, and price.

  1. Memory – How much storage does the device offer? Can you store enough titles? Is cloud storage available?
  2. Battery Life – How long does one battery charge last?
  3. Screen Features – Is the picture crisp and easy to read? Does it feel more like a book or tablet? Is the text easy on your eyes? Is the screen bright enough/ Can you adjust the warmth and lighting?
  4. Anti-Glare – Is the screen anti-glare or anti-reflective? A clear, glare-free screen is very important if you plan to use your e-reader outside.
  5. Color Or Black & White – Do you plan on reading magazines or comics? These often contain graphics that are typically enjoyed in color. However, black and white screens are easier on the eyes and are better for outdoor reading.
  6. Size – How big is the device? Is the screen large enough to read comfortably? Does it fit nicely in your hand, purse, or backpack?
  7. Price Of Books – How much do books cost once you purchase the device? Does the device come with access to free books?

Kindle Review

Five types of kindles.
There are six current models of Amazon Kindle, including two for kids (five pictured above).

View Kindles On Amazon

Kindle is likely the most well-known name in the e-reader business. The very first Kindle was launched on November 19th, 2007. It came with access to 90,000 titles and sold out in under six hours. It took five months for the device to be restocked. The very first Kindle retailed at $399 and was a much larger, bulkier machine than today. The launch of Kindle also introduced Kindle Direct Publishing, a self-publishing platform for authors that has changed how books are published. All Kindles currently run on an Amazon-specific proprietary platform.

Over the years, Kindle has had over 20 different versions and variations. The newer models have phased out physical buttons and improved graphics and storage capabilities. Readers have access to thousands of titles and can store them on the device and on the Amazon cloud. Today, four versions of the Kindle are available, as well as two Kindle Kids e-readers. All offer crisp screens with high-quality displays.

All 7th-generation Kindles and newer have the VoiceView accessibility feature. This text-to-speech function reads aloud everything on the screen (through a Bluetooth speaker or headphones) and turns the pages. VoiceView Screen Reader is a fantastic accessibility feature that sets the Kindle above most other e-readers. Learn more about

Kindle currently offers three models with water-resistant protection. This does not mean that the devices should be intentionally submerged fully in any kind of water or liquid. It does mean, however, that these models stand up to accidental spills and immersions.

You should avoid immersing any of your e-reader devices in water, especially saltwater. Keep in mind that water resistance or waterproofing does not mean that these devices can be used underwater for long periods. You can, however, read a book in the bath, on the beach, or on a pool floatie.

Kindle Unlimited

Many Kindle purchases come with the option of a free trial membership to Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited offers readers access to a catalog of over three million titles. It works like a library card. You can access books, magazines, and even audiobooks. You can check out 20 titles at a time, including some best sellers and new releases. After the free trial, you will need to pay for a monthly membership. For avid readers, this is a very cost-effective way to read a ton of titles for very little money.

Kindle E-Readers

In the chart below, I break down the basics of the six current Kindle models, including storage, size, and features. No newer Kindle models have page-turning buttons. This feature has been phased out. Older models like the Oasis, which had these, while still functional, are no longer made.

KindleKindle PaperwhiteKindle Paperwhite Signature EditionKindle ScribeKindle KidsKindle Paperwhite Kids
Size6 inch6.8 inch6.8 inch10.2 inches6 inch6.8 inch
Storage16 GB16 GB32 GB16 GB, 32 GB, or 64 GB16 GB16GB
Battery life Up to 6 weeksUp to 10 weeksUp to 10 weeksUp to 12 weeksUp to 6 weeksUp to 10 weeks
Glare-FreeGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
WaterproofGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Adjustable Warm LightGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Writing CapabilityGreen checkmark
Warranty1-year limited1-year limited1-year limited1-year limited2-year worry-free guarantee2-year worry-free guarantee
Price $99.99 $149.99 $189.99 $419.99 $119.99 $169.99
All Kindle models can run Audible via Bluetooth – none have headphone ports. Battery life estimates are based upon half an hour of reading per day with wireless off and light settings at 13.

Can I listen To Audible On A Kindle?

Yes, if your device supports audio. Kindles do not have headphone jacks or speakers, but some models can connect to Bluetooth audio devices. All new models covered in this article do offer Audible via Bluetooth. Learn more about how Audible subscriptions work in our guide.

What Happened to the Kindle Fire?

The Kindle Fire was a tablet-based system with e-reader capacities. It used an LCD screen, not the E-ink technology of the other Kindle models. Additionally, the Kindle Fire allowed for the use of different apps and eventually featured a colored screen. As it was not a true e-reader, it was dropped from the line and simply became the Fire in 2014. You can still purchase several Amazon Fire tablet options today. They are user-friendly tablets with bright LCD screens that still have e-reader capabilities through apps.

Can I Still Buy A Kindle Oasis?

Yes, though they are no longer produced. You can still buy new and refurbished ones through Amazon and third-party sellers.

Can I Surf The Web On A Kindle?

Yes, all Kindle models come with a built-in experimental browser that allows you to access the internet as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection.

My Personal Experience With Kindles

Danielle using kindle book.
I currently do most of my e-reading on the Kindle Oasis, pictured above.
Photo by Danielle DeGroot for Safe Smart Living, © Cover Story Media, Inc. 2024.

I purchased my first Kindle device in 2013 and have purchased several more since, so I have been able to see the way the devices have evolved over the years. Kindles are easy to use, and I love the adjustability of brightness and warm light. One of my favorite models, the Oasis, is discontinued. However, I still use it daily and plan to use it until it no longer works. That said, I have tried out the Kindle Scribe and love many of the upgrades. The ability to take notes is fantastic, and I love the organization and features. I have also tested out the Kindle Paperwhite Signature edition and love the upgrade. It is easy on the eyes and hands, and the screen feels like I am reading an actual paper book.

NOOK Review

Four kinds of nooks.
There are four NOOK models to choose from, including one tablet.

View NOOKs At Barnes & Noble

The Barnes & Noble NOOK is an e-reader that first came out in 2009. It is owned by Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble has partnered with several tech companies over the years, including Samsung and, more recently, Lenovo, to make their e-readers as well as tablets.

NOOK operates on an Android system and offers users a comfortable reading experience with lightweight devices, physical page-turning buttons, and, in some models, headphone jacks and speakers. Devices are all designed for glare-free reading, even in direct sunlight. NOOKs do not have a built-in search browser. Some models offer text-to-speech capability, and newer models support audiobooks.

Currently, the only NOOK model with waterproof capabilities is the Glow Light Plus. It is IP67 certified, which means that it is waterproof in fresh water for up to 30 minutes. This waterproofing is effective up to one meter.

NOOK owners have access to a large free library of e-books and magazines. You can also purchase e-books through Barnes & Noble, which offers several budget-friendly deals and Daily NOOK finds.

NOOK E-Readers

In the chart below, I break down the different models and features of NOOKs available today. Three are true e-readers, while the newest one, the Lenovo 9-inch, is a tablet. The Lenovo Tablet NOOK is currently only available on pre-order.

NOOK GlowLight 4eNOOK GlowLight 4NOOK GlowLight 4 PlusNOOK 9″ Lenovo Tablet
Size6 inches6 inches7.8 inches9 inches
Storage8 GB32 GB32 GB64 GB
Glare-freeGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Glow-light illuminationGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
Page turn buttonsGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
WaterproofGreen checkmark
Headphone jackGreen checkmarkGreen checkmark
BatteryOne monthOne monthUp to 3 weeksUp to 13 hours
Warranty1-year limited1-year limited1-year limited1-year limited
PriceStarts at $99.99Starts at $149.99Starts at $199.99Starts at $149.99*
*Pre-order only. Battery life estimates are based on 30 minutes of reading per day and 1 page refresh per minute, with 10% brightness.

Is NOOK Being Discontinued?

NOOK is not being discontinued at the moment. However, they have stopped supporting some of their older devices, like the NOOK Simple Touch, Simple Touch With Glowlight, and the original Glowlight.

Are NOOK Books More Expensive Than Kindle E-Books?

I compared the prices of several top sellers and found them to be very comparable. Most were exactly the same. However, one huge difference is that you can access far more titles for less money with the Kindle Unlimited subscription. On a book-by-book basis, the prices are quite similar. B&N also offers a significant free library of e-books that includes classics and newer titles.

NOOK e-readers are, on average, slightly less expensive than Kindle, but that depends on the model and features you select.

My Personal Experience With NOOK E-Readers

I have used NOOK less than Kindle but have spent some time exploring these devices’ features, usability, and overall feel. They have a great feel in the hand and are lightweight. I enjoy the reading experience and appreciate some of the features NOOK offers, such as the speakers, headphone jack, and page turn buttons. The title selection is versatile, and new titles are added regularly. Though not as large as Amazon Kindle Unlimited selection, there are plenty of titles to pick from, including new releases and best sellers.

7 Key Differences: NOOK vs Kindle

ebook with books overhead shot.
What are the major differences between the two most popular eReaders?
Image credit: MVelishchuk, Shutterstock

These two e-readers run on completely different platforms and are not interchangeable with one another. Below, I highlight a few key differences between them.

  1. One of the most significant differences is that Kindle has phased out a physical page-turning button. In all the current models, users swipe to turn the page. The retired Kindle Oasis was the last model to incorporate these physical buttons. Users now swipe or tap the page to turn it forward or back.
  2. Conversely, the NOOK uses a physical button and a screen tap to turn the page.
  3. Screen resolution is another area of difference. All Kindle E-readers have a resolution of 300 PPI, but some NOOKs have a lower resolution. The GlowLight 4e has a 212-ppi display, The GlowLight 4 and 4 plus have 300 ppi displays, and the new 9-inch NOOK Lenovo tablets have a higher screen resolution.
  4. Kindle devices run on a proprietary operating system. NOOK runs on an Android system.
  5. NOOK does not make any devices just for kids. Kindle offers 2 child-friendly options.
  6. Kindle offers a larger e-book library than NOOK.
  7. Kindle has more options, larger screens, and more adaptive technology.

What’s The Difference between the NOOK Tablet vs Kindle Paperwhite?

The Kindle Paperwhite is larger in size, though both devices are about the same thickness. Both have glare- and fingerprint-free touch screens. The NOOK has page turn buttons, while the Paperwhite does not. The Kindle Paperwhite has a dedicated accessibility menu, while the NOOK does not.

The Paperwhite has a screen reader and can connect to headphones or a speaker through Bluetooth. Both devices have comparable storage capabilities, depending on the model. They have similar sizes, but the Paperwhite is a better choice if you must pick between them.

Can I Read A Kindle Book On A NOOK Or a NOOK Book On A Kindle?

Kindle books cannot be read on NOOK and vice versa. This is because NOOK uses the EPUB format, and Kindle uses proprietary formats that do not support EPUB files. Kindle DRM (Digital Rights Management) encrypts the book files so they cannot be read without a specific decryption key. DRM is used to prevent copying and unauthorized access to digital files.

Both Kindle and NOOK have free apps for iPhone and Android phones. These allow you to access titles for each respective library without the e-reader.

Which One Is Better, Kindle vs NOOK?

After looking at all the features, upgrades, and models, the overall winner for me is the Kindle. While the NOOK offers a well-made, easy-to-use, and comfortable e-reader, the Kindle offers more versatility, more product options, and better resistance to wear and tear. Additionally, they make two kid-specific models, whereas NOOK makes none. Kindle is also set up to provide better accessibility for the visually impaired.

The Kindle Scribe is above and beyond in terms of quality, usability, and reading enjoyment. While the NOOK may have a slightly lower overall price point, the Kindle is a superior device with more storage, higher screen resolution, access to more books, and an exceptional overall user experience.

I am also very excited to learn that Amazon plans to release a Color Kindle in the next two years. The e-reader will use an advanced color e-paper that is currently being developed.

Overall Winner: Kindle

The overall winner of Kindle vs NOOK is the Kindle. The Kindle e-reader stands out for its features, ease of use, price, versatility, and overall reading experience.

The Benefits Of Reading

Reading can reduce stress, help combat dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, better our sleep, improve relationships, and inspire creativity, among other things. The video below explains some of the amazing benefits reading has for our minds and mental health.

Reading is a fantastic way to expand your knowledge base and explore new things. It can take you far into the past or future and show you different perspectives on the world. For example, reading can help you understand the secrets of the Freemasons and the origins of common idioms. Or, if you want something lighter to read, you can learn about some of the most expensive items on Amazon, a few of which will truly surprise you. No matter the subject, reading is the key to developing expertise and understanding.

Other Ways To Expand Your Mind

Along with reading, there are plenty of other ways to keep those brain waves strong. You can challenge your mind with some highly engaging brain-training apps and games. Learn more about some of the best math brain-training apps and our personal experience here. You can also expand your vocabulary with these language-learning apps. A bonus to learning a new language is that it means there are even more books you can read! From one bookworm to another, whether you are pouring over pages on an e-reader, your phone, or from an old, weathered paperback, Happy Reading!

Do you have a favorite e-reader? What’s your pick between the Kindle and the NOOK? Share your picks with me in the comments.

Why Trust Safe Smart Living?

Danielle is a total book nerd and will give any book a fair chance. She is also a writer, researcher, and lifelong student of the world with a thirst for new knowledge. As a professional researcher, Danielle constantly pursues new knowledge of the world around her. Her job is to share information with others, something she has years of experience with from her former career as an educator. Danielle has logged thousands of hours researching and investigating valuable information to better the lives of others.

Danielle DeGroot

Danielle has been a professional writer for many years, working with companies and brands all over the world. She holds a BS in Communication and Marketing from Colorado State University Global and uses her skills to help others share their voices. She has researched and covered a wide range of subjects, from eco-friendly living and burial to healthy living, technology, education, science, small business, and more. Her passion is connecting people with useful information and helping others find their voice. Prior to starting her writing career, Danielle worked in public education, where she worked to support and educate children with disabilities. She works hard to stay on top of the latest changes in safety, technology, and living, which allows her to continue researching and sharing pertinent information to better others’ lives.

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