Several companies such as apple, Sony, RIM, Barnes and Noble, Motorola and Kindle have released e-reader gadgets, a situation that has led to heightened competition. Competition in the e-reader market has benefited the customer by providing more choices at competitive prices. These companies have developed competitive gadgets which are bundled with attractive user packages. This paper compares the effectiveness of the iPad, the Nook and Kindle as e-readers.
Customers looking for e-book readers often consider the size, price and the functionality of the device. Size is of particular concern because large and heavy devices are less portable and difficult to hold over long durations. Conversely, books displayed on smaller devices may be less legible. However, e-readers allow the user to adjust the size and select the font of the texts that are displayed. Of the three gadgets, the Nook is the smallest in surface size with a 6 inch screen and weighs 11.6 ounces. Apple’s iPad has a 9.7 inch screen and weighs 1.5 pounds. The Kindle also has a 6 inch screen but weighs 8.7 ounces which makes it the lightest of the three devices (Pilgrim, 2010). Holding the iPad for prolonged durations is uncomfortable whereas the Kindle and Nook allow for prolonged reading sessions.
Customers always consider the price of the device before purchasing it. Apple’s iPad is the most expensive of the three devices and goes for about 500 US dollars. The Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the Amazon kindle are currently priced at 149 and 139 US Dollars respectively (Falcone, 2010). The price of these devices also ranges with the device’s specifications. For instance devices which have the WiFi and 3G internet connectivity are more expensive.
Basically e-book readers are judged by their effectiveness in performing various functions. The Nook and Kindle are dedicated e-book readers which are optimized for reading. The Kindle and Nook use the e-ink screen which is very good at producing clear book images which are similar to a printed paper. The draw back with e-ink screens is that they are less legible at night and display black and white images.
However, cases with built in lights are available for the Kindle and the nook hence allowing users to read at night (Falcone, 2010). The iPad uses an LCD screen which is colorful, bright and has a beautiful display. The iPad’s screen major drawback is its reduced legibility in bright light. Moreover, people have reported difficulty using the iPad over long durations because the backlight tires the eyes. Reading magazines and news papers with color is more enjoyable on the iPad whereas reading books especially in daylight is best done using the Nook or Kindle. The iPad has a touch screen whereas the Nook has a small LCD touch screen that helps in navigation but its larger e-ink display does not respond to touch (Falcone, 2010). The kindle does not rely on touch for navigation however navigation on the device is fair.
The Nook, Kindle and iPad basically have Wi-Fi data connectivity which is adequate for an e-book reader. However, there are other more expensive versions of these devices that come with 3G cellular connectivity in addition to WiFi (Falcone, 2010).The Barnes and Noble Group not only allows Nook users to access a large collection of books but also supports book lending for a duration of fifteen days allowing users to cut down on costs. The iPad offers a wider range of additional features such as social networking, video playback and full web browsing as compared to the Nook and Kindle. The Kindle has the best selection of e-books with about 700,000 titles listed in the online book store (Falcone, 2010). Banes & Noble is second and is closely followed by the iPad. The Kindle works only with the Amazon book store while the Nook works with Barnes and Noble book stores. On the other hand, the iPad uses various applications such as iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo and many others. The Kindle has a physical Keyboard that allows users to type in texts with ease as compared to the iPad and Noble (Falcone, 2010).
The Kindle, Nook and iPad are good e-readers. The iPad is a multifunctional device and may suit those who would like to perform other functions. However, the iPad is large, bulky and expensive as compared to its competitors. The Nook is a lightweight and efficient e-reader device with good company support. However, the Kindle wins the competition because it is the cheapest and most portable of the three devices. Moreover, the Kindle has access to the largest book store and has a physical keyboard for easy typing. The Kindle also performs basic e-reader functions in a similar way to the Nook and is much better than the iPad especially when it comes to legibility.
Falcone, J.P. (2010). Kindle vs. Nook.iPad: Which ebook reader should you buy? Retrieved 11, March, 2011, from http://news.cnet.com/kindle-vs-nook-vs-ipad-which-e-book-reader-should-you-buy
Pilgrim, G. (2010). Kindle vs. Nook vs. iPad. Retrieved 11, March, 2010 from http://www.buzzle.com/articles/kindle-vs-nook-vs-ipad.html