Difference Between Kindle and Nook

Kindle and NOOK are E-Readers/Tablets from Barnes & Noble and Amazon respectively. Both of them have come up with a series of devices that enhance the on-screen reading experience and make it as comfortable as reading a paper book. Although they initially began with offering E-Readers with advanced technology, they have now come to compete with each other in the production of high resolution HD tablets as well.

We will first discuss about the two readers, their models and their features and then based on the information provide the difference between the two.

Overview NOOK Reader

NOOK is a series of E-Readers and Tablets by Barnes&Noble. Using a NOOK, millions of books, apps, movies, TV shows and magazines can be accessed. Web browsing and email access is also faster and better. The various NOOK devices can be classified as follows:

NOOK Simple Touch: It is a 6” ultra-light reader weighing only about 212 g. It has a no-glare touch screen and a battery life that can last up to 2 months on a single charge. It uses an E-ink display for its screen. The advantage of E-ink technology is that it creates a reading experience just as physical ink on paper, is durable and is eco-friendly. NOOK Simple Touch costs $79. Content in NOOK Simple Touch includes books, magazines and newspapers. Other features include parental controls and free cloud storage.

NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight: It has all features as that in NOOK Simple Touch and weighs 197 g. The added feature in this device is a built-in Glow light that makes bedtime reading more comfortable. This is a new lighting technology (patent-pending) which can be adjusted and doesn’t take away from the benefits of E-ink display. However, there can be a fall in the battery life. This E-Reader includes a power adaptor and an anti-glare screen protector. NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight is available for $119.

NOOK HD: It is a 7” light and portable tablet with a high-resolution display. It weighs about 315 g and uses a 1.3 GHz Dual Core processor OMAP 4470. It has a battery life of 10.5 hours when used for reading and 9 hours when used for watching videos. Screen resolution is 243 pixels per inch. NOOK HD is available starting from $199.

NOOK HD+: It is the larger version of NOOK HD tablet with a 9” screen and is ideal for movies, games, surfing and email. It weighs 515 g and uses a 1.5 GHz Dual Core processor OMAP 4470. It has a battery life of 10 hours when used for reading and 9 hours when used for watching videos. Screen resolution is 256 pixels per inch.

NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ Features:

  • Operating System used is Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • The HD screen and high resolution display produces rich colors and deep contrast for great movie watching experience. It also displays images and text very clearly.
  • Dual core processor, built-in Wi-Fi and improved multi-tab browser result in faster internet connectivity and better web browsing. E-mail app supports Microsoft Exchange Active Sync as well as other popular mails like Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail.
  • The device is ultra-light, easy to hold and portable.
  • Up to 6 NOOK profiles can be created in a NOOK HD/HD+ tablet, thus giving a personalized experience to everyone using the tablet.
  • Content includes books, magazines, newspapers, apps, movies, TV shows and catalogs.

There have been other versions of NOOK prior to the 4 types available now. These devices are being phased out. However, those who own these devices continue to get software updates and apps for their NOOK gadget. These older versions of NOOK are:

  • NOOK 1st Edition: It was introduced in 2009. It has a screen size of 6”, uses the E ink technology and weighs about 345 g.
  • NOOK Color: It was introduced in 2010 and used Android 2.2. It weighed 442 g and used Ti OMAP 3621 @ 800 MHz.
  • NOOK Tablet (16GB and 8 GB): It was introduced in 2011 and used Android 2.3. It weighed 400 g and used a Dual Core Ti OMAP 4430 @ 1 GHz.


Kindle is a series of E-Readers and Tablets by Amazon. Kindle lets you select from millions of books, magazines and newspapers at low prices. The various Kindle devices can be classified as follows:

The only difference between Kindle Paperwhite ($119) and Kindle Paperwhite 3G ($179) is that Kindle Paperwhite 3G has free 3G connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi. The features of Paperwhite model are as follows:

  • Paperwhite Display: Higher Resolution offers sharp, clear text and images and higher contrast offers crisp, dark text against a brilliant white background which enhances the reading experience. Kindle Paperwhite has a battery life of up to 8 weeks.
  • Perfect for reading in bright sunlight or at night: Matte screen prevents glare in sunlight and makes reading easier. The patented built-in light makes night time reading more comfortable.
  • Patented built-in light: The technology used here guides light towards the surface of e-ink display from above. A fibre optic cable is flattened into a sheet and nano imprinting is done to ensure perfectly even distribution of light and uniform whiteness. Nano scale optical diffractive patterns enable tight control over direction of light. The screen brightness can be adjusted. The built-in light technology makes use of low-power LEDs, thereby resulting in better battery performance. The figure below, taken from Amazon’s website, shows the patented built-in technology of the Paperwhite model. 

Kindle has the following features:

  • It uses electronic ink screen that reads like paper. The matte screen avoids glare in sunlight.
  • It is a light weight gadget weighing only about 170 g.
  • It has a battery life of one month.
  • The screen’s 100% aperture ratio ensures sharp, clear text and good image quality.
  • The page in Kindle has the same brightness as everything else in the room. Hence, there is no need for brightness adjustment in Kindle and this is comfortable for the eyes.
  • Uniform contrast ratio which does not change with the viewing angle enables you to read in any position.
  • It costs $69.

Kindle Keyboard 3G has the following features:

  • It uses electronic ink screen that reads like paper. The matte screen avoids glare in sunlight.
  • It weighs about 241 g.
  • It has a battery life that can last up to 2 months.
  • It comes with free 3G wireless and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • It costs $139.

Kindle Fire Tablet has the following features:

  • It has a 7” LCD display.
  • It uses a 1.2 GHz processor.
  • Battery can last up to 9 hours of continuous use.
  • It has been designed keeping kids’ entertainment interests in mind. Kindle FreeTime lets parents create profiles for each of their children, decide what all can be accessed by the kids as well as keep a tab on how long the Kindle can be used. It gives a personalized experience to children by using kid-friendly designs and themes. It is also structurally very strong and suitable for rough handling by children.
  • Kindle Fire enhances gaming experience and gives instant access to all popular apps.
  • Browsing the web is faster with a new version of Amazon Silk, Amazon’s cloud accelerated browser.

Kindle Fire HD Tablet has the following features:

  • It has a 7” HD display screen. An advanced polarizing filter and custom anti-glare technology result in rich color and deep contrast from every angle.
  • It makes use of Dolby audio which includes the technology used to adjust volume, create virtual surround sound, and deliver easier-to-understand dialogue in movies and TV shows. Dual driver stereo speakers give big sound and auto-optimization software maintains the audio clear, crisp and balanced.
  • It uses dual Wi-Fi antennas and Multiple In/Multiple Out (MIMO) technology for powerful HD-ready Wi-Fi. Dual band support provides better range and less interference. Result is you get ultra-fast Wi-Fi with speed as high as 33Mbps.
  • Kindle Fire HD uses a fast dual-core processor with an Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core.
  • Battery can last over 11 hours of continuous use.
  • It offers plenty of storage for HD content and unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content.
  • Cost of this device is $199.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Tablet has the same features as that of Fire HD. The only improvement here is in the screen size which is 8.9” as compared to 7” of Fire HD. Fire HD 8.9” costs $269.

Addition of 4G LTE connectivity to Fire HD 8.9” gave rise to another model- Kindle Fire HD 8.9” 4G LTE Wireless Tablet. It features the latest 4G LTE technology for ultra-fast mobile broadband. It includes support for 10 bands and thus ensures that even when you're in a place with no 4G LTE network you'll fall back to the fastest available network and won't lose coverage. The addition of 4G LTE doesn’t compromise the battery life in any way. Amazon has tied up with AT&T to provide cheap 4G LTE subscription rates. This tablet costs $399.

All Kindle Fire Tablets offer a wide variety of books, magazines, newspapers, apps, games, videos, TV shows and songs to choose from and give you a personalized and enjoyable experience.

Difference between Kindle and Nook

A few key differences between Nook and Kindle are summarized below:








E-Readers: $69-$179

Tablets: $159-$399

E-Readers: $79-$119

Tablets: $199-$299

E-Reader Models

Kindle Keyboard 3G


Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite 3G

NOOK Simple Touch

NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight

Tablet Models

Kindle Fire Tablet

Kindle Fire HD Tablet

Kindle Fire HD 8.9” Tablet

Kindle Fire HD 8.9” 4G Tablet



Market Share in the US (According to Goldman Sachs Inc)





Better E-ink display

Better notes and highlights system

Both 3G and Wi-Fi versions

Fire HD:

More robust version of Android with more apps

Support for the 5GHz band and MIMO

Longer Battery life

Simple Touch with GlowLight:

Better light

Access to wider variety of e-book stores

No ads


Higher Resolution Display

Faster Processor

Expandable Storage and media

Light weight



Inclusion of ads





Fire HD:

Slightly less powerful processor than that used in NOOK HD

Simple Touch with GlowLight:

Transferring books from public libraries is complex

Inefficient notes functionality


Does not have a front facing camera for video chat


In the end..

Amazon has been a leader in ereaders and Nook was launched to catch up with the digitization trend in the market. How successful it will be, only time will tell.