The New Barnes & Noble Nook and Borders Kobo Touch releases win over the Amazon Kindle
Finally, the Amazon Kindle e-reader, launched back in 2007, gets to face its competition, not against one but two newly launched e-readers by Barnes & Noble and Borders. Now its time for Kindle to step down from the number one spot and make way for the two new June releases, Nook and Kobo e-readers.
Before you start wondering what’s so special about these two e-readers or what sets them apart from the Amazon Kindle, let me just say, A LOT. For starters, the Nook and Kobo e-readers have a touchscreen to the E-ink display unlike Kindle that still has a hardware keyboard attached. The display screen is unique in the sense that it is readable in the sunlight without producing any strain or effect on your eyes. This also makes the devices more user-friendly in terms of handling as its lighter to carry around without a keyboard like Kindle.
Discussing the functions of the Barnes & Noble Nook e –reader, we come across the physical features first. The Nook is great in feel and hold as it has a super thin built and a smooth back. Some new added functions include the Nook Friends, which is a social layer for viewing your friends’ comments or thoughts on particular books. It also keeps you updated on what books your friends are reading. Other features include better page turns than Kindle. The Nook turns pages with much more speed and only flashes the screen black after turning six pages. Whereas Kindle flashes the screen black after every page turn which is much more time consuming. Along with this, the Nook has the added quality of displaying how many page numbers are left in a chapter. In terms of navigation, the interface is very useful as browsing for books is made much more convenient. The device has been designed to offer comfortable e-reading and Barnes & Noble stated that ‘the goal with the Nook was to have it fade to the background while you’re reading.’
Coming to the Kobo Touch e-reader by Ann Arbor-based Borders, the physical features of this e-reader are less similar to Nook. It has plastic built and hard edges which do not favour the device much in its look, feel and hold. But it possesses the same qualitative features of a touchscreen and faster page turns. Kobo comes in a variety of four versions, all in different colours of silver, blue, lilac and black. In place of the added function of Nook Friends, Kobo has its own special feature of a game in which the reader gets rewarded with badges. It also contains a microSD slot for more storage. But all in all, Kobo Touch e-reader looses in competition to the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, which is much more flexible and well-built in use, feel and function.
One feature both of these e-readers are missing and which the Amazon Kindle consists of is the always on 3G connectivity, as both of them only come in WiFi versions. But still, it is high time that Kindle accepts defeat and made way for Nook and Kobo that have clearly topped its level.