Summary:

When Amazon introduced the first Kindle four years ago, the e-reader market barely existed and e-books were almost a novelty. Sony e-readers…

Comparing e-readers | September 2011
photo: paidContent

When Amazon introduced the first Kindle four years ago, the e-reader market barely existed and e-books were almost a novelty. Sony e-readers were already on the scene but the Barnes & Noble Nook wasn’t even on the drawing board. This week, Amazon changed the e-reader game again with new dedicated e-readers that can be bought for under $100 and a media tablet that could do the same for that category if it delivers as promised.

There are too many e-readers to cover them all so we’re keeping it simple, comparing Amazon’s Kindle lineup with some of its main competitors, the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Color, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Reader Touch Edition and Kobo’s Touch. Although it’s a tablet, we included the Kindle Fire because of its e-reader origins and its new role at the head of the Kindle family. Check out our chart…

AVAILABILITY

Now

Available for pre-order for November 21, 2011 release; U.S. only

Now

Now

Available for pre-order for November 15 release, 2011; U.S. only

Now

Now

Now

Now

PRICING

With Special Offers: $79
Without Special Offers: $109

WiFi with Special Offers: $99
WiFi without Special Offers: $139
3G/WiFi with Special Offers: $149
3G/WiFi without Special Offers: $189

WiFi with Special Offers: $99
WiFi without Special Offers: $139
3G/WiFi with Special Offers: $139
3G/WiFi without Special Offers: $189

$379

$199

$139

$249

$229.99

$129.99

SIZE

6.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.34″

6.8″ x 4.7″ x 0.40″

7.5″ x 4.8″ x 0.34″

10.4″ x 7.2″ x 0.38″

7.5″ x 4.7″ x 0.45″

6.5″ x 5″ x 0.47″

8.1″ x 5.0″ x 0.48″

6.61″ x 4.68″ x 0.38″

6.5″ x 4.5″ x 0.4″

WEIGHT

5.98 ounces

WiFi: 7.5 ounces
3G/WiFi: 7.8 ounces

WiFi: 8.5 ounces
3G/WiFi: 8.7 ounces

18.9 ounces

14.6 ounces

7.48 ounces

15.8 ounces

7.58 ounces

7.05 ounces

SCREEN SIZE

6″ (diagonal)

6″ (diagonal)

6″ (diagonal)

9.7″ (diagonal)

7″

6″ (diagonal)

7″

6″ (diagonal)

6″ (diagonal)

DISPLAY

E Ink Pearl

E Ink Pearl

E Ink Pearl

E Ink Pearl

Vibrant Color IPS

E Ink Pearl

VividView Color Touchscreen

E Ink Pearl

E Ink Pearl

TOUCHSCREEN/ROTATE

No/Yes

Yes/Yes

No/Yes

No/Yes

Yes

Yes/No

Yes/Yes

Yes/No

Yes/No

BATTERY LIFE

1 month

2 months

2 months

3G off, 30 min. reading/day: 3 weeks
3G on: 10 days

Up to 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with WiFi off.

WiFi off: 2 months

WiFi off: 8 hours

2 weeks

1 month

STORAGE/EXPANDABLE

2 GB/No/Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

4 GB/No/Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

4 GB/No/Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

4 GB/No/Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

8 GB/No/Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

2 GB/Up to 32 GB (microSD)

8 GB/Up to 32 GB (microSD)

2 GB/Up to 32 GB (microSD)

2 GB/Up to 32 GB (microSD)

INPUT

Five-way controller

Touchscreen

Keyboard

Keyboard

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

Touchscreen

Touchscreen; buttons

Touchscreen

3G/WIRELESS

WiFi

3G through AT&T/WiFi-only option

3G through AT&T/WiFi-only option

3G through AT&T

WiFi

WiFi

WiFi

WiFi

WiFi

INTERNATIONAL

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Currently available in 8 countries and rolling out to Asia soon

Currently available in 5 languages; international bookstore; available in Canada and UK; will roll out more international devices soon

NATIVE FORMATS

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible, MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion

Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, OGG, WAV, MP4, VP8.

EPUB, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP

EPUB, PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, MP3, AAC, MP4

EPUB, PDF, BBeb, TXT, RTF, JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, MP3, AAC, Microsoft Word (conversion to the Reader requires Word installed on your PC)

EPUB, PDF, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, MOBI, CBZ, CBR

AVAILABLE CONTENT

Over 950,000 books; 1.8 million public domain books; newspapers; magazines; blogs

Over 950,000 books; 1.8 million public domain books; newspapers; magazines; blogs

Over 950,000 books; 1.8 million public domain books; newspapers; magazines; blogs

Over 950,000 books; 1.8 million public domain books; newspapers; magazines; blogs

Over 950,000 books; 1.8 million public domain books; newspapers; magazines; blogs; 11,000 videos free for Amazon Prime members $79/year; movies, TV shows, apps, games, songs

Over 2 million titles

Over 2 million titles, magazines, Nook Book Enhanced Collection, kids’ books. Apps, e-mail, Pandora, some games, some websites.

Over 2 million titles

Over 2.4 million titles. E-books are available through OverDrive (Adobe format)

BOOKSTORE

Kindle Store

Kindle Store

Kindle Store

Kindle Store

Kindle Store

Nook Book Store

Nook Book Store

Sony Reader Store

Kobo Store

FREE E-READING APPLICATIONS

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

Android

iOS, Blackberry, Android, PC, Mac

BOOK SHARING/LIBRARY LENDING

14 days on eligible titles. Can also borrow Kindle boooks from 11K-plus local libraries through OverDrive.

14 days on eligible titles. Can also borrow Kindle boooks from 11K-plus local libraries through OverDrive.

14 days on eligible titles. Can also borrow Kindle boooks from 11K-plus local libraries through OverDrive.

14 days on eligible titles. Can also borrow Kindle boooks from 11K-plus local libraries through OverDrive.

14 days on eligible titles. Can also borrow Kindle boooks from 11K-plus local libraries through OverDrive.

Yes/Yes. Read any Nook book in B&N stores free up to 1 hour/day

Yes/Yes. Read any Nook book in B&N stores free up to 1 hour/day

No/Yes

No/Yes

SOCIAL NETWORKING FEATURES

Share passages via Facebook and Twitter; view other users’ annotations and notes

Share passages via Facebook and Twitter; view other users’ annotations and notes

Share passages via Facebook and Twitter; view other users’ annotations and notes

Share passages via Facebook and Twitter; view other users’ annotations and notes

Share passages via Facebook and Twitter; view other users’ annotations and notes

Nook Friends reading recommendations and activity feed

Nook Friends reading recommendations and activity feed; can see what B&N readers “like” when shopping on Nook Color

No

Reading Life technology with Facebook and Twitter integration, badges and awards

PAIDCONTENT COVERAGE

Kindle

Kindle

Kindle

Kindle

Kindle Fire

Nook

Nook

Sony

Kobo

* Although the Kindle Fire is a new tablet from Amazon, we’ve included it in this e-reader chart to see how it compares to the other Kindle devices as well as other e-reader devices.

Source: Based on company information, additional reporting.
Produced by: Amanda Natividad
Edited by: Staci D. Kramer
Published: September 30, 2011
We’ll update the chart as warranted.

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