Comparing E-Readers | September 2011

Comparing e-readers | September 2011

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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