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Comparing the Kindle 2, Nook, and Sony Reader

With so many good e-book readers available, how do you decide on the right e-reader? Compare the Amazon Kindle 2, Sony Reader, and Nook before making a decision. The best way to choose an e-reader is to weigh the pros and cons of each model and then choose the one that best suits your style of reading.

Amazon and Sony have both released updates to their popular e-book readers. Other companies are rolling out readers just in time for Christmas, including the eagerly awaited Nook from Barnes and Noble. All of these readers have a few features in common: the ability to bookmark and highlight text and a built-in dictionary. After that, the features vary quite a bit.

Product Price Screen Size Wi-Fi Available Content Storage Capacity Format Compatibility
Amazon Kindle 2 $259 6-inch black and white screen Yes 360,000 titles 1,500 books Works only with e-books from Amazon. Can read PDF or TXT files if you pay Amazon to convert them.
Sony Daily Edition Reader $399 7-inch, black-and-white touchscreen Yes Over a million titles, including free Google Books and the ability to borrow books from local libraries Internal memory holds 1,000 books. Includes a slot for adding additionally SD memory. Supports a wide variety of file formats, including PDF, TXT, DOC, JPG, & BBeB Book. You can even listen to MP3 and AAC audio files.
Nook $259 6-inch black and white screen and a second LCD color screen (3.5 inches) Yes Over a million titles, including free Google Books and the ability to borrow books from local libraries and from fellow Nook users Internal memory holds 1,500 books. Includes a slot for adding additionally SD memory. Up to 17,000 titles Supports a wide variety of file formats, including EPUB, e-reader, PDF, TXT, DOC, JPG, & BBeB Book. You can even listen to MP3 and AAC audio files.

Have a look at some of the unique pros and cons of the Kindle 2, Sony Daily Edition, and Nook:

  • Amazon’s Kindle 2: In addition to the features above, the Kindle 2 also has a QUERTY keyboard and the ability to read to you.

    The biggest drawbacks for the Kindle 2 are the absence of a built-in LED light for night-time reading and the limitations on the types of content available. Because the Kindle uses a unique format, many publishers are holding off on the expense of converting their books into that format.

    Another oddity about the Kindle is that it doesn't use standard page numbering. Amazon says that it's impossible to use real-world page numbering because of the ability to adjust the font size, but the result is that page numbers in the Kindle have no relation to page numbers in the real world. It isn't a deal breaker, but it can be annoying.

  • Sony's Daily Edition: The Sony Reader Daily Edition has a touchscreen keyboard with built-in LED lights for nighttime reading.

    The biggest problems with past Sony Readers were the absence of Wi-Fi connectivity and a problem with the touchscreen bleeding into text. The new Daily Edition Reader eliminates both of these problems. However, the new reader is more expensive than any of the other popular readers this Christmas, which is likely to steer many customers away.

  • Barnes and Noble's Nook: The Nook is the only e-reader that lets you browse through books before you buy them, so book shopping can feel more like it does at a bookstore. The Nook has one other unique feature — the ability to share books with friends. You can lend a book to a fellow Nook user for 14 days at a time.

    The Nook is a bit heavier than Kindle 2 and doesn't have a physical keyboard (it has a touchscreen version, instead). The Nook also doesn't have a backlight for nighttime reading.

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