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I am considering buying an ebook reader but not only to read books but to use websites, write notes if possible, keep a library of texts I use in teaching, reference, etc. The price for these ebook readers are better than for a netbook. Which one is better? Kindle Fire or Nook Color?. I read the Nook has Android which it seems better for extra features. Suggestions? Thanks

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+1 I'm in the same search by now. – Nicolás Jan 18 '12 at 19:55
My advice would be to evaluate the marketplaces for both devices relative to your comfort zones for reading, rooting, and productivity. Amazon's marketplace is, to the best of my knowledge, more comprehensive than Barnes and Noble's for books and apps, but there are publisher gaps that might lead you to prefer one over the other. Both can be rooted into generic Android tablets and given APKs to access alternate marketplaces (like Google's), should you prefer to switch after the fact. Hardware specs: versus – MrGomez Jan 24 '12 at 21:15

I don't have a Nook Color, so I can't give you a judgment of which is better. I do have a Kindle Fire, and I'm reasonably happy with it as a small tablet and productivity tool.

As an e-reader, I prefer the Kindle 3. The e-ink screen is much better for reading text.

But if you're going to have an active backlit screen, the Kindle Fire works just fine. The size is good, I'm able to hold it comfortably in one hand. The on-screen keyboard in landscape mode isn't quite big enough for me to be comfortable touch typing, but in portrait mode it works well for thumb typing. The screen is clear and easy to read. Some people complain about problems with the touch screen, my experience is that a light touch is better than a heavy one, and I don't have any trouble. I'm disappointed that the browser hasn't been particularly quick, after all the hype I read about it. And the placement of the power switch is just stupid, fortunately most apps recognize when the KFire has been rotated, so the switch is on the top instead of the bottom.

The KFire is limited to the Amazon app store - they've gone to some effort to keep you out of the Android marketplace. That said, if you have another way to get a .pki file on to the machine (load from PC via USB, download from somewhere other than app store) there's no problem with installing it. Be aware that the OS it runs is heavily customized, every Android app isn't guaranteed to work.

In terms of productivity apps, I am successfully running:

  • lastpass
  • evernote (portable file system)
  • remember the milk (task list)
  • calengoo (calendar app, syncs with google calendar)
  • email

And that's about everything I need to be productive anywhere.

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Thanks to all. I should have asked. Can you watch youtube videos with a browser in the Nook Color or Tablet? Joe, thanks, I don´t have a smartphone, I think they cost more, so I guess I will do more in the ebook reader :) – Gabriel Jan 21 '12 at 22:39
On the Kindle Fire, yes, absolutely you can watch YouTube videos. Amazon also has streaming video available. (Free if you're an Amazon Prime member, but that's a marketing decision) – Dennis S. Jan 23 '12 at 18:59
Sorry - should have mentioned I had the kindle for six months before I got the smartphone - will edit answer now. – Joe Jan 24 '12 at 22:37

The Kindle Fire also sports the Android OS.

Ars Technicha has a breakdown of the differences.

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Thanks but the comparison uses Nook Tablet, not Nook Color. – Gabriel Jan 19 '12 at 0:52
Ah. I assumed you meant the tablet because the Color has to be hacked to use Android rather than the stock OS. – sheepeeh Jan 19 '12 at 14:33

I have a Nook Color. It now has a Netflix app and I have watched and enjoyed videos on it. It does not have a very loud audio though, so I would recommend headphones.

Overall I love my Nook Color, and may upgrade someday to a Nook Tablet. It is great for web browsing as long as you have wifi, and since you can connect it to a computer you can download all sorts of documents in pdf or epub formats. i love it for reading ebooks - have not noticed the eye strain that people who use e-ink e-readers mention, and have read some books with marvelous color illustrations that looked terrific on my NC.

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I bought a kindle a little while ago for the same reasons as you mention - and all I can say is that it's wonderful for reading books, and very little else. There is nothing I do (apart from reading books) that is quicker, more effective, or easier on the kindle than either getting my laptop out (for the first six months of owning it) or doing on my phone (which is what I do now I got a fancy smartphone).

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I have a Nook Color and I think it is GREAT!!!!!! It has a lcd screen that still shows color at the extreme angles. The Kindle Fire also has a lcd screen. They both have the same amount of pixels. The Nook has a bigger book selection while the Kindle has a better selection of apps. The Nook does not have a camera or a mic, the Kindle does not either but there is another version of the Kindle with both. I read happily with my Nook Color, it is much better if you prefer reading but the Kindle has a faster web browser and runs Android more freely. The Nook feels excellent in your hands, the kindle also but the Nook is much better then the Kindle when it comes to reading books and writing notes, so I would go with the Nook.

Hope this helped!

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As a Nook Color owner, here is my take on its benefits:

  • Works well for reading book formats (epubs)
  • Not the best for PDFs (when rendering a new page, it takes a few seconds to complete)
  • The browser is a nice tool, but the nook wasn't created for it. So it does run a little slow. Flash works ok!
  • There is no built-in "Notes" application. You can however, use the built in Email app.

If you plan on heavy usage of the internet, I'd look into an actual Android tablet. You can get a dual core tablet at higher GHz than the Nook for around the same price. (Nook Color has a 800 MHz single core processor)

You are probably looking for the new Nook HD. It is the latest Nook, and only runs around $200, with its own dual core processor at 1.3GHz. I would read the reviews on B&N.

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