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Amazon Kindle Keyboard Review

Has an excellent screen, killer battery life and makes buying eBooks ridiculously easy.

March 04, 2011
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Device & Specs

The Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook Color are two quite similar devices in many ways: both are small, sleek devices that make it easy to buy books and magazines to read on the go. But there are significant differences: the Kindle uses a passive eInk screen, while the Nook Color uses an LCD screen. Both types have their pros and cons (which we discuss below), but they make the two devices quite distinct.

Screen

The two devices take different approaches when it comes to the screen. The Nook Color uses an LCD screen, while the Kindle has an e-ink screen that has no backlight. The result is a different set of strengths and weaknesses, with the Nook offering a slightly larger screen that looks great indoors, but fades outside, making it difficult to read in direct sunlight. The Kindle, however, offers a screen that is sharp and readable in everything from very dim light to direct tropical sun, so it is a better pick if you plan on sitting by the pool.

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Battery

Both devices include sizable batteries that can drive the device for quite a long time, but the Nook Color has an all-round shorter battery life.This is because the LCD screen uses more power than the passive e-ink screen of the Kindle, which has no backlight. In our tests reading an eBook, the Nook lasted just under 8 hours, while the Kindle lasted over 24 hours. If you are close to a power source, this may not be an issue, but the Nook Color is going to be a dead weight if you are going anywhere without easy access to power.

eReader

The different screen types of the two devices make for quite a different reading experience. The passive eInk screen of the Kindle is more like reading a printed book, while the LCD screen of the Nook is more like a small laptop. The Nook Color screen offers color, which is a big plus for reading magazine and newspaper content, but the LCD screen fades in direct sunlight. The Kindle, however, looks great in any light from near darkness to direct tropical sun, so it is the better pick for a tropical vacation.

Internet

Internet access is offered on both devices, but we would not recommend relying on either for anything more than occasional web browsing. Web pages look better on the LCD screen of the Nook Color than the eInk screen of the Kindle, but both are somewhat slow to browse the web and don't support Flash, Java or other forms of web content. Neither device supports email, either.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Email & Web Browsing
  8. Internet Apps
  9. Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16 GB) Comparison
  10. Barnes & Noble Nook Color Comparison
  11. Sony Reader Touch Edition Comparison
  12. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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