I have spoken here before regarding the iPad and Nook as well as here; mostly I've discussed how to download items or what programs can help you download books. But today, I have a different type of review. Today we will talk about the functionality of the device or apps themselves, once you have your book downloaded to them.
I have had my Nook or over a year now and it is a first generation Nook, it has had many software upgrades offered by Barnes and Noble and I actually had it replaced due to a stress fracture on one of the page turning buttons. (The new color ones, use the touch screen technology to avoid this problem in the future), my DH just bought a Kobo reader from Borders. It is a little smaller than the Nook which is a plus for him. He prefers the smaller size.
First, the Nook vs. Kobo, again I am using a first generation Nook, not the new color, but I think that is a fairer comparison with the Kobo.
The Nook: I have the 3G/WiFi version. I love it. I personally think the 3G is worth it if you are truly going to download books on a regular basis and don't want to worry about where you are and can you get WiFi. While more and more places have WiFi not every places does and many times it is very very slow. So spring for the 3G especially if this is going to be your only eReader device. The contrast on the screen is great for reading in sunlight, but you need a book light for reading in bed at night. I mentioned the size, the Nook is about 8 inches by 5 inches and the 3G is about 12 oz. The WiFi only version is a bit lighter. Same size though. You have your touch screen at the bottom in color for navigation. Which I still find a little clunky. Especially as they add new features and try to find a place to categorize them in the existing folders on the devise.
For example, the latest upgrade allows you to create shelves, handy, you can organize your books so you are not scrolling through pages trying to find that book you want to read. But shelving the books is a little funky. You have to use the up and down arrows on the touch screen which means you have to then scroll forward to the next screen and select shelve. Then scroll back, use the up and down arrows to select and other book, scroll forward to shelve that book. I find it all just a little too much scrolling and clicking and a little awkward.
You can have different color back panels and there is a wide array of color cases. My blogless friend Anna, knitted some cute jammies for her Nook.
You also use the touch screen navigation at the bottom to add a bookmark, although provided you do not change to a different book and are only reading one book at a time, the Nook will automatically take you to the last page you read when you come back to it. You can also use the same navigation to select different font sizes.
Nook has buttons on both the left and right hand sides for page turning and the latest upgrades allows for on screen page turning too.
You can use the "lend me" feature with the Nook to share books with your friend accept ePub format as well as the B&N books you download. If you hook it up to your laptop or PC you can add PDF's as well, which I have used in the past to take my knitting patterns along with me.
And if you connect to the B&N store wireless while shopping in store with your Nook you will receive, free downloads and coupons that change weekly. Just show the coupon code to the cashier or in the cafe to receive your discount. You need a Barnes and Noble account to sync your ebook purchases with you Nook.
The Kobo, is sold by Borders and comes in three color choices, black, white and lavendar. It is slightly smaller than the Nook at 7.2 inches x 4. 7 inches the screen is 6 inches, it uses the same technology on its screen as the Nook, in that it is great for reading outdoors in sunlight but is not backlit and requires a book light if your reading in low light situations. The navigation still uses buttons, but it is one four way button in the lower right hand corner, which is very easy to use if you are right handed, no so much if you are left handed. The Kobo, does boast some serious battery life and can support ePub formats, so you are free to get your downloads from just about anywhere, including borders. Borders, also has special offers on ebooks pretty regularly, in the past two months they have had $5 ebooks and $4 ebook sales. Kobo also supports magazines and newspapers like the Nook. The Kobo is WiFi only but is preloaded with software so that you can organize and transfer files with your PC. You need a Borders account to sync your Borders purchases with your Kobo. The Kobo has five font sizes to choose from to make reading a little easier.
My husband really enjoys his Kobo.
Kobo, WiFi only $139
Nook, WiFi version $149; 3G & WiFi $199; Color WiFi only $249
You can read more about the Nook at Barnes & Noble
You can read more about the Kobo at Borders