Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo | Best eReader Comparison

Comparison of the best eReaders in the market – Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo, Find out which e-reader is provides the best value for your money.


eBooks have come a long way from a questionable start (‘can they survive against real books?’) to present times where they are being viewed as a powerful threat to printed books.

The low price of eReaders, along with their versatility and advantages like storage, portability and ease of buying e-Books is converting even the most ardent print book lovers into eBook readers!

Which eBook Reader to Buy

Once you have decided to go for an eBook Reader, the next question to deal with becomes – Which eReader to buy?

The competition between Kindle, Nook, and other brands has clearly benefitted the customers in terms of pricing, better features and more choices than ever before.

However, with so many eReader brands and models, it can be quite daunting for a new customer to make a choice from the available ones.

The table below provides a comparison of the main features offered by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Chapters Indigo.

These are the 3 major names that have popular eReaders (Kindle, Nook & Kobo) and a rich ecosystem supporting their eReaders.

Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo | Ecosystem

FeaturesAmazonBarnes & NobleChapters Indigo
Brand NameKindleNookKobo
Read EverywhereYesYesYes
Library BorrowYesYesYes
Built in DictionaryYesYesNo
Google SearchYesNoNo
MP3 SupportYesNoNo
Free BooksYes*NoNo
Cloud StorageYesNoNo
Read to MeYesNoNo
TitlesMillion+2.5 Million2.2 Million
(*) 1 free book per month available to Amazon Prime Members

While the above comparison might have veered you towards a particular brand, comparison tables below will further help you in fine tuning your choices and deciding on an eReader that is most suited for your needs.

Classic e-Book Readers

These e-Book Readers have been around for a long time and are suitable for those who find the keyboard or a button to be a more natural interface while reading books compared to a touch screen.

Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo | Non-Touch Models

FeaturesKindle 4Kindle KeyboardKobo WiFI
Size166 x 114 mm190 x 122 mm184 x 120 mm
Thickness8.7 mm8.63 mm10 mm
Weight170 grams241 grams221 grams
DisplayE-ink PearlE-ink PearlE-ink
Storage1400 Books3500 Books1000 Books
Battery Life1 Month2 Months10 days
Expandable MemoryNoNoMicro SD
Cloud StorageYesYesNo
Audio SupportNoYesNo
Kindle Canada$89 CAD

Touch Screen eReaders

These e-Book Readers offer touch-screen user interface (UI) popularised by Apple’s iPad and are loved by those who find the idea of a touch screen interface as being a cool feature.

Touch Screen eReaders have the same e-ink display and long battery life that has contributed to the success of eReaders.

Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo | Touch-Screen Models

FeaturesKobo TouchNook TouchKindle Touch
Size165 x 114 mm165 x 127 mm172 x 120 mm
Thickness10 mm12 mm10 mm
Weight185 grams212 grams213 grams
DisplayE-ink PearlE-ink PearlE-ink Pearl
Storage1000 Books1000 Books3000 Books
Battery Life1 Month2 Months2 Months
Expandable MemoryMicro SDMicro SDNo
Cloud StorageNoNoYes
Audio SupportNoNoYes

Color e-Readers and Budget Tablets

Color eReaders have a colourful LCD screen and are more suited for reading magazines, newspapers, and colourful children’s books. Unlike e-ink, the LCD screen consumes more power which explains the lower battery life in these devices.

Due to their high quality screen display color eReaders are being used in the same way as tablets – Web browsing, watching movies, and playing games.

Kindle vs Nook vs Kobo | Color Models

FeaturesKindle FireNook ColorKobo Vox
Size190 x 120 mm 205 x 127 mm 192.4 x 128.4mm
Thickness11.4 mm 12.19 mm 13.4 mm
Weight413 grams 448 grams 402.6 grams
Resolution1024 x 600 1024 x 600 1024 x 600
Processor1GHZ,Dual Core800 MHZ 500 MHZ
RAM512MB 512MB 512MB
Storage 8GB 8GB 8GB
Battery Life8 hours 8 hours 7 hours
Expandable MemoryNo Micro SD Micro SD
Cloud StorageYesNoNo

So Which eReader to Buy?

The answer to this question really depends on what you are looking forward to do with an eReader.

Voracious readers are better off going with dedicated eBook Readers which almost duplicate the experience of reading a real book and let you read for hours without experiencing eye strain.

In this class Kindle 4 at $79 is a good choice for those in US, while budget conscious Canadians might prefer Kobo eReader due to its availability at $79 unlike Kindle 4 which costs $109 for international shipment.

Overall the best bet among dedicated eReaders is Kindle Touch, an excellent eReader offering MP3 playback, Audio books, text to speech support and other features that Amazon offers to its customers (See Table#1 above).

Those who travel frequently can go for Kindle Touch 3G, which provides 3G coverage in over 100 countries and Free 3G within United States (Amazon pays for it!).

Color e-Readers

As mentioned above, color e-Readers and tablets have bright and colorful LCD screens displays which are great for watching movies and reading colorful children’s books and magazines.

However, color eReaders or tablets are not suitable for extended reading sessions due to their brightness, reflectivity and backlighting which can be tiring for the eyes.

In this class Amazon’s Kindle Fire is has emerged as a popular choice, reportedly having a 54.4% share of the Android Market as per data for Feb. 2012 released by ComScore Inc.