A few lucky early adopters have already received the Kindles down here in deepest darkest Africa, but as much as I want to get my hands on an ebook reader immediately, I’m going to try to fight the urge until there a few more killer devices available locally. The Barnes & Noble Nook was recently announced and will be available soon in the USA, but no word yet on availability internationally. I’m pretty sure that they will want to distribute the device as far and wide as possible, especially if they want to compete with Amazon.

If a had to choose a device today, I’d snap up a Nook in a second. It has features that the Kindle doesn’t have and just looks like a much better device. I haven’t used either device yet, but when it comes to the actual reading of books, I suspect they will be pretty much on par as they share the same size screen powered by the same E Ink technology.

One thing I don’t really like about either device is that the content you purchase from the respective online stores isn’t portable. It’s the whole DRM saga all over again. We’ve been through this with the purchasing of online music already. It doesn’t work. That’s why you can now buy your music DRM free from iTunes. I know it just comes down the publishers being a little nervous having their content out there in the wild west, but in the end I want to be able to take my ebook content from device to device without being locked into a specific technology platform.

So there is a lot of buzz about the Apple iSlate/iTablet at the moment as well. A few media slips over the last few days seem to confirm that we should see something early next year and that there will definitely be some reader functionality built into the device. If Apple continue the trend of providing DRM free content from the iTunes store maybe this will be the first platform where I will be able to purchase an ebook and transfer the content from my iSlate to whatever my new ebook reader of the future will be.

I’m gonna hang on a bit longer before I make the leap.

kindle2_02.jpg

nook.jpg

Device

Kindle

Nook

Screen Size

6 inch E Ink

6 inch E Ink / 3.5 colour TFT

Touch Screen

No

Yes (Colour)

Storage

2GB

not expandable

2GB

Expandable up to
16GB

Wireless

AT&T

AT&T 3G and
Wi-Fi

Bookstore

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Natively
Supported Formats

Kindle (AZW), TXT,
Audible, MP3,
MOBI, PRC

ePub, “multiple DRM
solutions,” PDF

Formats
Supported via
Conversion

PDF, HTML, DOC,JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

Word, more to come

Web Browser

Yes

No

Sync with


iPhone, iPod Touch

iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry, PC, Mac OS

Sync
Last page read
Last page read, notes, annotations
Lend ebooks
No
Yes

Available

Now

Nov 30 ‘09