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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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September 2016
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Hidden Nook Capabilities Hint At Readiness For Future Kindle Competition

So, as many of us have observed, the new Nook Simple Touch Reader was recently rated even higher than the long dominant Kindle by Consumer Reports. This is a big deal for B&N since it makes their eReader really stand out as a superior reading device again after a while of being noticeably behind, but it also works out great for the readers since close competition generally means better products and more software updates.  What surprised me a bit was the fact that the new Nook seems to be set up with a few unused features in place and ready to go when they next need to bump up the competition.  It’s great to see planning for the future like this.

First, we have the unannounced web browsing capabilities.  They never advertised it and nobody really expected it, but the Nook has an incredibly basic browser built right in.  The problems it has right now make it clear why it wasn’t advertised.  It just does not seem ready for significant use.  The interface is clunky and the experience is just generally sub-par even compared to other E Ink devices like the Kindle.  There are two ways to interpret this.  Either B&N rushed out an unfinished product and didn’t bother to disable that part of the firmware, which is possible for all I know, or what people have managed to access is actually the underlying structure of a more functional browser yet to come.  I personally don’t think that the release of the new Nook was meant to have a browser at all.  It seems like something Barnes & Noble was holding in reserve for the next time they needed something to trump a Kindle update in some way.

Speaking of things held in reserve, we have also learned that the Nook has unannounced and unused Bluetooth capabilities.  I don’t know what to really say about this one.  At first, it seemed particularly cool.  I mean, actual unused hardware capabilities probably meant to be pulled out for something impressive when the situation calls for it.  Maybe that’s even really the case.  The problem is that I can’t think of many situations where Bluetooth would come in handy in a reading device.  Any ideas?  Still, it seems like a good idea in theory, I think.

While it is definitely true that the Nook got to the top for the moment simply by imitating the Kindle and dropping the deadweight of its earlier incarnation’s extras, I would say that there is potential for expansion here if customers decide they want more.  For now we have a great reading device that simply falls away and lets you read.  Everything the Kindle has been pulling off for a long time now.  I love mine.  I still wouldn’t be surprised to see, at some point, an opening up of the system in a manner similar to what happened with the Nook Color so that apps can be thrown on.  I know that some of the same people who found the Nook’s Bluetooth also managed to do things like get the Kindle for Android app running on it, so the potential is there for more than we have so far.

Barnes & Noble Steps Up the Kindle vs Nook Competition With New Nook eReader

The much awaited Barnes & Noble announcement on March 24th has taken place and provided the marketplace with a new Nook eReader that is far better suited to compete with the Amazon Kindle than the Nook Color has so far managed.  It seems like a long overdue and very welcome update to the increasingly dated original Nook offering.  Due to ship before Father’s Day, specifically by June 10th if the B&N website is to be believed, we should have some more hands-on information in the near future.  For now, looking at the feature list, there’s some reason to be excited about it.  The feature list is almost point for point a comparison against the Kindle.  Here’s what they’ve got for us:

E Ink Pearl Touch Screen

This one was a bit obvious, but finally the Nook gets a better screen.  Even if B&N had done nothing besides throw the Pearl screens into the existing first-generation Nook, it’s a no-brainer.  Still, glad to have it.  While I’m somewhat skeptical of the usefulness of a touch screen, it’s likely to be more user-friendly than the one on the old Nook and we have to hope the implementation is smoother than the Sony equivalent.  I have little doubt that it will be.

2 Month Battery Life

You say the Kindle is good for a month of reading without recharging?  Then of course the Nook must be good for two!  In all seriousness, do we really need to worry about how long the charge will hold once we’re over a month?  My only complaint on this point is that it is misleading.  In truth, all they’ve done is give us a battery with the same life as the Kindle and measured the expected battery life with an assumed 30mins of reading per day instead of the previously assumed 60mins.  In response, Amazon has changed the info on the Kindle page to match.  No, they didn’t change any hardware, just the metric.

Newer, Lighter, Smaller Form

One of the biggest complaints about the old Nook was the size and weight.  Now, it’s shorter, lighter, and even has a dark frame to make the screen stand out more.  All good news!  The Nook is now around an ounce lighter, an inch shorter, and only a little over 30% thicker than the Kindle.  It will be far more comfortable to read on for extended periods than the original Nook ever was.

Who Comes Out Ahead?

Well, Amazon still has a couple things going for them.  More internal memory is nice, though of course the Nook still allows use of an SD card so the point is moot.  There’s no 3G version of the new Nook, so that’s still a plus for the Kindle.  For some reason B&N seems to have gotten rid of the web browser, so that’s something to take into account.  No matter how either side tries to play things up at this point, though, it seems that we’ve got something of a tie.  Unless you have very specific needs, the two are fairly even.  While I would have loved to see some sort of innovation from the new Nook, at least they’re back in the game and you can’t find much wrong with the product they’re presenting us with.