This article compares Amazon's Kindle Touch and Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch. For other products in the Kindle and Nook family, see Kindle DX vs Nook, Kindle (original) vs Kindle 2 and Kindle Fire vs iPad.

The Kindle Touch e-reader is offered in three flavors: the cheapest is $99 but displays ads when the device is in sleep mode. The ad-free version is $139 and a 3G version (that offers a free 3G connection for life, which can be used only to download content) is $149.

Barnes & Noble offers the Nook Simple Touch e-reader for $99. The price of the device was dropped from $139 to $99 after Amazon announced its new line of Kindle products, including the Kindle Touch.

The Wall Street Journal opined that while the Kindle Touch is a good improvement over its predecessor, the Nook Simple Touch is ahead. Both devices are by and large similar in their hardware capabilities; what differentiates them is the software, available content and services.

Comparison chart

Kindle Touch versus Nook Simple Touch comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartKindle TouchNook Simple Touch
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Kindle TouchNook Simple Touch
Audio output Yes No
Special lending library Yes; Kindle Owner's Lending Library (free with a $79/year Amazon Prime subscription) No
Highlighting Private or public Private only
Borrowing from public libraries Wireless downloads USB connector from computer
Battery life Up to 2 months with wireless off based on half hour of daily reading. Up to 2 months with wireless off based on 1 hour of daily reading.
Charging options Charge via USB cable (included) or a power adapter (sold separately) Charge via USB cable (included) or a power adapter (sold separately)
Price $99 (with ads); $139 (without ads), $149 (3G version) $99
Website www.amazon.com/kindletouch www.barnesandnoble.com/nook
Weight 7.5 ounces (213 g) 7.48 oz (212 g)
Dimensions 6.8" (H) x 4.7" (W) x 0.40" (D) 6.5" (H) x 5" (W) x 0.47" (D)
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB, free 3G available but only for the high-end 3G version of Kindle Touch Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, microUSB
Display 6 in (150 mm), 600 x 800 pixel, E Ink 6 in (150 mm), 600 x 800 pixel, E Ink
Storage capacity 3,000 books 1,000 books internal storage, microSD expands up to 32 GB for additional storage
CPU Freescale 532 MHz, ARM-11 800 Mhz ARM Cortex-A8-based TI OMAP
Supported file types Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, Audible (Audible Enhanced(AA,AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion. ePub5, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
Charging time 4 hours via USB 3 and 1/2 hours via USB
Operating system Linux 2.6.26 Android 2.1
Developer Amazon.com Barnes & Noble
Manufacturer Foxconn Foxconn

Controls

On the Kindle Touch you turn pages only by tapping or swiping on the left or right of the touchscreen display. The Nook also features physical buttons on the left and right sides of the screen, allowing for an additional method to turn pages, which is useful if you do not want to move your hand to touch the page.


Library Books

As of late 2011, it is easier for Kindle users to borrow e-books from their local public library and download them on to their device. They can browse available Kindle books on their library's website and check out a book after logging in. They are then given a link to Amazon.com from where they can download the book. (The "Add to Cart" box is replaced by a "Get Library Book" box.) Nook users don't have this facility yet; they have to transfer eBooks via the USB cable.

Lending books

Both devices allow users to lend books to their friends for 14 days. When you lend a book to a friend, you cannot read it.

Highlights and notes

Both e-book readers allow users to highlight passages from their e-books. With the Nook, all your notes are private but Kindle allows users to share their highlights and notes. What's more, Amazon stores your notes in its cloud even if they were made on a borrowed library book. Later, if you purchase the same book from Amazon, all your notes and highlights are available to you.

Services

Amazon offers a couple of value-added services for free to Kindle users. One is the Kindle Owner's Lending Library, which allows users to borrow one book a month for free but is only available to Amazon Prime members. (Amazon Prime is a $79/year subscription that offers certain benefits in the Amazon "ecosystem" e.g. free 2-day shipping on most Amazon orders, free streaming for a library of movies and music, and additional free storage in Amazon's cloud)

Another Amazon service for Kindle users is X-Ray, that lets customers

see all the passages across a book that mention ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places or topics that interest them, as well as more detailed descriptions from Wikipedia and Shelfari, Amazon’s community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers.[1]

Videos comparing the Kindle Touch and Nook Simple Touch

This video compares the Kindle Touch and Nook Simple Touch (it was created before the price changes for the nook but the features are compared and explained well):

You can also watch professional video reviews on YouTube for the Kindle Touch and the Nook Simple Touch.

References

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