The holiday shopping season is almost upon us, but the real technology battle began this week with the release of two impressive new tablets: Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Both products represent considerable upgrades over previous versions made by their respective companies, and both hit the market at a time when e-readers and tablets are growing rapidly in appeal and profitability.
It seems that every holiday shopping season brings with it a new technology that is the market’s hottest sell. At one point it was laptop computers, more recently it has been smartphones, and in earlier years people around the country often awoke on Christmas to find the newest flip phone and some cell phone batteries in their stocking. This year, then, is the year of the tablet.
The Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet stand to be the top two sellers this holiday season. Although Apple’s iPad 2 is certainly in the running for this title, its higher price and superior capabilities mean that it will likely appeal to a different demographic and gain market share more from laptops than from e-readers.
Consequently, if you’re looking to buy an e-reader or a tablet this holiday season, chances are that you’re trying to decide between the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. The decision may be a difficult one, but – fortunately for you – the Fire and the Tablet have distinct pros and cons that clearly differentiate the two products. Let’s break down some of these differences:
First, if multiple of the following factors are important to you, you may want to consider buying a Nook Tablet:
- Storage: The Tablet has twice the storage capacity of the Fire.
-Tech Support: Although Amazon has no physical stores, you can bring your Nook into your local Barnes & Noble if you’re having any issues.
-Children’s Books: The Tablet allows kids’ books to be read themselves out loud; it also provides the option of recording your voice as you read, thereby saving an audio version of the book alongside the visual one.
-Magazines and Comics: The Tablet comes equipped with a wide selection of both.
-Display Quality: The ability to stream videos in 1080p – and to do so for 9 hours without charging the battery – makes the Tablet a superior pick when it comes to media.
On the other hand, if you find multiple of these factors appealing, the Kindle Fire might be your best bet:
-Price: At under $200, the Fire is priced much more reasonably than the Nook Tablet.
-Music: The Fire has many more capabilities when it comes to music storage.
Applications: While it’s no Apple Store, the Amazon Appstore provides a wide supply of free apps that places it at the forefront of the e-reader market in this regard.
-Book Selection: It’s almost impossible to match Amazon’s virtual library of books, even for traditional bookseller like Barnes and Noble. If there’s something out there that you want to read, even if it’s obscure, there’s a good chance that Amazon has it.
So these are some of the pros of the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet. Ultimately, while the Tablet seems to be the more advanced and sophisticated device, the Fire wins in the core categories of book availability and price. Whichever one you choose, enjoy the tablet shopping season.
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