And so I researched. I read reviews, I watched YouTube unboxings and reviews and comparisons, I even went to three different stores to play with display models! I did my homework. And you know what, none of that stuff helped at all. Playing with the display models was practically useless. There was no option to leave the demo and play with the actual working device! Grrrr! >_<
And let me just say that the demo on the Kindle Touch is... less than helpful. It didn't go over any of the features that the device has. Instead it covered how to use the touchscreen to change pages while reading, how to use the touchscreen to access the menu, how to use the touchscreen to change the font size, how to use the touchscreen to shop the Kindle Store from the device and how to use the touchscreen to select a book from the library.
All things that are intuitive to touchscreen users and are easy to figure out without the guided tutorial.
Obviously, from the title of this post, I didn't keep the Kindle. There were a lot of features, but they just didn't really impress me enough to justify switching from Nook to Kindle. Mainly this was because of the interface. I'm used to my Nook's layout and customization, but I'm open to change if the change is an improvement. I don't think the Kindle's interface was an improvement over the Nook's. Here's why:
- Both have sortable ability to view books by shelves (collections on the Kindle) or by title, or by author, but on the Kindle, everything is in a text-only list view. On my Nook, I can view either text or covers.
- On my Nook, there's an actual homepage with the Currently Reading book, current page number, new reads and recommendations (click for example image), whereas the Kindle's "home" screen is the library. It just felt like something was missing.
- On my Nook, from ANY screen outside of a book, there's a quick-jump button to return to the page I was last reading. If I go to my homepage, the settings, shopping, whatever... my page in a book is only one tap away. I LOVE THIS FEATURE. I really had no idea how much I used it until I tried the Kindle and continually had to find my book again in the library to go back to it.
- I could not find any way to see the percent of the battery remaining. Both have "Device info" areas in the settings, but the Kindle doesn't display the battery info there, whereas the Nook does. I use this a lot as well, considering that the icon isn't exactly the most precise at showing the remaining charge. It's just a little icon, so what looks like a 50% charge may really be 35%. Also, on the Nook when I unplug the USB or charger, it tells me the battery's charge in a pop-up. The Kindle doesn't.
- Searching the Kindle's library for a book was... weird. I searched for a book's title, but instead of taking me to the book in the library, it showed me instances inside the books in my library where the phrase ("Ghost Story") was found. I thought maybe I was doing it wrong, so I tried several more times, and even had my boyfriend try, and got the same thing every time. Maybe there was another option somewhere that I didn't see, but search usually means search, and I was sure that I was searching "my files" in the dropdown. Scrolling through the library list got pretty old pretty fast.
- The responsiveness of the touchscreen wasn't as good as my Nook either. Sometimes it would respond to the lightest touch, but other times I would need to tap several times to get a response. Often there was a delay, so I wasn't sure if it was just slow or if I needed to tap again.
- Also, the Kindle took several minutes to load and display the 200 titles I sideloaded on the device. I wasn't sure it was even working at first because nothing at all happened for almost 45 seconds after Calibre said the transfer was complete. Removing the titles from the Kindle was the same way. When I load books onto my Nook via Calibre, once the transfer is complete, the titles are there and displayed immediately.
The MP3 player and TTS aren't very loud, and the controls were accessed in the menu by touchscreen, so there's no way to control volume without interrupting your reading. Also, I wasn't able to find the X-Ray feature to try it out, so I don't know how it really is to use. I found a video review showing the feature, and it looked cool, but not really something I think I'd use often, since I read for pleasure. I do think it would be useful for reviewers or college students.
Finally, regarding the keyboard, I thought they were pretty similar, except that the Kindle's keys were smaller and spaced out more, and the save/cancel/delete buttons were above the keyboard on the little text window rather than part of the keyboard as the Nook's cancel/done buttons are.
Overall, the Nook may not have all the bells and whistles, but as an e-reader (and e-book storage device), it does the job and does it very well. So I ended up returning the Kindle. I'm glad that I gave it a try though, because the Kindle is really an attractive e-reader, and for someone who is used to the Kindle interface already, I would definitely recommend it. For me, it just doesn't beat the Nook, though. Plus my Nook allows me to customize my own screensavers, which is awesome.
Shadow felt a little betrayed that I'd sized up the competition, but he retained my love, so in the end, that makes him...