Hmm, this is a hard one, because they're really more or less identical and I don't think you can go wrong.
So here's my considerations for you:
1 - Generally, the kindle lights up better, reviews show the light as more 'even'. However, the light in the kindle is impossible to completely turn off (it'll look off, but at an angle, you'll see it's on), which means it'll eat some battery.
2 - For most, Nook w/ glowlight is probably easier to hold. It's also a little lighter. Aesthetically, however, I'd say the kindle paperwhite looks sexier.
3 - How do you feel about ads? You'll pay a premium if you want the kindle without ads.
4 - From personal experience with the customer support of both of these companies (I have a large family and a bunch of these devices), Amazon is much easier to deal with than B&N. B&N customer support is, to put it slightly, lacking - for example, they once offered to replace my 1-week old nook with a refurb unit. Guess how quickly I returned that thing to the store.
5 - Nook has an SD slot, kindle does not, although it provides cloud storage for amazon content. However, if you like to sideload books (maybe free books you got elsewhere, foreign books, whatever), this may be a factor for you.
6 - Hidden costs: does not getting a charger really bother you? Nook includes one, kindle doesn't. How about book prices? Over the years, I've noticed Amazon prices tend to be equal or less than B&N. Mostly equal, but it can get annoying when the difference is large. Covers? You probably want to opt for cheaper third-party covers for both.
7 - Do you need 3G? If yes, kindle has it, nook doesn't.
8 - The kindle display has a higher ppi, making it sharper than the nook screen. Now, should you necessarily care? If you read in a fairly large font, probably not. If you like really small fonts, however, then the clarity difference will be notable for you.
9 - Finally, the books: besides the store pricing (mentioned above), there's another factor: have you bought ebooks for a previous-gen device of either of these? If you have, it makes logical sense to stay with the platform you have and not lose those books. You could unlock these purchases with calibri or root your nook to install the kindle app, but in both cases, this is non-trivial work and probably not worth changing platforms for.
Phew - hope that's comprehensive enough. I think I covered all the significant differences between the two, but I think your decision must depend on how much each of these factors matters to you.
I'm so glad to see someone else is e-reader indecisive! Reading in the dark is definitely a must for me. I'm trying to decide if I want the Paperwhite or Nook Glow or if I want to go with a tablet and if I do, do I want a Fire or Nook.
Since those two are the higher priced readers and are approaching the price of a tablet, should I just spend a little more and get one for extra capabilities? There are times when it could be handy to have a tablet along.
On the other hand, I read a lot. Will I like reading on that as well as the more book like versions. That makes me lean the other way, but then, I can be on the computer reading, etc. for long periods of time and it doesn't bother me. I downloaded Kindle for Computer just to see and didn't have any issues reading. I actually rather liked the black page with white print.
I don't have ebooks that I have purchased. I do have some that I have acquired free. Converting with Calibre is fine if I need to. I will read the book and delete it. Once I've read it, I'm done with it and won't keep it around. Same reason I don't buy books now. I can get ebooks for either from the library or from other sites online. So platform isn't really an issue.
I think I'm leaning slightly toward the new Nook HD tablet @ $199. On the other hand maybe I should just go with a regular tablet...
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