Computers, Laptops & Tablets Apple iPad vs. Kindle vs. NOOK How does iPad stack up against Kindle and NOOK? by Sam Costello Writer Sam Costello has been writing about tech since 2000. His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.com, PC World, InfoWord, and many others. our editorial process Facebook Twitter Sam Costello Updated on February 28, 2020 Tweet Share Email Apple iPad Macs In This Article Overall Findings Size and Weight Display Cameras Networking Intangibles and Extras Final Verdict Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble NOOK, and Apple iPad aren't the only devices capable of displaying e-books, but these devices are the most popular. To help you figure out which one is best for you, we reviewed the key features of each device. This article compares iPad 7th generation, iPad mini 5th generation, Kindle 8th generation, Kindle PaperWhite 10th generation, NOOK GlowLight 3, and NOOK Tablet 7" 2018 edition. Lifewire Overall Findings iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" Screen size (diagonal) in inches 10.2 7.9 6 6 6 7 On-device storage 32 GB and 28 GB 64 GB and 256 GB 4 GB 8 GB and 32 GB 8 GB 16 GB Cameras 2 2 0 0 0 2 Price, new $329 to $429 $399 to $549 $65 $95 to $120 $120 $50 These devices are available from third-party sellers and the Apple Certified Refurbished site for less than the original launch price. Before you buy a device for reading e-books, have a clear idea of what you want in the device and what each product offers. For example, are you looking for: A thin, lightweight device dedicated to reading? A device that offers good visibility even in difficult environments, such as in the dark or in direct sun? A full-featured tablet that offers e-book reading along with web browsing, video streaming, and gaming? A device under $200? Size and Weight: iPad Leads the Pack iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" Device size, in inches 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29 8.0 x 5.3 x 0.24 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.34 6.3 x 4.5 x 0.34 6.93 x 5.0 x 0.38 7.4 x 4.2 x 0.39 Weight 1.07 to 1.09 lbs. 0.66 to 0.68 lbs. 6.1 oz. 6.1 oz. 0.42 oz. 0.55 oz. With e-readers, it's all about where you plan to use the device. If you travel or commute, a small and light device like the Kindle may be the better choice. If you need a device that you can read on and use as a mobile computer, the iPad at nearly 10 x 7 inches and more than a pound may be what you need. Display: Retina Display Is Impressive iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" Resolution 2160 x 1620 2048 x 1536 – – – 1024 x 600 Color screen Yes Yes No No No Yes Backlight (read in the dark) Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Antiglare screen (read in bright light) No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Touchscreen Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes There's no question that the Apple Retina display is amazingly crisp and clear. The question is, do you need such a display if you only read books? To be fair, the iPad and iPad Mini aren't e-readers. These devices are tablets on which you can read books. So, before you spend money on a full-featured tablet, make sure it's what you need. Cameras: You'll Need a Tablet for That iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" Cameras Front and back Front and back No No No Front and back Video calling Yes Yes No No No Yes Cameras aren't necessary for an e-reader but are standard on tablets. The iPad and iPad mini feature an 8-megapixel camera capable of panoramas, exposure control, geotagging, image stabilization, and 1080p high-definition (HD) video recording. These also have an HD front-facing camera for FaceTime calls. This front-facing camera takes 1.2-megapixel photos and 720p HD videos (iPad) or 7-megapixel photos and 1080p HD videos (iPad mini). The NOOK Tablet 7" also has two cameras: a front-facing VGA camera and a rear-facing 2-megapixel camera. So, if you want a camera, look beyond a simple e-reader like Kindle or NOOK GlowLight. Networking: The Field Narrows iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" Networking Wi-Fi and 4G LTE Wi-Fi and 4G LTE Wi-Fi Wi-Fi and 4G LTE Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Web browser Yes Yes No No No Yes Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Networking is where the field narrows among all these devices. All of these devices have Wi-Fi capability. The iPad, iPad mini, and Kindle PaperWhite give you the option of 4G LTE connectivity on the go, as well. Intangibles and Extras: Tablets for the Win iPad iPadmini Kindle KindlePaperWhite NOOKGlowLight3 NOOKTablet 7" E-Book formats Audible AZW Doc ePub MOBI PDF RTF TXT Audible AZW Doc ePub MOBI PDF RTF TXT Audible AZW Doc MOBI PDF PRC TXT Audible AZW Doc MOBI PDF PRC TXT ePub PDF Audible AZW Doc ePub MOBI PDF RTF TXT Streams music Yes Yes No No No Yes Streams video Yes Yes No No No Yes Plays games Yes Yes No No No Yes Installs apps Yes Yes No No No Yes Voice assistant Siri Siri No No No Google Assistant Supports a stylus Apple Pencil Apple Pencil No No No No Waterproof No No No Yes No No When considering devices, keep these factors in mind: Tablet: Do you have a tablet but want a small, lightweight device devoted exclusively to reading? If so, a Kindle or NOOK e-reader makes sense. But, if you want a full-featured tablet with games, streaming media, and networking, the iPad is a great option. Gaming: Everyone wants a break from reading from time to time, and games can be a nice option—if your device supports them. Traditional e-readers don't have games, but tablets do. Streaming media: If you want to watch a video or listen to music on your device, you'll need a tablet rather than an e-reader. The iPad, iPad mini, and NOOK Tablet 7" (or the Amazon Fire line of devices, which aren't included here) run apps and have color displays. App Store: Expanding the functionality of your device beyond reading is key to finding long-term enjoyment and value. Perhaps the best way is with a device that runs apps that do more than display books. Final Verdict: It's All About What You Need When you're deciding which e-reader–capable device to buy, consider more than specs and price. After all, a device that does more of what you want and costs a bit more is a better option. 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