It appears that we are in eReader season after our last news post was about the release of the new Apple iPad Mini along with the new version of iBooks and 2 posts before that being about the highly delayed UK release of the Kindle Fire, the new family of Kobo readers and most crucially the US release of the Kindle Fire HD and Paperwhite. Well the flood keeps coming as Google announce new Nexus devices, Kindle brings the Fire HD and Paperwhite to our shores and FINALLY the UK learns the name Barnes & Noble with them finally launching their Nook range here, after years of healthy competition with Amazon stateside.
So we are going to take a quick look at the new arrivals; firstly for those of you with a disposition to tablets, the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 10. The Kindle Fire HD is effectively an upgraded version of the previously released Fire that has fortunately not had its UK release delayed as long as its predecessor. Possibly because the standard Fire was effectively a year out of date tech-wise, the Fire HD has been pushed out soon after to keep up and the specs are impressive. It now boasts a super-sharp 1280×800 720p HD screen with 10-point multi-touch, dual driver speakers with Dolby audio, dual-band, dual antenna Wi-Fi, a HDMI port, a HD front-facing camera and an upgraded internal storage of 16 or 32GB. There is nothing radically different but it does bring it closer in-line with the more recent 7-inch tablets, while building on the ideas from the original. As it is only £30 more, the improvements seem very much worth the extra cost. The Nexus release on the other hand, is taking things larger; probably to compete with the full size iPad, just as Apple go the other way to compete with 7-inch tabs like the Nexus 7. To compete with the iPad, Google claims the Nexus 10 has the highest resolution screen of its kind at 2560×1600 and 300ppi, it also has very similar cameras to the new iPad with 5/1.9 megapixel back/front cameras shooting 1080p/720p HD video. It will run the latest version of Android, called Jelly Bean, powered by a dual core processor similar to that in the iPhone 5 and has a whopping 2GB of RAM. As it is not released until November 13th (along with the Nexus 4 smartphone) we will have to wait and see whether this really does compete in real terms with the iPad, but on paper it certainly has a shot. Partly as an afterthought, because they are not really up there spec-wise, Barnes and Noble are bringing the Nook HD and HD+ to the UK in November as well. However the only thing these will probably have over Apple or Google is the inclusion of a microSD card slot.
And now for those of you who like you eReaders to be simple, we will look at the competitors to the previously discussed Kobo Glo, the Kindle Paperwhite and the B&N Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. Obviously as they are just simple eReaders there are much fewer specs to compare so this one will probably come down to personal preference. The Nook was the first reader to combine a light with an E-ink screen but some have said that the Paperwhite has done it much better with a much more even light distribution. Other than screen technology they both have a 6 inch screen that will does not suffer from glare and huge battery lives, like their previous none-lit models. Internal storage is 2GB for both with the Kindle ever so slightly smaller and the Nook ever so slightly lighter and they both cost £109 for Wi-Fi versions. However, with B&N also releasing their standard Nook Simple Touch in the UK, which is very similar to the standard Kindle but for £10 more, and Amazon offering a Paperwhite with free 3G connectivity, Kindle may reign supreme over the Nooks, especially as Amazon is a much more familiar brand this side of the Atlantic.