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It’s on….

digital books just got way more interesting.

Here’s the big differences between the devices and services:

Kindle

Basics: Low powered device that can run for days without a recharge.  Black and white epaper / eink screen.  3g connectivity.  Ability to add storage via SD card.

Pros: Closest thing to a real book out of all the devices and digital book ideas.   Amazon ebookstore is huge.

Cons: single purpose device.  read books.  and make sure the books don’t have pictures, diagrams or anything other than text.

Get Specs Here

Nook

Basics: Similar to Kindle.  It’s a slightly more functional kindle.  Has a nice color screen for media browsing.  Books through Barnes and Noble.

Pros: Nice feel to the device.  Color is nice.

Cons: Single purpose device.  BN ebookstore is not as robust or easy as Kindle bookstore.

Get Specs Here

iBooks/iPad

Basics: Apple’s fully featured tablet.  Basically a decent computer with eBooks reader software.

Pros: Multi purpose device.  Can actually compute.  Beautiful screen.  Possible to have nice reading+interactivity.

Cons: Battery life is more like a phone, less like a book!  Glossy screen.  Not quite as “rugged” as kindle.

Get Specs here.

Pricing:

Kindle and Nook are around $250.  Entry level iPad is $499.

Pricing on all of these are within $150or so.  Amazing that iPad is that low.  Almost impossible to pick a single use device that costs as much.

Conclusions

For me, what wins is the best book/publication selection.   Amazon is really hard to beat in that area.

Prediction – Kindle app on iPad pretty quickly!  I think Amazon will have to give up on the Kindle if it doesn’t come out with something the publishers want to push hard.  You can’t beat Apple at hardware on a grand scale.   not yet.

[UPDATE 4/25/2010:   I’ve been using my iPad for several weeks now.  I haven’t turned on my Kindle since I got my iPad with the Kindle software.  There’s simply no need.  I’m amazed by the iPad battery life.  I also didn’t anticipate how useful it is that you don’t need light to read on the iPad.  Like duh!    iBooks isn’t quite good enough to compete with the Kindle store based on inventory but I suspect that will change quickly.]

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