Amazon Fire tablet vs. Nook: Which is better?

From bestreviews.com
By
Michael Rodgers Obunga
BestReviews

Both Nook tablets and Amazon Fire tablets allow you to download e-books on multiple compatible devices.

Should I buy a Fire tablet or a Nook?

Whether you’re looking for an e-reader or an affordable tablet, Barnes & Noble and Amazon have good offerings in their Nook and Fire lines.

The Nook 10-inch HD tablet is a sleek device with access to the Google Play store, making it highly versatile. Amazon Fire tablets are available in several sizes that vary in their storage capacity and price, making it easier to find a model that fits your budget and needs.

With only one Nook tablet available, Barnes & Noble’s offerings are limited compared to Amazon’s line of Fire tablets, but both models have their advantages when it comes to reading, using apps or browsing the web.

What are Amazon Fire tablets?

Amazon Fire tablets are a family of tablets that serve as color-screen e-readers, in addition to a handful of other functions. While you may consider a Fire tablet as for e-books, their versatility and low price make them competitors of high-end tablets. They are integrated with Amazon services like Amazon Prime and Amazon FreeTime, and all models have Alexa built-in for easy hands-free use.

Some Fire tablets are designed to be kid-friendly both in their durability and in their parental controls. This makes them excellent educational tools that work well for play, too.

You can also make free voice and video calls to other Alexa-supported devices such as the Echo Show or Echo Dot. Fire tablets range in price from $40 to $125, depending on storage, screen size and other factors.

Amazon Fire tablet pros

  • Integration with Amazon services and products
  • Massive selection of e-books and audiobooks
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • Most models have expandable storage

Amazon Fire tablet cons

  • Poor camera quality
  • Apps can only be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore

Best Amazon Fire tablets

Amazon Fire HD 8: Available at Amazon and Best Buy

Our Take: The entry-level Fire HD 8 is available in a variety of colors, including twilight blue, plum, white, black and slate. The lightweight frame and thinner bezels make it sleek and portable.

What we like: Includes a fast-charging USB-C charging port and a 12-hour battery. The WiFi connection is fast, and the storage can be expanded up to 400GB.

What we dislike: You may notice some lag when switching between apps.

Amazon Fire HD 10: Available at Amazon and Best Buy

Our Take: The Fire HD 10 stands out for its ability to present bright colors, sharp images and impressive image clarity compared to other models. This combined with its large screen means it is the best option for graphic novels, comics and watching movies.

What we like: The Fire HD 10’s USB-C port offers impressive charging speeds, and the battery lasts for 13 hours on a single charge. The responsive Fire OS 7 makes loading and switching between apps smoother than on older models and allows for faster streaming.

What we dislike: The sound quality of its speakers is not impressive, but headphones solve this issue. Though it has a front and a rear camera, their images are poor and lacking in detail.

Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa: Available at Amazon and Best Buy

Our Take: Comes in black, tangerine, magenta and blue. If you are concerned about storage, you can get the Fire HD 7 with up to 32GB of storage or expand the storage with a microSD card.

What we like: This affordable model has an ad-supported version for those on a budget. Its low price makes it not only a value priced e-reader but also an entry-level tablet that supports a huge selection of apps.

What we don’t like: Noticeably sluggish at times. Poor screen resolution.

What is a Nook tablet?

The only Barnes & Noble tablet available is the Nook 10-Inch HD Tablet, designed by Lenovo through a partnership between the companies. The 10.1-inch IPS display is colorful and designed for movie watching or reading graphic novels, or just browsing the web.

Like Nook e-readers, the Nook 10-Inch HD has access to the Nook store for a wide variety of e-books. However, the Google Play store and the built-in web browser bring it in line with traditional tablets. It features 11 hours of battery life while connected to the internet, and it charges via USB-C cable and features Bluetooth connectivity. The 32GB memory is expandable with a microSD card, and your Nook purchases are stored at no cost on the Nook Cloud. If you have a local Barnes & Noble store, you can read select e-books for up to 1 hour in-store by bringing your Nook tablet.

The Nook 10” HD has a front-facing and a rear-facing camera for video calls or taking pictures, and the built-in speakers are powered by Dolby Atmos for high-quality sound. It is available for $129.99.

Nook tablet pros

  • The Google Play app store gives you access to a huge library of apps
  • Plenty of storage for e-books on the Nook Cloud
  • Sleek design

Nook tablet cons

  • Only one available model
  • More expensive than entry-level Fire tablets

Should you buy the Amazon Fire tablet or the Nook tablet?

If you already own several e-books via the Nook store or Kindle Store, switching brands will mean you lose access to your library on your new device. In this case, it’s probably best to stick with your current brand of e-reader.

While the Nook 10-inch HD tablet has a bigger selection of apps via the Google Play store, it doesn’t have enough features to justify its higher price.

The Amazon Fire line of tablets are available in a range of prices and sizes, and their integration with Amazon services make them an easy purchase if you have Amazon Prime or Audible. In addition, their kid-friendly models are safe in the hands of little ones. Whether you’re looking for an e-reader or a basic tablet, a Kindle Fire is the better choice.
 

Michael Rodgers Obunga is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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