image The Evil Genius compared the two and found that the Nook was much slower in various ways ranging from opening a book to page turning, even with a 1.1.0 firmware upgrade. He favors the Kindle right now.

But—get this—the Nook doesn’t just offer font choices. The Genius agreed with others and said it also had better screen contrast.

When, just when, is Amazon going to care about the contrast problem? And in the other direction, when is the Nook going to add text to speech?

Speaking of the Nook, we’ll have a review coming at some point from Jean Kaplansky, a new owner. In what ways did she change her mind after reviewing it earlier? Find out.

Coming in a day or two: Ficbot’s Kindle review. She earlier owned a Sony Reader, and her brand switch is not good news for Sony, if enough others agree.


  1. The Kindle contrast issue *is* the Kindle font issue.
    One and the same.
    The singular font Amazon stuck Kindle with is an odd compromise between Helvetica, Times Roman, and Courier that is readable at all the limited Kindle sizes (I’ll give’em that) but it gets real ugly real fast at the larger sizes (which aren’t large enough, btw) and it gets real skinny at the smaller sizes.
    In other words, it is far from optimal at any size.
    If they ever allow the use of arbitrary true type fonts, the whole K2 contrast issue will vanish overnight.
    (Of course, adding an embolden option wouldn’t hurt…)
    None of this is new, of course.

  2. Thanks, Felix. I own both a Kindle and Sony and must say that the PRS-505’s screen background seems lighter. If so, then both the real and perceived contrast ratios would be better than on the Kindle. I’d welcome thoughts from others who can compare.

    Meanwhile, yes, the embolden feature in the Kindle would help immensely. I’m pretty sure that Amazon could do it with a firmware update. You bet that many people, even those without vision difficulties, would be immensely grateful to Amazon for the change. Better fonts and more choices would also be good, of course. Very much agree with you!


  3. The contrast on the Kindles has much improved since the international Kindle came on the market a few months ago. It has been just about a year since the K2 was announced; I expect a new Kindle version to be announced some time this quarter.

    I have an early K2 and a nook. The nook definitely has much better contrast, and the ability to change the font without hacking the nook is an advantage. However, the lack of having a page go-to function is a horrible error in the nook software, that hopefully they will implement in the next software update.

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