Android Tablets: Nexus, Kindle, and Nook

Alright folks, the time is here to discuss the three big names in the 7 (well and 10) inch tablet market. Nexus (from Google and Asus), Kindle Fire (from Amazon) and Nook (from Barnes and Noble). I am not going to talk much in the way of specs, because all of these devices come with pretty much comparable hardware. Each device has a strong point and some easier to define weak points. The decision between these devices, in my mind, comes down to even a single factor, marketplace.

Kindle and Nook both have very limited app marketplaces. Their strength being in content. Amazon & Barnes and Noble both have tons of books, movies, and music you can purchase directly from them on their devices. However, that is where you buying experience ends. You are stuck with what they have. That just isn’t the way I shop, for any product.  I like choice, I like options, I like fair and open markets.

In respect to fair and open the Nexus 7 from Google is the device of choice for me. You can download from anywhere. Install any marketplace (including Amazon’s and Barnes & Nobles). You can purchase music, movies, books, apps, and more from anywhere you can find it, and load it on your Google Nexus. Let me show a few examples of this:

Heaven is for Real  by Burpo, is available on all the marketplaces. At both Google and Amazon the book is $4.98, Nook has it listed at $8.60. Not a huge difference, but you get the point. If you had purchased a Nook you are overpaying for this book.

What about movies? With Kindle you are again limited to what is available in their marketplace. Kindle does have access to Netflix and Hulu, and Amazon Prime. You are at the mercy of what Amazon will allow you to download from their marketplace. On the other hand Google Nexus has the most open marketplace and offers everything the Kindle has and then some. Crackle, Hulu Plus, Google Play Movies, HBOGO, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and many more are all available on Google Nexus.

The only other point I wish to make about the devices is updates. Google Nexus is running a clean version of Android. Where as Nook and Kindle both are using heavily modified versions of Android. In the future you will see more updates for the Google Nexus than either the Kindle of the Nook. The reason is not that it needs more updates but that the OS is growing and changing, and becoming better every day. Each version to date has brought amazingly cool features and security updates that just aren’t guaranteed or expected for the other two devices.

If it were my money, I would get a Google Nexus 7 (32GB).