Reader Rocket Review Our evaluation of HD Plus vs Fire HD 8.9"

Display

How do the screens stack up?

Resolution, pixel density, Screen size and anti-glare

Bookstore

How good is the supporting ecosystem?

e-bookstore size, average NYT best sellers price, NYT's top selling titles and 4 more

Performance

How responsive and how long does the e-reader last?

Battery life, SunSpider and Recharge time

Reviews

How do our trusted review sites rank these products?

Reviews from reviews.cnet.com and theverge.com

Reader Rocket Score

Display, Bookstore, Performance and Reviews

Winner
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 

Reader Rocket recommends the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"  based on its display, bookstore and reviews.

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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Barnes & Noble NOOK HD Plus

Reasons to consider the
Barnes & Noble NOOK HD Plus

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Expandable memory microSD (up to 64GB) vs None Most E-Readers don't have an expansion slot ; store more content with a removable microSD card
Supports the ePub open format Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support the ePub open format
Uses an open platform Yes vs No Somewhat common; can download ebooks from any source offering formats supported by device
Lighter weight 515 g vs 567 g Around 10% lighter weight
Quicker recharging 4.5 hours vs 5 hours 10% quicker recharging; requires less time to re-charge
Front view of Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

Reasons to consider the
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

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Has cellular connectivity 4G vs None Very few E-Readers have cellular data ; download content anywhere with a cellular connection
Doesn't use a proprietary power connector No (micro-USB) vs Yes (30-pin port) Somewhat common; Standardized connectors are cheap, compatible and easy to find
Significantly thinner 8.8 mm vs 11.4 mm Around 25% thinner ; easily slides into bags
Customer loyalty program Yes (Kindle Store) vs No (NOOK Book Store) About half of E-Readers support customer loyalty program
Much better Input/Output port micro-USB vs 30-pin port 100% better Input/Output port
Bigger bookstore 4 M book (Kindle Store) vs 3.27 M book (NOOK Book Store) More than 20% larger e-bookstore size; totalling paid & free books, this reader's bookstore offers a larger selection of reading material
Supports the Mobi e-book format Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support the Mobi e-book format

Reviews Word on the street

Specifications Full list of technical specs

screen

NOOK HD Plus  vs
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 
Screen resolution 1920 x 1280 1920 x 1200
Screen size 9" 8.9"
Pixel density 256 ppi 254 ppi
Built-in light LED backlight LED backlight
Screen type LCD LCD
Touchscreen Capacitive Capacitive
Multitouch Yes Yes
Flashes screen black during page turns No No

features

Sync across multiple devices Yes Yes
Note taking Yes Yes
Text to speech Yes Yes
Directly download library e-books to device Yes Yes
Web browser Yes Yes
Stereo speakers Yes Yes
Evernote integration Yes Yes
Landscape mode Yes Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Parental controls Yes Yes

storage

Internal storage 32 GB 55.7 GB
Expansion slot microSD (up to 64GB) None
Memory 32 GB 64 GB

form factor

Size 240.3 x 162.8 x 11.4 mm 240 x 164 x 8.8 mm
Weight 515 g 567 g
Interface touchscreen touchscreen
Headphone jack Yes Yes

connectivity

NOOK HD Plus  vs
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 
Input/Output port 30-pin port micro-USB
Cellular data None 4G
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth connectivity Yes Yes

technical specs

RAM 1,024 MB 1,024 MB
Processor 1,500 MHz 1,500 MHz
Document support
XLS
AAX
DOC
PRC
AZW
PDF
XLX
TXT
PPT
ePUB
CBZ
HTML
MOBI
KF8

bookstore

Uses an open platform Yes No
Bookstore NOOK Book Store Kindle Store
EBookstore size 3.27 M book 4 M book
Free content free content 1.84 M books 2.5 M books
Customer loyalty program No Yes
Average NYT best sellers price $9.64 $9.24
Number of NYT top-selling titles offered+ 38 38
Reader-to-reader lending Yes Yes
Cloud storage Yes Yes
Reading apps iOS, Android, PC and Mac iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, PC and Mac
Additional electronic offerings newspapers, magazines, comics/graphic novels, textbooks, and audio-books newspapers, magazines, comics/graphic novels, textbooks, audio-books and blogs
Has retail store locations Yes No
Barnes & Noble NOOK HD Plus
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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9"
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Comments

Showing 1 comment.
It's hardly fair to compare the Nook HD Plus to a model that costs 3 times as much as it does. One might suspect that you were straining to make it look inferior to something. And if you're going to list pros and cons, shouldn't PRICE be on that list? Also shouldn't you mention that the HD Plus has the full Google Play store not a limited app/content store like Amazons? That's a big advantage to the Nook. Now in order to be fair, the HD plus is 60% (rather than 30%) of the price of a SIMILAR Kindle Fire (say one that doesn't have 4g and more memory than is common).
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