Reader Rocket Review Our evaluation of Excel vs HD

Display

How do the screens stack up?

Excel
6.1
NOOK HD
5.8
Resolution, pixel density, Screen size and anti-glare

Bookstore

How good is the supporting ecosystem?

Excel
n.d.
NOOK HD
n.d.
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?

Excel
4.0
NOOK HD
4.4
Recharge time

Reviews

How do our trusted review sites rank these products?

Excel
7.3
NOOK HD
7.3
Reviews from multiple trusted sites

Reader Rocket Score

Display, Bookstore, Performance and Reviews

Excel
5.9
NOOK HD
5.9

Winner
Barnes & Noble NOOK HD 

Reader Rocket recommends the Barnes & Noble NOOK HD  based on its performance.

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Differences What are the advantages of each

Front view of Icarus Excel

Reasons to consider the
Icarus Excel

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Doesn't use a proprietary power connector No (mini-USB) vs Yes (30-pin port) Somewhat common; Standardized connectors are cheap, compatible and easy to find
Noticeably bigger screen 9.7" vs 7" Around 40% bigger screen
Much better Input/Output port mini-USB vs 30-pin port 100% better Input/Output port
Is readable in direct sunlight Yes (E-Ink) vs No (LCD) Somewhat common; text doesn't look washed out in direct daylight
Comes with a stylus Yes vs No About half of E-Readers come with a stylus
Supports the Mobi e-book format Yes vs No About half of E-Readers support the Mobi e-book format
Front view of Barnes & Noble NOOK HD

Reasons to consider the
Barnes & Noble NOOK HD

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Has a built-in light LED backlight vs None Most E-Readers have a built-in light
Significantly lighter weight 315 g vs 530 g More than 40% lighter weight
Can display full color Yes (LCD) vs No (E-Ink) Somewhat common; view images, read comics, and web-browse in full color
Directly download library e-books to device Yes vs No Somewhat common; offers quick access to browsing public library titles available for e-readers
No black flash when turning pages No (LCD) vs Yes (E-Ink) Somewhat common; provides less obtrusive page turns
Thinner 11 mm vs 12 mm Around 10% thinner ; easily slides into bags
Significantly faster processor 1,300 MHz vs 800 MHz Around 65% faster processor; a faster processor improves responsiveness
Automatically adjusts screen orientation Yes vs No Somewhat common; auto-adjusts between portrait & landscape based on orientation
Higher resolution screen 1440 x 900 vs 1200 x 825 More than 30% higher resolution screen
Quicker recharging 4.5 hours vs 5 hours 10% quicker recharging; requires less time to re-charge

Reviews Word on the street

Specifications Full list of technical specs

screen

Excel  vs
NOOK HD 
Screen resolution 1200 x 825 1440 x 900
Screen size 9.7" 7"
Pixel density 150 ppi 242 ppi
Built-in light None LED backlight
Screen type E-Ink LCD
Flashes screen black during page turns Yes No

features

Note taking Yes Yes
Text to speech Yes Yes
Directly download library e-books to device No Yes
Web browser Yes Yes
Stereo speakers No Yes
Evernote integration No Yes
Landscape mode Yes Yes
Accelerometer No Yes
Parental controls No Yes

form factor

Size 179 x 243 x 12 mm 194.4 x 127.1 x 11 mm
Weight 530 g 315 g
Interface touchscreen & buttons touchscreen
Headphone jack Yes Yes

connectivity

Excel  vs
NOOK HD 
Input/Output port mini-USB 30-pin port
Cellular data None None
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g/n

technical specs

RAM 256 MB 1,024 MB
Processor 800 MHz 1,300 MHz
Document support
FB2
XLS
DOC
PDF
XLX
TXT
EPUB
PPT
RTF
ePUB
DJV
PDB
CHM
CBZ
DJVU
MOBI
HTM

storage

Expansion slot SDHC microSD (up to 64GB)
Memory 4 GB 8 GB
Icarus Excel
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Barnes & Noble NOOK HD
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