So O.K., the Nook is a mess, clearly rushed out the door in hopes of stealing some of the Kindle’s holiday cheer. “We want to optimize everything quite a bit,” a product manager concedes. The first of many software fixes, B&N says, will arrive wirelessly on Nooks next week. The company also says that it’s working to bring the selection and pricing of its e-book catalog more in line with Amazon’s.
Now, the Nook may have some hardware advantages — a removable battery, a memory-card slot and (because of narrower plastic margins) a slightly trimmer shape — but the Kindle is still a better machine. It’s faster, thinner, lighter and much easier to figure out. Its battery lasts more than three times as long (seven days versus two).