Asus Google Nexus 7 tablet dimpled backNo, this doesn’t mean I’ve given up on my Kindle Touch. It still has its uses, but I am really liking the Google Nexus 7 as a e-reader.

For all my complaints in my earlier post about the Kindle app for Android, reading on it is a beautiful thing. The screen is gorgeous, and the text is clear and sharp. I’ve almost completely stopped reading on my iPad because the screen resolution is so much better on the Nexus 7. As soon as Instapaper is updated to add page flipping in the Android version, the only reading I’ll be doing on my iPad will be Flipboard, which is still much nicer on the larger screen.

Why the Nexus 7 instead of the Kindle? You might think it’s because of the multitude of e-reading apps, but actually, that’s not it. I’m happy enough with Kindle for Android once I’m into reading a book. I’ve got some other apps loaded, but Whispersync is an awesome feature, and I do use it to go back and forth between Kindle and Nexus.

The Nexus 7 is small and light. It’s just as comfortable to hold as my Kindle, and much easier to manage than my iPad. In its Moko case, it feels solid in my hands, with several options to hold and prop it. I love to read while eating, and the case in landscape mode is at just the right angle. I’ve never found as convenient a method to prop my Kindle at a table.

There are two other reasons I prefer the Nexus 7 to the Kindle. One is fonts. I’ve never been crazy about Caecelia, the only serifed font on the Kindle Touch. The default font on the Nexus 7 looks enough like Georgia, my favorite e-reading font, that I’m happy with it. I’d prefer more choices, but it works for me.

The other reason is screen layout. I wish I could hide the percentage of book and time left to read a chapter on the Kindle. I’m just a touch obsessive-compulsive. When I can see percentage left, I can’t help but glance at it, and it stops me from losing myself in the book. On the Nexus 7, all I see is words. No progress bar. No percentages. Just the story.

Of course, I can’t get rid of my Kindle just yet. I do use the Kindle Lending Library. I’m hoping that will be opened up to Kindle apps someday, but until then, I need my Touch. And as soon as camping season starts again, there’s nothing better while camping than an E Ink device.

Anyone else want to share your favorite e-reading device, and the reasons why it’s your favorite?


  1. I could write exactly the same article with respect to Kobo Glo and Nexus 7. The two work together really well. They stay synced and both excel at one aspect or the other. I love the portability of the Kobo Glo: it easily slips into a pocket or bag and I don’t worry about dropping it. The battery life means no anxiety on medium length flights or weekends away thinking about a recharge. And I am less distracted because I use it entirely just for reading. (And I love the font and layout customization.)

    But then the Nexus 7 means access to all the Kobo goodness through an app. Plus access to my Kindle books and Overdrive public library titles. The Kobo app isn’t cloud aware for personal titles but Overdrive easily opens Google Drive and my Western Digital NAS “personal cloud” at home … even when I am away in Mexico. And send to Kindle works well enough for occasional pdf books.

    The main glitch is the Kobo app page layout / font customization is very basic but, like the article author above, once I am reading it doesn’t really mater much.

  2. I’ve looked at the Kobo devices, but I read enough personal documents that the Kindle is still the better device for me. (I confess to being a bit of a fanfic addict, and Send to Kindle is amazing for them.)

    Curious, does Kobo sync library books between Glow and app, or do you have to manually find your location when switching between devices? I also read a lot of library books.

  3. I use both my Kindle 3/Keyboard (K3) and Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 reading is just as you stated and is the device I carry around with me everywhere. However for long-reading sessions I prefer the K3 because:
    * e-ink is still easier on the eyes
    * love that I can turn pages forward OR back using page turn keys on left AND right side
    * can organize books into collections (sigh! will we ever see that for the Kindle app?)
    * more easily move between chapters (right or left click on K3 cursor pad)
    * easier to highlight
    * less likely to be distracted to check email, etc. (yes, I can do that on the K3 but choose not to)

  4. Amen, Elizabeth on Collections! Long overdue on the Kindle apps.

    I do love the way the Touch is set up for page turning. Tapping on the right 2/3 of the screen pages forward, making left-handed reading easy. I’d like that in the Kindle apps too. I find the Android app to be more picky about where you tap than the iOS version.

  5. The Nexus 7 is my fave by yards too – beats out the Kindle, no matter the virtues of eink. All the flexibility and versatility of a full Android OS. Great screen. Fabulous battery life. Ideally handy size, and weight. Wide selection of ereader formats and apps. Bluetooth transfer of ebook files. I could go on. And on. And I’m never going to bother carrying my Nexus 7 *and* a separate device for ereading. It just hits the spot perfectly.

  6. John, what’s your impression of Instapaper for Android, besides it not saving certain articles? Has it been updated for page flipping, or does it still require scrolling? What’s the reading experience like? I love Instapaper for iOS, but I’d really like to have it on the Nexus. However, without page flipping, I know I’ll be disappointed?

  7. No one seems to be talking abt the need for constant recharging when reading books. I got my wife a N7 for Mothers day and she’s recently started to use it as an e-reader.
    We charge it in the morning and it dies by abt 11:00 PM that evening after only abt 4-5 hrs of reading during the day I guess it’s the LCD back-light taking all the power! I’ll try turning it down.
    Disappointing as my Nook gives me many days without the need to recharge!

  8. @Tony, I get considerably better battery life than that. Try dimming the screen or using the auto brightness feature. Make sure Bluetooth is turned off. I do charge my Nexus 7 every day, when I use it as an e-reader, but I’ve never had a problem using it as much as I wanted in a day, and I’m an avid reader.

  9. I downloaded my kindle to my nexus7 and now use nexus 7 for reading. My kindle listed books I had not read and then listed books once I read them and removed to my library. I cannot figure how to sort my books between “unread” and “read” on Nexus. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks

  10. Thanks Juli. I have a copy of “Nexus 7 for Dummies” which I am using to help me get my tablet set up. (I am not very good with computers)
    I have gone through this book to find out how to set up collections for my books to no avail. Can you refer me?
    Thanks for your help

  11. Hi Juli: I have not tried it as yet but I am sure it will solve my problem. I will follow it a little later, I am still trying to figure how to turn off music that I downloaded and is still playing as well as how to work “tunein” for radio channels. It now tells me I need to get adobe flash so I am trying to do that…
    Thank you so much

  12. Hey there, I know it’s two years later but I also wanted to thank you for your review. I’m looking at the Asus ME572C, considered the ‘Nexus 7 2014’, so this review was very helpful in helping me decide.

    Also, I had the Kindle Touch 3G and have the Paperwhite 2, and on both you were able to press in the bottom corner to cycle through page location, percentage, and… no info at all. Hope you didn’t have to wait this long to find that out. 🙂

    • @LafinJack, you’re welcome! Glad the article is still useful. Ironically, I no longer have a Nexus 7, and I’m back to primarily eInk (except for Scribd). I did finally figure out how to cycle through to no location information, and I routinely switch between nothing and time in chapter on my Paperwhite 2. 🙂

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