Google Books vs. Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle app

Google Books, or Amazon Kindle. That's the question du jour. Google this week released its online bookstore -- Google Books, or eBooks. It's not a new premise, you go online and buy books, and then read them on your laptop or PC, or on a mobile device. And you have plenty of options in the mobile space. You can purchase and read books on Android devices, of course, as well as the iPad, iPhone, Sony eReader and the Barnes & Noble Nook.

But is Google Books better than Amazon Kindle, the big daddy in the space? Will you need both platforms? Join us after the break as we take a look at Google Books versus Amazon Kindle?

Reading on the desktop

Don't take this for granted. There are plenty of times where you might want to read a book on a desktop. And both Google Books and Amazon Kindle will let you do that. Google Books can be read in the browser, Amazon Kindle is a standalone application.

Reading on a mobile device

On Android, iOS, Sony eReader or the BN Nook, this is where you'll likely be doing most of your reader. We took Google Books and Amazon Kindle head to head on a Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Amazon's ahead, for now

For us, it comes down to one simple fact: If you're flipping through hundreds of pages in a digital book, there can not be any lag. None. Zero. Nada. Doesn't matter if it's stored on the device, or if it's downloaded from the cloud as you read. If there's any lag at all, it's a deal-breaker.

That's not to say that Google Books aren't good. They are. And being able to see the scanned page is interesting, if not useful. We'll need to revisit this after a few months and see how Google's improved things. But for now, Amazon's still on top.

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Phil Nickinson