What the Nook Can Do and the Kindle Cannot
This is pretty obvious. It has a touchscreen section of the screen, which is separate from the reading area. It is attractive to see the band of color. The miniature bookshelf image is cute (those are fun details, but not important). Because of the touchscreen control area, the two buttons on each side are completely intuitive. They look like this: < and an inch below that: >, on each side. You do not hit the wrong button by mistake - there are not enough buttons to be mistaken. Since a typical eBook reader is not really designed to be used by the blind, I will not fault them for a lack of Braille on the buttons.
Because the Nook navigation is accessed through the touchscreen band at the bottom of the menu, you select categories and move through menus with touches, or use the virtual keyboard option.
One very important feature on the Nook is its expandability - up to 16GB on a micro SD card which is inserted under the back cover.
One of the more unusual and exciting options on the Nook is the ability to loan your digital content from Barnes & Noble to someone else. A loan lasts for two weeks, during which time you do not have access to the digital content.
You can purchase a replacement battery from B&N - a new rechargeable battery is about $30.
The Nook cannot read Amazon's DRM formatted books bought through the Kindle store.
The Nook also links to the Wi-Fi in any B&N store it enters, and will upload information on a daily basis; news, free eBooks and samples. As well, while you are in the B&N store, you can read any eBook there, for an hour a day - quite a nice feature for fast readers.
The Nook comes with a chess and Sudoku program on it. I have not heard how well it plays chess.
Nook product image