Nook vs. Kindle Fire: A Holiday Gadget Battle to Watch

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When Amazon announced the Kindle Fire at the low, low price point of $199, tech commentators (myself included) were impressed. For a couple hundred bucks, you'd get a (presumably) good e-reader with the web browsing capabilities of the iPad shrunk into a small 7" form factor. Amid the excitement, most people forgot all about the Barnes & Noble Nook color, which has always been an interesting proposition at only $250.

Today, B&N touched off speculation they could be planning a price cut to their Nook when they sent out invites to an event on Monday. If the Nook does end up retailing for $199, consumers will have two very legitimate options for a sub-$200 tablet. In one corner, the battle-tested Nook. In the other, the unproven but very promising Kindle Fire. We'll be looking at both for upcoming holiday gift guide. What are you thinking, though? Do you even have the Kindle Fire and Nook in the same mental bucket?

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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