The Absolute edition is considered DC's best possible print. The edition comes thread bound, oversized, and with very high quality paperstock. The absolute editions also come in a slip case. If you are considering whether to get the Absolute or Hardcover version of Watchmen, the absolute edition is the way to go.
The oversize panels are breathtaking and the thread binding is particularly nice. The panels are oversized quite substantially I might which I think alone makes it worth the added cost. The thread binding is great for opening the book completely and improves durability especially for this thick book.
Both editions have the extra content. That about sums it up. I picked up the absolute edition at borders with a 40% off coupon two days ago for 47(which included tax and free shipping). I've already read the absolute edition at my local library, just to see what it was like and this edition will blow you away.
I recommend you check out the images here to see for yourself:
So the extras in the Absolute edition are included in the regular hardcover edition, and the content of both versions are the same? I looked through the paperback and did not see any extras. Are these extras also included in "Watching the Watchmen: The Definitive Companion to the Ultimate Graphic Novel"?