on November 21, 2010
I've read e-books on just about every device out there, while looking for the perfect mix of features to support them. I've gone from an ancient Palm III to all the Kindles and other readers that are out there. First, I must say my favorite way to read a book is via the treeware version - you just can't replace books. What you can do though is supplement them with a device that adds something to the experience that makes a device worth buying. For me, my new perfect device is the NookColor.
I will cut to the chase and answer the question people are most curious about. How does it stack up verus e-ink? Well, as a user of many e-ink devices, I know all about how such devices as Kindle eliminate eye-strain. This was my first worry with the NookColor. As it turns out, their is a color/font adjuster that you can change how the books looks until you find something that is pleasing and non-straining to your particular eyes. While I won't be able to read for five hours straight like on a Kindle, I think four hours straight is a fair trade!
One thing I needed with my reader was the ability to access the Internet at times. This is an area where the NookColor beats out all the e-ink readers with smooth and responsive access to the Net. I found the touch keyboard easy to use, and the rotating display helpful.
The apps are limited to ones that actually work, so there isn't a broad selection like on other devices. It's just quality ones. I suppose with their NookDeveloper program, their should be more apps available soon. Granted they will be a lot of junk apps, as on other devices, but at least there will be variety.
The online "nookstore" is a little more inviting than Amazon's in that it feels like you are a browsing through a variety of options, and not just a list.
I liked the in-store features too. It was nice to check out any book for free while there. Plus, you can download additional free books, only while in a Barnes & Noble.
I like how you can highlight and put notes on your text very easily. While there are several colors available to highlight, I just found out you can highlight a highlight. The mark gets darker and darker as with a real pen, so you can extra emphasize a passage if needed. And if you can't wait to share a passage, you can zap it straight to your facebook and twitter to share with your friends, while you keeping on reading. It's cooler than it sounds!
I will probably upadte this review in a few days, as I discover more features. So, far this seems to be the best collection of features I have found on an ereader, for me personally. I understand the things people like in their prefered reader, but for me, this is the best!
Well... I said I would update my review in a "few days" but it has been more like a year almost! :) Am I still satisfied? YES! It's interesting how the Nook Color has evolved since I wrote this review (I bought it the first day it was available). So much has changed, such as improved performance (they upgrade your Nook wirelessly) and the new app store. I had been disappointed with the first apps, but apps that have been coming out over the last month are great! The touch screen is responsive and always activates where I touch, unlike some other pads. The app prices are comparable to other Android stores, though their selection is limited to 100% proven safe apps.
I have used my Nook Color almost EVERYDAY since I wrote this review. It's role in my life is more than I expected, as it is primary smart device. Whenever I need those short "checks of the internet", I can grab it and be on the net in seconds. Being able to access the internet whenever I want (on a readable screen) has been invaluable. I have used it in all situations as a backup for logging in to an online class to reading color PDFs in bed. In fact, as soon as I am done with this review, I am going to go lay on my bed and surf Amazon from my Nook Color. Since the it has a secure full featured browser (remember 100% safe apps) I can even order stuff when I want. Then maybe I could watch a few streaming videos until I fall asleep!
Felt I should check in and give everyone an update on the Nook Color I have had since day 1. It feels strange saying this, but IT KEEPS GETTING BETTER! Seriously, I had been happy enough with my Nook, but they keep releasing updates to give it more features than I thought it would have when I bought it. I don't think I have ever owned a piece of tech that upgrades itself before, and for free. B&N deserves some kudos for that support. The latest video upgrades (to support Netflix in particular) have also improved playback on other video sites as well.
Comparing it to the other leading tablets out there, I will say that it is better than an iPad as you will not get this long of support from Apple.. heck, your battery wouldn't even last this long! ;) j/k
Now for the Kindle Fire... The support and durability are also awesome, as even my Kindle 1 is still ticking fine. The speed is about equal on them, though more apps are being released on Amazon lately. If I had to suggest a way of picking between those two, it would be if you have Prime or not. All else being the same, Nook Color is great, however the benifits of Prime membership give the Fire a slight edge for the media user.
Okay, that's the update and see you again in a year!
Last year my husband asked me if I wanted a Kindle, because I love to read all the time and I try to be eco-friendly when possible. I was intrigued, but my biggest weakness is magazines and I didn't like the availability or look of them on the Kindle. When the iPad came out, I was blown away by the beauty of it, but felt like for a few dollars more I could just get a whole new laptop and it would be almost the same size. For travel, the iPad seemed to big and fragile for me; I need to be able to jam all my toys into my backpack and not worry about them.
When I stumbled onto the Nook Color, I absolutely flipped my wig and couldn't wait to get one! Full color magazines, that look just like they do on the newsstand! This could single-handedly save the rain forests - I seriously buy a LOT of magazines. I also save them forever because you never know when you might want that one article or photo again, which drives my husband crazy. So perhaps the Nook Color can save my marriage as well! That's a lot of expectation to put on this adorable little device, but I think it's up to the challenge.
Santa decided to come early to our house, so I just started playing with the NC a few days ago, and it is my first e-reader. It was almost fully charged right out of the box, so I was able to start playing with it in less than an hour (it says you can use it while it is plugged in, but they keypad is VERY oversensitive when plugged in so I don't recommend it). It easily connected to my home wifi and linked to the Barnes & Noble account I had set up earlier that day. If you don't have home wifi, you might have to visit a public wifi location in order to activate it. I recommend setting up a B&N account beforehand if you intend to purchase anything from there, as it makes the first-time Nook use very smooth and enjoyable.
BOOKS: There are many many books available from a variety of online sources, check the product details for formats (please note it does NOT support Kindle format). I understand it's also easy to download books from your local public library, though I haven't tried that yet. The B&N Shop function within the Nook itself is the easiest interface but certainly not the only option. While reading, it's very easy to adjust the font, screen brightness, and more to make it as comfortable as possible on the eyes. At night I turn the brightness all the way down and find it very comfortable for my eyes while reading in bed. I've read for hours on end without any sort of headache. I haven't used the highlight, look-up, or share functions very much yet, but they're super easy to incorporate if you enjoy that sort of thing. Page turning is an intuitive flip of the finger, or you can tap the side of the screen to move forward or back.
CHILDREN'S BOOKS: The color on these looks amazing, and the "read to me" feature is wonderful for little ones learning to read on their own. I imagine this would be great fun for a kid stuck in the back seat of a car for a long trip too! There aren't a ton of Read to Me books available yet but they are adding more every week. I don't even have kids but these are pretty awesome.
MAGAZINES: Obviously this was a major feature for me! The appearance of the magazines is absolutely gorgeous, the text and photos are clear and sharp. You can use the "finger pinch" method on the touchscreen to zoom in and out, or you can use the "Article View" feature to pull out just the text of each page at a pleasant reading size. The magazine includes every single page that you'd find on the newsstand, including advertisements, which to me is a benefit because I sometimes enjoy the photography and trends those provide. Magazines can be read in portrait or landscape format, and you can flip through thumbnails at the bottom of the page to reach a particular article. Most of the currently available magazines offer a single-issue purchase or a 14-day free trial, then bill you monthly for as long as you want to receive issues. Subscriptions are very easy to manage so canceling is not complicated. So far there are about 80 magazines available, and the number seems to be increasing regularly.
NEWSPAPERS and PDF's: I haven't tried these yet, though some have reported formatting that make certain ones difficult to read. The ones purchased directly through the Nook store are more likely to be formatted appropriately for the device and easier to read. Better PDF support is likely to come in a future firmware update, though a lot of it depends on how the original publisher sets up the file.
INTERNET: You do need a wifi connection to go online; 3G is unlikely to be available for the Nook Color unless you also purchase an accompanying data plan. So far most web pages look crisp and beautiful, but are not as fully functional as on a laptop or computer. Flash functionality is not available yet (but is planned) and a lot of people are experiencing difficulty with email and other text box typing. I believe this will be fixed very soon, but for now the web is more of a "read-only" experience.
MUSIC: You can load your own music or use the included Pandora app to link to your Pandora account. The speaker isn't great so headphones would come in handy. I'm extremely in love with my new iPod Nano so I will probably strap that on while reading rather than use this feature.
VIDEO: Our first try produced some choppy playback, but I think the processor was very busy setting up the hardware because we had just gotten it out of the box. After that, it played everything perfectly with jaw-dropping video quality! It will play videos in MP4 format, so get yourself a converter and a microSD card and load it up for your next trip! Apparently videos can also be side-loaded through the mini-USB cord. I've only tried it on the card; it reads directly from the card with no problems.
OTHER: You can add your own photos to use as background, or just to show friends. It comes pre-loaded with a few games (sudoku, crossword, and chess) which work well and are fun. "Lend Me" is an exclusive feature that allows you to swap books with other Nook users, and you can find groups of folks online who will swap with you if none of your friends have a Nook. It uses the android operating system, and an app store is scheduled to open sometime in early 2011 so there will be much much more available in the coming months.
I'm the type of person who doesn't need my phone to be a camera, my iPod to be a dvd player, or my e-reader to be a laptop. The Nook Color does a WONDERFUL job as an e-reader of not only books, but also magazines and newspapers, and it has some other fun bells and whistles. It does what it's supposed to do very well and the additional features make it a great value for the price. I would give it a million stars if I could!
on November 21, 2010
I'm somewhat of a techno geek. I like new gadgets and i tend to ask myself how will this be developed over time. In the case of the nook color they got it right. The size is very good for those used to reading paper backs on the go or in bed just before sleeping. The LCD eye burn has yet to effect me even though I've already put in 6 straight hour of reading ( note: i do keep the back-light level very low ). It is fairly responsive to user inputs. Once you learn how to navigate around it seems intuitive. The magazine format is a welcomed feature. The reduced battery life over my nook classic will not be an issue. It has lasted 2 days so far with wifi off with the same use pattern I've had since i got the nook classic (it will need a charge soon though). Youtube videos work without problems but, hulu is non functional at this point although I'm sure future updates will fix that problem. The form factor of the nook color is the 2ND best of any e-reader i have held ( the nook classic feels better in my hand). Even though B&N had to make concessions to keep profitability up and the price point down look at what you get.
* EPUB (including Non or Adobe DRM)
* Other documents: XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX, PPTX
* Graphics: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP
* Audio: MP3, AAC
* Video: MP4
* 8GB built in mem (6000 books)
* MicroSD slot add a 32GB microSD card and drastically increase storage capacity
* 169 pixels per inch (= better picture quality than the other guy)
* Social networking
* Kids books with color and audio
* Pandora internet radio
* Quickoffice software
* The lendme feature
* All the above and more for less than $300
It is a superior offering to those that love to read and want the little extras at a reasonable cost. I highly recommend this product. It will only get better with time.
on December 20, 2010
I have to admit, I love my Amazon Kindle. It's the lightest, easiest-to-read, slickest eBook reader out there, bar none. The electronic ink technology is nothing short of amazing. It has literally changed my life.
Barnes and Noble did something pretty clever with their latest eBook reader. They didn't try to mimic the Kindle, probably because they knew they couldn't match it. Instead, they looked at what the Kindle didn't have and they incorporated that into their newest Nook.
When it came time to buy an Xmas present for my girlfriend, like everyone else, it came between the Kindle and the Nook. While I decided on the Kindle for myself, I decided on the Nook for her. Here are the reasons why you might choose a Nook over a Kindle.
1) You have a Barnes and Noble membership. This gives you a discount on all Nook eBooks, as well as occasional discounts. Granted, Amazon's everyday prices are usually a bit cheaper, but the occasional coupons by Barnes and Noble to its members are substantial.
2) You live near a Barnes and Noble. Barnes and Noble lets you walk into their store with a Nook and read any book for free for up to an hour.
3) You go to the library. Amazon decided not to support library books with the Kindle. It's understandable--after all, while they make some money on the Kindle hardware, the real money they make is in Kindle book sales. But IMO, that was a little short-sighted, and leaves a huge opportunity for Barnes and Noble. With the Nook, I can check eBooks from my local library (the New York Public Library). But as with the real library, that doesn't prevent me from buying books--to the contrary, if I like a book at the library enough, I'll buy it when I otherwise wouldn't have.
4) You are annoyed by arrow keys. I admit, while I love the Kindle, the "tap tap tap" of the arrow keys to navigate the screen is a bit tedious, especially with games and experimental features like their Web browser. With the Nook, you can drag and drop to your heart's content.
5) You have kids. The special color children's books are absolutely beautiful and will certainly appeal to your kids. Letting them use Mommy and Daddy's eBook reader will certainly help them develop a love for reading as they get older, in a way that reading a book on a PC or even an iPad (where mind-numbing games are always a click away) do not.
6) You have other friends with the Nook. Barnes and Noble built in a "Lend Me" feature which lets you "lend" books to friends for up to two weeks.
7) You don't mind "plugging in". The WiFi and color display of the Nook take a big toll on battery life. If you're lucky, your unit will last 8 hours of reading before needing a recharge (compare this to over a week with the Kindle).
8) You have to have color. Reading magazines and the aforementioned children's books, not to mention color diagrams in eBooks and color annotations, really makes a huge difference. And it's probably a good couple of years before color eInk technology is perfected. So for now, the Nook is the best choice for color.
9) You don't get eyestrain when looking at a laptop for many hours. There are some who do, for whom eInk technology is definitely the way to go, versus the backlit LCD display of the Nook.
10) You need a LOT of storage space. The Nook Color comes with an SD card slot that allows up to 32 Gigabytes of storage with the right SD card. That's 1/320 of the entire print collection of the Library of Congress :)
11) You read at night. The backlit LCD screen obviates the need for a nightlight.
12) You like to play games and use apps. Since the Nook is based on the Android operating system, there will be more and more of these available. Note, however, that the Android Marketplace is not open to the Nook. Only selective apps are being selected for inclusion on the Nook (presumably based on how well they perform given the Nook's specs).
In short, the Kindle set and maintains the bar for the best eBook reader out there, but Barnes and Noble did a great job in putting out an alternative which targets the few things that the Kindle lacks. This is the beauty of the free market system--no doubt, the engineers at Amazon are working feverishly on a new version of the Kindle to answer them. One thing you need to know before buying either the Kindle or the Nook is that in 3-4 years, your purchase will probably be antiquated :) But either of these units are a great purchase for now.
on December 26, 2010
I really liked the look and feel of Nook Color but I decided to return it after one week.
The unit is very nicely built with all the features I wanted in a tablet (yes, I called it a tablet). I bought it to read my large volume of scanned technical PDF documents and to surf the net and check my emails without lugging around my laptop.
It has a very clear and crisp display and a highly sensitive touch sensor. I really liked it and hoped to keep it. After a week of using it, I decided it is not for me:
(1) The screen is too small. Even in landscape mode, the screen is narrower than 8.5" which the font size of a typical PDF file is sized for. I had to zoom in to increase the font size in order to read comfortably. By doing so, the screen can not display the page's full width. I had to slide the page left and right for each line. If I didn't zoom in, I would get a headache after reading with it for about 30 minutes.
(2)It does not retain the page I left off (for PDF files). For a 100 page or longer document, it is a real hassle. Every time I put away the document and do something else, like checking email on the net, I had to go back and look for the page I last read. It is simply not designed for reading PDF. If I only want to read Epub format, I can just get a regular Nook with E-ink screen.
(3) The web browser is not ready. I was hoping this tablet can replace my laptop for short overnight travel. But I found out it can't read Yahoo's email attachments. It also won't reply Yahoo's email in hypertext format. I had to revert back to the Classic view and reply in plain text format. On a positive note, it has full functionality with Gmail mobile. Although it works with Gmail, it can not handle Google Map. I can't slide nor zoom the Google Map. I know it is not a full browser and I didn't expect it to load satellite image, but Google map as it is, won't work at all. Google Map is an important website I use regularly.
(4) If the unit is around $150 range, I probably would have kept it as a gadget. But at $250, it is only slightly less than a very capable netbook. It cost too much to be a casual purchase. When I learned the Archos 70 is in the same price range, I think Nook Color is just a little overpriced. When compare with Archos 70, it has a better display but lacks HDMI and Bluetooth connections and video camera.
I really do like the sharpness of the screen. If it can function as an e-reader or surf the net perfectly, I would have kept it. In conclusion, the advantages it has over a regular Nook have too much deficiencies. Its price is high enough that I can't overlook those deficiencies. I suppose I can trust a lot of people saying that when 2.2 comes out in first quarter of 2011, a lot of these problems would go away. But why should I wait and take the risk? I can buy it again when these issues are positively fixed.
Another thing, there is an instruction in the manual on how to transfer files from the SD card to the main unit. But this feature does not work. It just proves B&N hurried to put this device on the market before it is ready.
on November 29, 2010
I've read nearly all the blogs and official reviews about the Nook Color and have found that most of those reviews damn it with faint praise pointing out the disadvantages relative to the Kindle or IPad and rarely highlighting the many advantages of the Nook Color. I have personally purchased (and returned to the store) four e-readers prior to this one (and tried many others owned by friends including Kindles and IPads) and the Nook Color is head and shoulders about everything I've tried - and certainly for its price range. It fits my needs almost perfectly and with some additional tweaks and android apps to come in the future, I trust it will come even closer to perfection.
1. One important advantage is that it does not have e-ink. I, for one, hate e-ink. It makes the whole screen flash and takes a long time to get to the next page. The new Kindle was advertised as having faster page turns but when I tried it at the store it still had the annoying flash and didn't seem measurably faster. That was one of the deal breakers for me on the various e-readers I've tried. I read very fast and the e-ink page turns make the experience very annoying. I get into an escape groove when reading and don't want the whole screen to flash every 30 seconds or so -- it is horribly distracting. I guess that people who read at a third grade level don't mind the slow page turns on the Kindle. I've been reading e-books for years on my phones, my Droid and my tablet PC and the page turns are all instantaneous. I have no trouble reading for 8 hours at a stretch on an LCD screen.
2. With Nook, you aren't tied to a single book provider -- I don't understand how people can be so tied to Amazon without complaining. The Kindle makes it as hard as possible to get books from other sources including leaving out external memory.
3. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages is that the Nook and Nook Color are compatible with Overdrive DRM books downloadable from libraries. While I buy a lot of books and give major support to the book industry, I would never be able to satisfy my appetite for books at $5-9+ apiece being stuck with Amazon and not being able to get library books -- and I don't mean Guttenberg out-of-copyright books -- I mean real books published in the last few years. My local library has over 5000 digital e-books that I can `check out' electronically. Some digital libraries have many more. I showed an in-law how to access digital libraries and found that the state of Oregon digital library has many more (over 10,000) than my library does . I do need to download them to my laptop and then drag and drop them to my Nook which is plugged in to the computer through the USB port. But that is the work of a few minutes. The books automatically expire and `freeze' after a few weeks (some libraries let you adjust the checkout time from one to three weeks). So you never have to worry about overdue book fines. Since the digital library acts just like a regular library, sometimes the book you want is in use by another person. Then you just put a digital hold on it and they notify you by email when it is available.
Barnes and Noble also allows the books you buy from them to be loaned out and you can `borrow' books from other readers.
4. The Nook actually does a decent job (but not yet perfect) with PDF files. From the reviews I've read on Amazon about the Kindle reader -- PDF files are still pretty messy - you have to email them to yourself and/or convert them to epub docs and then it destroys all the formatting (including taking out tables and graphics) - I mean, what's the point?. With the Nook you can see the article exactly as it is in an academic journal. Nook Color uses Quickoffice for their PDF and Doc files but there were a few features left out compared to QuickOffice on my Droid. One was the ability to have a `reading view' where the text automatically wraps to the size of the page. But by zooming the page on the PDF I can read by moving the article around. I can actually read the small print when in the original format but that could get tiring after a while. It also lacks the ability to bookmark the PDF. However they are planning on making more use of the Android platform and I trust that a future update will include the `reading view' with page wrap and the bookmark function. But I can live with what they have for now.
5. The Nook Color has external memory which neither Kindle nor IPad have!! Besides the 8 GB of internal memory (5 GB are available for use) there is a slot cleverly hidden in the corner of the device to add up to 32 additional gigabytes of SD memory. That is a fantastic advantage for someone who wants to carry around a lot of academic articles and/or have a large choice of books to read while traveling. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars to get a memory upgrade like you do with the Ipad. It also means you can carry around the 500 pictures you took on your last vacation!
6. The Nook Color is the perfect size (under one pound and 7 inch screen). Neither too big nor too small. The 7 inch screen is bigger than the Kindle and smaller than the Ipad. It holds about the same amount of text found on a standard paperback page. Of course, that is completely adjustable and you can increase or decrease the size of the print, the print font, the spacing, the background color for the page, the brightness and the margins. It is a heavier than the Kindle but only about half the weight of the IPad. I can hold it and read quite comfortably - lighter than a standard hardcover book. I put it in a case for a regular Nook and the Color is a little too tall but the upper end is held by elastic bands and they stretch enough to fit. So it does have the feeling of a book when being held.
7. I haven't even gotten to one of the main advantages that had everyone drooling over the Ipad - it is in color!! Beautiful, vivid, color. Thus magazines, PDFs with color and children's books all can be read without sacrificing anything. The Kindle now has wi fi - but what is the point if you can't see things in color?
8. The Nook does have video and pictures - I moved some pictures over from my camera and discovered that one of them was actually a video and it played perfectly. While it will play many Youtube videos (all the ones I tried worked) but it doesn't yet have Flash memory so you can't use it for news videos on CNN, for example. So I will have to experiment with it some more. My photographs look great on my Nook - about the size they would be if they had been printed. Unlike my Droid, people don't have to squint when you show them pictures and the screen doesn't time out. It is easy to flip through the pictures with a swipe of the finger. One of the other e-readers I used had color but you couldn't flip through the pictures, you had to select each one individually.
9. It also plays audio files. The sound is on the low side so you need a portable speaker or headphones.
10. The battery lasts about 8 hours (which is a lot longer than the battery on my Droid phone if I`m using it for reading). However, I found that my little portable Sanyo battery works with it and recharges it through the cord that comes with the Nook. So that can probably stretch out the available power another hour or two for long airplane flights.
11. Of course, as mentioned above, it has WiFi. The pages load quite quickly and I haven't had any problems. I've tried it at four different WiFi locations and never had a problem connecting. Some reviewers complained that it doesn't have 3G and thus there might be a spot or two where you can't download a book. Guess what - 3 G is not ubiquitous either! I recently was on a trip with a group of people in a remote location and the people with Kindles had to wait for a place with WiFi before they could download any books!! And even at that, sometimes they couldn't get the WiFi to work even though I could get it to work on my Android phone (I didn't have my Nook yet). There are big holes in the 3G network in rural areas in the USA too.
12. The device is an Android system and thus upgradable and theoretically apps can be added. It doesn't have access to the main Android Market but will have its own market since the operating system was apparently modified. I guess they also don't want people downloading the Kindle app and Borders app and the Kobo app for Android in the first few weeks (although I discovered that the books I bought on Kobo could be downloaded to my Adobe Digital software and then moved to my Nook). Since I have a Droid phone - the lack of access to 100,000 apps on my Nook doesn't really matter). I want it mainly for an ereader and it does a good job with that. But it is a plus that I can use it for WiFi access while in odd places without carrying around a laptop. I am able to view web pages in a decent size which my Droid can't do.
13. It has a few games - Sudoku, Chess, Crosswords - all of which work flawlessly and have endless variations.
14. It has some strange little quirks. I found that you can't really type on the on-screen keyboard when it is plugged in. You can read and turn pages but if you try typing the keyboard registers extra letters or duplicates the letter you just hit. I discovered this when I first got it and tried to register it while it was still charging. But otherwise the capacitive screen is great and very responsive. Also I noted when doing the crossword puzzles that the edge of the screen doesn't work as well as the center when putting in letters -- you have to hit it a few times.
15, I should mention that I've been using it almost non-stop for a week and have not found any major software or hardware flaws. Of the 4 previous e-readers I bought and tried out two of them failed completely within the first week and all of them had some major flaw such as freezing up, had to be reset and erased or other problems. I haven't found a bug yet on the Nook.
16. Has a 'shelf' system for organizing books -- especially useful for books you put on it from other sources.
17. I note that Amazon advertises it for over $300 (one vendor has it for $400!) but you can get it for $250 everywhere else including Best Buy and Barnes and Noble. I guess Amazon doesn't want anyone to buy it through them and compete with the Kindle.
on November 25, 2010
I purchased two units directly from Barnes and Noble, one for me, and one for my sister for Christmas. It's a great device and I like it a lot. I like to read technical and scientific English language PDFs and it works well for the documents I've read so far. The web browser is very usable, and the color display is absolutely gorgeous. In book reading mode, the gestures work well and reading over extended periods of time is quite comfortable. They included the ability to look up words using either Wikipedia or Google which is a handy feature. I also like playing Sudoku, chess, and doing crosswords so I was glad they included these extra apps. I selected the Nook Color over the Kindle because I wanted a good e-book reader and also the ability to surf the web. I needed the ability to view color content since many of the publications I read have full color photos, diagrams, and visualizations. This device meets all of those needs.
Since this is a 1.0 release, there are clearly minor improvements that Barnes and Noble can make to the user interface. For example, the touch screen does not always see single and tap gestures correctly, and the automatic screen orientation will occasionally rotate the display the wrong way resulting in an upside down web page. (Easy to fix, you just rotate back to portrait mode, then rotate to the desired landscape orientation.) The area that could stand the most improvement in my opinion is in the soft keyboard. Hitting the right characters when you are typing is not a big problem, but my unit has a tendency to echo the same characters requiring me to do deletes. These quirks are minor and I expect to see firmware upgrades in the near future.
The viewing size and weight are ideal so I'm likely to bring the device with me where ever I go. Overall, it's a great little device and I'm very happy with it.
on December 7, 2010
I am still amazed that people write reviews based off of demos. They are always inaccurate. When a demo is set up one of two things happens. Either the demo is set up to deceive so everything around it is a perfect environment that real life will hardly ever duplicate, or the demo is set up by a novice and you end up with a garbage demonstration.
Either way, as a consumer, if you're reading a review the moment you see something to the effect that the review is based off of a Demo, skip that review as it is close to baseless.
I have now had my nookColor for 2 days so this is only an initial review, I'll come back and add to it after the warrant runs out. As of right now, this is beyond what I could have hoped for in an eReader with features.
eBooks: They download quickly and the controls are very intuitive. You can set the screen colors and fonts to adjust to your own preferences. The books are stored in an easy to use library and also backed up by B&N (if you purchase from them). As a test I reset my nook after downloading a purchased book (don't worry, I had a copy on my PC's hard drive). After the reset I re-entered my username and password and my nookColor quickly updated and the book was back where it belonged in the library. The other feature that I haven't had time to try out is using it to read other types of ebooks. Very excited to see this as other online stores offer books in other formats that can be cheaper than B&N.
Multimedia/Pandora: I copied quite a few high resolution photos as well as 2 mp4 movies to a microSD card. They all displayed amazingly well and the movies played flawlessly. These were full length movies backed up to an mp4 format using handbrake. While the movie player is very basic it does the job and makes this a 7-inch movie player on top of being an eReader. The screen is amazingly clear and the movies flowed smoothly without hic-ups. The photos were quickly loaded and clearly displayed. Being able to listen to Pandora with my own customized music while reading was an amazing bonus.
WiFi: It took about 30 seconds for me to completely configure the nookColor to my home network. It retains all pertinent information and quickly connects even after a full shut down.
Web-browser: While it does not yet have flash player support the vast majority of the internet works just fine. It is based off of the android system for a cell phone so some pages automatically load as mobile. When using the browser I was able to log into facebook, my bank account, my hotmail, my att.net mail, gmail and youtube with no problems. The screens zoom and pan feature is nice so you can zero in on portions of a webpage and more accurately hit links. Typing on it was a bit tedious for me, but I have never been very comfortable with touch screens so I'm going to chalk that up to my error.
Unit: As some have mentioned this tablet has about twice the weight of the kindle, which means it weighs a bit more than a full length paperback novel. Unless you have a degenerative bone disease you should be just fine holding this table to read your ebooks. The battery life isn't anywhere near as long as the kindle but it was more than sufficient for my needs. The entire design is sleek and I found it conformed well to being held in either landscape or portrait.
on November 29, 2011
I have had my Nook for over a year now and I think it is a great ereader. HOWEVER DO NOT buy your content from Barnes and Noble. In the first few months I had it I purchased about 30 books using their awesome click to buy feature. Then back in February, I thought I lost my credit card and cancelled it. I hadn't yet updated my new card on Barnes and Noble's site when I went to reread a book I had purchased months before. IT WOULD NOT DOWNLOAD. I called support and was told that their policy requires an active credit card to access books I have already paid for. This policy creates a lot of the problems.
1) I don't feel the books are mine. I paid for them. I should have full access to them.
2) If I buy a reader for one of my kids, they could download books and I wouldn't know until I got a bill (gift cards do not qualify as an active credit card) and B & N has a strict no refund policy on ebooks.
3) Requiring me to keep I credit card on file should be an invasion of my privacy.
4) What happens if I replace my Nook with a non-B & N reader? I lose all content purchased.
DO NOT make the same mistake I did. Do not purchase Nookbooks from Barnes & Noble. Adobe Digital Editions allows you to "unlock" .epub files for download to your Nook and a good alternative for "permanent" access to your material is to purchase ebooks from [...]
on February 21, 2011
First off, for those of you buying this product expecting the e-ink experience, you are wrong. This isn't an e-ink screen, if that is what you are looking for, go with (a) the original nook, (b) the kindle, or (c) any of the other e-ink dedicated e-readers on the market.
This iteration of the nook is marketed towards certain select categories of readers:
-The Magazine reader
-Students with text books that have graphics
-Childrens' books with lots of pictures
-Comic book readers
If you notice, these are categories of readers that benefit from the ability of the reader to handle color graphics, which is something e-ink can't yet do!
For the price, you are getting an android tablet with limited functionality, though, with some technical knowledge, it is possible to unlock this device to be able to fully take advantage of the android market (though it may void your warranty, so do it at your own risk). Similarly sized android tablets go for prices starting at double the price of the nook color, but they come with full functionality. Another device this has been compared to is the iPad- which runs at about twice the price as well for the very base model. On the price point, you are definitely getting a decent deal, though, you are sacrificing some of the functionality for the the reduced cost.
Also note, you are not getting 3G access or any other cellular service to access the market- unlike the original nook, that came with the free mobile access to be able to make purchases from the nook market on the go. The likely reason for the lack of mobile access is due to the fact that this device runs a lot faster and features a full web browser- this increases the speed and easy of the user to access web content- which would be undesirable to any phone service that hosts access because it would reduce the service that their paying customers get. Instead of mobile data service, users have the option of accessing the BN market and the full internet through wireless. With today's cell phone technology, many phones are able to be set up as wireless hotspots that users can use to get access on the go- when they are away from their home network. Overall, this isn't a big deal to me, but I am sure some original nook users depend on that free mobile service to get access to the BN market, so this would be a draw back for you for sure.
Honestly, this device does run a little on the heavy side, however, I do believe that it is slightly lighter than it's predecessor. Still, for the e-reader market, it is heavy. For the tablet market, it is a little more reasonable. The weight is a sacrifice, but as long as you aren't trying to read while laying on your back, you should be ok.
USER FRIENDLINESS AND EXTRA FEATURES
I find this device to be quite simple almost immediately. Every function that I have looked for has been where I expect it to be and everything has worked smoothly for me. The page controls while you read work great, and I love that they now give you the option to tap to turn the page rather than having to swipe like you did with the last version of the nook.
The full web is pretty easy to use once you get used to typing on a touch screen keyboard (which is always annoying).
This device also integrates with your facebook, twitter, and google accounts. This is great for the avid readers that want to be plugged into their social media.
Another feature that is nice to have on the reader is Pandora- it is a nice added bonus to have internet radio available on the reader.
One thing I wish this device had was access to android market, but I guess you can't have everything.
I like this tablet. I think it was a good buy and I would buy another one if this one broke. For the price, you are getting an underpowered tablet, but it still has access to the full internet- which you can use multiple windows in. It is primarily a reader, which makes me wish it were as easy on the eyes as e-ink, but for the market it is being geared towards, you can't really complain about that!