Technology

Nook Color Review

Nook Color review – Barnes & Noble promotes the Nook eReader Color as a reader, but it is actually an Android-based multi-media device. Its souped up software provides a tablet-style UI as well as other functions such as audio and video playback via the Android Media Player, web browsing, and Internet radio streaming.

Nonetheless, B&N has increased Nook  ereader’s-centric qualities by adding applications such as Office document viewer, book snippets-sharing via social media sites, and Lonely Planet and Dictionary.com. In addition, you will be able to fully experience magazines and newspapers because of the full color support.

Positives
Nook Color eReader with a beautiful 7-inch touch screen; responsive performance; comes with Wi-Fi; access to Barnes & Noble Nookbook store; 8GB onboard memory, as well as microSD expansion slot; internal Internet browser highly functional; supports PDF, Word, and ePub files; displays images and some video formats; support for audio and MP3 playback.

Negatives
Eight hours battery life for reading is very short when you look at the battery life of e-ink readers; Android Marketplace (or any other app store) is inaccessible; there are not enough apps; no Flash support (at this time); battery cannot be replaced by the user.

The bottom line is that the obvious purpose for this device is to be a functional e-reader. It is mainly for reading periodicals, magazines, and books, but you can also go online and post to Twitter and Facebook. This is the perfect e-reader for those who want it for that specific use. The book recommendation features was a novel feature too, as the Nook Color provides book suggestions based on what you have previously selected.

The Nook Color eReader is an all-around good e-reader. The Nook Color eReader is better for people who don’t want tons of apps with a lot of Internet access.

Design: 
The Nook Color eReader and the original Nook are similar in size and shape, with the Nook Color’s dimensions being 8.1 x 5.0 x 0.48 inches and the Nook’s 7.7 x 4.9 x 0.5 inches. The rounded rectangular design is common to both. After this, they part ways. Nook Color has a beautiful screen, a metallic case, and is graphite colored, so it has a very sophisticated look. The Nook Color is more attractive than the original Nook, though the Nook is nothing to scoff at.

The first obvious difference is that the Nook Color eReader is substantially heavier than its predecessor. Its dimensions are 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.5 inches, and it weighs 15.8 ounces. This makes it a couple of ounces heavier, but about the same size as the Galaxy Tab. It is quite a bit lighter than iPad, which weighs in at 24 ounces.

Although they provided the Nook Color eReader with a solid feel, it became problematic during extended reading sessions. We wound up changing hands more frequently than normal due to wrist fatigue; it became necessary to prop the device against our body or another surface when possible. It is very comfortable to hold, though, due to its rounded edges and soft-touch back.

The Nook Color eReader has four buttons. The power button is located on the top left edge and is flush with the case; the volume buttons are located on the top right. You will find the HOME button below the 7″ LCD display. It is metal and shaped like a stylized N. This is fun to play with and press. The microUSB port is located just below on the bottom edge.

Display: 
Traditional LCDs are harder on your eyes than ePaper displays, and if you want something that won’t beam light into your eyes while you are reading, the Nook Color eReader is not the e-reader for you. You may be attracted to the Barnes & Noble Nook if you have liked reading on your smart phone or is you have considered purchasing a Galaxy Tab or an iPad.

The display is the same technology used on the Apple iPad. It has a glossy 7″, 1024 x 600-pixel IPS display that uses VividView technology. This enables the reader to display bright, lively colors while maintaining a very wide viewing angle. It was easy to share the device amongst 3 readers seated beside one another. In fact, we had to try quite hard to angle the device in such a way that any of us could not read it.

Though this screen is clearer than the LCD screen on the HTC Evo 4G, it doesn’t do very well in sunlight. Comparing the Nook Color and the Samsung Galaxy Tab side-by-side, both displays were comparable with regard to color vividness, but the Nook provided superior clarity of small elements, like text.

As is the case with the Sony Reader Daily Edition, the Nook Color eReader features a tall, narrow display (the same 6-inch width screen as that on the Nook). This means that it is possible to view two pages side by side when in landscape mode. Orientation was automatically adjusted, although landscape view was not an option for all screens or applications. For example, we were unable to flip books.

User Interface: 
There is a custom-designed version of the Android 2.1 running the Nook Color. When Barnes & Noble crafted the UI for the Nook Color’s purpose as an e-reader it did some really fine work. The design makes up for the lack of the expected Android buttons such as: Back, Menu, Search. In their place are intuitive controls and icons.

Beginning at the Home screen, the shows the planning that was applied to how individuals would be using the gadget. The lower part of the screen contains books from your own library, which you can view by scrolling to the right or left.

Would you like to pin the book you are presently reading to the Home screen? Simply drag it from the library bar to the area above. It is even possible to make some books bigger than others by utilizing the multi-touch pinch-and-zoom features. Dissimilar to the usual Android device, the icons have different sizes and do not snap to a pre-defined grid. Users didn’t change the feature of users receiving three home screens.

The notification bar is located at the bottom of the screen rather than at the top, as is the case with other Android devices. This is where you tap if you want to launch the menu bar that will take you to the main areas in the system, such as: Settings, Web, Search, Shop, Library, and Extras (where you can find applications). At the top of the screen, you will see a drop-down menu of all the items you have opened recently, including the last publication you had opened.

Nook Color Review Reading Experience: 
As for the reading experience, when you set aside the LCD/e-Ink debate Nook Color eReader gives an enjoyable reading experience considering the type of screen it has. This software provides the user with a good deal of control over text sizes and fonts, as well as color themes. There are six font faces and six sizes and a combination of text and background colors. In addition to that, users can set the spacing and adjust margins so that they are most suitable for them.

A screen brightness slide is also available within books or periodicals; this helped keep eye strain to a minimum. It would be nice if you could view a better assortment of colors, like the ones Barnes and Noble offers on their Android, iPhone, and iPad applications. Despite the lack of color variety, you can do much more here than with most other e-readers.

The Nook will go to the next page when the right or left edge is tapped or when the user swipes across the page. This is better than only allowing for swipes without accepting taps, as is the case with readers from Sony.

We would prefer for the Nook Color to have some actual buttons; it isn’t natural to use your thumb and flick the screen on the left. The tap to turn page function does not always work correctly. We found that when our fingers smudged the screen, it reduced the screen sensitivity.

Notes, Highlights, and Lookup: If you tap a word and hold your finger over it in a book, a menu appears that provides the option of making highlights or notes, sharing a passage, or looking up the word in the dictionary, on Google, or in Wikipedia. Magazines and newspapers work differently, however.

While a touch screen is available on the Nook Color eReader, notes must be typed; they cannot be handwritten as they can on Sony Readers. A little blue graphic appears by any note you may create, making it easier to return to that same place later. It’s easy to navigate the whole book from the content menu. You can also browse bookmarks, highlights, and notes from this location.

While notes sync to the majority of the apps in the Nook ecosystem, at this time there is no way to export them. Users are not even able to extract text files with notes and highlights like there is on the Kindle. This feature would be wonderful for students, so hopefully Barnes and Noble will add it in the future.

Web Browsing, Apps, Media: 
Even though the Nook browser seems to be the stock application with B&N’s user interface, it is without a key feature that is standard on Android 2.1 devices: pinch-to-zoom. True, while it has a multi-touch display and this feature works in other places, it does not work here.

You will find zoom buttons on the bottom right of the display. Browsing on this model was fun and easy, even though the zoom buttons are not convenient. You can easily use this device to read online news and blogs thanks to the fact that it shows a good amount of vertical text. Additionally, it is good for looking at pictures and comics because of the width.

If you are looking for extra apps, they are located in the Extras icon. Currently there are not much: Chess, Contacts, Crossword, Gallery (viewing images), LendMe, Music, and Pandora. While at this time the Nook does not provide access to the Android Market that is available on phones and some tablets, soon Barnes & Noble will have its own app integrated into the eBook shop.

It is Barnes & Nobles’ goal to be sure that applications are reader-oriented and in keeping with the device theme. There are more apps, QuickOffice included, scheduled to be released early next year.

Nook Color Review – Content, Software, & Ecosystem: 
At this time, over 2 million new and free public domain titles are available via Barnes & Noble’s catalog. The majority of these domain titles cost less than $10.00. Early in 2011, you will be able to get enhanced books, but until then you can choose from dozens of titles in the Nook kids section. These selections include full color, zoom, as well as in-book narration on some titles. Currently, the store carries 194 of the 205 items on the New York Time’s bestseller list.

When you have the ArticleView feature, you will have access to over a hundred full color magazines and newspapers and a tremendous selection of eBooks. It will be possible for users to read magazines of all kinds, including Spin, Redbook, The Nation, and Asimov’s Science Fiction, as well as newspapers such as the Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, and the New York Times.

The prices are similar to those in the Kindle store. You can subscribe to The Nation for $1.49 per month. A subscription to The New York Times costs $19.99 per month. You could also get the Financial Times for $14.99 monthly.

Performance and Battery Life: 
It didn’t take long to download books form the store, which is because the files from B&N are small ePub files. When we made sure our purchased download was complete, we opened it, and began perusing N. K. Jemisin’s “The Broken Kingdoms” in under 6 seconds. Download Nnedi Okorafor’s “Who Fears Death” in under 4 seconds. With an average download speed of 1178 Kbps, it is slower than the Kindle 3G’s Wi-Fi radio (2703) as well as the Kobo Wireless (1843). However, the wireless was not slow while we searched the Internet.

Since Barnes & Noble rates the battery life at about 8 hours, you will not be able to refrain from charging it for weeks on end as you can with an e-Ink device like the Kindle. However, when we used the Nook Color eReader intermittently for about 48 hours, we found that the battery was still viable, even with the wireless turned on for the majority of that time.

I hope you enjoyed reading the nook color review, have a good day.