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Nook Color Review; Barnes and Noble Nook Color eReader and eBook reader review

Is the Nook Color an eReader or a Tablet? Is it worth the extra money?

By John Winger, editor http://martialex.com/Kickboxing/United-States/Illinois/Victory-Martial-Arts-l1775.html

Introduction

When I first picked up a Nook Color for review I thought that it would be just like an eInk eBook reader except with color. What I quickly found out was that there are some major extras that nearly put the Nook Color in the Tablet category as well. One of the first major questions about the Nook Color that immediately came to mind was, "does it have a browser and if so how well does it search?" A quick search yielded a good result. The browser is something of a mystery, something like a simplified Google Chrome. A search for our site lcdtvbuyingguide.com resulted in a color-rich accurate page which loaded fast through the wifi connection. I noticed something a little odd immediately. The home page though loading fine was a cached memorized page from a couple weeks prior, not our current page as it exists today. With a little work through the menu system I found the refresh button and the page reloaded accurately with the current site page.

Screen Quality/Print Legibility: 96/100

The extra advantages of this eReader over others are obviously the brightly colored screen which rivals the iPad in color and brightness. Images from magazines and the web looked good on the screen. We assume the LCD screen is LED backlit as most are these days, and with that much brightness that's the conclusion we drew. The screen is also larger than most eReaders at 7" diagonal screen size – quite a bit larger than the brother Nook. Full color on a 7" screen is obviously intended to give magazine and periodical lovers an eReader they can enjoy. With this ambition, we believe the Nook Color has well succeeded.

The color screen also standouts due to it's rotation capabilities, like the iPad or iPhone. Read two pages when turned horizontally or one turned vertically. Next, you guessed it, the sceen is touch capable and a pleasure to use. Screen swipe speed feels like an iPhone or iPad – fast. However, images have judder present and are slightly blurred coming through before sharpening up. "Pinch and enlarge," is also available on the Nook Color. As I showed an associate some of your TV specials on the site, they commented that they could not see it. I was somewhat surprised the pinch/zoom worked.

Highlighting and underlining material on the screen is accomplished by tapping the desired beginning and dragging for encapsulate the desired section. Touch screen eReaders have a clear advantage over monochrome eReaders in this category.

Extra Features over Monochrome eReaders: 97/100

Social Networking/E-Mail

B&N Nook Color Key Features

  • 7" Color LCD Touch Screen
  • View Magazines and Newspapers in Full Color
  • 1500 Book Storage
  • User Replaceable Batteries
  • Check Books out from the Library
  • Loan Books to other Nook Users using LendMe technology
  • Color, Touch-Screen Navigation
  • In Store features add additional functionality inside a B&N Store
  • Play Chess or Sudoku
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • 3G Connectivity (3G Unit Only)
  • Web Browser
  • MP3 Player
  • Headphone Jack
  • Dimensions: 8.1" x 5.0" x 0.48"
  • 15.1 oz

The Nook Color was produced with social networking in mind. There is a inbuilt shortcut for sharing information contained in your reading material with others through e-mail, Twitter or Facebook. Or you can post clips on your Facebook page.You can even share a whole book this way through a loan system for a couple weeks.

Web Browser/Android Apps

Another extra is the aforementioned web browser, which works well and adds tremendous flexibility. Whether it be reading sites, check stock quotes, or accessing your friends on facebook, browsing through the inbuilt Andoid 2.1 operating system gives and exceptional added dimension. There are a few Android Apps programs available to the Nook Color with rumored more to come later. My guess is that, this years version of the Nook Color will stay focused on reading while adding more and more Apps and possibilities in the future. I cold easily see this device transitioning into a full fledged Tablet. The current device does not access the Android Apps marketplace directly.

Navigation

Navigation on the Nook Color is intuitive and easy. We mentioned the pinch and enlarge feature of the touch screen when browsing. This also works well with the Daily Shelf category of your stored magazines, newspapers and borrowed books. Pinch and enlarge or pinch and reduce. The Quick Nav button yields size iconic sections: Library, Shop, Search, Extras, Web and Settings. There is a "Keep Reading," reminder at the top of the home screen, which when selecting returns you to your original content.

Speaker

There is a mono speaker present.

Storage

The 8GB hard drive will store up to 6000 books. Storage is also expandable to 40GB.

Color

Magazines (with a subscription or pay by piece) and color childrens books look great on the Nook Color.

Swipe Page Turn Speed: 98/100

Always a big issue with eReaders is how fast the page can be turned. With the Nook Color, rapid page turning is accomplished much the same as an iPad, that is to say almost instantaneously and certainly without delay.

Compatibility: 95/100

The Nook Color supports a better selection of formats than other eReaders such as PDF, ePub, JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. In the future, the device will also support some video formats.

Disadvantages to Current Monochrome eReaders

Battery Life

Obviously that colorful bright screen is going to cause the battery to work much harder, so the Nook Color has 8 hours of battery life. Depending on the activity this could be 6 or 7, so the device will require charging more often than a monochrome eReader. The device can only be charged via the included proprietary charger. Adapters do not work either.

Weight

We mentioned the larger screen, but that and the resultant larger required battery also increase the weight of this eReader to just under a pound. This is double the weight of the Amazon Kindle and a third heavier than the Nook. Personally, I like the size and solid feel of the device, but reading for a couple of hours in bed could bring some hand fatigue.

Eye Fatigue

Of course the success of the eReader owes a huge debt to the introduction of eInk and ePaper which – not without a struggle - have turned many avid reader naysayers positive on eBook readers. Even with the Nook Color's brightness turned down to around 30% (the level I preferred for extended reading), the refresh rate associated with all lit LCD screens will certainly cause more eyestrain than the eInk format, which causes little more than actual book print due to its inert nature.

Connectivity

Many eReaders such as the Kindle and Nook have the option of either a wireless or wireless + 3G unit available. The Nook Color does not offer 3G compatibility (yet).

Appearance: 91/100

For me, the dark sleek charcoal gray frame with the cool keychain hole is a winner. I like the slab like solid heavy feel of the device as well (even though I know I'm not supposed to in an eReader).

Value: 94/100

At $100 more than the wifi edition Kindle, Kobo, or Nook value is an interesting question. Barnes and Noble certainly caught me off guard by offering this superb eReader. When the device was first introduced I thought, "Oh it's just a full color eReader for magazines." Ah, not so, it offers so much more than one could think of it as an abbreviated Tablet PC. It may not be for the avid reader that just wants convenience, readability, savings, and portability in with their book collection. I see it as a big success with college age students, lovers of magazines, iPhone lovers, a device for avid travellers that want to have their books in tow and pics of the grandkids. It crosses many demographic layers, and for that we have to give Barnes and Noble the nod. It gives a lot of bang for the buck.

Overall: 95/100

Check Prices for the Barnes & Noble Nook Color





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