Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Nook color: A Review

So I have had my Nook Color for a couple of weeks now, and I thought it was time to give it a review :)

First up, the Nook Color, as it comes out of the box, is a lovely, touch screen, color e-reader.  It can do very little more than that- it can browse the webs, but that it all.
You can 'root' the Nook Color relatively easily, following step-by-step instructions found online, but it will invalidate any warranty AND not all android apps (because it is an Android system it can run Android apps) will work on it.

Be that as it may, this review is specifically about the UNROOTED Nook Color, because I am waiting (impatiently) for the Nook app store to be released in March (so rumour would have it) :)

The Nook Color, is about the size of a larger paperback book.  It is lightweight, and very user friendly.  Intuitive to use, I guarantee those who have used anything like an iPod touch or smart phone, will have no problems with it.
The touch screen is fairly high res for such a small screen.  Webpages display easily, with the exception of those using Flash, which is (as yet) unsupported on the Nook Color.  Rumours claim that this too will be fixed later.
E-books in epub and pdf formats display easily on the screen.  It is backlit, which does cause issues if the sun is out (get a wide brimmed hat or a parasol) but is wonderful in the dark.  Since I read more in the dark than in direct sunlight, I think it is better this way!
Turning a page is as simple as touching the screen for an epub, or swiping for a PDF.  With books downloaded from the Barnes and Noble website, you are able to makes notes and share highlights from the book with friends online.  There is an easy one step for sharing on social networking sites as well.
Purchasing a book is as easy as browsing in the Nook store (a button on the Nook Color will do this) and clicking on the book you want.
Pre-purchased books show up as downloadable on your Nook close to Midnight on the date of release (this is a very nice feature).
The Nook colour will also show newspapers and magazines- with each new issue showing up on the date of release.
Kids books are fabulous on the Nook color, as most are easily navigated by the child AND they have a read aloud option the kid can use.  This has been something my daughter dearly loves.
It has a microSD slot, where you can place a microSD card.  This is great for extra storage.

Not everything works on the Nook Color as yet.  Pdf files which are a series of scanned images do not work on the Nook Color without printing to another pdf.  Sometimes you have to do this through two different programs.  This is a bug in the software the Nook Color uses, and not the Nook Color's engineering- they are waiting on a fix from the company who makes it.
I have already mentioned that the websites using Flash don't work, and as yet, the kindle mobi files are not readable on the Nook Color.  Unless you root it and install the kindle reading app ;).

There are a number of things I would like to see on the Nook Color to improve it.
A notepad
A calendar (with the ability to add and change info on it)
Email software and notifactions
A Blog reader
Annotation ability for pdf and doc formats
Ability to share from ALL e-books
Bookmarks for pdf files
A Calculator
Ability to play ALL music files.  I blame microsoft for this one ;)
An app that connects to Goodreads and/or BN Site to ennable reviewing a book easily.
Ability to blog from nook
Syncing with my google accounts.

I am sure I will come up with other ideas!

So- my personal view.
I love this.  I have downloaded countless free epubs for it.  Project Gutenberg is a fabulous site to get those.
One click ordering from BN.com is wonderful- I have used the pre-order with great success.  I have ordered books late at night.  I have downloaded cheap and expensive NookBooks.
I have tried PDF books, epub books.  I have pdf and word documents on there.
I have read in the dark and in the bright sun.
I carry the Nook Color in my bag (I purchases a lovely tri-fold case for it, which makes it look like a portfolio).
I use it to have school books (and schedules) on hand.
All in all it is a fantastic device, very useful in this, its most basic form... and potentially even more useful once that app store is up and running!

Do I recommend it.
Absolutely yes.  It has been a real joy to me.  However, if you find the cost a little steep, any e-reader will give you a lot of the things the Nook Color has.
I am definitely an e-book convert... hope to see you there ;)

P.S. anyone else with a Nook, LMK if you have lendable books ;)

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I have turned on word verification because I am getting spammed without it! You can always use the audio feature if you can't read the words.