Originally Posted by fbrII
[The Nook HD is]very light and text is very crisp. I very much like my tablet but it was hard to walk out of the store this morning without making a purchase.
I went for it. Visited a B&N in person yesterday, and reserved a Nook HD (8GB, "Smoke" color) for my SO for Xmas. He loves his NC except for the weight, so that'll be an automatic upgrade. Neither of us watch vids on our tablets, which I guess is a good thing. I watched the "Brave" trailer in store and was underwhelmed. But reading the NY Times and the Web were major delights. I was 99% sold. However....
I wanted to kick a couple more tires: since the whole Nookiverse is substantially changed, I wanted to make sure that I could replicate to some degree what my SO is used to on the NC - not because it's the greatest thing in the world, but he likes it, which should be good enough for me. For all the hype, the HD looks like a fresh copy of Windows XP: having to pick a profile, password protection, e.g. - a great idea for families if it works, sure, but not what he's used to or would not find a huge PITA in short order.
Although it it not obvious, the NHD DOES still offer a "Home" screen experience very similar to the NC's - where one can drag books directly from the library and rearrange the items on the HOME screen. Wallpaper can be changed on it, also. (Did not find a way to get rid of the white banner along the top, however. Unattractive and irritating.)
I have no comment on the book-reading experience. I never liked the Nook bookreading experience, and still don't, but this tablet isn't for me. I assume that there will be high legibility like in the web and newspapers I enjoyed reading in-store, so, great. But I was underwhelmed trying to customize the Book Reader setup. It doesn't look like there's a separate brightness setting just for the reader, for one. It simply adopts the device's brightness setting. Boo. I tried a couple of the non-white background "themes" and still... yawn.
Now to one thing everyone comments on: how ugly the Nook HD is. It isn't really ugly at all. At least the "Smoke"-bezeled HD. I think the white-bezeled one is probably designed to appeal to kids - The B&N website uses a huge picture of a tot with the white one, and it's hard to think of any kid-oriented pad/tablet that doesn't feature a white frame or bezel either alone or in combination with other bright colors. But, well, we don't have any kids, so....
I can say that it IS as ugly in store as it looks in the pictures. But like the original Nook Color, the Nook HD/Smoke is not done justice by the camera. Both of those pieces of hardware are much more attractive in person than on film (IMHO!). I'm not saying it's a Jobsian marvel of exquisite beauty and unparalleled engineering know-how, but it looks and feels right. It looks like it "makes sense", if that makes sense. You're holding it, looking at it, using it, and never thinking "WHY the hell did they do THAT?"
Still, I was so positively overwhelmed with the weight, and the web/newspaper reading, I was set to buy but for one last possible deal-killer: that proprietary adapter. I asked for a hands-on with an untethered NHD and one of these stupid new power adapters they're foisting on everybody.
The nice salesperson was cooperative. The proprietary NC adapter was a loser out of the box and everyone knew it, for reasons that won't be belabored here, and have little to do with the fact in and of itself that it was proprietary. Things can be proprietary and awesome, but the NC adapter was not one of them. When he handed me the 2 toys to play with I got an immediate kick in the stomach - the Nook-end of this connector looked like it had been, um, cooked a bit - out of sharp-shape, as if it had been overheated. Still, my primary concern was everyday use. My SO tethers his NC to power daily - that's how he rolls - and I presume that he will behave that way going forward. I wanted to see the ins and outs of this thing - where there squeeze-tabs on the side like on old Apple adapters? Would one have to take care to practice the delicate choreography of angling and insertion every day? My impression: no. It inserts and removes cleanly, and doesn't feel fragile. However, the "n" which indicates the front of the adapter should have been in a different color or something. The adapter is all black and the famous "n" is just stamped into it, and not even deeply enough so that you can feel it in the dark. Had I not been wearing my bifocals, I don't think I would have known which end was up. So, not a full fail on that new adapter, but I think it could be a dealbreaker for some.
When I get around to setup and such, I'll review those aspects. Right now, it's still in the box, waiting for me to get into Santa's helper mode.
By the time I got a glare-screen kit ($20) and 2 year warranty ($39 for the HD 8GB, more money for different Nook models), and paid local sales tax, my $199 Nook HD was $279.