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Old 11-20-2012, 04:40 AM   #1254
mgmueller
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Posts: 3,308
Karma: 13024950
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Augsburg (near Munich), Germany
Device: 26 Readers, 44 Tablets
Nook HD

It's here!
5 days from the US. Great!

I didn't want the nook HD+ because of its size. But I'll probably order the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" because of its free 3G. Love this on my other Kindles, no worries about roaming or available SIMs and such.

First impressions:

Ugly as hell. But I knew that beforehand from the pictures already.
I don't really mind. It has to work and be efficient, not win a beauty contest.

Phantastic: In initial settings, on the bottom of the WiFi screen, you see your nook's WiFi address. Very clever. Haven't seen this on any other unit before.
I know: Mac address isn't a very good safety precaution. Still, I'm using it.
And I hate, if I have to stop settings or even do a soft reset or some other stupid thing, because I can't see the Mac address yet.
Here, it's solved brilliantly!

Time zone: Well, obviously you're not allowed to leave the US with a nook. Only time zones available: Hawaii, Alaska, Pacific time, Arizona, Mountain time, Central time, Eastern time.
I know: You can't normally buy it outside of the US (or isn't there a UK version already? I can't believe, the US and the UK version actually have different firmwares?!). But still: Aren't you even allowed to go on vacation outside of the US? I have to check this out. But hate it already!
EDIT: Puh! Not in the initial setting, but in the "real" ones you freely can choose your time zone!

Still in initial settings, it's automatically downloading a software update. I would have updated anyway. But isn't there normally a user confirmation needed?

In some (professional) review I read, nook HD would have the most brilliant display, far ahead of the competition. As usual (i.e. criticism about low resolution on Microsoft Surface RT), I don't see it. It's certainly nice. But without direct comparison, I can't see any obvious differences to Kindle Fire HD or Google/Asus Nexus 7 for example.
EDIT: I don't know yet, whether the display really outshines the competition. But fonts definitely are extremely crisp. Obviously an excellent reader"

Build quality: I'm a bit underwhelmed. Not in the same class as Kindle Fire HD or Google/Asus Nexus 7. The plastic frame around the bezel has some gaps. Only small ones, but you still can see in-between. Probably would be less obvious with a black housing, but I've got the snowy one.

The home button ("n") is a physical one, as on iPad. Not as in other Android devices. I'm not a fan of those physical buttons, but it's no biggy of course.

It doesn't seem to have auto-brightness, just a manual slider.

Spotify, Hulu Plus and Pandora come pre-installed.
You seem to be able to uninstall the pre-installed apps, no root needed.

The UI is very "clean", but less stylish than on Kindle Fire HD. Some hate the carousel on Kindle, but at least it's some kind of innovation.
The UI of nook in its minimalistic design spontaneously reminds me of the digital clocks one could buy in Eastern Germany ca. 1985.

For now: Wouldn't I have that many nook books (nook classic had been one of my first readers), I probably wouldn't go for it. Not up to par design-wise. Quite a surprise, as nook classic had been such a beauty and even nook simple touch had been okay.
I'll certainly use it for my nook books, but probably not as my "swiss army knife tablet".

You manually can activate Adobe DRM. So obviously it can read "normal" DRM protected ePUBs and PDFs as well. Not really important for me, but probably great for lots of others.

Wow! Downloading the books is extremely fast! Ether the tablet respectively the B&N servers are that fast or the B&N book format is extremely compact. Haven't seen such download speeds for a long time. Well,, it's 3am in the US, maybe not much traffic? Still: Impressive!

Quite fascinating: I've goot the nook app on numerous tablets. Plus 2 (now 3) nook readers/tablets. But so far, I've never reached any download limits!
On Kindle, I can use 4 (some) to 6 (most = ca. 95%) activations in parallel. I definitely have more than that with B&N. Strange! Shouldn't it be the same = depending on the publishers?

Funny: I can't use the Quick Start Guide or the User Manual: "Unable to load the data"!
Strange: After restarting the tablet, both icons for the documentation are gone. I don't need the guides and I'm glad the empty icons are gone. Still strange though.

Verdict for now: Speedy and responsive. Extremely crisp text. Surprisingly low build quality (frame not properly glued, hence the gaps to the bezel), else it's a very good tablet.

Edit:
I can't get over the low build quality.
If I compare to Kindle Fire HD or Google Nexus 7, both in the same price range, I simply can't accept this kind of (none) quality.
I know, I'm over sensitive here. After all, it's not a piece of art but a tool of daily usage. Still, I can't help myself. When I take it out of the sleeve, first things I see are the gaps.
I've even tried to glue the frame. But that's not possible, the frame only has contact to the housing in a few places. In most areas, the frame simply has no connection and only is attached every 5 centimeters or so. No wonder, there are gaps. Since I've seen that (the free space behind the frame) I hate it even more. How one can deliver such build qulity is beyond me...

You see examples (not my pictures, but taken from official reviews) here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...77&postcount=5
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...69&postcount=4

Last edited by mgmueller; 12-07-2012 at 10:59 AM.
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