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Old 12-31-2012, 02:17 AM   #12
taosaur
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Posts: 1,247
Karma: 12772706
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohiopolis
Device: Kindle Paperwhite 2, Nook HD+, Xperia Ion
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
Hey all,

I am looking for a good color tablet/ereader to read large sized color PDFs (like textbooks) and some CBZ comic files.
IMO the Nook HD+ is the best value on the market right now for digital versions of color print media: magazines, comic books, children's books and probably yes, textbooks. The stock reader handles CBZ pretty well, but I did see some weird artifacting in some files where the bottom several rows of pixels would appear as a long smudge at the bottom of the page. I'm guessing you won't see that in B&N purchased comics, and they do have a solid selection of both comics and magazines.

To get the best experience out of comic books and PDFs, though, you will probably want to at least sideload a couple of Android apps like Perfect Viewer and EZPDF. As others have said, B&N left that option open by way of the Android Debug Bridge (ADB), a developers' tool for sending commands from a PC to a connected Android device. Getting the proper drivers installed for ADB to recognize your HD+ can be a finicky process, but once you've done that the rest is pretty easy, assuming you can overcome whatever anxiety you might have about typing in a command window.

It may be simpler to go ahead and root and enable Unknown Sources, which no longer requires ADB. You can burn a popular Android recovery utility, ClockworkMod, to a microSD card and then boot directly to that card in your HD+ to install packages which will allow root access, enable Unknown Sources, or install a custom Google Apps package including Google Play (the main Android app and media market). You can also use ClockworkMod to make full backups of your stock install at any point, or restore backups you made earlier.

If you're happy using the device solely as a reader and aren't interested in productivity apps or games, you can probably stop there. If you want a full-fledged tablet experience, you can do what I'm doing and run a custom Android ROM from a bootable SD card. Setting up that card will require either ADB or a PC running Linux (a virtual machine or live CD/USB will work, too) or MacOS, just because Windows doesn't believe flash media can have more than one partition. The process has already been simplified for the Nook HD, and we'll likely see the same happen for the HD+ at some point. One thing to remember: it's still early days for development on this device.

Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn View Post
4) Weight...this looks to weigh a bit less than the ipad 2...is it comfortable to hold for long periods?

5) What's it like on the eyes trying to read text files like epub? Good, or should I stick with the Nook ST for epub and text files?
Even with the smaller Nook Color, I found the comfort factor vastly enhanced by a cover that could also function as a stand. While a cover adds weight, it also adds a lot more options for how to hold onto--or not hold onto--the device.

I can't comment much on #5 because I've been on a comic jag and hardly read any epubs since I bought the thing, but reading two columns in landscape seems quite comfortable. Granted, I've always preferred LCD over eInk, but you should find the HD+ at least serviceable for reading sessions, especially if you have the ST to fall back on.
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