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Old 03-18-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
jswinden
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Mini Comparison of nookcolor and iPad

I've seen a few threads comparing the nookcolor and iPad. I think they can be compared as far as reading and web browsing, though I wouldn't attempt to compare a dedicated reading device (nookcolor) with a tablet like the iPad or even the Galaxy Tab.

For my comparison I chose the nookcolor stock reader and the Nook iPad app, as well as comparing the stock web browsers in both. This is not comprehensive and mainly consists of screenshots to let you draw your own conclusions. I threw in a screenshot of the iPad's iBooks app since the Nook iPad app is not "the stock" reader for the iPad.

The iPad browser seems much faster than the stock browser on the nookcolor.

Note: When you click on the thumbnails they are displayed within this page in a image viewing app that scales them down. If you click on the image in viewing app the image is opened in another web browser window or tab wherein you can view the image in full size, which is much better.

Image 1: Stock nookcolor web browser. Notice the red arrows I drew to show where the browser screwed up rendering the page. The page being viewed is the nook ebook page from the B&N website.

Image 2: Stock iPad web browser. The page being viewed is the nook ebook page from the B&N website.

Image 3: Page 54 from Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol diplayed on the nookcolor's stock reader.

Image 4: Page 54 from Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol diplayed on the the Nook iPad app. This app can display landscape and use two columns, unlike the nookcolor.

Image 5: A random couple of pages diplayed in iBooks for iPad app in two column landscape.

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Old 03-18-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Thanks for the comparisons, Jack! The photos are very helpful to understand the differences. I like the 2 column landscape view on the iPad. I wish B&N would add similar landscape view capability to the NC stock reader.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:37 PM   #3
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Me too! They probably will in the future. It is strange that the Nook apps for iOS and Android seem to have more features than the nookcolor stock reader. I really got spoiled to the two column landscape when I had my Sony PRS-900 and later the PRS-950. BTW, I didn't show it, but the Nook iOS app has the two column landscape feature. I assume the Nook Android app does too.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #4
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I don't like reading on my iPhone because the screen is too small unless I have to. That's why I got the 350 so I could have a smaller reader to throw in my purse easily for when I'm out and about. On the other hand, the iPad is a little too big for me, and I was hoping they'd improve the screen resolution on the iPad 2 to make it more attractive to me. So did you get rid of your 950 and recently acquire the iPad?
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:22 AM   #5
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The Nook Color has a slightly lower resolution screen than the iPad at 1024x600 (compared to 1024x768). However, Nook Color screen smaller which results in sharper images.

Similar screen technologies but reading large documents like PDFs and webpages it is easier and better on the iPad.

Thanks for sharing Jack.
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:38 PM   #6
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I don't like reading on my iPhone because the screen is too small unless I have to. That's why I got the 350 so I could have a smaller reader to throw in my purse easily for when I'm out and about. On the other hand, the iPad is a little too big for me, and I was hoping they'd improve the screen resolution on the iPad 2 to make it more attractive to me. So did you get rid of your 950 and recently acquire the iPad?
I love my 350 too. It is small enough to fit into a dress shirt's front pocket, even with the cover attached, and so it is my take along reader. I liked the 950, but after I got the nookcolor I realized that I used it more than the 950. The eInks are terrific in highly lit areas, but not so much in dimly lit areas. Inside where my study and living rooms are it is not well lit, so I always had to use a clip on light, which hated, or make sure I was sitting near a good lamp which is not always convenient. Hence the reason I bought the nookcolor--to easily read in low lit areas without worrying about clip on lights or lamps. At that time the iPad was not an option in my mind. After a couple of months with both my 950 and nookcolor for inside use, and my 350 for outside and portable use, I realized that my 950 rarely got used anymore. So I finally decided to sell it.

I really thought that would be the end of the story as I only looked at my nookcolor as a reader and was not that interested in Android apps--nor am I to this day. I'm sure Android will eventually mature enough to be a decent OS, but it is not even close to that yet.

For a few years I've owned iPod touches (1G, 2G, and now 4G). They are okay for reading and about on par with my old Palm and WM PDAs, but that tiny screen as you noted does not lend itself to long periods of reading. The 4G has the Retina display and though it is not as good as the one in the iPhone it is terrific for reading on, but too small. Besides, unlike the iPhones which seem to have good battery life, the touches are notoriously horrible in the battery area, so I could never use the 4G as a take along portable reader because it would run the battery dead within 3 hours. However, having had the touches a few years I'm well aware of the various iOS apps that are available, and I began to wish my nookcolor could run similar apps as well and as easy as my touch.

You see I'm the president of a large Amateur Radio club in Arlington, Texas and I'm a division staff officer in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary (which is strictly volunteer, civilian, non-combatant, non-law enforcement, and has as our mission boaing safety education and vessel examinations). Both of those hobby/jobs require my use of computers at the meetings and events. I started out with a laptop years ago, gladly went to a netbook when they came around, but would dearly love to use a lighter weight tablet. So it seemed natural to me that I should try to use my nookcolor, even though it is not rooted. It wrked, but just barely and a bit sluggishly. I knew I would have to root to get office apps that were more than read only, and I was reluctant to do so, at least until after the expected major update hopefully coming in a few weeks. My touch 4G was way to small and battery challenged to take on the task. I was truly hoping, though I knew better, that Apple would announce a new smaller iPad with about a 7" screen. That of course didn't happen. But an unexpected refund of money from an unrelated project and the announcement of a $100 price reduction on the iPad 1 set me up for one of my compulsive purchases. I never considered the iPad a reasonable value at $500, but at $400 I decided to try it.

I've had the iPad for about a week and a half now. My nookcolor doesn't get used much anymore, much like my nookcolor resulted in my 950 sitting unused. I took my iPad 1 to my monthly Amateur Radio club and was very pleased that it had all the functionality I needed that I had previously used a netbook for--viewing and amending my agenda during the Board of Directors meeting which immediately precedes our membership meeting. Taking notes with an onscreen keypad that is big enough to be very useful to an old, fat fingered guy. (Well at 53 I'm middle-aged but I often feel like I'm old!) The nookcolor keypad is really too small and requires more typo corrections. And I can even connect my iPad to a VGA monitor/projector. The nookcolor will probably never have that ability. Granted only some apps are compatible with VGA mirroring, but there are enough of them that I can use the iPad for presentations!
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:39 PM   #7
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A little more detail and thought:

As a reader:
Is the iPad a better reading device than nookcolor? No, and here is the breakdown, for my uses anyway.
  • Nookcolor has a sharper screen with a 169ppi LCD compared to the iPad with 132ppi. The iPad screen is 1024 x 768 pixels compared to the nookcolor at 1024 x 600 pixels. But the smaller diagonal of the nookcolor screen gives it the higher ppi and makes it easier on the eyes for extended reading. Slight advantage goes to nookcolor.
  • iPad has a better screen ratio at 4:3 (same as most eInk readers) whereas the nookcolor has a widescreen that is better for watching videos than reading books. Slight advantage goes to iPad.
  • Stock, the iPad has many good ebook reading apps available whereas the nookcolor has only one, and it is not that good compared to other dedicated readers. However, the nookcolor can be easily rooted thus making available many good ebook reading apps. So we have a near draw in this area with the iPad having a very slight advantage since it does not need to be rooted/jailbroken.
  • Stock, the iPad can display ebooks in many different formats via third-party apps whereas the nookcolor can only display the ePub format. However, the nookcolor can be easily rooted thus making available many other book formats. So we have a near draw in this area with the iPad having a very slight advantage since it does not need to be rooted/jailbroken.
  • Stock, the iPad can display, modify, annotate PDFs via third-party apps whereas the nookcolor can only display PDFs in its stock viewer and that viewer is really lacking in features and functionality. However, the nookcolor can be easily rooted thus making available many other PDF apps. So we might have a near draw in this area with the iPad having a very slight advantage since it does not need to be rooted/jailbroken. I say might because I'm not familiar with the features and functionality of third-party Android apps for viewing and modifying PDFs.
  • The iPad has a larger screen which allows for better all around viewing of PDFs than the nookcolor. Definite advantage goes to iPad.
  • Portability is easier with the nookcolor because it is smaller than the iPad. Definite advantage goes to nookcolor.
  • Comfortability of holding in the hands while reading is higher with the nookcolor because it is less heavy than the iPad. Neither one is light weight by any stretch of the imagination. However, both are equal if read when they are lying on a table or desk. Slight advantage goes to nookcolor.

As a tablet:
Is the iPad a better overall tablet than the nookcolor? That depends on your usage.
  • PDFs, as discussed above, the iPad does a very good job with PDFs via third-party apps. I'm not sure how well the Android third-party apps can compete, but given the larger screen and readily availability of third-party apps without the need to root I give the advantage to the iPad.
  • Office documents, this echos the PDF discussion above, the iPad does a very good job with Office documents via third-party apps. I'm not sure how well the Android third-party apps can compete, but given the larger screen, VGA mirroring, and readily availability of third-party apps without the need to root I give a huge advantage to the iPad.
  • The stock nookcolor web browser is pathetic (see images in first post of this thread.) The stock web browser (Safari) for iPad looks really amazing and the Flash argument seems rather irrelevant now that many sites are getting away from using Flash and Apple and Adobe have arranged to provide a solution. I'm not sure how well the Android third-party apps can compete, but given the larger screen, the quality of Safari, and readily availability of third-party browser apps without the need to root I give the advantage to the iPad.
  • The stock nookcolor video experience is pathetic. It is a rather tricky and a pain in the backside to get a video to work correctly on the nookcolor, and when you do it won't allow for higher resolution. The screen is 1024 pixels wide but you are limited to about 800 pixels for videos. it makes a difference. The iPad seems to be much easier to create workable videos for, and you can take advantage of its resolution. I give the advantage to the iPad.
  • There is a myth, probably fueled more by OS favoritism, snobbery, and prejudice more than anything else, that says it is difficult to sideload anything to an iPad. It used to be a pain a few years ago with iPhones and touches, but I find sideloading ebooks, office docks, movies, music, etc. to be just as easy on the iPad as on the nookcolor. Once again my nookcolor is not rooted, but I think sideloading to the ipad might even be easier than with the nookcolor. At any rate it is certainly easy and therefore a non-issue.
  • Gaming, Social Networking, etc.: I rarely, if ever, participate in these activities on a tablet or a computer, so I have no input on them.
  • Calendar, Email, Contacts, etc.: I never thoroughly used these apps on the nookcolor because the stock apps are pathetic. Once again I'm not sure what is available and how well those third-party Android apps work. But the ipad does all of these extremely well. I personally use Outlook and love the way the iPhone/touch/iPads sync with it. I absolutely hate the Cloud and refuse to use Google or any other unsecure (Cloud-based) system on my computer or my tablets. Web mail to me is mostly worthless and risky. So far my usage the iPad is much better than an Android tablet that seem to be built around Google's Cloud. But your usage might and probably is much different.

In conclusion:

I think if I was going to use a tablet primarily for reading eBooks I would choose the nookcolor for its size, less heaviness, easier portability, better reading screen (as far as eyestrain is concerned), etc. However, the nookcolor has need for a LOT of improvements as far as reading eBooks. Therefore it is not a hands down best in class reader. Perhaps the update in a few weeks will help, but I'm not very optimistic as updates for any product of this nature rarely live up to our expectations. But it is a new product and I do expect it to improve greatly over time.

However, if size and weight are not an issue with you, there are ways to greatly improve the reading capabilities of an iPad or any other device capable of reading eBooks. If you are comfortable enough to root a nookcolor, then you can certainly figure out how to strip away the DRM from eBooks and use a program like calibre or Sigil to quickly modify them to use bold text and make other improvements that greatly reduce eyestrain on any reading device. (But please don't share your DRM freed eBooks with others--authors need to make a living. )

As a tablet though I really don't think the nookcolor can compete with the iPad. The iPad is too elegant and simply works right in most cases. Android is not a seasoned OS yet, though it might be someday. But even if Android was much better, the nookcolor just cannot compete hardware-wise against the iPad. But it wasn't designed to, so it is what it is. If you want a tablet that works very well with PDFs, office documents, music, videos, etc., you are better off going with the iPad over the nookcolor. I can't speak for the other new Android tablets like the GT or the Xoom, but I suspect the iPad is not really facing much of a challenge yet. But the bottomline is, get what works best for you regardless of OS or manufacturer.
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Old 03-19-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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. I'm sure Android will eventually mature enough to be a decent OS, but it is not even close to that yet.
Jack,

I disagree with some of your statements.

I would say that Android 3.0 needs additional work, and it's almost ready. But Froyo is a very stable platform with a lot of useful and good applications, most of them free or very low price. I have never had any major crash with my Galaxy Tab or HTC cellphone which I did with the Nook Color, which by the way, runs Android under the hood. The problem is, like you can infer from my comment, the apps themselves or custom UI like the one B&N developed for the NC. This is something that even when I don't see as right or good, is working for Apple; they are so close and strict with their Apple market that the end results is a platform which is really stable and strong. So, don't understand from where you get the comment that Android is not ready yet, when you don't even own or use an stock Android device, like GT.

I also don't think the iPad is a bad ereader either, because the iPad it is not an ereader, it is a tablet. You can download some apps and use it as an ereader but it is not locked like stock NC is. For about $500.00 I think that if you buy an iPad just and only for read books you are wasting your money (or you have money to waste)

It would be interesting how would you rate a stock iPad vs a stock NC ;-) ... that's much more fair and should give a user an idea of what they get out of the box.

Or... if you are into comparing full fledge tablets, regardless of price, the NC vs the GT , lol , and see what the opinion is going to be.

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Old 03-20-2011, 02:00 PM   #9
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It would be interesting how would you rate a stock iPad vs a stock NC ;-) ... that's much more fair and should give a user an idea of what they get out of the box.
I pretty much did. Even though iBooks wasn't installed, it is free and an Apple app so it is essentially a stock app.

I think you Android fanboys and fangirls are so wrapped up in your hatred of Apple and Microsoft that you can't see the forest for the trees. You folks keep harping on how evil Apple and Microsoft are and how open Android is. That is total BS. Android is not open source, it is the property of Google which is just as big and evil as any other other huge technology company, but not as talented as they are babies compared to the more than quarter of a century experience of Apple and Microsoft. I suspect that those who woo Google will one day open their eyes and realize the ugly monster they are lying beside, and then they will try to gnaw off their own arm to escape the horror.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:37 PM   #10
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...one day open their eyes and realize the ugly monster they are lying beside, and then they will try to gnaw off their own arm to escape the horror.
Can't stop visualizing!
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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Interesting set of posts, and I agree with you wholeheartedly about the stock Nook browser. I also find the stock reader lacking as well - and I'm using market substitutes for both.

Now from my own perspective, I find a rooted Nook Color to be a very good value proposition - it's less capable than the iPad, but it's more portable and significantly cheaper. It's enough for me to say that neither device is better for all users, but the Nook Color when rooted is probably one of the best alternatives to the iPad currently available.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:05 PM   #12
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I think you Android fanboys and fangirls are so wrapped up in your hatred of Apple and Microsoft that you can't see the forest for the trees. You folks keep harping on how evil Apple and Microsoft are and how open Android is. That is total BS. Android is not open source, it is the property of Google which is just as big and evil as any other other huge technology company
I have noticed that every time I gave in and tried a new OS, I'm able to see them all a wee bit more clear. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I don't like the proprietary aspects of apple, but they do make excellent quality products. The sooner I realised that, the sooner I went, no longer, without a tablet.
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Old 03-20-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
Bookworm_Girl
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
Device: Sony 350, T2; KPW2; iPad Mini Retina; Nooks
Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
I love my 350 too. It is small enough to fit into a dress shirt's front pocket, even with the cover attached, and so it is my take along reader. I liked the 950, but after I got the nookcolor I realized that I used it more than the 950. The eInks are terrific in highly lit areas, but not so much in dimly lit areas. Inside where my study and living rooms are it is not well lit, so I always had to use a clip on light, which hated, or make sure I was sitting near a good lamp which is not always convenient. Hence the reason I bought the nookcolor--to easily read in low lit areas without worrying about clip on lights or lamps. At that time the iPad was not an option in my mind. After a couple of months with both my 950 and nookcolor for inside use, and my 350 for outside and portable use, I realized that my 950 rarely got used anymore. So I finally decided to sell it.....

.....I've had the iPad for about a week and a half now. My nookcolor doesn't get used much anymore, much like my nookcolor resulted in my 950 sitting unused. I took my iPad 1 to my monthly Amateur Radio club and was very pleased that it had all the functionality I needed that I had previously used a netbook for--viewing and amending my agenda during the Board of Directors meeting which immediately precedes our membership meeting. Taking notes with an onscreen keypad that is big enough to be very useful to an old, fat fingered guy. (Well at 53 I'm middle-aged but I often feel like I'm old!) The nookcolor keypad is really too small and requires more typo corrections. And I can even connect my iPad to a VGA monitor/projector. The nookcolor will probably never have that ability. Granted only some apps are compatible with VGA mirroring, but there are enough of them that I can use the iPad for presentations!
Thanks again for sharing your additional observations and comparisons between the 350/950, NC and iPad. I too was hoping for a 7" iPad, but unfortunately Mr. Jobs made very clear his opinion of that size! If they had a 7" iPad Wi-fi only with a screen resolution similar to the iPhone 4 (or even the NC screen) at a reasonable price-point, then it would be the ideal product for me. So for now, the NOOKcolor is good for me. I have been using it mostly in the same night-time, low-light conditions that you stated. I mostly use my eink readers during the day and outside. I have to turn on the kitchen & breakfast nook lights to be able to read on my 950 in my family room at night or attach a clip-on light. For my 350, I got the lighted cover. One of the major selling points for the NC for me was how easy you can sideload EPUB files. Thus my Sony ereaders and NC can all share the same library of ebooks with no DRM-stripping or conversions required. I rarely make any purchases from the B&N store except for magazines which is my other main use for the NC.

I still haven't rooted my NC yet. I have been waiting for the major update and roll-out of the B&N app store. I thought it might appear a little quicker than it has...
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Old 03-20-2011, 05:19 PM   #14
jocampo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jswinden View Post
I pretty much did. Even though iBooks wasn't installed, it is free and an Apple app so it is essentially a stock app.

I think you Android fanboys and fangirls are so wrapped up in your hatred of Apple and Microsoft that you can't see the forest for the trees. You folks keep harping on how evil Apple and Microsoft are and how open Android is. That is total BS. Android is not open source, it is the property of Google which is just as big and evil as any other other huge technology company, but not as talented as they are babies compared to the more than quarter of a century experience of Apple and Microsoft. I suspect that those who woo Google will one day open their eyes and realize the ugly monster they are lying beside, and then they will try to gnaw off their own arm to escape the horror.
Wrong guy Jack

I'm not Apple fan boy or Android Fan boy. I use Microsoft at work because have no alternative and I'm SQL dba , it's a Microsoft product. I only use Linux at home. And yes, Android is open source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(operating_system)

My comment about comparing stock devices was about NC. You mentioned several times you can get X and Y feature if rooted, that's not an out of the box device or stock. In order to be fair we should compare stock NC (not rooted) vs iPad. Doing that we can see that iPad does a better job on browsing and reading ebooks.

Agree in that iPad is not so portable but that's a trade off when we get a bigger screen on a device, becomes larger and heavier.

Last edited by jocampo; 03-20-2011 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:34 PM   #15
GreenMonkey
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Device: Nook ST glow, Nexus 7 (2013). Wife:Kindle Paperwhite, ipad mini R
There's another thread floating around here with input from people that own both.

My wife has the ipad. It's to large for me, personally. 7" or so is just right for me.

Honestly, the ipad feels kind of archaic after a while on Android and a rooted NC. No notification bar, no widgets, just rows and rows of icons. And the lack of ports is terrible.

I'm not a fan of the itunes-for-everything paradigm - I really don't like itunes. I like that I can plug my Nook color into any computer in the house, the wife's computers, someone else's, or work... and just drop music, video or book files on it.

I think the best up-and-coming tablet is the unnamed Toshiba that should be coming soon.

http://www.everythingusb.com/toshiba...let-21052.html

Tegra 2 / Honeycomb
Full sized USB
mini USB
Full sized SDXC
Full sized HDMI
replaceable battery

Perfect!! (Well, still too big in my book. But all of the ports make up for that a bit). All it needs is a good IPS screen...or something else with good viewing angles...

But a tablet isn't worth $500 to me. It's got about $200-$300 in value in my book. The Nook color fit the bill perfectly.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 03-21-2011 at 08:40 PM.
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