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Old 11-16-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
Prince Hal
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NookColor - tried one in B&N tonight

So I happened to be in B&N tonight in Rancho Bernardo, San Diego and went to the cashier's desk to ask about a book. As I was standing there, one of the assistants walked by with two NookColor's in his hand.

So, like any good geek, I stopped him and he demonstrated the models which he said were display and familiarization models. He had been "playing" with one all day to get used to it. He let me try it out. So, here are some initial thoughts from about 15 minutes of use:

1. It feels heavy in relation to my Kindle 3.
2. It has a rubberized back which makes it really nice to grip.
3. The screen was very glarey. Under the lights at the cash desk I was having to move it around - but it was no worse than the iPad - infact the quality was like a smaller version of the iPad.
4. I notices a speck of dust under the screen protector. It cauesed a 0.5cm circle. Even with the screen on, you could see it as the glare was different at that point. Hopefully this was just an early demo model and the real ones will not have the same problem.
5. The page turns were very quick and of course had no e-ink lag.
6. The screen was responsive, a light touch and everything worked, turned, scrolled.
7. The wi-fi was not working so I could not test it out.
8. Color pictures in the sample National Geographic were excellent - vibrant.
9. The newspapers looked excellent and color was a great bonus.

My overall impressions? If you don't mind reading on an iPad, then this will work for you. Small, more easily held and portably, half the price of an iPad, responsive, and a promise of dedicated apps to follow.

However, the LCD screen for me has nothing on e-ink. The glare was very noticeable and distracting. I thought that this was going to be my next purchase, but sadly no.

I played around with the Velocity Cruz at Borders. NookColor is far superior in the way it feels and its responsiveness, though of course is $50 more expensive.

The guy said it would be two weeks before they would be sold in the store. But if I signed up for one now, it would help out the particular store and I would not be held to buying it when it came in.

Hope that helps and informs,

Hal.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:38 PM   #2
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thanks for sharing your impressions. i was in B&N over the weekend, but no demos yet. very satisfied with my "nook classic," but still curious to see the color offering.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:40 PM   #3
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Thanks so much! I'm desperate to play with one, and I don't think my BN here in CV has it yet, so I will take a side trip to Rancho Bernardo tomorrow to check it out.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:10 AM   #4
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MsCG1, they are not on display yet, but perhaps if you ask you might get to look at one. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time - about 7pm. The assistant was a young guy, tall, definitely tekkie looking - if you know what I mean - but really helpful and really nice guy.

You know if B&n can get their AppStore right, this could be a rival to an iPad. It is a smaller and less expensive version. But without he apps then it is what it looks to be - an ereader with additions. The screen is not flat to the edges like an iPad or itouch, but hat di not impede navigation.
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Old 11-17-2010, 12:27 AM   #5
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Thanks much for this info. I wanted an iPad that was 7" just for reading alone, but could not justify the price and felt the iPad was just too big. This device will be perfect for me. I have an eInk reader for outdoor reading, and now I will have an LCD device of high quality where I can read in bed or dark rooms (I hate to admit that is where I do most of my reading and I don't like LED attached lights on my eink - that actually hurts my eyes more than LCD).
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Old 11-17-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
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I went in the B&N in San Mateo (SF bay area) hoping to see at least a mock-up of the Nookcolor. I lucked out in that they had just gotten their demo model in this morning. Like ColdSun, I wanted smaller/lighter iPad but gave up hope when Jobs said a 7" display is too small to be useful. I already use my iPhone4 for reading so I'm used to an LCD screen. I won't buy an e-ink device because I mainly read in bed at night and hate booklights. The screen resolution is great and the device feels solid. The GUI is easy to understand and the display is responsive. However, the web page load times seem laggy but that could be due to the speed of the wireless network in the store. As Prince Hal said, you can pre-order without any obligation. They estimate shipping after Thanksgiving and there is apparently a fairly high demand. I saw at least 10 names above mine on the pre-order list.

There was a lot of discussion around the display booth that the device is not as good as an iPad. Since I already have a MacAir, I certainly don't need all the features of the iPad. For me, the Nookcolor hits the sweet spot.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:39 AM   #7
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C'mon B&N here's a real opportunity

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssholloway View Post
...There was a lot of discussion around the display booth that the device is not as good as an iPad. Since I already have a MacAir, I certainly don't need all the features of the iPad. For me, the Nookcolor hits the sweet spot.
Okay, so personally I don't rate it as a dedicated ereader for prolonged reading, but as an occasional reader, perhaps as a study tool, then I see so much potential. It all depends if B&N see the appstore development as part of its business model. Do they want to fill the gap where Apple apparently don't want to go (i.e. the smaller iPad) and others such as the BB Playbook and Samsung Tab want to overprice their product, or a host of other just want to a cheap and ugly, unresponsive slate.

I am really rooting that B&N take up that "sweet spot". For me, something like OliveTree or Laridian's Bible software running on the NookColor for $249 would be awesome, leaving me with the Kindle for longer reading stints.

It had a decent file explorer on it. Basic, but you can see the individual folder, so can side-load documents etc into it. This is a nice touch that is lacking directly on the Kindle (you need to be linked to a PC to do it). Also I tried the highlighting features which worked well and easily and then you have the option of emailing, Facebooking or Tweeting the highlight to a fiend, contact or yourself. It will be interesting to se how it works with NookStudy and being able to extract highlighted passages for inclusion in a Word document.

Oh, the final test, the "Gadgeteer / Julie" creak test. Could you bend it and make the seems open up. Nope!! Though I didn't force it, it was a sturdy unit and it remained in tact - unlike the underware of the sales assistant who watched me do it.

Ah, so many gadgets (excuse me in case the wife is reading "educational enablers, particularly for our children") so little time.

Hal.
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Old 11-17-2010, 10:39 AM   #8
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My girlfriend has been interested in getting an eReader, and when the color was announced she pretty much decided that would be the one to get. We put in a reservation last week for one, but really wanted to try it out before buying it as she wasn't sure if the LCD screen would be annoying to read off of, and I wasn't happy with the slow responsiveness I had seen in the initial videos released of the Nook Color.

We were in one of my local B&Ns last night specifically hoping that they would have the Nook Color out as a demo. They only had one on display, and surprisingly nobody was looking at it (nor was any workers at the kiosk to help with any questions). As we were walking up to the display a family walked over to the kiosk and completely ignored the color and went to the e-ink Nook to demo.

I have to say, I am not a fan of the Nook or the Kindle, I am completely happy with my Sony 505 still, but playing with this Nook Color really made me want one. I am about to purchase an iPad, for other purposes, but I figure with that, I really don't need a Nook Color of my own... yet.

I can't wait until next week when the store we reserved one at gets them in.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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Went and spent about 15 minutes with one tonight and overall was impressed, but it can be a bit sluggish and that should be fixable with a firmware update.

However, as much as I liked it I also realized why I like the current version so much and why I want to stay with eink as my main reader. I still have my iPod touch when I need LCD so that decreases my need for the color device.

Still though I liked it a lot and for the price it is a great choice for people that want a color reader.

BTW, my local store said their current stock was already bought out, but I could preorder and get one in the next shipment they expect next Friday.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #10
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Thanks Ever so much Hal For sharing your experience.
I have been curious about the new ereaders coming out with color. I figured it would be just the same as reading from my computer. And it sounds very much like it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:20 AM   #11
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I played with one today for a short while too. I asked if they had any PDFs on it and the girl who helped me had loaded a PDF of a Harry Potter book. It loaded lickety split and looked very good both in portrait and landscape.

I'm smitten. If pocketbook's IQ firmware does not get squared away, I'll definitely pick one of these up for Xmas.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:32 AM   #12
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I'm going to go into mine tomorrow to try one out...I'm really curious about it even though I'm not an LCD reader....maybe this could convert me LOL
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:38 AM   #13
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good info-I'm still very satisfied with the my wi-fi-3g e-ink nook-I was led to believe that the lcd screen on the color nook will be hard on the eyes -especially if you read for long periods of time.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:19 AM   #14
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I played with one today for a short while too. I asked if they had any PDFs on it and the girl who helped me had loaded a PDF of a Harry Potter book.
Interesting, seeing as there are no legal Harry Potter eBooks!
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:29 AM   #15
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good info-I'm still very satisfied with the my wi-fi-3g e-ink nook-I was led to believe that the lcd screen on the color nook will be hard on the eyes -especially if you read for long periods of time.
Well, I think it depends on your age! I am developing early cataracts and although I want an all-color reader, I know a back-lit screen will affect me much like driving at night bothers me when the headlights of oncoming cars hit my eyes. If your eyes are young and healthy, I wouldn't worry about it.
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