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Old 12-16-2010, 02:01 PM   #1
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Nook color: thanks, but no thanks, I passed

I had the chance to play a bit with the Nook Color at work (some coworkers who bought one), and my initial feeling and feedback was not so positive. I immediatly compare the experience with my Kindle 3 and Kindle DXG, of course, because that's what I own and my opinion at that time was that NC was not so good in many aspects.

Days later I made some comments here and Nook fans hit back, with tons of passion! :-) ... understandable ... but I kept my feedback and support with technical facts.

Having said that and because I want to give the benefit of the doubt, I just bought a Nook Color (with the main idea of returning the product back soon) and I've been using it, heavily, since yesterday.

The nice:

Cool Browser and Internet feature.
Of course, the use of internet and a browser is a selling point. No way you can compare to a Kindle and even with the Nook Color virtual keyboard, browsing internet was easier than using my Android Cellphone and by far, better than Kindle 3 or Kindle DXG. Books with hyperlinks you just touch the screen and the the corresponding site will open; of course, assuming you are connected to wifi/internet

Library and Book organization
Really nice. Of course, you can see your book covers and organize or list by title or most recent addition. You scroll down and look for your books using your fingers, so it is faster and cool, much better than using a button of course. Something that I did not like to much is that after connecting to B&N, it put all my books on the Home Page, I don't know why. I don't want my stuff just on the Home Page and if this is the default, it is kind of annoying because later you need to cleaning up. But honestly, not sure if there is a way to alter or change that, it could be just a one time thing.

Good PDF experience
Reading PDF documents and books is good. You can expand, shrink and move around with your fingers, of course, Nook Color is kind of a hybrid tablet, so when moving around PDF documents or zooming is way faster and better than using a 5 way or regular button than Kindle. Turning pages is also way much faster and again, just sliding your finger on the screen. It was odd though, that for changing PDF pages you can only do that sliding "up" or "down" not "left" or "right", like in a book.

The color experience
Of course, is a Nook Color, duh! :-) ... so if you read magazines you will notice the difference.


Cons


-No autorotate
I was shocked! I can't use landscape mode on ePub books, only PDF. Big disadvantge, because on technical books or poetry, the format got messed up. I don't want to speculate with future firmwares and upgrades, I am saying what we have now, "as is", so this was a " no " no to me. I can rotate on both Kindles and is really useful for my Oracle and SQL books, which are plently of tables and long queries.

Heavy
-Man, I read last night for about 6 hrs straight and I had to use my knee or stomach as support. If you have a Kindle 3, you know what I am talking about. Even if you compare with Nook 1.5, this is way too heavy for long reading sessions. My Kindle DX is heavier and bigger too but feels different. From a technical stand point I think is something related with the Nook Color weight distribution and width; it keep pushing your wrist and hands down.

-Glare/Eye strain
I really want to see this myself and after long hours of reading, and I was right. The glare is minimum but still you get some eye strain during long reading sessions. I guess this is not a problem for a casual reader, but becuase you can do the same with Kindle (long or short reading sessions) I would not choose this one as my device. I reduced the brightness to slowest possible value and light conditions were optimal, but for indoor reading,my Kindle 3 is much better.

-No zoom on book's pictures
Another big surprise! I was reading "The Art of Intrusion", which does not have bunch of pictures, but at page 113 there was an image that I tried to click, expand or do something with it, because was kind of small: no luck! For a Hybrid tablet like this, I was expecting more! So, if your book shows any small image or picture that you would like to enlarge, you are out of luck.

Battery life:
I charged it yesterday morning, it took about 1 hour and a half, that was quick (I am assuming there was initial charge there) Use it for 1 hour during lunch time including configuring wifi, etc. Then I came back to work. At 5pm, I started using it again and since then, for about 6 hrs with wifi on all the time and minimum brightness. Todday is about 16% and I've being using it for about 2 more hours maybe? So it will give you about 8 hrs at heavy and continue usage. Good for a hybrid table, not for an ereader. I can't imagine this one on my travels and keep charging all the time. Not to mention that, as per manual, you can't use the USB cable and computer to charge, just the wall adapter which by the way, it is propietary.

I would like to mention also that while browsing internet and using Hotmail, it froze two times. Totally unresponsive (just the browser) I had to power off and on. And there is no flash support.

I still believe this is a nice e-reader (I am saying e-reader because that's how B&N is pushing or selling the product) but there are more cons than Pros on this new gadget. At this moment Kindle is the closest and better paper reading experience that you can get for your money.

For a very casual or magazine reader NC is an alternative, but for a better ereading experience I think that Kindle, Nook 1.5 or Sony provide an effective and simpler way to read; not too fancy and graphical, but let you read in a comfortable and easy way.

Last edited by jocampo; 12-16-2010 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:08 PM   #2
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Great personal review. Hopefully it will aid others in their decision making. I commend you for giving it a shot and not just bashing it from a limited hands-on at a store.

I disagree about being primarily suited for the very casual reader. Many NOOKcolor owners do not consider themselves "casual readers". There are also those who replaced their e-ink device with the NC. And there are some who own both but regularly reach for the NC.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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Great personal review. Hopefully it will aid others in their decision making. I commend you for giving it a shot and not just bashing it from a limited hands-on at a store.

I disagree about being primarily suited for the very casual reader. Many NOOKcolor owners do not consider themselves "casual readers". There are also those who replaced their e-ink device with the NC. And there are some who own both but regularly reach for the NC.
Thanks,

As a quick and funny comment, wife likes it ... but, she is what I call "casual reader". And I don't want to be rude or offend anyone with the word, but when I use that term I mean a person who read in very short sessions or mainly magazines. If I keep it, I keep it for her (would be a nice xmas gift, lol), but not all people have the resources to swap and buy 2 or 3 readers.

I did like the concept. I would re-consider if someone comes with an eink color device instead or next year after several firmware upgrades. I think (not sure) that the landscape mode is easy to fix via firmware, same for the picture zoom inside ePub documents.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:32 PM   #4
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Thanks,
...
I did like the concept. I would re-consider if someone comes with an eink color device instead or next year after several firmware upgrades. I think (not sure) that the landscape mode is easy to fix via firmware, same for the picture zoom inside ePub documents.
The fact that you like the concept is great. I hear you on the eink color thing. I totally understand about the needed firmware updates.
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Old 12-16-2010, 02:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jocampo View Post
I had the chance to play a bit with the Nook Color at work (some coworkers who bought one), and my initial feeling and feedback was not so positive. I immediatly compare the experience with my Kindle 3 and Kindle DXG, of course, because that's what I own and my opinion at that time was that NC was not so good in many aspects.

Days later I made some comments here and Nook fans hit back, with tons of passion! :-) ... understandable ... but I kept my feedback and support with technical facts.

Having said that and because I want to give the benefit of the doubt, I just bought a Nook Color (with the main idea of returning the product back soon) and I've been using it, heavily, since yesterday.

The nice:

Cool Browser and Internet feature.
Of course, the use of internet and a browser is a selling point. No way you can compare to a Kindle and even with the Nook Color virtual keyboard, browsing internet was easier than using my Android Cellphone and by far, better than Kindle 3 or Kindle DXG. Books with hyperlinks you just touch the screen and the the corresponding site will open; of course, assuming you are connected to wifi/internet

Library and Book organization
Really nice. Of course, you can see your book covers and organize or list by title or most recent addition. You scroll down and look for your books using your fingers, so it is faster and cool, much better than using a button of course. Something that I did not like to much is that after connecting to B&N, it put all my books on the Home Page, I don't know why. I don't want my stuff just on the Home Page and if this is the default, it is kind of annoying because later you need to cleaning up. But honestly, not sure if there is a way to alter or change that, it could be just a one time thing.

Good PDF experience
Reading PDF documents and books is good. You can expand, shrink and move around with your fingers, of course, Nook Color is kind of a hybrid tablet, so when moving around PDF documents or zooming is way faster and better than using a 5 way or regular button than Kindle. Turning pages is also way much faster and again, just sliding your finger on the screen. It was odd though, that for changing PDF pages you can only do that sliding "up" or "down" not "left" or "right", like in a book.

The color experience
Of course, is a Nook Color, duh! :-) ... so if you read magazines you will notice the difference.


Cons


-No autorotate
I was shocked! I can't use landscape mode on ePub books, only PDF. Big disadvantge, because on technical books or poetry, the format got messed up. I don't want to speculate with future firmwares and upgrades, I am saying what we have now, "as is", so this was a " no " no to me. I can rotate on both Kindles and is really useful for my Oracle and SQL books, which are plently of tables and long queries.

Heavy
-Man, I read last night for about 6 hrs straight and I had to use my knee or stomach as support. If you have a Kindle 3, you know what I am talking about. Even if you compare with Nook 1.5, this is way too heavy for long reading sessions. My Kindle DX is heavier and bigger too but feels different. From a technical stand point I think is something related with the Nook Color weight distribution and width; it keep pushing your wrist and hands down.

-Glare/Eye strain
I really want to see this myself and after long hours of reading, and I was right. The glare is minimum but still you get some eye strain during long reading sessions. I guess this is not a problem for a casual reader, but becuase you can do the same with Kindle (long or short reading sessions) I would not choose this one as my device. I reduced the brightness to slowest possible value and light conditions were optimal, but for indoor reading,my Kindle 3 is much better.

-No zoom on book's pictures
Another big surprise! I was reading "The Art of Intrusion", which does not have bunch of pictures, but at page 113 there was an image that I tried to click, expand or do something with it, because was kind of small: no luck! For a Hybrid tablet like this, I was expecting more! So, if your book shows any small image or picture that you would like to enlarge, you are out of luck.

Battery life:
I charged it yesterday morning, it took about 1 hour and a half, that was quick (I am assuming there was initial charge there) Use it for 1 hour during lunch time including configuring wifi, etc. Then I came back to work. At 5pm, I started using it again and since then, for about 6 hrs with wifi on all the time and minimum brightness. Todday is about 16% and I've being using it for about 2 more hours maybe? So it will give you about 8 hrs at heavy and continue usage. Good for a hybrid table, not for an ereader. I can't imagine this one on my travels and keep charging all the time. Not to mention that, as per manual, you can't use the USB cable and computer to charge, just the wall adapter which by the way, it is propietary.

I would like to mention also that while browsing internet and using Hotmail, it froze two times. Totally unresponsive (just the browser) I had to power off and on. And there is no flash support.

I still believe this is a nice e-reader (I am saying e-reader because that's how B&N is pushing or selling the product) but there are more cons than Pros on this new gadget. At this moment Kindle is the closest and better paper reading experience that you can get for your money.

For a very casual or magazine reader NC is an alternative, but for a better ereading experience I think that Kindle, Nook 1.5 or Sony provide an effective and simpler way to read; not too fancy and graphical, but let you read in a comfortable and easy way.


why does this not shock me

from what I've hear autorotate/landscape for ebooks that aren't Children Nookbooks,(since that already has landscape mode) should be available on the first update. As well as pinch to zoom for web browsing, not sure about ebooks though. And yes you are right these can all be firmware upgradable.

heavy again I find that odd, you did mention the kindle DX, but the kindle DX is actually heavier (me guessing you "wanted" the kindle DX to feel lighter) which of course is impossible by simple science.

But I never understood the whole weight issue anyway, even with the iPad, did eReaders all of sudden make us wimps?

The nook color weighs about the same as a 200 page hard cover the iPad about a standard 450 page. So up until a couple of years ago that was all just Jim Dandy, now anything over 8oz and everyone is whining like wimps

IDK I guess the whole weight thing fall into the 'whatever' catagory for me.

I actually enjoy it's weight. the Kindle 3 feels too airy, almost too light if that makes sense. almost cheap like. That was one thing I did not like about my iPod nano 5g too light and airy (great design on the iPod though), my sansa's have a nice weight to it. Love em

but to each his own. It sounds like you gave it an honest try but just not for you. Some LCD is a bother to others it's not.

I on the other hand love it and was surprised almost shocked by how I took to reading novels on this lcd screen. With some tweaking, it took me maybe a day to adjust and now I actually love reading on it. But eink will have it's place come spring time when I head to my deck for my morning reading with my coffee and afternoon scotch

and we told you the battery life not being as bad as you said it was but you didn't believe us

Last edited by boswd; 12-16-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:01 PM   #6
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I really like the Nook Color and I almost bought one. But then I thought to myself that I'd be better off spending the money on an android 2.3 tablet of similar quality later this year.

B&N are making a huge mistake by not expanding the app store and pushing the NC into becoming more of an all purpose tablet. I know you can easily gain root access and all that but c'mon. Can't they see that they're sitting on a gold mine for the next quarter or so?
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #7
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...Not to mention that, as per manual, you can't use the USB cable and computer to charge, just the wall adapter which by the way, it is propietary.
You can use a USB cable to charge (it won't be as fast as the AC adapter). I do this sometimes when I'm accessing the file directories. You just have to turn the screen off.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:12 PM   #8
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I really like the Nook Color and I almost bought one. But then I thought to myself that I'd be better off spending the money on an android 2.3 tablet of similar quality later this year.

B&N are making a huge mistake by not expanding the app store and pushing the NC into becoming more of an all purpose tablet. I know you can easily gain root access and all that but c'mon. Can't they see that they're sitting on a gold mine for the next quarter or so?
True!

I can easily hack the NC, I can even do tethering (browsing internet with my cellphone, in case there is no wifi ) and a lot of more stuff but the minute you start doing that, you are taking the risk of avoiding your warranty or being slave or next hacks in order to avoid any issue with future firmware upgrades. It is not like laptops or computers; the minute I got one, I removed the crappy Windows version and install Linux, but if the hardware fails or something happens, I am not going to be penalized just because I installed Linux on it.

Who knows...maybe B&N will allow Kindle for Android as part of the NC app lists. With that addition, landscape mode, and ability to enlarge or zoom embedded book images, lot of people would start thinking about NC as 1st choice. But again, it depends of your reading preferences as well.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:14 PM   #9
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You can use a USB cable to charge (it won't be as fast as the AC adapter). I do this sometimes when I'm accessing the file directories. You just have to turn the screen off.
Correct, but you can with Kindle, I mean, charging while using it. Remember, NC uses LCD so is power hungry. If you don't turn the screen off or uses the wall charger, will take an eternity to get fully charge.

So, when battery is dead or need charge, you need to forget about using the device, at least for a while.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:19 PM   #10
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Correct, but you can with Kindle, I mean, charging while using it. Remember, NC uses LCD so is power hungry. If you don't turn the screen off or uses the wall charger, will take an eternity to get fully charge.

So, when battery is dead or need charge, you need to forget about using the device, at least for a while.
that's assuming you are nowhere near an outlet. Like your phone. laptop and any most other LCD based devices you can read while it's charging.

It's cord is actually pretty long. one of these weekends I want to find the specs on the charger part of the cord. It's not propriotory in the traditinal sense, like and Apple charger. It's, I do believe a less commonly used charger, I think my Droid X uses the same exact high powered charger.

If so monoprice.com should have some for dirt cheap at multiple lengths.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:25 PM   #11
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that's assuming you are nowhere near an outlet. Like your phone. laptop and any most other LCD based devices you can read while it's charging.

It's cord is actually pretty long. one of these weekends I want to find the specs on the charger part of the cord. It's not propriotory in the traditinal sense, like and Apple charger. It's, I do believe a less commonly used charger, I think my Droid X uses the same exact high powered charger.

If so monoprice.com should have some for dirt cheap at multiple lengths.
What if you don't have an outlet at all?

I don't want to start debating the battery advantages that Sony, Nook 1.5 or Kindle have over NC, you should know it. NC battery life is not the best. But honestly, I reviewed what the device can offer right now, "as is". I know you have one and you love it, but trust me, I have no interest on showing or saying something it's not true.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:57 PM   #12
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What if you don't have an outlet at all?

I don't want to start debating the battery advantages that Sony, Nook 1.5 or Kindle have over NC, you should know it. NC battery life is not the best. But honestly, I reviewed what the device can offer right now, "as is". I know you have one and you love it, but trust me, I have no interest on showing or saying something it's not true.
Well bascially you just have to get into a groove, a routine if you will, on battery management, the same way you do with your phone and laptop. Know you have to have a good charge and gauge your usage between charges. Eventually like your phone it becomes second nature.

No, I dont' want to debate battery life either, I mean it's no shock to me that eink is better. I knew this going in before I bought it, that it's an LCD it's going to have limited battery life, same as my phone and my laptop but that isnt going to prevent me from buying something. I will say this, it has better battery life than my Droid X but then again I push my Droid X pretty hard, but that is a nightly routine to charge.
World would be pretty bland if everything were in eink

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SCION View Post
Great personal review. Hopefully it will aid others in their decision making. I commend you for giving it a shot and not just bashing it from a limited hands-on at a store.
I've always felt that to really give something a shot it takes about a week of serious usage, anything shorter and old biases will still rule.

... which is to say, based on his previous posts, I'm not surprised with his verdict.

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Old 12-16-2010, 04:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by =X= View Post
I've always felt that to really give something a shot it takes about a week of serious usage, anything shorter and old biases will still rule.

... which is to say, based on his previous posts, I'm not surprised with his verdict.

=X=
I see your point. Though it can be said that he's now speaking from personal experience.
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Old 12-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #15
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B&N are making a huge mistake by not expanding the app store and pushing the NC into becoming more of an all purpose tablet. I know you can easily gain root access and all that but c'mon. Can't they see that they're sitting on a gold mine for the next quarter or so?
I don't think they're making a mistake, so much as they've gotten out what they could in time for the holiday buying season. An update to 2.2 is already slated for next month and the thing hasn't even been out a month. Cut 'em a little slack.

Besides, it doesn't appear to have hurt either their sales or the general tone of the reviews out there.
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