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Old 06-02-2011, 07:42 PM   #1
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Nook Touch impressions - Quick review using "on display" device

OK,

Let's set some expectations, so I won't have to reply back or justify my below comments

-I just spent 20 min using it (wanted more, but there was an old lady already looking funny, lol ... they had just two on display)
-I did not test a PDF file, not loaded on the demo Nook
-Did not play around with Wifi settings (but have some interesting comments)

Ergonomics
I know this is a subjective matter (depends of hands size, way to hold, etc) but this new Nook feels awesome. I have small hands, so keep that in mind, but it is very easy to hold with one or two hands. I also like the feeling; the back it is really smooth and a true pleasure to hold, better than my Kindle 3.

Page turn and speed

The Nook Touch it's really fast! Faster than Kindle turning pages.You can also navigate via touchscreen and use the slider to move back and forth; both ways to turn pages, via screen or buttons were responsive and fast.

The sensors are really good and fast when touching. For being eink I am really impressed. What I noticed tough, which I am not so sure if that's good or bad, it's that looks weird after changing 6 or so pages fast. A slow refresh stops the page turning for a second or so and looks weird after being turning pages so fast. I do not know how they implemented that but maybe they are buffering next 5 pages or so on RAM to make it look faster, I don't know.

Weight

Feels really nice! I love my Kindle 3 for being light but this is way much better than Nook classic. I immediately noticed the difference after sold Nook classic and moved to Kindle, but this device feels really nice on my hands. I you own a Kindle 3, won't be a huge difference, but if you own a Nook classic you will notice it, it is really light and comfortable to hold, even with one hand.

Additional features

No idea how landscape looks on PDFs and of course, did not test it (no PDF was pre-loaded). I asked a B&N representative and said there is no landscape mode at all, not even for PDF files, but don't take my word on it, I just don't know.

The highlighting feature is responsive and fast. To my surprise as accurate as my iPad 2, but I am not so sure better than my Kindle 3 and using a button. I did not test with my Kindle 3 there, I did not want to look weird or freak

I also did not find the touchscreen/dictionary feature extremely fast; it is a two way process: touch the word, then touch the "lookup" option, lower right, so not sure how that can be faster than Kindle 3. On Kindle you get the meaning immediately when you move or where you point the cursor. You get additional information pressing another button. I guess for some people is more convenient via touchscreen.

A wifi comment

Something freak me out! The B&N wifi signal went up and down several times. No way to confirm if that affected the connectivity, because when you read you're reading from disk, but that was strange. I was not moving at all and I usually have strong signal there with my Kindle 3. It could be an access point issue, but I can't confirm.

Summary

I am impressed. It was a huge change and for good. No ugly LCD screen, really light, no physical buttons prone to cracks (the new buttons are rubberized, not exposed plastic) it just feels great!

Should you get one? If you read pure text books (novels, fiction ) and this is your 1st eink device, it could be an awesome choice.

But .... If you read computer books or PDFs or you just have a Kindle or Sony, the absence of landscape mode will hurt you. B&N does not sell as much computer books as Amazon (talking by experience) so if you read those type of books, think twice or you won't get what you need from B&N.

If the B&N guy was right about the landscape mode, it's a real shame. But I did not test or use a PDF file, so can't really comment about it. I'm dying for know how it looks like or how the Nook renders those kind of books.

For those USA customers looking for a Sony device, I strongly recommend to visit a B&N store instead and check this one. I see no reason why spend +200 on a new Sony, honestly ...

I really like it. I would not change my Kindle 3 because I really need and use Amazon's store, but I will invite my wife this weekend for a coffee there, so she can play a bit too. She was looking for her 1st eink reader.

If Amazon implements something similar I will probably think about it. I guess I can wait, I am satisfied with my Kindle at this moment.

Last edited by jocampo; 06-02-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:00 PM   #2
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It seems like a really nice piece of hardware.

I'm concerned too about this story of buffer and transition but it won't be that bad I hope.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:20 PM   #3
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I just went & saw one tonight & I'm impressed too. Didn't see PDF either. I had to show the person at the display how to do some of it but I knew only because I have a Sony 350 & it is very similar.

It does have highlighting, a dictionary (but only 1 that I could see) & very easy page turns either with the buttons, swipe or tap. It also has shelves.

I liked the way it looked a whole lot better than the pictures show & it feels good in my hands.

It doesn't have the dictionary choices that the Sony has & you can't take notes. But that is not an issue for many readers. I forgot to check for bookmarking though. Can't imagine it wouldn't have it though.

Where it is better than the Sony is in the contrast. The background is not as grey as the Sony pearl screen. I took out my Sony to compare. It also has more font choices & the font sizes are better.

All in all I'm tempted & I would probably buy it if I wanted a 6 inch screen & couldn't get one from Sony.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
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...

Where it is better than the Sony is in the contrast. The background is not as grey as the Sony pearl screen. I took out my Sony to compare. It also has more font choices & the font sizes are better...
If that's the case, then I know I'll like it. Several times I was tempted to buy a Sony when I played with one. Just couldn't justify the price.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:42 PM   #5
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I'm concerned too about this story of buffer and transition but it won't be that bad I hope.
It's not bad, it's weird. I am not used to see that on my Kindle so it's different. And I believe you can notice it only when turning pages really fast. Not so noticeable when turning pages at slow pace.

Last edited by jocampo; 06-02-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:53 PM   #6
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Thanks for your input.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:17 PM   #7
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As for the English only dictionary, Nooks are only intended for the USA market whereas Sony readers are sold worldwide. That won't console USA customers who are multilingual of course, but just saying.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:40 PM   #8
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OK,

What I noticed tough, which I am not so sure if that's good or bad, it's that looks weird after changing 6 or so pages fast. A slow refresh stops the page turning for a second or so and looks weird after being turning pages so fast. I do not know how they implemented that but maybe they are buffering next 5 pages or so on RAM to make it look faster, I don't know.
I've seen a tech analysis that indicates the page is only being reversed/refreshed every 5 or 6 screens, as opposed to every time the screen changes as on the Kindle. I'm curious to see how this works out, as I'm very interested in buying one of these.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:47 PM   #9
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As for the English only dictionary, Nooks are only intended for the USA market whereas Sony readers are sold worldwide. That won't console USA customers who are multilingual of course, but just saying.
Good point.
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:51 PM   #10
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I've seen a tech analysis that indicates the page is only being reversed/refreshed every 5 or 6 screens, as opposed to every time the screen changes as on the Kindle. I'm curious to see how this works out, as I'm very interested in buying one of these.
At normal reading pace, looks good. I must admit that was clever, a nice implementation. But like I mentioned before, it does not look bad but different if you have a Kindle or Sony already.
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Old 06-03-2011, 04:57 AM   #11
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@jocampo if you was to compared the K3 to the Nook Touch screen. How's the quality? I know they are both Pearl but I read a review on PC World that has me curious. I own a K3 but have been waiting patiently for a epub reader with Pearl screen and touch. The main thing that matters to me is dark, crisp text like I have on my K3.
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Old 06-03-2011, 07:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for the reviews.

How does tapping for page turns work. I read that tapping in the margins pages forward and back? How big is the margin? Does it detect device rotation? Are there configuration options for tapping and page turns, for example:

1) tapping anywhere on screen advances page
2) tapping on left half of screen page forwards, right half page backs
...

Where do the page numbers for EPubs show on the screen?

Thanks
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:46 AM   #13
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@blossom
The Nook Touch feels solid to me, better than classic one and I had one, was my 1st eink reader. Of course, I can't tell how it will react to time and use, but there are no plastic and exposed buttons so looks like won't crack easily; we call that in engineering, fatigue (breaks because repetitive moves) The quality of the screen is as good as my Kindle 3.

@JohnF
You turn pages swiping, tapping and pressing the physical buttons. The touchscreen is really sensitive to be eink. I also checked on "settings" and you can change the physical buttons configuration: the two top for page forward or page backward, then the bottom will also change to backard or forward, respective. I did not see or remember settings for tapping or swapping. The page numbers are on middle page, bottom.

A setting that I forgot to mention and was nice is password protection, to avoid someone else buying without authorization.
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #15
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Anyone know how links work? I read Discworld ebooks, which have a lot of end notes. On my Sony 505, I hit enter on the end note link (which brings me to the end note), and then press "back" to return from the end note. How would this work with the Nook Touch?
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