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Old 06-03-2011, 04:57 PM   #1
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Nook Simple Touch: First Impressions

I just received my Nook Simple Touch and I have been playing with it over an hour.

First off, I own a NC, so the only reason I bought the Simple Touch is because of the Pearl E-Ink display, so I can read books in direct sunlight or in very bright environments. Even with the brightness maxed out on my NC, it is not comfortable to read it under those conditions.

In General:

Touch screen responsiveness is awesome, no complaints here, really fast and accurate. Looking up words in the dictionary is a breeze.

No fingerprint smudges. The screen just does not attract finger oils, I guess, so no need to be concerned about that. Contrary to the NC where I have to wipe it down constantly to remove fingerprints, even with the screen protector on.

Light, feels great in your hands, the eink screen is great for reading in direct sunlight. Something about the screen, I was expecting it to be sharper. I don't own a Kindle, so I'm not sure how it compares to that, but from the hands-on reviews I had seen and from the B&N videos, it just seemed sharper than what it really is. Nonetheless, the screen is great and much better to read in direct sunlight and bright conditions than the NC and somehow the images seem sharper than plain text. Another thing I wan to point out is there is noticeable ghosting due to the screen refreshing only every 6 page turns instead of on every page turn. It is not a big deal, but I am sure some people will find it distracting and downright unacceptable to see ghosting from the text from the previous page while reading a new page.

No landscape mode for anything, I know a lot of people are not going to like that.

No web browser, no apps, no games, nothing but reading. Also shopping from the B&N store, of course!


Library:

I guess the main thing about the library is that B&N books and sideloaded files are all in ONE library so no more segregation between B&N books and sideloaded files. The only annoying thing that happened to me so far is that I sideloaded a PDF file just to test PDF files on the device (more on that later), deleted it, but I could still the icon for it on the device. I tried refreshing the library, but the only way I could get rid of the icon was by powering off and on. Maybe some glitch, I don't know.

PDF

I only tried one PDF that contained images, but the device only showed reflowed text, so needless to say, no panning nor zooming, because you are not looking at the normal PDF image, but only the text of the pdf.


Bottom line: This device is great for reading text-based books. There is really not much more that you can do with it (to my knowledge, so far). If you are interested in comic books, reading lots of pdf (actual pdf, not just the text), magazines (again with all images and not just the text), play games, etc, I recommend the NC, which I own and I am very happy with it, but if all you want is to read text-only books, then this is a great choice

I think I will keep it because of the touch eink screen which is really the only reason why I wanted it

Let me know if you have any specific questions
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:07 PM   #2
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What does it display in the bottom of the home screen if you don't have any NOOK Friends?
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:22 PM   #3
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What does it display in the bottom of the home screen if you don't have any NOOK Friends?

Right now it is displaying four title from the B&N Top 100 and it also has a link to see all B&N Top 100
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:23 PM   #4
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It displays "What to Read Next" and shows 4 books of the B&N Top 100. There is an arrow you can press to see all B&N Top 100.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by negris123 View Post

I only tried one PDF that contained images, but the device only showed reflowed text, so needless to say, no panning nor zooming, because you are not looking at the normal PDF image, but only the text of the pdf.
Do you mean that diagrams and line drawings do not display? On my old Classic Nook, I have several PDFs (for example for my MP3 player) which have diagrams, and they look fine. How do such things look on the new Nook?
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by negris123 View Post
Right now it is displaying four title from the B&N Top 100 and it also has a link to see all B&N Top 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by zwarbles View Post
It displays "What to Read Next" and shows 4 books of the B&N Top 100. There is an arrow you can press to see all B&N Top 100.
Thank you. That was my assumption. Nice.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:37 PM   #7
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Do you mean that diagrams and line drawings do not display? On my old Classic Nook, I have several PDFs (for example for my MP3 player) which have diagrams, and they look fine. How do such things look on the new Nook?
I just tried a PDF that had a table and it reflowed the text from the table. Then sideloaded a PDF file with chemical structures and it was a mess, it did not show the structures, but it was able to display other pages that contained tables with structures. However, it fit the page to the size of the screen, so everything was really small, unreadable. I don't have a lot of experience with PDF files on eink devices, but it seems that it depends on the specific file and there is no consistency as to whether it will work or not.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
PDF

I only tried one PDF that contained images, but the device only showed reflowed text, so needless to say, no panning nor zooming, because you are not looking at the normal PDF image, but only the text of the pdf.


Am I understanding correctly that NO images in PDF show in the stock reader?

I just... I... what?? Why did they even include a PDF reader, then?

I'm sorry. I know there are text PDFs out there. I didn't mean to suggest otherwise. Just... just... *bsod*
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:43 PM   #9
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Maybe their strategy is to get people to buy the Touch and the Color. The prices are reasonable enough to do so. From the B&N forums, it appears many Color owners will be getting the Touch. Maybe Touch owners will yearn for the "missing" features eventually and purchase (or request as a gift) the Color.

People who replaced the stock ROM on the Color and enjoy the NOOK Android app are also potential buyers of the Touch. Not bad.

Last edited by SCION; 06-03-2011 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:45 PM   #10
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I went to B&N today to check out the new Nook. I was also pretty impressed with it, but I started having a problem after about 10 minutes that the salespeople couldn't figure out. Yes I stood there and read Dracula!

As I was reading the book, I could see the text from the previous page as gray text. Sometimes the library stayed in the background too. It was really annoying. It seemed after 6-8 screen changes, the gray text went away, but came back.

Have you seen anything like this? Or is there some setting that need changed?

I really liked the Nook despite this problem. The navigation and reading was great. It felt very comfortable in my hands too.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCION View Post
Maybe their strategy is to get people to buy the Touch and the Color. The prices are reasonable enough to do so. From the B&N forums, it appears many Color owners will be getting the Touch. Maybe Touch owners will yearn for the "missing" features eventually and purchase (or request as a gift) the Color.
Well, THIS strategy will get me to buy the Color and SOMETHING NOT B&N.

It's not that hard to render PDF images. Taking that functionality out hurts my library badly. And I'm terribly unhappy that this "it only shows text" issue isn't clarified on their webpage.

THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW, OP.

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People who replaced the stock ROM on the Color and enjoy the NOOK Android app are also potential buyers of the Touch. Not bad.
Considering that the biggest complaints about the stock NC readers are the lackluster PDF support.....

Last edited by anamardoll; 06-03-2011 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #12
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I went to B&N today to check out the new Nook. I was also pretty impressed with it, but I started having a problem after about 10 minutes that the salespeople couldn't figure out. Yes I stood there and read Dracula!

As I was reading the book, I could see the text from the previous page as gray text. Sometimes the library stayed in the background too. It was really annoying. It seemed after 6-8 screen changes, the gray text went away, but came back.

Have you seen anything like this? Or is there some setting that need changed?

I really liked the Nook despite this problem. The navigation and reading was great. It felt very comfortable in my hands too.
I mentioned the ghosting in my initial post. As far as I know, the frequency of refreshes (meaning refreshing every 6 page turns, not on every page turn) is not optional, so there is no setting that can change that. Maybe there should had been, because I can see this as annoying to a lot of people.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:51 PM   #13
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As I was reading the book, I could see the text from the previous page as gray text. Sometimes the library stayed in the background too. It was really annoying. It seemed after 6-8 screen changes, the gray text went away, but came back.
Interesting. That's two users noticing ghosting.

Can that be updated in the firmware? I don't know enough about eReader tech.

I don't like ghosting myself. You get a touch of that with the PocketBook menu systems (not the reading, though) and I find it distracting.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #14
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Since my question thread about the stock firmware got no responses, I'll post them here:
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Is there is any detailed info on the stock software? I've scoured the user guide and the web but no info on the following (that were huge problems on the classic nook for me):

1) How are non-B&N purchased books ("sideloaded files" as the weird terminology goes) hobbled compared to books bought directly from B&N? If there is no discernible difference in how they are handled and how they appear in lists, how they can be searched for, etc. I'm sold right away . One thing I know from reading the manual is that they all appear in the same main Library (and can be filtered for - they are not recognized as "books" even if they are epub. Only B&N purchased books are "books" . The rest are either magazines or "files".

2) Can highlights and notes be exported and accessed on a PC? Or at least backed up?

3) Ditto shelves (just another name for tags I guess) - can they be backed up or are they hidden away in some system partition?

(2) and (3) were nearly useless in nook classic because they were volatile and inaccessible to the user. A hard reset anytime in the life of the device meant that you lost them.

4) Vanity item - there were tons of suggestions on the B&N site for a screensaver option with the currently "now reading" book's cover showing. Any sightings of something like this?

As I said however, if (1) has been corrected, I'm ready to buy .
I think you already said that My docs and My B&N docs are no longer segregated. Is there any difference in functionality between the two types of books though? Say, a sideloaded epub versus an epub purchased directly from the device from B&N?

Thanks in advance

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Well, THIS strategy will get me to buy the Color and SOMETHING NOT B&N.

It's not that hard to render PDF images. Taking that functionality out hurts my library badly. And I'm terribly unhappy that this "it only shows text" issue isn't clarified on their webpage.

THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW, OP.
Ditto . That's a hell of a thing to not make clear in the feature list. A pdf reader that can't render embedded images at all is NOT a pdf reader. Does it make sense that the more powerful the hardware, the less powerful and feature-rich the software?

Last edited by thrawn_aj; 06-03-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by anamardoll View Post
Well, THIS strategy will get me to buy the Color and SOMETHING NOT B&N.

It's not that hard to render PDF images. Taking that functionality out hurts my library badly. And I'm terribly unhappy that this "it only shows text" issue isn't clarified on their webpage.

THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW, OP.



Considering that the biggest complaints about the stock NC readers are the lackluster PDF support.....
I don't want to misinform with my review, it does show images, it just reflows everything, so it's not like reading a pdf on a computer or the NC, where you see the entire page of the pdf and you can zoom in and pan, etc. In the case of the Touch, you don't get that. Not that I expected the Touch to handle pdfs like a computer or even the NC, but I know most people complain about that, so that is why I pointed that out
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