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Old 01-08-2010, 04:20 AM   #1
LessPaul
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Got my Nook this week, and I love it.

Just a few comments, starting with the bad, then moving on to the good.

PROBLEMS
My Nook arrived with Airplane Mode enabled which I can imagine would cause a LOT of folks grief because when you turn on a new Nook it wants you to register, and it cannot go online in Airplane Mode. All I got was a "unable to connect, try later message" which of course was not the correct answer. The correct answer was to disable Airplane mode.

My Nook kept telling me my B&N account name was invalid. I did a "reset to factory values" and then re-entered. All was well.

The "dark-screen finger-swipe page-turn gesture". Oh my did I have trouble mastering it. But once I did, it is now my preferred method of page turning. Tip: VERY LIGHT & QUICK. To turn to the next page, sweep right to left. This was at first counter-intuitive to me. Think of the direction you would move your hand to turn a physical page.

Some B&N ebooks get stuck endlessly "Formatting". The two I had trouble with were both prc format. I did not encounter it with epubs. B&N is aware of this and promises a firmware fix later this month. For now the work-around is to move the problematic book from the "My B&N Downloads" folder to the "my documents" folder. The only disadvantage is that like all books in the "my documents" folder, their is no cover-flow display.

GRIPES:
As is well-documented here on Mobileread, the Nook does not support folders in the on-screen navigation. Though you may organize your books into folders within the Nook's file system, they are displayed in a single, long list on the screen.

Wishlist Item 1: Add Folders support to book browsing.

For some reason I'm not able to decipher, books downloaded from B&N are segregated from books I copy (or "sideload" in Nook terminology) onto the Nook. This means I have two lists of books. The problem is that only B&N books can be displayed with the cool "cover flow" feature.

Wishlist Item 2: Merge B&N and user content and display covers for both.

Oh, this one is a bear. The virtual Keyboard has the CANCEL button nestled amid the buttons for capital letters and the button for numbers. More than once I accidentally exited when I was trying to type something.

Wishlist Item 3: Move the virtual CANCEL button away from the rest of the keys, or at least give me an "are you sure" prompt.

MINI-GRIPE
While there are separate folders on the Nook memory card for music and audiobooks, they are merged into a single list in the audio player, with an auto-created playlist containing both. Again the flat, non-foldered display. Also, user playlists are ignored and not displayed.

Wishlist Item 4: Add folders to the audio player. Support user playlists. Separate audiobooks from music. Add some means of bookmarking an audiobook. (These are really of low importance to me as I see the audio features as nice, but not necessary.)

THE COOL STUFF
My Nook arrived with version 1.1.1 firmware. With the exception of the prc book issue listed above, after initial configuration I have had ZERO problems with my Nook. I am not having the much reported "doesn't remember my place" problem, and all works as advertised.

The Nook is not iPod-easy to learn, but once learned, it is iPod-easy to use. Some features are not immediately intuitive, and a reading of the manual -- or at least the quick start guide -- is mandatory to make the most of the device. This is part of the reason my earlier in-store demo was slightly disappointing. Simply put, I was using it wrong.

The firmware update has addressed the page turn speed, and after 3 days I've not had anything remotely resembling a crash or lockup. The endless "formatting" books could be exited.

I really like the way the Nook displays PDF files. I found that PDF books were readable, something I had not expected. The reflow works very nice on most text, though sometimes graphics are not as well managed. I am happy with the compromise as I find that for me it is the better answer.

Other niceties are the user wallpaper, and user screensaver. At first I thought they were just dumb features, but giving my nook a bit of personalization make it really feel like "My Nook".

What else can I say? Other than the short list above, the Nook works exactly as advertised. I've had no problems using it. I've put it through it's paces with all three supported ebook formats (ereader, epub, pdf). I've played music and audiobooks, customized the display features, downloaded purchased books from B&N, and loaded books of my own. I've also configured the WiFi for my home network. And sometimes, when I've nothing better to do, I've actually used the Nook to read books.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
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Nice report on your Nook. Thank you.
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