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Old 03-02-2010, 10:07 AM   #1
mcrow
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Posts: 145
Karma: 1486256
Join Date: Mar 2010
Device: Kindle 4/Kindle Fire HD/Kindle Fire HDX 7"
My Nook Review

Ok, so I got mine last night and fiddled with it for about 4 hours before going to sleep.

#1- Customer service/buying experience:
I have been into my local B&N a few times since they got the Nook in stock and chatted with two of the employees that I'm most familiar with about the Nook. I have been a customer at this B&N for probably 10 years. Both employees were excited to talk about the Nook and though I didn't ask, I suspect they both own one as well. They were more than happy to answer questions:

A- Battery life: They were upfront about the short life with me saying that the 10 days thing is pretty much impossible and they've sent their input back to HQ about that. However, they did think that the problem was overblown a bit and that the battery will work fine for most people assuming you turn "airplane mode" on when you don't need the 3G connection. They said it's a lot like a cellphone, so if you are someplace that gets a spotty cellphone signal it will continually look for a connection and it will rundown your battery faster. They figured that you should get 5-7 days worth of power firguring a couple hours of reading per day and AP mode being on. This sounds a lot more realistic to me, though I'm not sure if it'll reach that either.

B- Software glitches: Startup time. I had read reports of almost 2 minutes of start up time so I asked about it. It seems that that issue has been mostly solved with the 1.2 update. After testing mine, it starts up in about 45 seconds or so, which perfectly fine IMO.

C- More in store: I heard reports that there is really not much good about the "more in store" stuff that they were supposed to have. I asked about that and they said that It's been a little slower getting going than expected but expect to see new stuff showing up on a regular basis. I have not had a chance to use this feature ye but will revise my review when I do.


2- Looks/Feel

While the Nook is my firest E-Reader, I have researched and had the opportunity to fiddle with a Kindle 2. The Nook is heads and shoulders above the Kindle 2 in the looks and feel department. The Kindle can't compete with the stylish design and the touch screen. Maybe I'm a bit of a geek but the Nook is the coolest looking thing since the tricorder.

3-Function/Features

The display seems to be about the standard size for an E-Reader and is comparible to the size of mass market paperback. The E-Ink Display (also found on the Kindle) is nice and easy on the eyes, in fact easier than a print book because you can customize the size of the font. I could really see this being handy for avid readers with poor eyes.

I have found that I can read faster and longer on this screen than a printed book. Eventhough my eyes are plenty good for reading regular sized print, the large print helps me read longer.

The touch screen is very nice for the most part. Color book covers are handy for me since I often remember a book cover better than the name of the author or book. Not to mention that I'm one of those book monkeys that sees a cover and thinks "ooo....shiny". What can I say? I see a nice cover I'm much more likely to check it out. I'm sure this was the main motivation behind this feature from B&N's point of view. The only gripe I have about the touch screen is scrolling down is sort of tricky but I think I'm starting to get the hang of it.

The media player works just like any other media player so, there's really nothing to point out here. If you like to listen to music, you can do it just fine on the Nook.

The overall speed of the system isn't as fast as I would like: Page turns are not slow but not quick, moving from menu to menu isn't fast but again not slow, and navigating the store isn't blazing either. However, I think it's on par with the Kindle 2 so, I can't really knock it too much.

The connectivity seems very good with this unit. Of course you get pretty good coverage with the AT&T's 3G network but it's nice to have the Wi-Fi option as well since spend time at the cabin where we don't have 3G access but we do have internet and a wireless network setup. What could be better than sitting on my back deck at the cabin, overlooking the lake, buying a new book right there on the spot and reading in the sun?

The ability to expand the memory is a nice feature not availible on the Kindle 2. B&N says that it accepts up to 2 gig micro SD cards, though I've heard of people that are using up to 16 gig cards. Considering with a 16 gig card you could be carrying around a nice sized library of around 18,000 books, that's pretty impressive. I can't see anyone using all that space on just books, but just shows you that this thing can hold a lot of stuff. Installation of the micro SD card is pretty simple: you just pop the cover off and flip the clip open, place the card in and close it back up. Granted it took me a few times to get it seated right in the card holder, but no more than a few minutes. Be sure to do it with the power off, or the Nook may not register the new card.

The B&N store for the Nook is good, but not great. Maybe it's just me but I have a hard time finding the free books when buying through the Nook. Not only that but there are really only 200-300 books in the free section of the website. Perhaps that "500,000" free books they are advertising is counting all the books youre are supposed to be able to read for free while in the store?

As for the pricing of books: I like the pricing for the most part. I really pays to buy the books that are only availible on hardcover since you save about $10 on those over the marked price. Sometimes you can have them cheaper. Books that are currently in mass market format are not as good a of a deal as you are generally only saving .50-$2 on a book, though some select titles are as cheap as $1. So, if you shop around and hunt you can really save a lot of money. There's also a "books under $5" section that at my last check had 62,000 books in it, many are $2 or more off of the cover price. Since I'm a 6-10 book per month reader and I read a lot of new release HC editions, the Nook could pay for itself in less than a year.

Another nice feature that the Nook has that the Kindle 2 does not is the that is supports several file types. To me, this is important. I like the fact that the Nook will be of use even if B&N takes a dive or quits selling e-books or jacks prices up too much. If such a thing would happen I could take my Nook elsewhere to buy books.


Overall:

I think the Nook has worked through many of the glitches it had and continues to improve on the software. Being as new as it is in comparison to the Kindle platform, it's doing quite well. I remmeber hearing a lot of similar complaints about he Kindle when it first came out, so I think we just need to give some time. However, I think B&N is closing in on having all the major issues worked out, though the batter life thing hasn't really been addressed toatlly yet.

I feel that in spending $260 on the Nook I got a better E-Reader than if I had chosen to buy the Kindle 2 at the same price. More features, nicer looking, more customizable and just more advanced overall.
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