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Old 02-15-2010, 05:31 PM   #1
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new nook review

Clearly I'm not the first to review the nook, but now that it's widely available and a much better product thanks to the recent 1.2 firmware update, I felt it was time to do a full review. In a way, I look at mid-Feb. as the nook's "real" release date since you can actually buy the darned thing and get a polished product.

I've reviewed many of the ebook readers on the US market and own several myself. Though we review all sorts of mobile technology on MobileTechReview, I confess that ebook readers are my closet passion. So how could I resist the nook?

Here's my very in-depth review of the nook. It includes a video review and comparisons with the Sony Daily Edition PRS-900 and the Kindle DX/Kindle 2.

http://www.mobiletechreview.com/gadgets/nook.htm
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:25 PM   #2
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Nice review. Confirms that the nook is not for me.
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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Just curious, why isn't the nook for you, rhadin? I read the forums here all the time and it helps me write better reviews when I understand what folks want in a reader. Granted there are all sorts of things all sorts of ppl want, but there are generally common themes.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by MobileTechReview View Post
Just curious, why isn't the nook for you, rhadin? I read the forums here all the time and it helps me write better reviews when I understand what folks want in a reader. Granted there are all sorts of things all sorts of ppl want, but there are generally common themes.
Though this question isn't to me, I thought I would weigh in on it.

When I first considered getting an ebook reader, I drew up a list of requirements that looked something like this:
  • Larger than 6" screen because I work with a lot of letter sized PDFs and diagrams
  • Touch scree because I would like to take notes on my PDFs and not have to print them out.
  • WiFi and 3G because I spend a lot of time on planes and at airports. Would like to buy books intantaneously.
  • RSS capabilities because there is a lot of material available for my industry on the Web and since I am mobile, the content should be as well.
  • The ability to read documents in many open formats because I don't believe in my content and/or data being tied to any one hardware or software platform.

I was excited about the Sony Daily Edition since it seemed to meet all my requirements. I wanted it to help me out in my work as well as my leisure time. A couple of weeks ago, I bought one.

It met my expectations except for the contrast which was disappointing. I had to use a book light to read where I usually read paper books with ease.

So I returned to researching and decided I could live without the touchscreen if I only thought of my next device as a leisure item. After reading about the new firmware update here, I bought a nook. I will unwrap it when I get home Thursday but I expect it to meet all my requirements except the touchscreen.

I am an IT architect and tend to ask myself how something could be improved. In the case of the nook, I think it has a world of possibilities if B&N plays it smart. Here are a couple of suggestions (if the management of that company reads this forum):
  • Consider architecting the software to allow the free use of plug-ins. This is an inexpensive way to extend the value of the device to its users without having to manage software support and delivery. It may also allow the company to shift resources to providing an app store to further enhance the value.

    In other words, align the rules around the device with the behavior of the people using it. If people are hacking the device, don't void the warranties, embrace the hacks through a framework allowing plug-ins. The hacks indicate needs that are not being fulfilled.
  • The borrowing feature is a great idea and probably quells publisher fears of piracy. Consider removing the time limit on the lending as well as the one-time lending limit. We don't do that with physical books; why do it with digital? This is a measure that would build community around the device.
  • Think about readers and what they do before, during and after reading a book. There is room for revenue generation there and it doesn't involve advertising.

I could go on but, well, I am a consultant and can't afford to give my wares away for free.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #5
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Minor grammar oops in article, and sorry, but I saw no way to tell you short of registering for the forum... "Only the Kindle family have that"

That out of the way, I have to applaud the most even-handed review I've yet read. Of course as you point out, those who reviewed earlier firmware were almost reviewing a different product. I do expect some gnashing of teeth regarding your statement that content is equal between B&N and Amazon. Not quite yet IMHO, if you refer to commercial content. However if you add all the free epubs out there that are read natively by the Nook, the perspective changes.

Last edited by LessPaul; 02-16-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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Thanks for catching that LessPaul, I sometimes do that British collective noun thing without realizing it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:58 AM   #7
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This article is making me lean a little more towards the nook.One major point being that B&N already has Mac support.Now with their nook being a little more user friendly I have almost made up my mind but still think I might wait a little longer as I can no longer afford to indulge myself like I used to before I retired.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:24 AM   #8
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Kanlee, one nice thing about the nook is you can try one out for an extended period in the store (if there's a store nearby Small Town, Missouri).
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
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Be wary of touchscreens. Make sure you can live with the glare and contrast before you purchase one. Also, the Sony touchscreen ereaders have issues with dust collecting under the touchscreen. I'm not sure of the Daily Edition, but I know firsthand the 700 has the issue and I've read the 600 is no different.
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Old 02-17-2010, 12:10 AM   #10
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I've had the PRS-600 since it first came out (one of the first to ship) and I don't have any dust under the screen. But it spends most of its time at home rather than in backpack or bag.

Likewise my Daily Edition has no dust, but it's only been on this planet 2.5 months.

But glare is worse than non-touch screen readers and contrast is poorer. Not terrible, just depends one your priorities. It was fine in the first month, but the longer I've owned them, the more it's bothered me. I do a lot of long form reading, for what that's worth.

Last edited by MobileTechReview; 02-17-2010 at 12:14 AM.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:34 PM   #11
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Good review, read it last night online. I prefer the Nook over the Kindle and Sony for a variety of reasons. The touchscreen has no real issues with glare, it's only on the controls and has nothing to do with the eInk. That's the nice thing about the Nook, you can physically play with it before buying. I had to play with my friend's Kindle to get a feel for the device.

Last edited by FireRunner; 02-17-2010 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:12 PM   #12
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Kanlee, one nice thing about the nook is you can try one out for an extended period in the store (if there's a store nearby Small Town, Missouri).
I did try one in Springfield,Mo and I liked the looks of it but using it seemed awkward to me,maybe just have to get used to touch screen?Also seemed kind of slow compared to my wife's K2.The K2 seemed easier to use but I do not really like the looks of it compared to the Nook.I did not check to see if the Nook at the store had the present update.
P.S.
Good Review.
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Old 02-17-2010, 04:23 PM   #13
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I've had the PRS-600 since it first came out (one of the first to ship) and I don't have any dust under the screen. But it spends most of its time at home rather than in backpack or bag.

Likewise my Daily Edition has no dust, but it's only been on this planet 2.5 months.

But glare is worse than non-touch screen readers and contrast is poorer. Not terrible, just depends one your priorities. It was fine in the first month, but the longer I've owned them, the more it's bothered me. I do a lot of long form reading, for what that's worth.
Glare: That's correct for Sony. But not for iRex, Onyx and others (using WACOM).
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