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Old 06-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
JoshLessard
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Should I buy a Nook?

Hello. I would like to purchase an ebook reader (actually, I have one but will probably be returning it), and I would appreciate some advice. My main criteria are:

1) Supports ePub well. I want to be able to buy books from any store that sells ePubs (e.g., kobobooks.com), and borrow books from online libraries that lend out ePubs (e.g., downloadlibrary.ca).

2) Good contrast and low glare. I purchased a Sony PRS-600 because it satisfies criteria 1, 3 and 4, but the contrast and glare from the screen are horrible. Text is a darkish grey on a lightish grey rather than nearly black on off-white. Gives me a headache to read it.

3) PDF reflow. I have a lot of computer programming books in PDF format that I want to be able to read, and I don't want to have to constantly pan if I make the text bigger.

4) Skip-to-page. Many PDFs are not broken down by chapter, and I don't want to have to hit "next page" 800 times to get to page 800.

Can any Nook owners tell me if it satisfies those four requirements?

Thanks very much in advance.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by JoshLessard View Post
1) Supports ePub well. I want to be able to buy books from any store that sells ePubs (e.g., kobobooks.com), and borrow books from online libraries that lend out ePubs (e.g., downloadlibrary.ca).
The nook comes with the latest Adobe software (an updated version of what your Sony runs), so you shouldn't have a problem here.

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2) Good contrast and low glare. I purchased a Sony PRS-600 because it satisfies criteria 1, 3 and 4, but the contrast and glare from the screen are horrible.
I have a PRS-505 and the classic EZ Reader; the nook impressed me with the apparent improved contrast.

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3) PDF reflow. I have a lot of computer programming books in PDF format that I want to be able to read, and I don't want to have to constantly pan if I make the text bigger.
Yes, it will reflow ... with all of the problems that come with that (doesn't work with non-OCR scanned pages, I think you'll lose images, odd page breaks). The nook does not have the best PDF support out there, but it should be about average for most of today's eReaders.

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4) Skip-to-page. Many PDFs are not broken down by chapter, and I don't want to have to hit "next page" 800 times to get to page 800.
Yes, but you don't type in a number. Rather, you drag a slide bar to your page. It might be tough to hit 800 exactly when you have a large document, but you'll get close enough.

That makes me wonder about PDFs and Table Of Contents support ... haven't tried that yet...

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Can any Nook owners tell me if it satisfies those four requirements?
Caveat, I'm not an owner.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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Yes for 1, 2, 3 and 4. And the screen contrast is the best among all the e-readers I have seen.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:19 AM   #4
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Yes to all of the specific questions you asked. (#4 is brand new in the 1.4 software.)

However, no dedicated e-reader device is very good at dealing with PDFs. Reflowing the pages gives decidedly funky results, because each line is reflowed separately. You get headers and footers mixed in with the regular text, and line breaks and page breaks in inconvenient places.

I love my NOOK, but except in an emergency I'd never try to use any e-reader for technical books, professional books, photo books, cookbooks, textbooks, childrens' books, or anything else that isn't basically a literary work consisting of a stream of words that you read from beginning to end. You really need a large color screen for the other stuff; an iPad might handle the job, but even that might be too small.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:10 PM   #5
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How are people finding the battery life on the Nook? I imagine the colour touchscreen sucks quite a bit of juice...
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:16 PM   #6
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the colour touchscreen is only on for a short time then it blacks out (that is when you can use it for a finger swipe) so it does not drain as much as you believe.

I have turned airplane mode on, I think the 3g and wi-fi would drain even more. I get about 4 to 5 days using it a few hours every day, if I can not find a power point within that period, I better find somewhere else to live.

I also have a PRS600 and I get a bit more battery life out of that. But I rather use the nook as it's a far superior screen.
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Old 06-26-2010, 12:21 PM   #7
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Thanks iandix. I have the PRS-600 now and I agree on the screen...it's horrible, which is why I'm looking to switch. However, I've found the battery life to be dismal, although I'm only on my first full charge and I've heard it takes a few charges and drains to "train" the battery gauge. Did you find that with the Nook?

Thanks.
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Old 06-26-2010, 01:40 PM   #8
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When I received my nook I charged it over night before I used it and I have not noticed any problem. I did read on another site that B&N support recommends that you do not allow your nook battery to fully drain..
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #9
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I think most people find the NOOK's battery life to be quite reasonable. It can be prolonged through the simple steps of setting "Airplane Mode" (wireless disabled) and adjusting the LCD display to minimum brightness and to turn off quicker (mine's set to 10 seconds).

With those settings, the main power drain is page turning. Using smaller fonts helps by reducing the number of page turns. A ballpark figure is that you'll get maybe 1000-2000 page turns on a battery charge. At a medium font size, that's about one average-sized novel (hey, these are ballpark figures, okay?)

There are some folks who read two novels a day, and they complain about the battery life. I don't know how much better life they'd find on other readers, although apparently the Kindle's battery does last longer.

I recharge my cell phone a whole lot more often than I recharge my NOOK, so I'm not sure I understand what the big deal is.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:38 AM   #10
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Josh:

Perhaps you are a resident of Ontario. Are you aware that Barnes and Noble does not sell either the Nook or B&N e-books to Canadian residents? You may want to wait till they offer such service, or another manufacturer brings pdf / wifi to market.

If pdf and 3G wireless is what you need, have you considered the Kindle DX? It's considerably cheaper than an iPad and it's reasonable to asume a modest price cut may be on the horizon for it this summer as well.
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Old 06-28-2010, 09:11 AM   #11
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you can buy books from B&N if you are in Canada.. this is from the B&N forum ...

@All,

If you are living in or visiting Canada you can shop our eBook store and download eBooks to your B&N eReader supported devices, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry, Mac and PC. This also includes the NOOK.

Although we are not selling NOOK in Canada (or anywhere outside of the United States) at this time, if you are using NOOK in Canada you will be able to sync to your B&N eBooks library and access our eBook store via Wi-Fi (not 3G).

Having a Canadian billing address and CC would not preclude a customer from placing an eBook order. When you create an account on BN.com you can input a Canadian credit card with a Canadian billing address and save them as your defaults.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:30 AM   #12
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Thanks iandix. I think this finally puts me over the top. Gotta get me a Nook. Just need to figure out how to get it into Canada now. :P

And a big thanks in general to everyone on this thread and the rest of the MobileRead forums. You've all been amazingly helpful.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:39 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Doug Pardee View Post
However, no dedicated e-reader device is very good at dealing with PDFs. Reflowing the pages gives decidedly funky results, because each line is reflowed separately. You get headers and footers mixed in with the regular text, and line breaks and page breaks in inconvenient places.
It is my understanding that the problem is inherent in the PDF format. It was set up as a page-layout format, not as a re-sizable ebook format. Anytime you try to reflow a PDF the results are likely to be ugly.
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Old 06-28-2010, 02:42 PM   #14
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In my experience of PDF reflow on novels, I would have to say the following about it:

Your font size will vary from indescribably tiny (no reflow) to small to REALLY FREAKIN' HUGE (That would be small, medium, and large in your menu).

There will be formatting issues. Most of them are not problems to me. Most involve hyphenation and half-pages. Some of them are so bad I will not read the book (rare).
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Old 07-02-2010, 03:32 PM   #15
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you can buy books from B&N if you are in Canada.
However, the selection of e-books you can buy from B&N if you are in Canada is extremely limited. The other day I did a survey of B&N's 50 top-selling e-books, and only two (#20 and #50 at the time) were available in Canada. Those titles were Rushed to the Altar, a Georgian romance, and Colter's Woman, a cowboy menage-a-4 (3 men, one woman) romantica novel. So not of much interest to most males.
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