So earlier today, I got the chance to mess around with a Nook (FW 1.2) at the local B&N bookstore near my college (downtown Chicago). Thought I put down some observations about the Nook. Apologies if I'm rehashing something, but thought I throw down my points coming from another device.
1. Boot Up Time
Painfully slow in comparison to my Astak PP. Took about 1.5 to 2 minutes in store before I could begin using it.
You only boot up once after purchase or if you need to reset. The Nook is suppose to be kept in standby mode when not in use. So, it's not an issue. Plus, the long start up time you experienced is probably due to the demo. My Nook starts up in less than 30 seconds and I keep it in standby mode.
2. LCD Capacitive Screen and Laggy Response
There are quite a few UI things I don't like and I'll cover them in a bit, but my biggest gripe is the lower LCD touchscreen. It lags quite noticeably and menu areas with more than 4 options is a pain to scroll. Let's say there's 6 options and I scroll down until the last two are the only ones showing. If I want to hit that 5th one, the whole list rescrolls itself until the 5th one is on the bottom and the previous three are shown above (example below). Then I need to retap 5 to select the option. I don't know about previous FW versions, but that's really backwards.
I agree the touchscreen can be smoother, but after using it you get used to the slower response. I have an iPhone and so I'm used to moving my fingers quickly. But, this is an eReader not a phone...so I had to adjust my speed and now I have no problems at all with the controls. It's just like any device, it takes time to get used to.
I see: 1 2 3 4
I scroll until I see: 5 6
I tap 5 and the list rescrolls: 2 3 4 5
I need to retap 5.
3. Locking the Lower Screen Not Possible
Not possible from what the Nook "expert" that was answering my questions and I could figure out. The screen, however, will turn off after 10-30 seconds. Unfortunately a double-tap will reactivate the lower screen or a swipe will change the page (which I might not want when reading). Otherwise, no real way to lock it. Bad.
You can set it to turn off from 10/30/60 seconds. There is no real need to lock the touchscreen. It's VERY hard to accidentally turn the page.
4. Dead space between page-turn buttons and screen
There is that wonky dead space between the actual page-turn buttons and the screen's edge. It makes that annoying squeaky plastic sound and doesn't register as a button press when you depress that area. I can't imagine it being good for the shell over time.
Demos are beaten to death, personal Nooks don't squeak The buttons on the Nook are the same as on the Kindle.
Okay, so we have bookmarks which only shows page numbers. Points to other readers who not only have page numbers but quick blurbs for each bookmark. I can't bare to have to go through each bookmark in order to find which
bookmark was the last bookmark I placed (or the bookmark I want to go to).
6. Locking the device/Standby
This is one area I'm lost on. The top silver button seems to either lock the either device or power it on/off. However, I very barely noticed a difference between putting it into lock/standby (thinking it might the latter) and shutting it off (a very slight color difference on the screen). I can't seem to get the device to go from lock/standby to unlock/active without it turning the device off. Probably something I'm missing.
You don't turn off the device, when not in use it's placed in standby mode. There's no problem with the battery. When you see a picture on the screen it's in standby mode. This may be confusing, but once you own a Nook and use it the directions are simple.
Heavy. Practically twice as heavy as my PP and just a tad over 3/4 of a pound (12.1 ounces out of 16 ounces). I can see the justification with the added chips for 3G, WiFi, and the extra small touchscreen at the bottom (thus larger device with more components). Though, I was expecting a higher cap battery with significantly more page turns. It has just a mere 30 mAhs more than my PP does. With the added secondary screen, WiFi, and 3G, I highly doubt it even gets close to 8,000 page turns.
The weight is only an issue because you held it for a very short period of time. After a while you get used to it and it's a non issue. It's still very - very - light.
8. Second touchscreen
Perhaps having a actual touchscreen e-ink display (like Sony's eReaders) might have been a better idea. Or just leave it as is, but the screen is so small, the color book covers are rather a moot point without much more added height to the display.
9. Placement of ports and USB port
Both the PP and the Nook, I feel should move the headphone jack to the lower ends of one of the sides or have some swivel snapping jack on the lower left corner of the device (rotating sideways having a straight plug).
I do wish it was a mini-USB port instead of micro-USB, but seeing how it's now depreciated, I understand the reasoning behind it.
1. 16 shades of gray
Though I didn't notice any sharper contrast compared to my PP, the fact it's there is nice.
I've heard that notes are able, though I didn't have enough time to find out how to get to it or bring up the virtual on-screen keyboard.
Cases! Gosh, the selection you have is great. Ranging from $20 to $65 (from what I saw in store) and a whole range of materials and colors, it's great. Though, I wish the nook could clip on to the cases like my PP. Then again, it's got plenty of curves and few edges.
Gotta give it a plus for having a company who has physical locations where you can just go in and ask till your mouth runs dry. Another plus is that I can compare the paperback prices right away with a little searching.