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Nook Color: A Good Looking E-Reader

Nook Color is a well designed move towards a more multipurpose reading device. Consumers that were previously on the fence when it comes to e-readers may find the Nook Color a lot more fun to use and a bit more versatile.

Author: Marco Gustafsson
Date: Apr 3, 2011 - 11:04:58 AM


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The Nook Color (NOOKcolor) is a Barnes & Noble's e-reader device that tiptoes across the virtual line between e-reader and pad. This is not an unexpected development since e-readers still seem to be jockeying to find their perfect niche. To call the device Color a pad, for some, may be a bit too adventurous of a term. A Barnes and Noble against Apple (iPad) battle could conjure up memories from one of those powerful animal eats the down-the-food-chain animal cable TV programs. More likely, there's nothing that dramatic on the horizon, and the Nook Color is just finding its own cranny.

Consumers chance being a little conflicted when it comes to e-readers. They like the idea of a more readable, eye-friendly device, but once they see 3G or WiFi, they expect multipurpose functionality. Some e-readers have offered limited web browsing capabilities, even using the term experimental to describe the current development stage. The Nook Color, on the other hand, has improved its browser and other media functions in an attempt to go where no e-reader has gone before. The Nook Color does not use an E Ink display, but instead has a back-lit touchscreen. E-reader purist may find this a disadvantage, or even a sellout, but it gives the eReader a lot more pizazz.

At $249, the Nook is fairly inexpensive. It has a nice color screen for magazines and photos, plays music, and will read out loud to you. Its wide viewing angle is said to reduce glare to provide inside or outside reading. That says to e-reader fans that NC understands it is foremost an e-reader. Like pad type devices, it is capable of portrait and landscape views. This lets you change the viewing aspect to match the type of material you are displaying.

It comes with 8GB of memory, which is enough to hold a lot of stuff. However, you can add up to 32GB using an inexpensive micro SD card, something many users will never need to do. As noted in the article “Nook and Intel’s Reader”, the new device runs Google’s Android OS and allows users to download the half-million titles in the Google Books library.

Having covered a lot of the NC's good points, let's look at a few cons or negatives. For one, the Nook Color's battery life, while very good (up to 8hrs), is a trade-off compared to the Nook or Nook 3G which have E Ink screens. If plugging in less to charge is more important to you than the advanced features and color screen, you may prefer an E Ink style e-reader. Speaking of the color screen, some may argue that reading text is more comfortable on an E Ink device, but that's a matter of preference.

Bottom line, the device is a cool device that can serve more functions than a basic e-reader. Being able to better access email and media may be enough for some users to alleviate the need to take along another device when traveling, especially on a day trip or vacation. If you have considered an e-reader, but can't get past a few of their shortcomings, the Nook Color may be worth a look.

Marco Gustafsson is a professional blogger posting about eBooks and environment, gadgets, mobile reading, etc. You can find his new articles here –Digital Book Readers.



View all articles by Marco Gustafsson

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