Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Bought A Nook Color

I had been wanting to buy some sort of tablet device for a few months now. I had been looking at the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xoom and, while they are both impressive devices, I have little desire to drop a ton of cash on a device that does things my phone and iPod already do for me. What I have really been wanting is something to read ebooks on. So, on a whim, I went with the Barnes & Noble nook color. 

The nook color is powered by a  TI OMAP 3621 800MHz CPU backed by 512MB of RAM and 8GB of flash storage. If 8GB doesn't cut it for you, you can add up to 32GB of additional storage via a microSD drive. The nook color boasts a 1024x600 resolution multi touch touchscreen which uses an LCD display rather than e-ink. It's running a custom build of Android 2.1,  but, you'd never know it because the devs have re-skinned it and locked it down to the point where it looks almost nothing like Android. Still, it's a nice interface and it does a great job of organizing your reading materials. The Library section is organized by a subset of tabs for books, magazines and newspapers, but also allows you to create sets of content in a section called "my shelves", which allows you to work with PDFs and other documents (DOC, DOCX, XLS, PPT, TXT), music (mp3, acc, mp4), images (JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP), and M4V video.

The nook color has a number of extra perks included with it. One of the coolest is that, while you're at a Barnes & Noble store, you can use your device to read any ebook from the Barnes & Noble store for free. There's also a sweet "LendMe" feature that allows you to lend books to friends, but, sadly, I have yet to add any friends on my device.

Overall, I'm thrilled with the nook color. I wish it had a more open interface and I find that it's web browser (a flavor of Google Chrome) is a little persnickety (I tried doing a blog entry from it: no dice), but it gets the job done. I like the wide variety of offerings available at the Barnes & Noble ebook store although wish they'd carry an electronic version of U.S. News & World Report (I settled for Newsweek).

For $250, it's very well worth the money.

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