Considering that book giant Barnes & Noble only introduced the Nook in the fall of 2009, it came as a nice surprise that only a year later a Nook Color edition is already out. It’s being promoted as the “reader’s tablet” and we’ll learn in this Nook Color review just how much of an ebook reader and a tablet the Barnes & Noble Nook Color is.
Size, Weight, and Design
If you’re expecting an average-looking, run-of-the-mill ebook reader, then you’ll certainly be impressed with the colored Nook, which could pass off as a tablet PC at first glance.
Unlike the usual ereaders which use e-ink technology, this one comes with a 7-inch full color LED-backlit IPS display. This display technology is actually the same one that Apple’s iPads and Macs are equipped with. The Nook Color though, is enhanced with Barnes & Nobles custom VividView Technology, a kind of screen laminating technique that serves to reduce the glare.
Nook Color is slightly bigger and heavier than the e-ink Nook. Weighing a solid 15.8 ounces, it is 8.1 inches long, with a width of 5 inches and a depth of 0.5 inch. The front portion of the device consists of hard plastic while the back has a smooth, rubber backing.
Inside the Nook Color is a program which has its roots from the Android version 2.1, an operating system popular with many of today’s tablets and smart phones. In the Barnes & Noble ebook reader, the Android-based software doesn’t disappoint.
Those who have actually used this color ereader report of a zippy performance, a responsive touch screen, fast page turns, almost picture-perfect images, and crisp text. Even browsing through PDFs and picture galleries are said to be a total breeze.
In coming out with a colored ebook reading device, Barnes & Noble has also made sure that the attention that it’s gotten so far is not all hype. The Nook Color now has added functionality including web browsing, Pandora music app, email, and video playbacks, and also works well with B & N’s new features and technologies.
There’s the new Nook Kids brand which promotes reading colored, illustration-packed children’s ebooks on the Nook Color, NookFriends which lets users share heartwarming lines from books to friends and family via Facebook and Twitter. Then of course, Barnes & Noble also retains its book sharing feature, the exclusive LendMe technology.
Barnes & Noble Nook Color Review: The Verdict
The company has really gone out of its way to release an ebook reader that’s not only sleek and feature-packed, but is reasonably-priced as well. At just $249, it’s really quite a steal considering that you can already do a lot more than just ebook reading with it.
But of course, it’s far from being a perfect device. Its battery life for instance, is too short for an ereader. It is said to last for 8 hours without recharge and this is peanuts compared to what other e-ink ebook readers can do. Also, even with its VividView treatment, the LCD display could still get reflective and possibly even cause eye strain after a few hours.
The bottom line of this Nook Color review is that it’s all a matter of preference. The Nook Color is certainly ideal if you like its tablet-like features, and if your family’s reading fare mostly consists of magazines, children’s books, cookbooks and other content that requires color. However, for long form reading of mostly text ebooks, e-ink ebook readers are still the better choice.