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A Review of the NookColor by Barnes and Noble

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A Review of the NookColor by Barnes and Noble

Small Review:

When Barnes and Noble came out with their new NookColor, they did so because their Nook version did so well with their customers and they wanted to entertain the LED-screen idea. Although they are quite expensive, they do offer a lot of cool functions and features.

The Add-ons:

  • A screen that is 7 inches in diameter and shows colors and has a touch screen
  • A good amount od memory included (8GB)
  • A spot for mini Scan-disks
  • A Wi-Fi wireless hook-up
  • Retail value of about $250

The Upside:

  • An LED-style screen
  • Perfect width and light-weight
  • Good for social networking

The Downside:

  • There are only a few models for purchase
  • You cannot use your cellular device to connect with it
  • Visibility is rough in the outside light

The NookColor

The first thing that will have to understand about the NookColor is that it is not by any means a device you can use through Windows. The NookColor has been compared to the Android but with a much more unique and one-dimensional purpose in mind. It also can’t be considered a tablet because of its’ size. It’s a basic e-reader which is designed to do just that; read.

It does show a lot of originality against its’ competition like the Samsung Galaxy or the ever-popular iPad. It’s a good combination of two devices. It’s small with a vibrant LED screen. If you’re going to purchase the NookColor, it’s probably good to be an avid reader or else you won’t have a purpose for it.

It’s just like walking into a Barnes and Noble and being able to peruse books and periodicals, only you’re doing so from the palm of your hand. If you happen to download books that contain any media, the Nook Color will work with it, but those functions are quite limited. It has loads of memory and you can hold a Library, give or take, of about 6,000 books.

Most books read just like you would at home. You flip through the pages from the bottom corners of the device. If your vision is challenged, there is no default buttons to turn the page.

Any book that displays color on a regular book, will also display it on the NookColor. If your kids are deprived of any attention, the NookColor can actually read books of their choice to them. If you are planning to zoom in on any small font, you must zoom out before you can continue flipping through the pages. This was kind of a bummer for me. There really haven’t been any updates for reading periodicals and aesthetically they look like they have looked for quite a while. If the NookColor could successfully build an attractive user interface for this device, they could beat out Pad in this particular area.

When first looking at the NookColor, it was humorous because of its’ bland lack of color and style. It has few buttons and emblems, aside from volume control. Incorporating a strap for the wrist would be a step up for the design, as would finding a different safety route than the goofy rounded hook corner on the left.

Searching on this device is rather common as well, there’s nothing special there. Reading and referencing books is the main focus of this device and that is definitely what it delivers.

Different genres of books can be separated by either author or title and you’re able to divide them in 3 stacks via the homepage. You can omit the default picture and upload your own as wallpaper, too.  You’ll have two ways to view your variety on the device, either your Library or generically on your homepage. It’s also a great device if you like recommendations from both Barnes and Noble and The New York Times.

Something I didn’t appreciate was the lack of a back button because it creates a really annoying experience for those of us who like to review things. You do have to realize, though, that you can’t really compare the NookColor with anything else because it’s a unique device.

If you enjoy letting others read the selections you enjoy, you can do this quite well. You can swap them back and forth for up to 14 days. It’s a nice little feature on the NookColor.

The Uniqueness of NookColor

The NookColor was created for one purpose only. People who are thinking about buying one should understand that it has no connection to devices such as the iPad ad can’t perform the numerous functions that devices like the iPad can.

It has a good battery life and is compact enough to bring with you pretty much anywhere. The contrast is also very good and is easy on the eyes. The brightness is striking and will more than likely not put you to sleep.

When spending a good amount of money on something like the NookColor a lot of people may not like the idea that it just does one particular thing. But it’s really a great device for its’ purpose.

Things That Need Work

It can work for the audience it shoots for, but I can’t quite be universally used. There are some things that definitely need some attention.

Many people might not like the fact that this is a Wi-Fi only device. Another thing that brings confusion is its’ interface which is close to an Android. The prices of books and periodicals will more than likely rise with the rise of better visual stability.

Just like all other devices, it reads very rough outside. This is kind of annoying because it would be nice to relax under the shade of a tree and read. This isn’t something that a reading-only device should be having problems with and I would think they would have changed this problem before they send it out to the public.

There really isn’t much need for the NookColor once the partner application comes out, so the idea may have been a waste of money for Barnes and Noble. If you’re a regular at Barnes and Noble and have been searching for a good reading device, this is a good choice.

What I Conclude

Understanding the basic functions of the NookColor will make it more appealing to consumers. It won’t function according to your standards if you are looking for yet another Windows device.

If you buy a good Windows device (Android) then you will soon be able to just tap into the application so you may want to reconsider dropping the $250 it takes to obtain a NookColor. For those who seek a nicely done Nook upgrade with additional color, this is your package.

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