Sunday, January 17, 2010

Nook eBook Reader

I recently purchased a Nook, Barnes and Noble's eBook reader. I looked at Amazon's Kindle and Sony's Reader before making my decision. I was able to preview the Sony Reader at Best Buy; I read LOTS of reviews for Amazon's Kindle and the decision came down to:
- I didn't like the buttons on the face of the Kindle.
- The Kindle reportedly uses/used Sprint's wireless network (more about that later)
- I just didn't like the look and feel of the Sony Reader

The Nook measures 4.9 inches by 7.7 inches, slightly larger than your average paperback, but much thinner--only a half-inch thick! Navigation is via color touchscreen at the bottom of the device. From there, you can view your library of downloaded eBooks, as well as purchase eBooks from B&N.

To purchase books, you can search/browse B&N's entire catalog of eBooks for FREE via AT&Ts 3G wireless network (yep, I said FREE). Just select your book and it's immediately downloaded directly to the Nook. No connecting to your PC required. (The Kindle uses the Sprint network which I have for my cell phone and I HATE it. One of the main reasons I went with the Nook.)

The reading display utilizes E ink® Vizplex™ technology which makes reading outdoors just as easy as indoors. (Note: the display is not backlight--it's not necessary. Backlighting would also drain battery power.) You can make the font bigger or smaller, and change the font face --there are two serifed faces and one sans serif face to choose from. I prefer the sans serif Helvetica font. (Serifs are those little "spurs" at the top and/or bottom of the letters...and no, I didn't have to look that up. I'm a font geek--goes back to my commercial art days in college.)

The Nook boasts it can store up to 1300 books...even more with its MicroSD slot (not available on the Kindle). New releases typically run $9.99 with earlier releases around $5.99.

The Nook also has a built-in audio player (MP3) which works fairly well. I don't care for the way it creates playlists, but I didn't buy it for the audio, so it's really no big deal.

B&N states the Nook's battery lasts 10 hours if you don't keep the wireless feature turned on. I haven't seen that kind of battery life and apparently, neither have a multitude of other Nook owners. That's really the only beef I have with the device. So far, I've been recharging about every third day. I can live with it, but I'm hoping future software upgrades will remedy the battery situation.

Overall, I love it. I've already read David Baldacci's "True Blue" and I'm currently working my way through Francis Chan's "Crazy Love" and "Super Freakonomics" by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. What I like most is the fact that I can carry several books with me wherever I go. No more running out of stuff to read.

More Nook info here: