Barnes and Noble Nook Review

Posted on 07 December 2009

Barnes & Noble’s Nook a device with multiple options like Amazon Kindle and Sony’s options is getting interest of people quickly. The eager readers and fresh gadget lovers welcome this new contender.

Barnes and Noble’s is not only a color touchscreen component but also run Google’s Android OS. The appearance of this device is just like rise of sun in dawn, which will set new ways for the technology on commercially viable e-reader scene.

Now when N & B is going to be launched soon, lets see that it is really according the wishes of the customers or only a boast. We had taken a long and hard look at the device and made a review for this gadget.

Lets check out its features and functions.

Hardware

For Kindle users industrial look of the Nook will not be surprising. B & N haven’t made any breakthrough changes in the device, although the company had made some important design decisions to make it different from its competitors.

Nook is having smaller surface size but thicker and little heavier than Kindle. Its size is similar to a typical trade paperback, 7.7 X 4.9 inches, ½ inch thick and weighing 11.2 ounces.

Front of the device is comprised of three essential parts; a 6-inch, 16-shade grayscale E Ink screen, a 3.5-inch color touchscreen below it and a plastic border with back/forward buttons on either side, intersected by a black strip. This strip is having a touch sensitive version of the Nook’s signature lowercase. On its top there is On/Off button, on bottom a MicroUSB slot, dual speakers, and 3.5mm a headphone jack. At the back of the device is its battery, SIM, and microSD access is concealed by a soft, rubberized cover, which can be changed with a number of trendy changeable color variations.

Overall Nook is a striking cozy reading partner and lust worthy gadget.

B & N haven’t told that what kind of CPU beats inside of the Nook, but that we can guess easily that it wont be anything monstrous. The device is shipped with 2GB of storage onboard, and have microSD slot for expansion up to 16 GB. The Nook is having WiFi (802.11b/g) and AT&T 3G radios but we could find out its Ram and ROM numbers.

Display

About the display there are not any major improvements that we can say it outplayed its other competitors. In our tests we only find out that it slightly outperformed Amazon’s option in contrast but its refresh speed was annoying sometimes.

The thing that makes Nook different is that thin color display that sits just below the main reader area. On its display the Nook and its online store are handled. Aside from that it also serves sometime as notation navigator, your search box, music player and a Cover Flow-style book browser along other functions.

E Ink technology is on its earliest stage that’s why we still found it little trying to wait for the display to refresh.

Software

Software is the major thing that makes Nook different from other competitors.

Navigation on the color screen requires some basic understanding of how B&N wants you to get around. For activating the bottom screen while device is on you have to press on the “n” at the center of the black strip; our short presses didn’t seem to take, so we quickly learned to tap and hold. Once the lower display is on then the options relative to the section of the device are given and pressing again n takes you back to home screen.

There are five basic options for navigation on the home screen: “the daily”, “my library”, “shop”, “reading now”, and finally “settings”. Well this is easy to understand but the confusion starts with some sub menus. Each of those sections are having scrollable list options such as “search”, “view my documents” or “ show covers”. When you will tab into those sections you will find another set of navigation that can be different and depends on what you chosen. While you are navigating around through those menus your screen up top is updating and changing in accord with your picks. You can scroll and make selections in the upper screen in majority of menus by using up and down arrow on the lower screen along with an “enter” button represented by a small circle. One thing more that you can also use the tactile back and forward buttons to flip some pages on the upper screen in select pages too.

B & N store options and book browsing is much better than what Amazon offers. The Nook also functions as a decent PDF viewer and a solid music player also, though hit bothers every time you play the song the lower screen lights back up which is not good for battery life.

Services

Aside from the hardware Barnes & Noble is launching new services with the Nook also. Most predicted is that the device will offer free AT&T-based 3G service for shopping and downloading content, along with built in WiFi. Its WiFi is eminent as the company will be enabling free access for the reader at its retail locations come Q1 2010, with there will be some handy features also like ability to browse an entire book while on the store’s network. B & N said that it would offer special content to those using the reader in store.

The Nook is having another feature called Lend Me, that allows you to hand a piece of content over to friend with reader of Barnes & Noble’s E-reader software for up to 14 days. Its same like as in real someone is borrowing your book and it will be removed from your library for the duration of the loan. Obviously not every publisher is on board with the service, and only about half of the retail selections will allow for lending comes launch.

One of the major features of the Nook is that B&N is looking to include Google Books titles that will allow the users to download freely half a million selections from the big Gs library of public domain reprints.

The Nook is a curiosity arising product launched by a powerful force in the world of booksellers. In future right software revisions of the Nook can give it big boom in market but currently it’s only a mild swell.

This post was written by:

Q. AB. - who has written 28 posts on ixibo.


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