07 Jul 2011

Top 10 Reasons why we’re a nook family

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imageSo I bought my wife a Nook Touch this morning. She’s out running errands right now and it’s sitting there charging. I can’t wait for her to find it when she gets home and see it sitting on top of her nook color.

I can’t wait for her to get it because one of her favorite things to do during this horrendous heat wave has been to get a glass of wine, settle into a shady bench in the pool, and read her nook color. It’s something she really enjoys so she can get the most out of that experience.  Being married to me, you know she deserves it.  The Nook Color’s screen is readable outside, but not easily so.

I like the Kindle (a lot) , but we’ve become a nook family for a couple of reasons. I’m not trying to start any sort of holy war – to each their own. For me and mine, though, here’s a quick top 10 list of the reasons why we are currently happy nook customers.

1-Their e-ink technology is the fastest I’ve seen. I have a Sony e-reader and page turns are almost painfully slow.  It’s not horrible – but it is too slow for my tastes.  I’ve played with Kindle readers as well and find their eInk display acceptable.

2- I’m not a fan of DRM – but the DRM in the nook is tolerable. It’s quiet, unobtrusive, and is becoming ubiquitous.  B&N has made it easy for me to not have to strip the DRM from my eBooks for fair use purposes. This is not a commentary on DRM, though.

3- The B&N model and their support / coordination with public libraries holds a special place in my heart.  I spent a great deal of my youth in libraries.  Kindle will soon / recently announced public library support, which is awesome.  I know that if I were to donate my nooks to someone, they can get books in ways other than buying or having them lent to them.
Also, B&N have brick and mortar stores. Not only does this give you a place to go for customer service, but the stores have WiFi in them and if you are in the store using your Nook there are books get to read while there for free. Did I forget that there’s usually a Starbucks in there?

4- The Nook devices run Android and I will soon be able to write apps specifically for the Nook. I know the new Amazon tablets are coming – but the nook is there today.  I like to support the Android ecosystem.

5- I *really* like the Nook Touch because it is _very_ light and the eInk touch screen is surprisingly responsive. I had read that it was sort of sluggish – but I think for most people it’ll be just fine. I didn’t find it slow at all.

6- I love the size of the Nook Touch. There’s no hard keyboard, so for some people that may be a drawback. My wife won’t buy a smart phone if it’s not a slider; but she’s been happy with the keyboard on her Nook Color. In her words “Its a reader, I don’t use email on it”.  The Nook Touch has an on-screen keyboard and “paddle buttons” (for lack of a better word) on the sides which make turning a page as simple a squeezing it. If you move your thumb down and squeeze it, it turns back a page.
This is *damn* handy if your other hand is busy with a leash, cocktail, on the other side of your body (when laying face down), or underwater. User experience FTW.

7- There is a nook with 3G, but we’ve not missed having it in our Nook Color.  Many months and a long vacation later, the 3G seems like a luxury not a must have. WiFi is almost everywhere I go now.  Plus my phone is a hotspot, so it just seems redundant. I have a Galaxy Tab with a data plan and I wish I’d just bought the Tab WiFi only. Seriously – I only enable the Wifi when I’m too lazy to fire up my hotspot or my phone battery is too low.  That happens about twice a month, so cost / benefit (for me) says no.

image8- No advertisements. I’m sure they’re useful – but I sort of cringe at being enthralled as a small, outnumbered group of rebels hide behind one of Saturn’s moons while the Federated Fleet is about to ( YOU CAN GET $50 OFF COOKING LESSONS ON THURSDAY)..  I’m sure it’s not that invasive, but I don’t want advertisements native to my devices.  Ever. They may be in an app, but that’s different.
I don’t like where Amazon is headed with this.. Just sayin’….

9- They’re claiming two months of battery life on the nook touch, and that remains to be seen. My wife charges her Nook Color occasionally but she is an *avid* reader. The Nook Color feels like a batter pack with a screen The Nook Touch feels much lighter. This is a state of the art device with state of the art battery technology, so I expect it to be good and the reviews say its good but there are reports of units with bad batteries.

10- It’s competitive, so you don’t really loose much using either of the leading eReaders.  The number of available books you can buy is about the same, and the devices cost about the same. The Nook Touch is $139 while the Kindle with Special Offers is $114. You can dump the ads for the 6 inch Kindle by paying $139.
The Nook Touch doesn’t have sound – which is a difference some may care about and keep in mind if you’ve not bought an eReader.
For the most part, the books cost about the same and the have a similar volume of titles.

The $139 KindleIn my opinion, which eReader you might want will come down to what you want out of it. Play with them all, find the one that fits your hand, lifestyle, and pocketbook.

Bonus Round:
This is *not* for all users, but you can root a nook and put the *ahem* Kindle Reader Android App on it. It doesn’t redraw the screen very efficiently from what I’ve seen online. However, if one were so inclined you could have both in one.

I wonder if I’ll be able to install the nook Android app on the new Amazon tablets that are coming out?

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