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Nook Color Review

Dec - 28 - 2010
Nicole C. Engard

This Christmas I got a Nook Color from my hubby and mother. I’ve been using it for a few days and I think it’s time to share my opinions.

First things first, if you have an ebook reader you must download Calibre. Calibre is an open source ebook management application that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux (a flavor for everyone). It’s a great way to convert files from one format to another, to manage all of your books and to download news from the web to your reader.

I have started with a bunch of free and public domain materials (nothing purchased yet). I chose the Nook over other alternatives because it could open so many formats of ebook and it runs on the Android operating system so that gives me some options for openness should I decide to root the device (a practice that has recently been declared legal). However I have found some downsides to the supposed openness of the Nook. While I can read materials purchased or downloaded from other sites, these materials are treated like second class citizens on the Nook. What do I mean? Well my EPubs and PDFs can’t be mounted on the home screen. I can only access these materials by browsing my shelves or files. I also can’t use the built in social networking functionality on materials that are not from Barnes & Noble. Basically I can read these materials, but they’re harder to get to and not as functional.

I’m reading The Art of Community right now and have just figured out how to highlight passages (a big plus). I can also access all of my highlights and notes in one menu. Now for the minus – I can’t find a way to download or share these quotes. If this were a Barnes and Noble publication I could share the quotes one by one with the ‘share’ function, but because this is a PDF (converted to Epub in Calibre) I can just highlight and that’s the end of it. This seems like a huge oversight on the part of Barnes and Noble (or maybe just an anti-feature put in place to make me want to root the darn thing).

Regarding reading on the device, I like it! It’s not E Ink and some people might be turned off by that, but I altered the brightness, font, and background color so that it’s not too harsh on my eyes. I like how each it is to turn the pages and find your bookmarks or highlighted passages. A neat feature we found last night was the ability to search a dictionary for a highlighted word. I can also search for it in Google or Wikipedia (if connected to the wifi).

My overall review is that I’m happy I have the Nook Color and as each day goes by I get closer and closer to wanting to root it so that I can have a truly open system (like I thought I was getting). If you happen to have more knowledge than me please comment here so that I can learn even more about my Nook.

7 Responses so far.

  1. Lori Reed says:

    Nicole, I’m curious as to what the battery life is like. Now that my netbook died, I’m torn between an ipad, another netbook, a reader, or something else to use as my “reader” and movie watching machine. :)

  2. Nicole says:

    The battery life seems pretty good. Hubby read for 4 nights (lots of hours) before charging it and even then it wasn’t dead yet. I am still at 73% battery life and have also read for 4 nights (just not as long each night) and some times during the day. I also have had the wifi on this entire time and he has turned it on and off to try and save battery life.

  3. Amanda says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m looking for an ereader since I’ve realized that I enjoy reading so many of my books in bed and the netbook is a little tedious for that purpose.

    Can you type and save notes on the Nook Color? I’d like to have a computer device that I can use for typing short stories and reading other works I’ve created as well as being an ereader.

  4. [...] Nook Color Review by our Koha friend Nichole Engard [...]

  5. Reed says:

    The anti-features are interesting but I guess not so surprising — in the same way it’s bad luck to buy a cell phone from a cell phone carrier or washing machines from the company that sells you electricity. They’re incentivised to be anti-consumer.

  6. Brendan says:

    I got one for Christmas too and I love it. Thank you for the Calibre tip, I have a bunch of PDFs that I would much rather read with reflowable text. The PDF reader is ok but I find I have to zoom and pan a little too much for comfortable reading. I did root mine (instructions at http://nookdevs.com/NookColor_Rooting) and it wasn’t that hard. I’m glad I did – now I have a speedy, versatile android tablet and all the Nook stuff is still there and works fine.


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