I’ve had nearly a month to play with the Barnes and Noble Nook Color e-reader and I have to say up front that I am really really really impressed with this device. As an e-reader it excels not just at it’s simplicity of function but also at it’s durability and build quality. The screen is a nice high DPI IPS screen which is the same screen technology used on the iPad. The actual resolution of the screen is the same as most netbooks at 1024×600 so when you turn the thing landscape you get the full width of most websites. The anti-glare coat and maximum brightness ensure the device can be read outside. The convenience of subscription to magazines though the Barnes and Noble store is second to none. I get “All Things Digital” on a daily basis and I’m currently subscribed to GQ, National Geographic, PC Magazine, Fast Company, Science Illustrated and Consumer Reports. The final thing that cements this as one of the best devices ever is just the way it feels in your hand. The device is thin and relatively light with a rubber backing ensuring you don’t lose your grip. The edges are curved which gives it a comfortable fit in the pocket of your thumb and fingers and the size of the device feels comfortable like a paper back book.
I wanted to briefly mention the hack-ability of the device. Rooting is as simple as writing a file to an SD card, booting the device and then following the fairly straight forward instructions to register gmail and the youtube app. This unlocks the Google Market app and the majority of the games and apps available there in. While the 800mhz processor in the device is not the fastest mobile processor around the Nook Color benefits from the inclusion of a power vr based graphics processor. This means the Nook Color can actually handle 3D gaming, video playback and a host of other media duties pretty flawlessly. The Unreal Engine based game Dungeon Defenders runs reasonably well on the device and lesser demanding games like Backbreakers Football and Pocket Legends run flawlessly.
The big thing being highlighted as an issue with this device by most outlets is the devices lack of battery life. While 8 hours is lame in terms of an e-reader when put in perspective of what this device really is(an affordable full color tablet) that battery life isn’t so bad. The iPad clocks in at something like 10hrs of battery life and boasts a 2″ larger surface area to hide a larger battery. In terms of general computing most laptops until the last few years(and quite a few presently) can scarcely muster over 3hrs of battery life. So for a device that enables both book and magazine reading as well as web browsing, music listening, image viewing and light gaming I’d say the Nook Color is pretty well endowed in the battery area.
Over all it’s probably one of the better devices I’ve ever used. I highly recommend it to any one who wants to read some books, browse the web and doesn’t want to have to lug a laptop. And if you are adventurous root it and get your Angry Birds on!
Seemed silly to chat up a device and then not include some useful links and information.
Nook Color Official Website
Nook Color detailed specs
Nook Color screen shot gallery
Nook Color rooting instructions