Call It the Un-Kindle

By  |  Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 11:34 am

Last Gadget Standing Nominee: Barnes & Noble Nookcolor

Price: $249

The simplest way to describe 2009’s first-generation Nook e-reader was to say it was a lot like an Amazon Kindle. The easiest way to describe the new Nookcolor is that it’s several things that a Kindle is not. This Android-based gizmo has a color touchscreen, giving it a richer interface and the ability to handle magazines and kids’ books much better than the Kindle. And the backlit screen is perfectly legible in dim lighting which renders the Kindle’s display invisible. (Of course, it also saps the Nook’s battery far more rapidly: The Nook gets eight hours on a charge, while the Kindle can run for weeks.)

The Nookcolor isn’t a full-blown Android tablet–B&N calls it a “reader’s tablet,” and hasn’t given it access to the Android Market app store. But the company is launching a third-party app store of its own early next year. And if it catches on, the Nookcolor could be an intriguing alternative to much pricier Android tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab.


Read more: , , ,

21 Comments For This Post

  1. Brian Says:

    Can't say that I've had my Nook Color on for 8 straight hours at any point so far, but I have had some reading sessions that lasted 2-3 hours, and I've yet to see the battery go lower than 70%. Obviously, if you're actively using the wireless or watching video/listening to music, the battery will drain faster, but I think that 8 hours might be a pessimistic estimate rather than a max.

  2. José Says:

    When you start having eye sight issues you will regret for not having bought a Kindle…. or another EInk reader.

  3. hal Says:

    Eyesight issues are a myth related to old computer monitors with a slow refresh rate. E-ink with a low 10:1 ratio between "light gray and dark gray also can create eyestrain.

  4. Michael Says:

    Not likely. I bought a Kindle and though it is a great ereader, I want my gadgets to multitask. The Kindle falls short for me. But the real killer was the fact that the Kindle is proprietary. I check out books from my public library. The Kindle won't let me do that. I want to be able to take advantage of the free market when it comes to having buying options. The Kindle doesn't do that. I like color on my screen. The Kindle. . .well, you get the idea. Good luck with your Kindle, Jose. Glad you like it. To each his own.

  5. Sal Says:

    I own an Eink Nook and I use the Nook software on my Android phone and have tried it on my iPad. While I love the look of Eink, I have found that I don't experience eye strain on the other devices. You can change the page color to sepia and it is quite nice.

  6. Stilgar Says:

    I was surprised when B&N announced this all-color Nook. I think this is more in competition with the iPad than with the Nook, which seems like a losing proposition to me. The key to their winning will be making sure the overall goal of the unit (reading books) doesn't get lost in a bunch of apps.

  7. Dave Says:

    The Nook has been rooted and you can turn it into a full Tablet with the market. Great full tablet for the price.

  8. dholyer Says:

    Color may bring some life into book reading, it looks much brighter than the dull B&W or shades of gray books. Now if they can up the resolution so you do not notice pixels or get the stair step effect on curved objects. How about a 8×11 inch screen at 600dpi which most laser printers can do now. And have the color spectrum do Primary additive and subtractive RGB like my HD LCD TV does. RGB is nice and colorful, but has only half the color natural thing do.

  9. HLeBeouf Says:

    The Nookcolor has changed the way I read, and definitely for the better. I haven't had any problems with glare or eyestrain (reading 2-3 hours a day at the least) and I agree with Brian's assessment of the battery life. I've been getting much more than 8 hours out of a charge.

    I bought it as a book alternative, not another PC, since I have a decent laptop. I find that the actual BOOK content is what sold me and keeps me interested. I get the books I want to read faster and cheaper, plus I can upload knitting patterns, recipes and other things onto it, so it really is a full library experience…not to mention the actual library-ebook downloading function, which the Kindle doesn't have. It's also nice to be able to bring any questions I have into a Barnes & Noble store and talk to a real live person who probably has a Nook themselves. That alone has been invaluable.

  10. Pipzlchoice Gregory Says:

    I just posted a attributes comparison of Amazon Kindle vs B&N Nook Color. It is based on automated analysis of their customer reviews found online. Here is the link…. I think you may find it interesting.

  11. Danielle Says:

    When looking in to a nook lady told me nook color was going to be like or better than a ipad.she also said they was trying to get a contract on adobe flash. I ask "o so that way farmvill can be used on it ". lady answerd "dont think the world is ready for hand held farmvill."

  12. Pamela Bannon Says:

    I like that the nook color is competing with the tablets or pads. First off I have a B&W Nook. Dont get me wrong, I LOVE ir. However. I have multiple gadgets and just as multiple remote controls are a PIA so isnt multiple gadgets. While I can use the B&N feature on my ITouch, half a paragraph at a time is useless and frustrating. The Nook doesn't cause me eyestrain, you can adjust the text size. Its nice to be able to lie down without having to wear glasses, and read. Granted, I won't be tuckinging my Nook or nook color in my pocket to her music, that is where the other gadgets come in. As for why dont I just get an Ipad, I cant see shoveling out a couple hundred more. Using my nook for online isnt acceptable, or better worded takes too long and is limited. When I go pick up the Nookcolor today, Im hoping its more user friendly or less restricted. If its not, oh well, there are many benefits to it as it is. This is a great buy. This is also coming from someone that was 100% against ereaders.

  13. Pamela Bannon Says:

    Oh AND the amount of free books I have downloaded so far, surpasses the price I paid for the nook. Im an avid reader.

  14. Miguel Anguiano Says:

    I agree nookcolor is no ipad but it was never meant to be one its a reader and awsome at that, I love that I can borrow books or read samples. Or if your like me and still go to your local B&N and browse books only to buy them later on my nook color it a pluse being able to do this; and really even ipad has a nook app. So that should let you know that ipads bow down at nooks when it comes to ereades and all the ereaders as good as they say do not have as many books avilable as b&n does.

  15. judie roberts Says:

    III just got my colornook today and I could use a fewpointers. Where are the best lending libraries

  16. Abbey Says:

    I am in love with my nook color. I can surf the internet, read a book and even check them out from the library! Yay nook! I do wish that it had adobe flash player on it, but otherwise it is a totally awesome gadget.

  17. riffraff Says:

    My NOOKcolor is great. It's no iPad, but it's also half the price, and I prefer its form factor to that of the iPad. E-ink ereaders were a non-starter for me, since I didn't want to clip a cheesy LED light on to something just to do what my Newton Messagepad 2100 has been doing for years…i.e. allow me to read in bed with the lights out. So, when the NOOKcolor came out, I did my due diligence and research, and bought one in early December. I've not regretted it at all. But, by all means, keep your e-ink readers with their 16 levels of grey. After all, black and white televisions c-existed with the color ones for years, as did the old green computer monitors! 😉

  18. Lynne Alexander Says:

    Had a Kindle … sold it! Had a classic Nook … sold it! Have an iPad … not wild about it! HAVE A NOOKCOLOR … LOVE IT!!!

  19. Lily Says:

    I also have a B/W Nook.. I LOVE it.. I don't surf the web on it – I have a PC for that. I don't listen to music on it, I have my itouch. I don't talk to people on it, I have my phone for that. It is an e-reader so I read on it – nothing more, nothing less. I don't get eyestrain and I read for hours. I have been able to sideload books into my Nook and I love it. Got my husband one also. He actually reads now. He is able to change the font size so he can see it and not have problems since he wears bifocals. We love the Nooks so much there will be future Nook purchases. 🙂

  20. april Says:

    i have both the nook and now the nook color. they are both amazing products for their market. never have liked the Kindle for several reasons, i HATE the keyboard physically on the device. that is a deal breaker for me. i hate being locked in to getting books from one source. i loved my nook, it got me back into reading after years of wanting to read more. i ADORE my nook color (NC). it is everything i want in one device. i can still read my books (eyestrain is nonexistent for me), get my favorite magazines in glorious beautiful full color, cookbooks, kids books that read to my child (he loves them), library books, books from most any other source and i can surf the web, do a crossword, listen to Pandora, lend books to friends, on and on and on it goes. and it isnt the clunky size of an iPad. perfect. BN hit a home-run with NC.

  21. Cheryl Stilgenbauer Says:

    This was a Christmas present to me from my husband. He knows I love to read in any downtime I have. I carry a magazine or book with me everywhere. What a wonderful gift – I am in love with my Nook Color and my husband!!