tablets

Barnes & Noble Nook Color Tablet eBook Reader Review

The Barnes & Noble NOOKColor costs $249, but you get quite a lot for your pennies.

March 07, 2011
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Device & Specs

Both of these devices are well priced at under $200. But the Kindle offers a little more: for $189 you get a 3G cellular data connection that allows you to buy books further afield, while the Nook Color can only buy books within range of a WiFi connection.

Screen

The Kindle uses an eInk screen, which means that it can only display black and white. By contrast, the Nook Color uses an LCD screen that offers full color display. While that might sound like a one-sided battle, both types have their advantages. The eInk screen of the Kindle can be used in any light from near darkness to high noon in the desert: the text will still be visible on the screen. The LCD screen of the Nook Color is only usable in low to moderate light: anything higher drowns out the backlight of the screen and renders it unreadable.

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Battery

The battery life of these two devices could not be more different: we found that the Nook Color could only run for just under eight hours reading an eBook, while the Kindle could keep going for days. This may not be important if you are using this device for a daily commute, but it would be a pain for a long flight: the Nook Color could run out halfway there, while the Kindle would be good for there and back again.

eReader

The Kindle is the winner when used as an eBook reader: the screen is usable in a wider range of lighting conditions, and the device keeps going for longer. The Nook Color performs pretty well as an eBook reader as well, though, although the LCD screen limits the usability of the device somewhat.

Internet

Both devices offer basic web browsing features, but the screen of the Nook Color is more suited to this task, as the Kindle eInk screen is not good at the constant updating and scrolling that web browsing requires. Neither device offers any support for email.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Screen
  4. Battery & Controls
  5. eReader
  6. Music & Audio
  7. Movies & Video
  8. Email & Web Browsing
  9. Internet Apps
  10. Apple iPad Wi-Fi (16 GB) Comparison
  11. Amazon Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi Comparison
  12. Sony Reader Daily Edition Comparison
  13. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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