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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Conclusion

Performance

The Nook provides an interesting alternative to the Kindle that is only a little more expensive. It offers a wider set of features than the Kindle, adding more useful audio support and video. However, these features are somewhat crippled by a lack of a way to organize the media: there is no way to create playlists for audio and you have to scroll through a long list to find a video. The Nook Color does do well as an eBook, reader though, with a bright clear screen

Screen Performance

The IPS LCD screen of the Nook Color is a bright, clear screen that looks good in most lighting conditions. There are two problems that make it less useful, though: the lack of an auto screen brightness feature means you have to adjust the screen brightness manually, and the screen gets really difficult to read in direct sunlight. It certainly is not the only one with this issue (all LCD screens have this), but that doesn't make it any less of a problem for a product designed to be used on the road.

Battery Life

The battery life of the Nook Color is best described as adequate. At just under eight hours for eBook reading or under six hours for video, it is enough for a daily commute or a short plane flight. But it is not long enough to keep you going on a week in your cabin in the woods without power, or to accompany you hiking the highlands. In both situatiuons, the Kindle would be better, because the battery life of that device is measured in days, not hours.

Ereader:

The Nook Color is an excellent eBook reader, with a screen that renders text sharply and cleanly. The only issues are the screen failing in bright light and the limitations of it being tied to the Barnes & Noble store only.

Audio & Video:

The Nook Color can handle both audio and video, and the latter look good on the bright, clear screen. However, there is no good way to organize audio or video: you cannot create playlists of music, and the only way to play a video is to scroll manually through a list of video and photo thumbnails until you find the right one. Compared to a device like the iPad or the Samsung Tab, the Nook Color looks primitive as a media player.

Email & Web Browsing:

No email support is offered on the Nook Color, but it does include a surprisingly good web browser, which does a very decent job of rendering complex web pages. It also supports JavaScript and bookmarks, but there is no support for Flash, Java or other plugins that add to the functions of the browser.

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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