wood desk with typewriter vinyl record scrabble tiles paint and music

Color Nook Report plus Drawing Winner Chosen

Karin Kallmaker Readers and Libraries

Back in November I blogged asking for help with a big decision: picking my first ereader. I was really gratified by all the highly technical advice I got and how much everyone tried to provide the kind of information that answered my many questions.

As I reported right after Christmas, I ultimately chose the Color Nook from Barnes and Noble. So far I am really happy with it. It’s light enough to hold in one hand and carry around in my purse. With a cover, it feels pretty secure from damage being jostled around. I’ve read several books on it and like the interface.

Probably my favorite feature is the web interface – it was surprisingly powerful, quick to find networks and will even let me visit Facebook via the mobile interface. There are glitches with the keyboard popping up in order to peck out an email (seems like the software doesn’t realize I’ve selected a text box to fill in) but it found movie times faster than my partner’s Blackberry did while I sat outside a hotel using their spotty WiFi.

I’m careful to turn off the WiFi when I’m not using it, both for security and battery life. I play a lot of quick Crossword puzzle games while waiting to pick up kids, and doing that plus scattered reading I’ve gone as long as 3 weeks without needing to charge. Using it on the web while on vacation I needed to charge it every other day. I’m guessing, web on it would last about 4-6 hours, and that will probably diminish over time. Web off it would probably go for 6-8, maybe longer. I haven’t even explored the music feature yet.

Least favorite feature was the one I was warned about: it doesn’t use e-ink like the regular Nook and Kindle, so it’s hard to read in bright outdoor light. It hasn’t been a big issue so far, but when it happens, it does annoy. Second least favorite is location of the charger jack at the bottom of the tablet. If I’m using the tablet and charging it at the same time, it’s way too easy to accidentally put pressure on the cable plug, possibly torquing the jack. Eventually, some delicate piece of the jack will break. Anyone who has killed the headset jack on their phone knows what I’m talking about. The jack needs to be on the side. Either side.

Like most Nook Color users I’m happy about the opening of the Android app store. The NC is an Android-based tablet and I think the store will solve my remaining issues with having access to my Google calendar and contacts even offline. I think it’s now open; I’ve lacked the time to find out!

Once again, thank you to everybody who gave me the benefit of their experiences. As promised, my house elf has helped me pick a random winner of two free books from my library — print versions — signed, sealed and delivered. The winner is Facebook user Julie Weismann / QueerEugene! Congratulations!