Monday, February 8, 2010

nook review

"The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books"
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Back in October, the nook was announced. I wrote about my reaction to the announcement. That very night, I ordered it and waited until December to have one in my hands.

Why haven't I written about my nook yet? Well, I've had one problem with it that I was hoping to get resolved. It isn't anything wrong with the unit, but I am unable to register. That means that I am unable to buy books right on the unit. The nook uses AT&T for their phone service for accessing their online store, and well, in Fargo, ND we don't have AT&T coverage here. After much troubleshooting over the phone and at the local Barnes and Noble, I found out that I will have to wait until May when I go to Minneapolis to register my nook, or drive out to Barnesville, Minnesota. It is a little disappointing, but really, I am still able to sideload my books from my computer so I am very fortunate. Other e-readers might not have that option for reasons I cannot explain.

That being said, what are the great things about the nook:

  • I thought it was fun to name my nook, and after a few minutes of thinking about it, I decided on London. I want my nook to give me a sense of peace, and when I think of London and England, nothing gives me more than a bit of peace in my mind.
  • I think the wallpapers and screensavers are fun to have and knew what I had to have after I named the nook. My main screen is a picture I took in King's Cross train station in London of a cart from Harry Potter halfway through the wall (see picture). I then used other pictures from our trip as my screensaver that rotates each time I put it to sleep. They are really easy to set up. Just drop the images in the folder when connected to the computer, and the nook does the rest.

  • The screen. I really do like the e-ink technology that the nook, Kindle, and Sony readers use. It is easy on the eyes and looks like paper. Every time I pull out the nook and show people, they almost seem to gasp at it. I missed my bus stop one time as the result of a gasp.

  • Epub is the standard for e-books, but I am happy that I can also put on PDF files.

  • The size is perfect for me. I like how it fits in my hands, especially in the outer cover I chose for it.

  • I do like the touchscreen. I have heard some complaints about the speed that I think is pretty much fixed a bit from the first update, but I haven't thought too much about it at all. I expect updates to help situate things like this. I mean, it is a first generation product. For me, it is user friendly most of the time and I haven't gotten used to using it.

  • Upgradeable memory. When I look at most tech items, this is usually a must for me. (That is one reason this girl still doesn't own an iPod).

  • I can charge the nook when connected to my computer, or it uses the same cord (Micro- USB 2.0) to convert into a wall charger with the included AC adaptor. It is great having two different options for charging with one cable.

  • Android. To me this spells out potential. The nook has access to Google Books and who knows what else will come from this relationship.

Things I still need to try:

  • Edit my manuscripts PDF format. I still haven't tried the notes and highlight features yet.
  • Using audio for music or audio books.
I looked over all my options before deciding on buying the nook, and even the rumors of the future e-readers that are going to come out in 2010. I am still confident with my decision and don't think I will be second guessing my choice any time soon. I recommend if you are in the buying mode for an e-reader, look at all your options and think about what you want from your purchase. Just because the nook is great for me, doesn't mean it is great for you. I do want to say that the nook is worth looking into when you are doing your research. Demos are available in stores right now.


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