The B&N Color Nook, available for as low as $200 if caught during a promotion, may be just the Android tablet some folks are looking for, says the Journal's Brett Arends.
Noble may be struggling as a bookseller, but on the tablet front, it's on to
bookseller's newest e-reader, the Nook Color, may actually be the perfect
Android tablet for folks unwilling to pony up $500 for an Apple iPad or $800
for a Motorola Xoom, the Wall Street Journal's
Brett Arends wrote in a
March 9 report, after scoring the e-reader for just $190 during an online
Color, which was designed mainly for reading books and magazines, is about half
the size of an iPad or a Xoom. It weighs about 30 percent less. It runs on
WiFi, but not 3G. It has an absolutely superb screen. And," wrote Arends,
"once you've unlocked the software, it runs many Android applications,
from e-mail to news readers TweekDeck to, yes, Angry Birds."
software took about 20 minutes and required a fix (a hack?) known as
"rooting," for which Arends found instructions on the Ars Technica
site. The downside is, performing the fix invalidates the device's warranty.
And while Arends said it was easy to do, others have found the process not so
easy. Also, some Android applications won't run on the Nook Color, and it's
really not fast even for gamers or what Arends calls "power users."
"But as a
basic tablet, it's absolutely fine for me," he wrote, "and, I
suspect, a lot of people. Indeed, I happen to prefer it to bigger rivals,
because it actually slips into my overcoat pocket."
iPad measures 9.56 by 7.47 by 0.53 inches, and the Xoom 9.80 by 6.61 by 0.51;
while the Nook Color measures 8.1 by 5 by 0.48 inches. It also features a
7-inch display, 8GB of storage, that's expandable through a microSD slot, and a
normal retail price of $249.
the Nook Color's Nov. 16 shipping date, Gartner analyst Allen Wiener wrote in a blog post
on the research firm's site
that, "The Nook Color, based on its specs, offers the color and rich
flexibility of a tablet blended with the reading experience of the gen-one
In March of
last year, the device also out-shipped the Amazon Kindle
, according to
Digitimes Research, which was told by "unnamed upstream suppliers"
that the Nook was responsible for 53 percent of e-reader shipments in the
United States that month.
Arends suggests, just make it a tablet-or something closer to one?
should I have to invalidate the warranty in order to make their product more
attractive? They'd sell a lot more of these babies if customers could run e-mail
and Facebook and so on out of the box," wrote Arends.
already working on a full app store-albeit incredibly slowly-and the price
difference could bring significant numbers of shoppers in the door. According
to Gartner, the e-reader market is expected to increase 68 percent this year,
over 2010's 6.6 million units.
they get these Nook Colors into people's hands as an Android tablet, they would
work pretty well as a Trojan horse to sell Barnes & Noble books and
magazines as well," wrote Arends. "In other words, it would help the
company's business model, not hinder it."