Nook Lacks Versatility, App Support

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-04-25 Print this article Print

5. Want color? Get the iPad.

When it comes to color, Barnes & Noble's option easily trumps the Kindle. But the same can't be said for the iPad 2. That device has a fantastic screen that offers the kind of vibrant colors consumers are after. Those who are looking for the best display in the e-reader market will find the most to like from Apple's tablet.

6. Consider the feature set.

Barnes & Noble was quick to point out April 25 that the Nook Color now offers several important updates, including email. That's a nice addition. However, those who own the iPad 2 will get much more than what's offered in the Nook Color. And best of all, those built-in applications, which include email and Web browsing, are far more polished on the iPad 2 than they are on the Nook Color running "Froyo."

7. Other apps abound on the iPad.

As of this writing, the Nook Color offers consumers the ability to download about 125 applications to extend the functionality of that device. Considering the iPad 2 comes with access to Apple's App Store, which has 65,000 tablet applications and over 350,000 applications in total, it's easy to see why consumers would opt for Apple's tablet over any other when they want to extend the usability of a device.

8. Size matters.

The Nook Color features a 7-inch display. For some, that might be a good thing, since they can easily pop the device into a purse or bag, and go about their day. But consider the fact that those who want to be more mobile can opt for the 6-inch Kindle. Moreover, consider the fact that those who want a big, rich display can get that with the iPad 2's 9.7-inch screen or the Kindle DX's 9.7-inch display. If size really matters to consumers, Barnes & Noble doesn't necessarily hold the high ground.

9. Price considerations

Barnes & Noble is quick to point out that its Nook Color delivers the "best value" in the marketplace, retailing for $249. At first glance, it might be tough to argue with that logic. The iPad 2, for example, starts at $499. However, when one considers that there is much more available to them in the iPad 2, including a bigger display, more applications and the opportunity to access several different book stores, the price is put into perspective. In addition, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that Amazon is now offering a version of its 6-inch Kindle for just $114.

10. The Barnes & Noble name

If the Nook Color has any disadvantage, it's the company that produces it. Apple is a highly touted and well-trusted brand in the tech space. Amazon is, too. However, Barnes & Noble is still viewed by most as a bookseller that's trying its luck in the hardware market. That's holding the Nook Color back. Until Barnes & Noble can redefine its brand, it's tough to see how the Nook Color will be able to overcome the iPad or the Kindle over the long term.


Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel