Barnes & Noble Nook Color
Manufacturer: Barnes & Noble Part number: NOOKCOLOR
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CNET editors' review
price range: $129.95 - $179.99
- Reviewed by: David Carnoy
- Edited by: John Falcone
- Reviewed on: 11/15/2010
- Updated on:08/12/2012
- Released on: 11/16/2010
The good: Color e-book reader with vibrant 7-inch touch screen; zippy performance; built-in Wi-Fi; Barnes & Noble Nookbook store; 8GB onboard memory, plus microSD expansion slot; built-in Web browser works well; supports PDF, Word, and ePub files; displays images and some video formats; support for audio and MP3 playback; new Nook apps expand functionality of the device and make it more of a full-featured tablet; Flash support for Web browser.
The bad: Eight hours battery life for reading pales in comparison with battery life on e-ink readers; no access to full Android Market; battery isn't user-replaceable; processor could be faster.
The bottom line: Barnes & Noble's Nook Color is a capable color touch-screen e-book reader that offers much of the functionality of an Android tablet for half the price of an iPad.
It beat my expectations
by gear1152 on November 19, 2010
Pros: Relatively snappy performance. Physical home button is convenient. Wide range of formats. Decent web performance. Beautiful display. Expansion slot.
Cons: I wish there were a page-flip graphic when flipping pages on books. Expansion slot a little funky to get to (but I haven't actually put anything in it yet).
Summary: I'm reviewing this as a reader's tablet, which is how it's marketed and what I wanted when I bought it. It's not an iPad and doesn'...
Summary: I'm reviewing this as a reader's tablet, which is how it's marketed and what I wanted when I bought it. It's not an iPad and doesn't claim the same functionality. For the price, it does what it claims to do extremely well, which is why I'm giving it 4.5 stars.UPDATE: After more use, here are some more observations. First, Moxiematt, the pdf files look very good. It is like reading a pdf on a computer. Sometimes the zoom can be hard to get just right, but there is a "fit width" button, which looks pretty good in landscape. I downloaded pdfs on the web browser from journal websites without any problem.
The LCD screen is beautiful and reading on it is not a problem, though I have never owned an e-ink display device so I can't make a direct comparison. About that - I don't read in the sunlight, I read at home, typically when it's dark out, so the LCD thing is actually a positive for me. The pre-loaded magazines look awesome, and the special magazine display works well and makes reading the text easy. Wi-fi performance is good; books download in seconds. The marketplace seemed easy to use and the size of the device makes the little keyboard that pops up very easy to use with the thumbs in portrait mode. I think this is an advantage over larger devices like the iPad. I haven't tried looking at office docs yet, but I'll update this in a few days with any impressions. The web runs pretty well. It's not your laptop, so don't expect to be playing games or anything, but for poking around, reading blogs, checking email, it actually works well. The youtube channel on it seems to have sacrificed resolution for playback speed. I've heard that some sites with heavy flash content will crash the browser and device, but it hasn't happened yet. The included apps are nice (pandora, crossword, sudoku, chess, others). I'm a scientist, so I read A LOT of pdf files which is why this is the only reader that would suit me. That being said, it has so far beat my expectations. If you're in the market for an ereader, you should definitely consider it. I'll try to update this in a week or so with more impressions.
Updated on Nov 29, 2010
As another reviewer noted, the edge of screen can be difficult to activate in the "crossword" setting and occasionally the screen is a bit touchy. Pandora runs great, and you can listen while reading or doing other tasks but the sound is small. Earphone sound is decent. It does require more frequent charging than a dedicated e-reader, but I'm willing to do that for the extra features. I haven't noticed any eyestrain from the LCD screen. Still very happy with it and reiterate the 4.5* review.
Updated on Dec 9, 2010Last update, written on the nook. Office docs can be viewed but not edited. They look pretty good, e.g. it's easy to read word docs, and xls files with multiple sheets can viewed, even with graphs, although they are often wonky. I've gotten more used to the touchscreen. Very few problems with the browser, although sometimes a link won't go through, it is very rare. Epubs from google editions work well. Easily viewable in sunlight if you turn up the brightness, but is definitely more finger-printy. I'm charging every other day or so. Arrow keys on the keyboard would be nice. Still impressed.
Updated on May 9, 2011Some thoughts on the software update: Youtube and other flash-containing websites run much better. Battery life also seems to be improved. App store has a few decent apps, but hopefully that will expand. Of note is the news reader, which is great (and free). Strangely, the "back" function on the browser seems to have disappeared. Overall, an improvement. It's still a reader's tablet, but certainly has more functionality. Mine has developed a white pixel, so I'm going to try and get it replaced, though I'm not sure i that's covered.
22 out of 22 users found this user opinion helpful.
It's a reader's tablet
by darjeeling_unlimited on November 16, 2010
Pros: It's a new kind of device IMO. The magazine reading is great, so is the ePub and side-loaded PDF/Doc etc content. The display is beautiful, brings magazines to life. The fonts are crisper compared to the iPad, probably because of the denser display.
Cons: From what I saw during beta-testing, there's a fair lot of things B&N can improve on. The Magazine reading experience is a bit sluggish, apps like Pandora are there and good, but there needs to be better integration with the whole reading experience.
Summary: At $249, this is a fair deal. Don't vilify it for what it doesn't say it is - I don't understand the criticism for the lack of ...
Summary: At $249, this is a fair deal. Don't vilify it for what it doesn't say it is - I don't understand the criticism for the lack of Android Marketplace, no Flash (which is not entirely true - the kid's books are Adobe AIR apps), or battery life. OK maybe you expect more battery juice for an e-reader. I saw forget Android or whatever is under the hood and experience the UI, which hardly smells of Android.
B&N has wowed all, but they need to make the UX slicker, first reading, then graphics and video and audio. This product proves that it's not bleeding edge (read color e-ink), but an existing technology well packaged and positioned. Much like the iPad, but again I'd not step into that comparison - both product positioning and price wise.
18 out of 20 users found this user opinion helpful.
Writing this review from my Nook Color...
by ryan_briggs80 on December 3, 2010
Pros: The reading experience combined with the web browser and media made this the perfect device that sits comfortably between a dedicated e-reader and a tablet. Exactly what I was looking for and at a great price.
Cons: Battery life, possibly. Keep in mind the juice it takes to keep that beautiful LED backlit display looking oh so pretty. Worth the trade off in my opinion.
Summary: Very happy with the purchase. Would do it all over again.Multiple "big name" websites are reporting that there will be an OS update to ...
Updated on Dec 14, 2010
Summary: Very happy with the purchase. Would do it all over again.Multiple "big name" websites are reporting that there will be an OS update to android 2.2 come January. With it will flash support. While that has been confirmed by B&N, the rumour that the update will give users access to the android market has not....and I would doubt it due to the fact B&N has gone through the trouble of developing and launching their own app programmer limiting developers to put together apps with the reader in mind. B&N claims that apps will be available early '11. The NOOKcolor is one of the hottest gadgets on the market right now amongst tech geeks that have the time and the knowhow to hack into devices like these. There are many reports out there of NOOKcolors running 2.2 OS already with access to the android market giving them a device that is now equivalent to tablets more than double the price. As the potential of the NOOKcolor is slowly being realized by critics the desire to have one has increased dramatically since they came out last month.
Updated on Dec 14, 2010
Updated on Dec 14, 2010Multiple "big name" websites are reporting that there will be an OS update to android 2.2 come January. With it will flash support. While that has been confirmed by B&N, the rumour that the update will give users access to the android market has not....and I would doubt it due to the fact B&N has gone through the trouble of developing and launching their own app programmer limiting developers to put together apps with the reader in mind. B&N claims that apps will be available early '11. The NOOKcolor is one of the hottest gadgets on the market right now amongst tech geeks that have the time and the knowhow to hack into devices like these. There are many reports out there of NOOKcolors running 2.2 OS already with access to the android market giving them a device that is now equivalent to tablets more than double the price. As the potential of the NOOKcolor is slowly being realized by critics the desire to have one has increased dramatically since they came out last month.
16 out of 17 users found this user opinion helpful.
Good, but jury still out...
by tad0900 on November 23, 2010
Pros: Color books look great.
Screen is easy to read once you turn down the default brightness setting a bit.
Web browser is pretty good, but not easy to use compared to iPad. Difficult to select input fields (even when enlarged) on the small screen.
Cons: Contrary to review, it doesn't charge via the USB port of a computer, only when plugged into the wall outlet.
Onscreen keyboard is touchy; in the Crossword, I had trouble getting a response for letters such as "P" near the edge of the screen.
Summary: Overall, I'm happy with the purchase and look forward to OS upgrades which should improve the overall experience. The battery life is certainly a concern in some instances. I ...
Summary: Overall, I'm happy with the purchase and look forward to OS upgrades which should improve the overall experience. The battery life is certainly a concern in some instances. I recently took a trans-Pacific flight and read 2 1/2 books on my Kindle without making much of a dent in the battery; that wouldn't be possible on the Color Nook.
Lack of 3G connectivity can be annoying when you are used to having it on a Kindle or iPad. For example, I use the Kindle's 3G (free!) connectivity to access my LibraryThing account when shopping in used book stores to make sure I'm not buying something I already own.
Haven't been able to download and access books quite as easily on the Nook as I can on the Kindle, either. I need to spend a few more minutes figuring out how the Libraries work in conjunction with the directory structure. Some books I download or copy from my PC are hard to open unless I press down on them for a few seconds, whereas other books open with a tap.
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
Terrible customer service and poor PDF integration
by rakehell on January 10, 2011
Pros: WfiFi connection and downloads are automated.
Easy to read and the user interface is largely intuitive.
Cons: Customer service is a misnomer. There is no customer service unless (good luck), you can get them on the phone. Otherwise, their responses are cut/pasted from their FAQ. They don't appear to read your email either.
Summary: Getting through to customer service via phone is next to impossible. Using email will get you a canned response that, in my cases, were irrelevant to the problem I had ...
Summary: Getting through to customer service via phone is next to impossible. Using email will get you a canned response that, in my cases, were irrelevant to the problem I had submitted. They apparently don't bother to read your email because it's faster to just cut/paste a canned response and tell you to call the phone line if you have any further problem. Very frustrating.One really good question to ask your Nook salesperson is "Where are the thousands of free ebooks you claim are available?" If you look on the B&N site under free eBooks, you'll see 5 pages of maybe 15-20 books per page. That's hardly "thousands".
Updated on Feb 4, 2011
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very nice reader waiting for some apps
by Joey301 on November 29, 2010
Pros: Nice screen, great colors, easy to read. Beta internet browser, reads .pdf files, easy to use out of the box, easy to get books, expandable memory, easy mp3 player, connects readily to my wireless network
Cons: Short lending period for books, not enough e-magazines, does not load pdf files quickly and they are difficult to read due to page size, no back button on some screens
Summary: This is a really nice device. It feels good in my hand with solid construction. It was easy to use right out of the box. I am sharing a BN ...
Summary: This is a really nice device. It feels good in my hand with solid construction. It was easy to use right out of the box. I am sharing a BN site with someone so I wish there was a way to switch credit cards from the Nook itself and not have to log on to BN. It is very easy to read books on this device. I am happy that it loads pdf files, but they are not as easy to read as the books. Instead, they are the wrong size and it takes a long time to load a page, so it is not like books in turning pages to read a pdf file. Since this is a Droid device, I am hopeful there will soon be some upgrades, and also a few apps. The only reason I did not give this thing 5 stars is how it handles pdf files.
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Customer Service is horrible and the device is buggy
by venkat_santhanam on July 10, 2011
Pros: When it works, it works
Cons: The device jumps pages. You try to turn one page, and it auto turns serveral pages. Call Customer Service and they will ask you to reset and deregister the nook. It doesnt work. So, they will send you a replacement. The replacement is a pre-owned (reads t
Summary: The device jumps pages. You try to turn one page, and it auto turns serveral pages. Call Customer Service and they will ask you to reset and deregister the nook. ...
Summary: The device jumps pages. You try to turn one page, and it auto turns serveral pages. Call Customer Service and they will ask you to reset and deregister the nook. It doesnt work. So, they will send you a replacement. The replacement is a pre-owned (reads the box). Hold the replacement in hand and it will weigh heavier than the original (as heavy as an ipad). Call customer service, and they will keep repeating that they send nook color only, but for some reason it is heavy. The customer service agrees, the pre-owned nooks goes through some processing AND THE REPLACEMENT IS HEAVY.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
If you want an ereader, this isn't the one for you.
by jnosacka on January 9, 2011
Pros: Backlit screen, and it's a good size for reading at 7 inches, bigger than the typical eink screen. Web browsing. Page turning is immediate.
Cons: Heavier than you'd think. Cannot be operated with one hand for very long. Touch screen doesn't always take your touch. Battery life less than other eink readers. Do not expect this to sync to your iPhone or other device like the eink readers will
Summary: I purchased this instead of the eink version because of the way it turned pages. It happens in the blink of an eye. The eink screen, when turning, goes all ...
Summary: I purchased this instead of the eink version because of the way it turned pages. It happens in the blink of an eye. The eink screen, when turning, goes all fuzzy and then resolves into the text. That happens quickly, but it was still off-putting. Also, I wrongly assumed that the Nook Color would sync to my last read place on my iphone. It does not have this functionality. You have to read the functions on the web site carefully to see that it's not the same as the eink version. What I really don't like about this device is that it's heavy. Your not going to hold it upright for the same time that you would hold a paperback. Also, I kind of expected I would be able to operate this with one hand. I know that I can't do that with a paperback, but this is modern tech, right? Well, to be honest, you can turn the page forward with one hand if you hold it where you can wrap your index or middle finger around to the screen, but this is really awkward and you won't do this for very long. Video is a plus and a minus. It's great that it's there, but there's no flash support and it doesn't support mpg and avi formats and that's what most of my stuff is.
That being said, it's still a very nifty gadget. the web browsing is cool. The screen is plenty clear and bright; I don't think "eye strain" is going to be a factor unless you're just prone to it (read "half-blind" ;).
Truthfully, it's great. It's just not a one handed device that you can read novels for days. If that's what you want, this isn't it.
4 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
A well design and form factor color eReader
by happyguy1 on November 19, 2010
Pros: Perfect size for a ebook and magazine reader
Attractive design and reasonable price!
Great color screen
Cons: it could use longer run time
Also I am a Asian, B/N would should improve their font support just as Kindle did(the font is build in(I could read asian web page,they just need to add a few line of code in their os-ebook reader sw I would think)
Summary: I had a iPad before, as a ebook reader, it beat the iPad due to weight and form factor, this device should also take a lot of sell away from ...
Summary: I had a iPad before, as a ebook reader, it beat the iPad due to weight and form factor, this device should also take a lot of sell away from both iPad and Kindle this christmas season!
Amazon, watch out
4 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Could have been so much better
by nick20000 on March 23, 2011
Pros: Attractive design; web browser works well; can "borrow" e-books from my local library
Cons: Heavy; short battery life; dictionary does not work for non-Nook books
Summary: Of the major e-readers, only the Nook and the Sony reader allows one to borrow e-books from libraries. I chose Nook over Kindle specifically because I wanted to read borrowed ...
Summary: Of the major e-readers, only the Nook and the Sony reader allows one to borrow e-books from libraries. I chose Nook over Kindle specifically because I wanted to read borrowed e-books from my local library (because, not all books are worth buying). Instead of capitalizing on this feature to sell more Nooks (and subsequently more books), BN makes it annoying and tiresome.
Buying books from the Nook store is easy and fast. There is, however, no elegant way to sideload books to your Nook. You can connect the Nook to the computer and transfer books as if it were an usb drive. The folder where you need to copy the book is several levels deep, however. So, to read access the book from Nook, you have to click through several layers of folders. Also, Nook only shows the file name instead of the book title. This is annoying because files from gutenberg.org aren't very descriptive. You can't rename the file through Nook.
If you use Adobe Digital Editions to copy the book, Nook will show the author and title of the book if you jump through some hoops. ADE, however, is buggy and requires you to manually drag files to the program, then to Nook. It's also giving me lots of error messages, but it could just be my computer.
By design, no sideloaded books show up on the home screen. Only books from BN show up on the home screen. The best you can do is create a "shelf" and manually put each sideloaded book onto that shelf, which is one level below the home screen.
Annoyinly, Nook's dictionary does not allow you to look up a word that is not on the page. Worse, Nook dictionary does not work for non-Nook books. A dictionary app would have been nice.
All in all, I wish the people at BN spent more time polishing up the interface. It seems shortsighted to make it so hard to read sideloaded content.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Barnes & Noble
- Part number: NOOKCOLOR
- Description: Incredibly clear, sharp text and images from an unsurpassed high resolution display at 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch (PPI). It is reduced glare and optimum brightness for reading indoors or outside. Backlit is designed for easy reading day or night. Expand your memory up to 32GB with microSD memory card. Use NOOKcolor as an audio player for your MP3 and AAC files to listen to audio books or music. NOOKcolor holds up to 100 hours of audio. Watch videos in MP4 format. Customize your NOOKcolor quickly and easily. Load your own photos to create personal wall papers. Keep a gallery of cherished pictures and fun videos on your NOOKcolor.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type eBook reader
- Dimensions (W x D x H) 5 in x 0.48 in x 8.1 in
- Weight 15.8 oz
- Slot provided type [Dec 3, 2010 from CDS: Slot Provided] microSD
- Type 7 in,
Color IPS TFT active matrix
- Display Resolution 1024 x 600 ( 169 ppi )
- Touchscreen Yes
- Features VividView,
- Display type 7 in,
TFT active matrix
- Max resolution 1024 x 600
- Processor Texas Instruments
- Processor Clock Speed 800 MHz
- Flash Memory 8 GB
- Installed RAM 512 MB
- RAM 512 MB
- Supported Flash Memory Cards microSD,
- Max Supported Capacity 32 GB
- Flash memory installed 8 GB
- Wireless Connectivity 802.11b/g/n
Operating System / Software
- Preloaded Software Chess,
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition,
- Supported Text Formats EPUB ,
- Supported Still Image Formats PNG,
- Features Touch screen ,
Expandable memory ,
- GPS Navigation None
- Supported Digital Video Formats MPEG-4,
- Audio Speaker
- Supported Digital Audio Formats AAC ,
- Type Touch-screen
- Recharge Time 3 hour(s)
- Power supply device Power adapter
Expansion and Connectivity
- Expansion Slot(s) 1 x microSD
- Interfaces 1 x USB,
1 x Headphones
- Run Time 8 hour(s)
- Included Accessories Power adapter
- Cables Included 1 x USB cable
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 5 in
- Depth 0.48 in
- Height 8.1 in