Review: Nook Color

By on Nov 29, 2010 | 0 comments

I have been using the Nook Color for about a week now, and I have to say that it is a very well made device. As soon as you open the box and pull out the Nook Color you can feel how well built it is. The screen looks amazing, even at 1/4 brightness that it is set at by default. The size is perfect for reading books and magazines look great on the color screen, but i personally think it’s a little small for viewing them. Article view helps out a lot though, which I will talk about more later. On the initial startup you are greeted by a welcome video. The quality of the video is perfect. Seriously, I don’t really think it could look any better. Unfortunately, this seems to be the only video that I can get to even play on the device, but more about that later. It takes little time to setup. You just set up your WIFI, timezone and log into your account and that is about it. The performance of the Nook Color is great. There is an occasional hiccup with an animation, but it is very minimal. Unless you are sitting there searching for a problem you will most likely not even notice. The device itself only has 4 physical buttons: power, volume up, volume down, and the “n” home button. Pressing the power button locks the screen. If you hold it for 5 seconds it will pop up an option to turn of the device completely. I have been doing this at night because I don’t really have a reason to keep it on. I figured it would be a good addition to the review to time the fresh boot up. It takes 31 seconds to load up all the initial wording and animations. At that point you are on the home screen. So turning the device off completely isn’t really a big time killer. The Nook Color really shines as an ebook reader. I have absolutely no eye strain while using it even though it has an LCD screen. My eyes are totally used to LCD screens though, as I have been using them for the last 10 years regularly. You have many options while reading books or newspapers on the device. You can change the colors, margins, font, line spacing and text size that it displays. It has enough options available that you should be able to find a combination that suits you perfectly. The entire screen is touch enabled. But there are 3 key locations you want to touch while reading. About 1/2 inch on each side of the screen is for page turns. You can just tap on the left side to go back or tap on the right to go ahead. If you don’t like the single tap function, you can also swipe your finger to “move” to the next page. By tapping in the middle of the page, it will bring up an option menu where you can see the content of whatever you are reading along with your bookmarks, search through the text, share (recommend via email, Twitter or Facebook along with posting the % complete as a status update), change the text attributes, and adjust the screen brightness. There is also a slider to go to a specific page. I have tried all of these functions and haven’t come across any problems yet. Where the device begins to have some problems is with media functions. Various sites including YouTube are bookmarked by default in the web browser. I tried a few videos via the home page of YouTube and none of them worked. Each popped up the same “unable to play media” message. To test this further I put a few videos on to my microSD card. I tried 3 videos, all encoded via mp4 as stated on the Nook specs as necessary and none of them worked. There seems to be a major issue with the video codecs on the device. But as I stated earlier, the demo video looks incredible. So I hope an update is released soon that adds more functionality to the video playback portion of the device because as of right now it serves little purpose. I put about 100 mp3 files onto my microSD card also. They played without any problem. I have seen other reviews where mp3 files did not play. But I had no issues, though I didn’t try to play any VBR mp3 files. If any could be a problem I would think those would have the greatest chance of failure. Now back to Article view in magazines. This function makes magazines actually readable. Article view, which works in regular or landscape, pulls the text from within the articles and displays it in the center of the screen. It makes it much easier to scroll through and read the text this way. Magazines would not be very functional if this option was not available. You would be forced to zoom in and out on the magazine, moving it around the screen to view the different columns of text. The web browser works well. It lacks Flash like most other mobile devices. One thing to point out though is the fact that the mobile versions of sites don’t load by default. Every site I visit treats the browser in the Nook as a...

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