B&N Nook

 

Barnes and Noble are a fairly recent addition to the e-reader market releasing their first reader to the market in 2009. Barnes and Noble are the biggest book store in the USA and therefore it doesn’t come as a surprise that they have bought into the whole e-reading revolution. They have quickly established themselves in the e-reader market by producing readers that rival the main competitors in the market offering a variety of devices with a range of features including colour screen technology.

Due to their experience in the book market the Barnes and Noble online stores is one of the strongest out there, offering thousands of titles available for download.  The Nook range is known for being one of the first readers to develop an application allowing for their Nook libraries to be spread over a number of devices.

nook pictures

The Nook range works on an Android operating system and has allowed Barnes and Noble to introduce applications on to some of their readers such as angry birds. Lifting the Nook range up in the aspect of multimedia.

General Consensus

The general consensus on the Nook readers has been positive with critics and consumers comparing the readers to the likes of the Amazon Kindle range who are known for being the top of the e-reading market. The major complaints that have been sparked as a result of Barnes and Noble entering the e-reading market is not the readers themselves but the actual company and their market.

The Nook range offers many features seen on other devices but also keeps the price down, much to the delight of their users and the online book store has been praised for its variance and high amount of novels.

After the release of the Nook Simple Touch a lot of users were not happy with the partitioning of the memory on the device as Barnes and Noble had limited the devices in-built memory to only accept files purchased from the Barnes and Noble store regardless of the format of the file. This angered users due to the fact that it was not clearly advertised as Barnes and Noble had said that it was up to the amount and worded it as ‘may’ rather than will.

The Nook readers are loved by the market, particularly with Barnes and Noble now opening up the e-reading market to children’s books however the company are putting people off by being on the cusp of false advertising, for example saying the battery life is up to 2 months rather than the reality being around 1.

Overall the Nook range by Barnes and Noble is very popular amongst not only adult readers but also children who can now carry out interactive journeys through books created for the Nook Color in the Kids range. The online library at Barnes and Noble is forever increasing giving the readers the opportunity to find all their favourite titles in one place.

The New Nook Simple Touch

nook simple touchThe newest reader to be released by Barnes and Noble is the Nook Simple Touch, released in May 2011 and is the upgrade of the original Nook released in 2009. The main features on the device includes an eInk display with touchscreen thanks to infrared beams rather than a layer over the screen meaning that the touch screen interface does not compromise the display at all.  The Nook Simple Touch has 2GB in-built memory with the option of expanding the memory up to 32GB, allowing the user enough space for a large library.

The Nook Simple Touch only allows for connectivity via Wi-Fi, with this disabled Barnes and Noble quoted 2 months battery life on this model however this is nearer 1 month with users reading a considerable amount a day.

The reception to the release of the Nook Simple Touch was positive with reviews praising Barnes and Noble for working on the reading experience of the device and was even claimed as the best reader on the market.

Read our Nook Simple Touch Review

 

The Nook Color

nook colorThe Nook Color is one of the first readers to feature a fully colour display, the Nook Color using a 7” VividView color screen. The screen quality is very strong allowing the user to view a wide range of colours and with a high resolution display of 1024 x 600 the display is vibrant and effective.

The Nook Color is also touchscreen using infrared technology and an on screen keyboard for easy navigation of the device. The device features a built in media player that supports both audio and video (video being a new inclusion on reading devices) showcasing the Nook Color as not only a reading device but also a multimedia tablet.

The color screen bought with it the development of ‘Nook Kids’ by Barnes and Noble which is a whole service dedicated to children’s books as the Nook Color has the hardware to deal with this style of book due to the inclusion of colour being very important in children’s reading.

Weighing in at 450g the Nook Color is far heavier than other readers on the market, compromising its portability being almost half a kilogram.  This is a downside, however the new features on the device seem to make up for this.

The Nook Color and The New Simple Touch are the most up to date readers released by Barnes and Noble, however there are a few previous generations which are now discontinued, although they can still be found on online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay.

Read our Nook Color Review

The Nook (Original 1st Gen)

nook first genReleased in November 2009 the Nook’s first edition still isn’t that dated compared to some other readers out there. The Nook entered the market with features such as built in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity, touchscreen interface and an eInk display. The Nook first edition is still available for purchase on the Barnes and Noble store as it is fairly different from the 2nd generation.

The Nook had many design features that had not been seen in other readers, one of these was the interchangeable backs allowing the user to swap between grey and white, this was received well as it gave the Nook a burst of life when the user started to become used to it.

The Nook first generation allowed the user to store their own images on the device and have these saved as their screen saver in preference to an image of a dead author which was seen on other readers. This is a nice addition however is not particularly effective due to the eInk screen not displaying colour. The Nook also offered expandable memory of up to 16GB with the inclusion of an SD memory card slot.

The most interesting feature on the original Nook was that Barnes and Noble included a 3.5” color display underneath the main eInk display with the idea of being able to skim through the books on your device by viewing their front covers in full color.

Read our Nook (first generation) Review

 

Books for the Device

The Nook range has the advantage when it comes to purchasing books as there are many online retailers that offer this service. The only limitations on the device is that the limited memory reserves space for Barnes and Noble purchases only, therefore if you plan on buying the majority of your books from other stores then it will be key to buy a memory card to expand the memory as this is not limited to where files are purchased from.

Amazon offer a large range of books, over 695,000 titles to be exact, with the majority being supported on the Barnes and Noble as it runs on an Android operating system, it is still important to check every single book you may purchase against the specifications of your device to make sure that it is compatible and that you are not wasting money.

The best place to purchase books for the Nook range is from the Barnes and Noble site itself as this gives the user guaranteed satisfaction that the books are supported by their readers and will be easy to download and transfer on to their device without the worry of having to try and convert the file.

As the Nook supports such a wide range of document format there is a variety of stores that offer books in the same formats that the Nook’s cater for, PDF files can be found on many other sites than the Barnes and Noble store, for example Google books and Waterstones have many PDF files which are available for download.

Any store which sells eBooks in the format of an EPUB will be compatible with the Nook, some examples of these are Borders, eBooks.com, Waterstones and WHSmiths.

The Barnes and Noble online store now has a ‘Nook Kids’ collection which is a range of children’s books designed to be used on the Nook Color reader. A nice feature of the kids range is that some of the eBooks are designed to be interactive so the child can read and play at the same time, making learning a fun activity which will be very useful to parents, giving a whole new meaning to bedtime story.

Accessories

The Nook range by Barnes and Noble has a host of accessories available to their users ranging from lights to cases.  The Barnes and Noble store certainly provides the best accessories range compared to any other readers on the market.

The first section to consider is cases for the reader, both practical and decorative a case protects the reader from any cosmetic damage, for instance scratches to the back of the device and can also protect the screen from being damaged when transporting the device for instance. The cases provided on the Barnes and Noble are retailed at around $25 up to the premium covers at around $50. The selection of cases is wide and provides the user with many options that will personalise their reader including patterns and quotes from favourite authors.

Another category for the Nook range is the essentials, including accessories that assist the device in actually running, for example chargers which allow the reader to be charged at the mains or even in a car (from the cigarette lighter). Not only this but there are items such as travel stands so that the device does not have to be held all the time, which can cause strain on the user. Lastly there are lights which clip on to the device and illuminate the screen, these are only needed for the eInk displays as the color screen has its own backlight.

Barnes and Noble have worked with a designer called Jonathan Adler to create a pair of designer covers for the Nook range featuring a book style case with an ‘&’ symbol on the front.

One of the more unique accessories for the Nook is a range of three different coloured gift bags that come emblazoned with the Nook logo. Not only this but they also come with tissue paper bearing the Nook symbol, a nice touch, especially when a great deal of Nook readers are bought for loved ones.

Barnes and Noble have also released a range of accessories tailored to the Nook Color. There are yet again cases, frames and even designer cases within this range.  There are also charms available for the Nook Color as on the bottom left hand corner of the device is a small triangular cut out where a charm can be attached, always a nice way to personalise the device.

More Information

Nook

  • Nook Simple Touch
  • Nook Color
  • Nook (First Gen)

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