NOOK COLOR – REVIEW JANUARY 2011

I bought my wife a Nook Color for Christmas and I have watched the trials and tribulations of her trying to learn how to use it.

Product Name: Nook Color

Company: Barnes & Noble

Type:eReader Hardware

Product Description:“Nothing brings your reading to life like our VividView? Color Touchscreen. The rich high resolution backlit display uses more than 16 million colors to illuminate stunning images and crisp text for easy reading day or night.

 

8GB of built-in memory lets you hold up to 6,000 books or a combination that might include 1,000 books, 25 full-color magazines, 10 newspapers, 50 kids’ books, 500 songs and 150 photos. Run out of space? Slip in a MicroSD memory card to store even more.Your NOOK books are yours to keep forever. Upgrade your NOOK, replace a lost NOOK or use our free NOOK apps to read on another device – your books are safely stored and can be downloaded anytime, anywhere. NOOK color lets you go beyond reading with our built-in WiFi connection. Surf the web, check your email, read a favorite blog or search Google it’s all just a touch away.

Check back and have a little fun with the growing array of exclusive NOOK extras. Crossword puzzles, Sudoku, Chess and Pandora internet radio are among the fun additions to the NOOK color experience. Bring your NOOK or NOOKcolor into any Barnes & Noble store to get exclusive articles from top authors, and great offers including cafe treats and unique deals.

Read any book free on your NOOK or NOOKcolor for up to an hour per day when connected to the free in-store WiFi. Includes SanDisk 1GB microSD expansion card.”

  • How much does it cost?It is advertised on Barnes & Noble’s website for $259.00.
  • Is this the first time reviewing this product: This is my first review of the Nook Color.
  • Do my students have easy access the product? No, it too expensive for most of my students to have easy access to.
  • Do I currently use Nook Color in my classroom? No, we have MLTI MacBook computers in our State for student use and I use eBooks from a website we subscribe to and put them on the computer for students to read. Students can then use the computer’s Text-to-Speech capabilities to have it read to them while they read along. This has allowed several of my students to enjoy books that are above their current reading level, but are high interest books in their peer group outside of my resource room. Unfortunately, we do not have an eBook reader on the current MLTI image.
  • Is Nook Color intuitive and easy to use or is there a steep learning curve? The Nook definitely has a learning curve, my wife struggles with remembering commands and was a little intimidated with it at first. Where she worked before she retired, she was considered the tech savvy person in the office. So it is not that she isn’t familiar with technology, the Nook seems to work differently than she does. When I use the Nook Color it seems fairly intuitive, but I would want to sit down and play with it for a day to get used to where and how to use it. That is how I do learn to use technology, take the time to play with it to see how much it can actually do.
  • How does the Nook Color apply to Special Education? The Nook Color would be a great addition to a student’s tool box, especially if it gets less expensive. It is basically a miniature tablet laptop that could be used to do many things that textbooks today do and some basic computer functions, but not enough to replace a netbook or laptop yet. I can see a time that the Nook Color or other eReaders will be used extensively in the classroom as replacement for textbooks and as a low cost computing platform. Unfortunately, the Nook does not have Text-to-Speech capabilities at this time, which limits it effectiveness and usefulness in my classroom.
  • Student comments about Nook Color: None but if I took it in, there would be the “cool” factor.
  • Does the Nook Color sync with my iPhone or does it have an iPhone application? The Nook has a iPhone app that sync with the Nook and also my MacBookPro.
  • What features really make me go WOW! The Nook color – color screen is great and I like how I can read it almost everywhere except really bright sunlight. It is light, you don’t need a night lite to read and it doesn’t hurt your eyes to read for long periods of time. Although I haven’t explored it as much as I want to, the ability to add apps later on will become a big deal.
  • What are the other options that do the same function that I have used, how does the Nook Color compare to those? I have used Laptop eReader software, played around with the iPad and have seen the Kindle, but for the money and if you only want an eReader with some other basic computer ability, the Nook Color fits the bill.
  • Limitations: The pricing is beyond most of my students to get as a dedicated eBook reader, there is a learning curve and if you need support (we have called three times – about account and ordering issues) and had to wait more than 25 minutes each time before speaking to a customer service rep). The customer service was great once we got there, but I am not good at waiting to find out answers on a tech issue.

The Reality is that the Nook Color is something that I will likely have this summer. I really don’t need the capabilities of the iPad and it is pretty big and bulky compared to the Nook, plus the Nook is much less expensive. I do most everything on my Laptop and the Nook would probably fit the niche for a primary eReader better than other products out there right now. I want to find out the limitations on how many Nooks you can use with one account. We don’t want to have multiple Barnes & Noble accounts with several different libraries on the different Nooks, because sometimes we read the same books and lending back and forth doesn’t make sense for us.

Recommendation: I plan to get one too.