I know I’ve been talking about the NOOKcolor (a.k.a. NC) for a while now, but I wanted to make sure I really loved it before sharing my review.
It is possibly the best $249 I have ever spent (besides my HTC EVO of course, and that was more at the time). The interface is very user friendly, I learned all the tricks within an hour of receiving my NOOKcolor as a Christmas gift.
Let’s start with registration. You will need to have (or sign up for) a BN.com account. And yes, you are required to enter your information and put a card on the account. You don’t have to buy anything, but they made it mandatory. Some people had a problem with this, but I’m not one of them. This makes it super easy to buy magazines, kids eBooks, and other eBooks from their store.
You will have 3 home screens (remember, the NOOKcolor is built on the Android OS) and you can keep your current read or favorite books directly on it. There’s also a little “shelf” at the bottom for all your new downloads, but you can clean that up by holding your finger on the book/magazine you want to remove. A menu pops up on the bottom of your screen when you press a little arrow “button” in the bottom of your screen. In this menu you will find icons for the BN Shop, your Library, the Extras drawer (where your apps are), a web browser, the settings and a search function.
In the top right there’s a now reading menu that keeps the top 3 magazines, top 3 books, and top 3 documents linked so you can easily switch between what you’ve been reading. There’s also a little open book icon in the bottom that will open what you’ve read recently, right where you left off.
When you’re reading books, not all functions are available if you got your eBook from any source other than the BN.com shop (I know, BOO). When you download a book from another eBook store or borrow the file from someone, you will “side load” them onto your internal memory or your memory card via the included USB chord. Either way, we’ll start with the functions that you’d be able to use whether you have a BN.com book or not.
When you open your book, you tap the screen for a little menu on the bottom to pop up. This menu has a little progress bar on top and 5 shortcuts. You can browse your book with the content shortcut; you’ll have a tab with all the chapters laid out and you can press where you want to start, a tab with notes & highlights that you’ve put into the book, and a tab with your bookmarks.
A text shortcut allows you to change your font size, font style, your background color, your line spacing, and even the distance between the edges of the content and the edge of the screen. I particularly love the background color change ability because there’s a night mode that makes the background a dark gray and the font white. Turning down the brightness, which is another shortcut in the menu, makes this an awesome way to read in the dark while your hubby or child is sleeping next to you. My husband said that alone makes this worth it over the e-ink readers that require a book light to read in the dark.
A feature in the menu that only works when you have a BN.com shop eBook is the share function. This will let you share a passage or your progress from your book with your Twitter and Facebook friends. So not absolutely important for your reading experience, but a fun addition.
Magazines and kid’s eBooks are incredible on this. They look gorgeous. Magazines aren’t exactly easy to read all the way zoomed out, but you can zoom in and BN included a handy dandy article view feature that takes the article, strips it down to text only and displays it in a pop up at a good size making reading super easy.
My son adores his eBooks on the NOOKcolor. He loves to swipe from side to side and change the page (whether we’re set to move on to the next page or not). He grabs my NC and brings it to me whenever he wants to read his book, it’s wonderful.
And right now, the NC software has been updated with some awesome additions. Here’s a list from the BN.com site:
- NEW! Popular apps, games, music & more
- NEW! Full featured email & fun social features
- NEW! Enhanced web with video
I have no problems with the Wifi, it’s been great being able to just download a book where ever I happen to have a connection (I came from an e-ink reader that had to load books via USB cable all the time, not always convenient) When you take your NOOKcolor to a BN store, they typically include a coupon that pops up when you open the shop right on your screen. I’ve gotten a nice free latte on one occasion, mmmm. And the ability to share some books with my sister who also got a NC for Christmas is so much fun. There’s also a NOOK app for Android and iPhone and a lovely feature is having any official BN.com shop eBooks sync to the app on your phone, so you can keep your place in the book whichever device you’re using to read. Super cool.
You can find the technical specs here, including all supported file types (and there’s a ton although I’m partial to ePub). Right now there’s a Mother’s Day deal where if you buy a NC, you get 30% off a case for it! And their cases are gorgeous. I say run, don’t walk, to get yourself a NOOKcolor! 🙂0