Monday, November 22, 2010

My New Nookcolor

What I'm reading: Espresso Shot, by Cleo Coyle

Since there's too much to cover in a single post, my 'review' of my nookcolor will be ongoing—especially since I'm still learning. I'm not trying to promote this reader over print books or any other readers; as my earlier post said, there should be choices in book formats, so why not choices in readers? I hope my notes will help you decide if the nookcolor might have the features you want.

My new nookcolor (hereafter abbreviated as NC, so as not to confuse anyone who thinks this is a 'regular' Nook) arrived on schedule Saturday afternoon. Aside from the usual difficulties in separating the contents from the secure packaging—the section with the cables was very hard to get at, and the spot marked "pull to remove" on the plastic covering of the NC itself didn't have an easy way to grab it so one could actually pull—step one, charging the unit was easy. And because you can use it while it charges, I didn't have to wait (although I did run through the simple user's guide that came with it.)

Now, I mentioned before that my primary reason for buying the nc was because it was getting harder to find content I liked for my eBookwise and because the NC was one of the only new readers with the back lit, LCD screen. Since I haven't used any other readers, my notes are based on comparing my eBookwise with my new NC.

Weight: eBookwise weighs 1 lb, 1.9 oz. The NC weighs 15.4 oz. Not a significant difference, although there's a different "feel" to them. It's very slim compared to my eBookwise, which has its large batteries tucked into the side of the device. However, that also works as kind of a hand-grip, so I never minded while I was reading. Also, the eBookwise lets you 'flip' the content so you can grip it with either hand. In comparison, my hard cover WHEN DANGER CALLS weights 1 lb, 3.5 oz, and my trade paperback, HIDDEN FIRE, weighs 13.6 oz.

The eBookwise is strictly a reader. It has features such as markup, highlight, find, etc, but there's no internet connection. It's for reading books. The nc has a lot more bells and whistles, including not only a WiFi connection (if you're in the right place), but also pre-loaded 'extras' such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.

Comparing some of the basics:

Page Turning: eBookwise—2 large buttons; one moves ahead, the other back. Easy to use while holding the unit. NC—either tap the page or 'flick'. Tapping on the right margin moves to the next page; the left margin goes backward. Flicking works in either direction.

This was a 'sacrifice' I knew I'd be making. One-handed, it's a little harder to flick one's thumb while holding the reader, but it's definitely do-able. The tapping requires a bit more force, and if you tap too near the bottom margin, you get an options menu. (More on that in another post).

Font selection: eBookwise: 2 sizes, font determined by publisher. NC: 6 sizes, 6 different fonts. Also, you can change the line spacing and the margins as well as the background color.

Page Numbers: eBookwise: page numbers are 'screen' numbers, and depending on the font size you choose. There's a bar at the bottom with the screen number you're on, and it moves across so you can see approximately where you are in the book. NC: at the top, it says which page you're on and how many pages are in the book, as well as what book you're reading. The eBookwise doesn't always have headers; I think it depends on how the publisher has set it up.

Getting started:

The Nook starts you off with a video tutorial about the basics, including all the different "gestures" such as tapping, holding, dragging—nothing different from any other touch screen device, and since I have an Android phone, I was familiar with that.

You have to register the NC with Barnes and Noble, and since I had created an account in order to buy the NC, that was no problem. The keyboard is larger, and therefore much easier to use than my phone (which was a pain to set up, but that's another story). You also have to connect to a WiFi network. We have a home system, and I had to input a kazillion digit access code—again, not a problem with the keyboard. The only drawback is that there's no duplication of number/symbol keys on the alpha keyboard, so you have to tap back and forth to enter numbers.

The NC comes with some sample content already loaded. I think there must be a system by which they know who you are, because in addition to a couple of free kids' books (which I'm glad to have because our grandson knows how to use all these gizmos—you should see him flick his way through iPhone apps) and some classics, they had a sample of one of my Wild Rose Press short stories, "Hurricane Breeze." Flattering as that was, I can't believe that everyone who activated their NC got that sample—but wouldn't that be cool!

The text was crisp and clear, and as I'd mentioned in my earlier post, there's no problem with text running into gutters. Someone said her eye doctor told her e-books caused less eyestrain because your eyes don't have to keep changing focus to follow text on a sloping page.

As I learn more, I'll post more. I hope this is of some interest—if you'd rather I not dwell on the reader, let me know in the comments. I can probably find something else to talk about!

Tomorrow my guest is author Kathleen O'Brien, a former Central Florida RWA chapter mate. She's talking about a Room of One's Own: and she's got prizes, so make sure you come back.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Very interesting! I've looked at the Nook (not the color one, though) a couple of times when I've been at B&N. Sounds like a great reader. And anything that helps with eyestrain sounds like a plus...

Alan Orloff said...

Thanks for this analysis, Terry. I'll be back to learn more about it!

Chudney Thomas said...

I'm still holding back on buying an ereader. Not because I don't want one, but because I can't decide and there are those kids we have to buy a computer for.:)

Carol Kilgore said...

One thing I'm really interested in is how well it does outside in sunlight. I've heard pros and cons about the iPad, which is also backlit. This was excellent so far. It's all helping me decide which reader I really want. Thanks.

Terry Odell said...

Elizabeth: you can also read for free for an hour on a Nook at any B&N (although since we're nowhere near one, that's a feature I won't use often)

Alan - I'll be adding to this series

Chudney - good to see you! And yeah, I unsderstand the 'kids come first' routine all too well.

Carol - I bought the anti-glare screen thingies, although I haven't tried it. I never did much reading outside--in Florida it was too dang hot to sit out in the sunshine. But I'll be testing this one. I did use it as we drove to breakfast yesterday and adjusting the font, background and brightness seemed to work fine.

Carol Kilgore said...

Cool :)

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

I got a Nook last January and now I SO want the color one, but know I can't justify buying the new one just for the color. Maybe I'll give my old Nook to my son as a bonus graduation gift and then get myself a new one? Then again, I'm not so sure about the flick/tap thing. I love laying on my side in bed and just pressing the button to turn pages. I'll have to test it out at B&N.

Wynter said...

Thanks for all the great info. And very cool that your story was one of the samples. Here's hoping it's on every NC sold!

Terry Odell said...

Stacy - I'm still getting used to the page turning. However, I've heard that some of the other readers have buttons that were too easy to push by accident, unlike my eBookwise. If I had larger hands, it would probably be easier. I agree, I'm a 'lie on my side in bed' reader and will be testing the options.

Wynter - I only wish. I have a feeling there's some equivalent of a 'bot' that found me and my short story for the sample. But yeah, it would be cool!

Nancy J. Cohen said...

I just got a Kindle and love it so far. I don't see the need for color just to read books. If you want the other functions, then it's sensible. My husband likes magazines and coffee table type books, so he'd probably prefer the color Nook or a tablet.

Terry Odell said...

Nancy - I'd have been happy with a black and white (although the covers are pretty) reader, but couldn't find one with the LCD screen. So, I got what I wanted, plus a bunch of stuff I could probably live without (although I loaded a bunch of my pictures onto it this afternoon, which is cool)

Anonymous said...

Keep talking! The more I learn, the better value for my money when the Great Moment arrives.
Gail - a DLer

Terry Odell said...

Gail - I'll be back with more observations about my NOOKcolor. I'm having fun playing with it.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Interesting stuff, Terry. Thanks for all the info. I'm going to get an e-reader for Christmas, so it's nice to get feedback from those who've made purchases already.

Terry Odell said...

Patricia - as always, I'm happy to share what I learn, no matter what it's about. I think Best Buy and Walmart are supposed to sell readers so there's a 'try before you buy' possibility.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Terry,
Interesting post, thank you for the information. I want to buy an e-reader but I can't make up my mind which one.



Tina said...

Hi Terry,

I've had my NC for a week now, and I LOVE it! I admit I don't have any point of comparison since this is my first e-reader, but I keep finding more and more things I like about it. My bro-in-law has a Kindle 1, and after seeing my NC, is absolutely drooling with envy! :-) I know that not everyone needs or wants the "extras" that the NC has, but I'm finding them very enjoyable, especially the Pandora streaming music, internet access, and crossword puzzles. I haven't tried it in the sunlight yet (I rarely read outside), but so far, I haven't found anything I don't like about it.


Terry Odell said...

Margaret - it's not an easy choice -- but at least there ARE choices.

Tina - I like the crossword puzzles too!

GunDiva said...

I love my original nook. I've looked at the NC, but will be sticking with the original. I actually like the fact that it's not backlit, it reads more like a book. I also love the page turning options on the nook - push the buttons or swipe the touchpad.

I'm hoping that I can still find an "old school" (now that's funny, because they're only a year old) nook for my parents for Christmas. They, like me, are total fumblefingers with touchscreens.

Can't wait to read more about the NC.