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Archive for the ‘Nook’ Category

Initial Nook Review: Day 1

Friday, December 11th, 2009

In place of the writing responses today, I’ll use this space to talk about the Nook. We will return to our normal schedule next week with the writing prompt responses.

As I mentioned yesterday, my Nook arrived yesterday.  After charging the ereader for a few hours, I took it off the charger and started to try it out.

Right off the bat, I was impressed that I was able to access the online store from my rural house.  Some cell phone companies don’t have access at my location, so I was glad to see the Nook worked just fine.

After registering my Nook, the first thing I wanted to try was looking at my free copy of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.  When I ordered my Nook, I had noticed (by way of the huge advertisement on the Barnes & Noble web page) that they were giving away a free electronic copy of Malcolm Gladwell’s book to those that preordered a Nook.  While this wasn’t a vital part of my decision, I did enjoy Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, so I was looking forward to reading The Tipping Point.

However, when I turned on my new Nook, I discovered that the book wasn’t there.  Where was my copy of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell?

I immediately called Barnes and Noble’s service line.  As it turns out, apparently the preorder offer was limited to the first 10,000 customers, and I didn’t make the cut.  However, the service person I spoke with was kind enough to offer a $10 gift card to offset the cost of purchasing the book.  It would have been nicer to receive the book immediately, but at least they were willing to put forth an effort to make it right.

The next thing I tried was searching through the online store using the Nook.  The refresh rate was not impressive, but considering that this is e-paper, the refresh rate can’t be expected to match a typical computer monitor.

When I tried to search for Eats Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, I found that the keypad on the touch screen did not work well with my relatively large fingers–I kept hitting the wrong key, which quickly became frustrating.  I’d like to use a stylus instead, but after some quick Google searches, it appears that there are none that currently work with Nook.  The refresh rate definitely has an impact here–you need to wait a second or so between each key press if you want to see whether you’ve made an error.

I ended up going back to my Netbook and using that instead to order the book.  The process moved fairly smoothly since I could easily hit backspace on my keyboard.  When I went back to my Nook, I found that the book showed up almost immediately after scanning for updates to my B&N library.

Positive aspects so far:

Opening and reading an ebook is intuitive and easy on the eyes.  I was fairly pleased with the resolution, and reasonably pleased with the response from support.  I was also pleased with the overall integration between the B&N store and the Nook.

Negative aspects so far:

The keyboard is almost unusable for adult fingers.  Barnes and Noble really needs to release a stylus that works with the keyboard.  Refresh rates on the screen are frustrating when filling out fields, but using a stylus would certainly help.

Overall impression so far:  B+

Now I’m off to reread Eats Shoots & Leaves!  I’ll let you know on Monday what other features I’ve tried, including transferring over manually created PDFs of some of my own work and making notes on that work.

Getting a Nook! (and other updates)

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Wow, that’s four days in a row….I’ve had lots I wanted to share.  I am planning to get a Nook, but I’ll talk more about that in a moment.

You may notice that the right-hand sidebar has a new section:  Friends of WritAnon.  These links are either member blogs or other sites that I’ve found interesting.  Please feel to check these out as you find time.

We will also be returning to the Monday and Friday blog postings.  It’s been fun to write articles for the last few days, but this was mostly because I had a lot that I wanted to cover that was time-dependent.  I also want to spend some time on NaNoWriMo, so, unfortunately, I’ll be doing that instead of working on blog postings.  I’ve now decided on a topic…I want to continue the story from one of my previous writing prompts.  Can anyone guess which one?

Okay, now on to the main event:  my preorder of the Nook.

I’ve been thinking about getting an eBook reader for awhile–I’d looked at the Kindle, but was disturbed by Amazon’s deletion of 1984 and other books.  To be fair to Amazon, they have apologized and stated that they are modifying their system to prevent this action from occurring again.

However, my hesitation remained.  I then received an email message from Barnes and Noble about the release of their new eBook reader, the Nook.  The Nook seems superior (from the advertising) to the Kindle, and comes with PDF support built in (you need to do special work to get PDFs working on the Kindle).

Partly as a service to readers of the blog, and partly to (hopefully) help me edit my own writing more efficiently, I decided to give the new Nook a try.  I have put in my preorder at Barnes and Noble, and should receive the Nook on or around November 30.  I’ll give my first day impression, a second evaluation after about two weeks, and then a third after a month of using the Nook.

Hopefully this will help others decide whether they want to make the investment in the Nook.  Please note that I do not plan to provide an affiliate link for this purchase, so I have no incentive for overselling the features…I plan to put it through my own typical (and perhaps not so typical) uses and see how the system performs.

My goal is to give an honest overview of the Nook, and evaluate whether I feel it will meet my (or other’s) needs.  I plan to use it for reading, editing, and taking notes on something I’m reading.  I’ll probably also purchase a couple of books to test that interface as well.

Anyway, keep checking back!  I’m looking forward to testing out this device and seeing how it performs!

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