In 2010, Barnes and Noble proved that it could produce a low – cost hybrid tablet like device, that could compete with the more expensive tablet computers in the market place; such as the iPad and Samsung's Galaxy Tab. The Barnes and Noble Nook Color proved to be a hit; even though it didn't feature a camera, a G.P.S module, or blue tooth capability. This month the retail giant released an updated version of the Nook Color, it's called the Nook Tablet. The biggest difference between the Nook Color and the Nook Tablet is the hardware inside. The tablet features a dual core processor and 1 GB of Ram, which means it performs better than the Nook Color as a tablet. You can feel the difference in small ways. Websites seem to load a little bit faster and pages scroll in and out, a little smoother, One of my favorite new features is the inclusion of a microphone. Parents can now record their own voices reading, Enhanced Children's Books, which are very popular on the Nook. The Nook Tablet also has 16GB of on board storage expandable up to 32 GB, via micro SD cards. The bottom line here is that Barnes and Noble kept all the good aspects of the Nook Color and upgraded the rest for better performance.
With the Nook Color, Barnes and Noble stressed that it was a hybrid tablet type device, with the main focus being on the ereading experience. This time it's obvious where the focus is because of the name of this device. By tablet being in the name we can conclude there has been a slight shift in philosophy. So with all the hoopla about this device being a tablet, you are probably wondering does it still stack up as a top tier ereader. The short answer is yes. I have actually read for hours on the Nook Tablet and enjoyed the experience. Outside, it handles natural light a lot better than the average LCD. The ereading experience on the Nook Color and Nook Tablet are similar; the only difference being the Nook Tablet is a tad bit faster. You still tap or swipe to turn pages, tap in the middle to bring up options such as text size, color schemes, share quotes, bookmarks, add notes, favorites, and share reading status with friends. Magazine reading is still as good as ever. You can scroll through magazines a lot faster and smoother then you could on the Nook Color. The Barnes and Noble ebook store has over 2 million ebooks, over 5000 interactive children's books and over 400 magazines and newspapers. There are also 100's of app books in the app store, aimed at kids that offer interactivity and animation. For those on a tight budget there are 1000's of free ebooks in the Barnes and Noble ebook store. They are not advertised however, they are easy to find with a little digging and patience.
There are also millions of free ebooks on the internet in general which can be downloaded directly to the Nook Tablet. If you are on a budget like I am, you can enjoy your Nook Tablet without purchasing any ebooks from Barnes and Noble. Like I stated before there are lots of free ebooks out there and you can also visit your local library and download free premium books that would cost you otherwise. That's a good idea especially for those who do not have access, to an internet connection at home. As a color ereader the Nook Tablet gets high marks thanks to a combination of good hardware and software. As a tablet, this device doesn't have all the the features found on the more expensive tablets such as Bluetooth capability, G.P.S, or a camera. Me personally I don't use Bluetooth and I own both a stand alone G.P.S device and a professional camera. So for me the iPad is severely overpriced; especially if you don't care for the apps. I think the apps on the iPad are awesome; however, they don't justify the price of it. One essential that the Nook Tablet has is an app-store. It's barely a year old so it doesn't have nearly the amount of apps contained in Apple's app-store. To date there are over 1300 apps and lots are being added both daily and weekly. Some of the most popular apps are already in the Barnes and Noble app-store such as angry birds, Netflix, and Hulu-Plus.
The 7-inch display on the Nook tablet is absolutely stunning. Two or three people can share the screen without having to worry about color distortion. The Nook Tablet is capable of streaming HD video from Netflix or Hulu-Plus with no dropped frames or pixelation. The user interface is simplified and attractive, which makes the Nook Tablet less intimidating to less tech-savvy users or as I like to call them, technophobes. Similar to the Nook Color, there are multiple home screens you can customize with your favorite books, magazines, apps, themes and wall papers. Though the Kindle Fire is 50$ less than the Nook Tablet, I still like both but prefer the latter; mainly because the Kindle Fire seems to require the Amazon Prime subscription service to use some of its more attractive features. In conclusion, Barnes and Noble has done it again. They have created a compelling tablet without having to out-spec every other device on the market. The fact is you can do 90% of the things you do on the iPad, on the Nook Tablet. My wife has an iPad and I have played with it a lot; however, I still prefer the Nook Tablet and even my Nook Color, especially when it comes to ereading. The improved performance and extra features makes this device my top pick, for a tablet computer this shopping season. As an ereader, no other tablet computer even comes close to competing with the ebook reading features built into the Nook Tablet. Not even the iPad2.
In my opinion, the Nook Ereader better known as the Nook Color, is the surprise deal of the season. When it comes to the books race, Barnes & Noble seems to be catching up with Amazon.com. If you have an interest in switching to ebooks, and you choose either the Nook or the Kindle, you will find plenty to read. Overall, the Nook color can give the android powered Samsung Galaxy Pad a run for its money, despite being cheaper it's still fully featured. At half the price of an Ipad,the Nook Color appears to have found itself in a pretty distinct niche, of either being a poor man's Ipad, or a rich man's second tablet.
THE GOOD: The Nook Color features a vibrant touch screen 7 inch display. It performs pretty fast; It has built in wi-fi; You have access to the entire Barnes and Noble book store. It has 8 GB of on board memory plus an expansion micro SD slot if you need more. It supports PDF, Word, and E-PUB files. JPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP image files are viewable, and you can use any personal photo as wallpaper for the device. It plays mp3 and most other common audio files. Most children's books have voice over tracks that read to kids; don't feel guilty about using that feature every once in awhile parents. Books download extremely quickly to the device. In many cases, you can be reading a new book in less than 10 seconds; in some cases 5 seconds.
The Nook color also has an enhanced web browser with the support of Adobe Flash Player for mobile videos rendering, which provides you with interactive experiences. You immediately get access to the android market place which features over a million apps; including your favorite, angry birds. It’s also preloaded with Nook apps such as Pandora Internet radio, Chess, Crossword, Sudoku and media gallery. The gallery has over a million free books ready for instant download. You can also subscribe to news stand favorites such as the New York Times, U.S. Weekly and many other newspapers and magazines.