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Friday, July 23, 2010

Review: Barnes and Noble's Nook

Okay, I've been wanting an ereader for quite a while now and until recently, Amazon Kindle was the leader in ereaders. I have the major booksellers ereader software on my computer, Amazon's Kindle and B&N. Well, I finally took the plunge and bought a B&N Nook. I have to say, I was torn between buying the Nook and Borders' Kobo. Each was equally priced, looked similar when reading the e-ink pages, and held about the same amount of books.  Each had a relatively low end priced model starting at about $150 US dollars.

I looked at both ereaders and truthfully, was equally impressed with the Kobo and the Nook.  I found both easy on the eyes, neither has a backlight, which is really hard to find in an ereader, and I haven't a clue as to why...  I kept putting off buying an ereader for that very reason... lack of a backlight. So, why did I choose the Nook? Basically, I liked the sleek look of the Nook and the way it felt in my hands. I also got a remarkable deal on the Nook, I received a rebate as well as $50 B&N gift card to spend on new ebooks (which was the real clincher for me, lol).

The Nook also has lots of accessories that I'm sure the Kobo will have once it has time to have customer input into what the reader would like and need (you know, like a freaking backlight!). When I purchased my Nook, I also picked up a Nook cover that was equipped with a backlight (finally!!), but it was a tad expensive at $54.95 (after taxes....). The cover attaches to the Nook on the left side and opens for the feel of a real book, something that I was afraid I'd miss when I went to an ereader, so I still have the best of both worlds. There is also a consumer replaceable battery in the Nook, something I really like (it cost around $30.00 for the B&N battery, but I sure after market batteries will become available). Though I opted to buy the most expensive Nook cover (lol), there are covers and gel covers that start at about $15.00, and a Nook booklight that clips on the front for about $15.00 too. But adding up the cost and whether I wanted a clip constantly attached to the Nook (because, I'm forgetful and would have lost it if I had taken it, I went ahead and purchase the attached backlight. I have to say, I'm not sorry, I can read in the dark after everyone else has gone to bed and it doesn't bother anyone else.

There are also a couple of neat accessories, one which I couldn't resist, lol. The back of the Nook comes off, which allows for easy replacement of the battery, as well as changing out the rear cover for something more colorful and personalized than the boring institutional gray cover that comes on all of B&N ereaders. I went with a bright pink, just because, well... I liked it, lol. The cost of the replacement cover was around $20.00, but in for a penny, in for a pound.  Since I had put off getting an ereader, I thought I might as well get one I liked and fitted my personality, and usually I'm pretty cheerful, and they didn't have purple, so pink it is. There's also a replacement charger in case you lose or misplace the one that come with it for about $20.00 (uh, I probably should have just bought an extra, lol). I was surprised to see so many accessories and happy to know I could replace my battery and charger easily.  At Walmart, I also found screen protectors for about $6.00 (B&N wanted 14.95).  These were originally for the Kindle, but the fit the Nook screen perfectly.

The Nook also comes in two models, the wifi Nook and the 3G-wifi Nook.  I was going to get the wifi Nook, but considering that the 3G model was only $50 more and in the future, may allow for use everywhere, it lead me to purchase $200 3G-wifi Nook. The internet browser is a Beta version right now, I hope they're going to come out with something updated soon and it's pretty slow (still okay for a quick check of my blog), but really excellent for downloading ebooks on the fly or while away from home, especially good for me since vacation time is coming up.

(shown are the replacement charging cord/usb cord, replacement battery, and book light)

The Nook also attaches to any computer, PC or Mac via the charging cord that comes with the Nook. It's easy to drag and drop books right into the Nook, in five minutes I loaded three new ebooks that I had downloaded from Net Galley.  And when I attached the Nook to my computer, I also synced it with my B&N library in about five minutes as well. I was able to download some free ebooks from B&N, and who doesn't like free reads? When I purchased my Nook, the Barnes and Nobles sales person also told me to bring my Nook with me when I return to the store, everyday B&N gives away several free reads to their customers.

While the Nook was a little more than I had intended to spend, so far, I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. I've had my new little gem for a couple of weeks now and I've read seven books and one novella. I love it. The ease of use and the sleek look are just what I wanted.  Either ereader (Kobo or Nook) would be an excellent purchase for anyone looking to delve into the world of ereaders and ebooks.  Borders and Barnes & Noble both offer 100's of free reads, and I've also noticed that Borders ebooks are formatted for the Nook as well as the Kobo, which is definitely not the case for Kindle ebooks.

I purchased B&N Nook for my own use.  All opinions expressed are my own.


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