Book Readers

I’m a gadget person. I admit it. I have a fair number of tablets and touch-screen pcs just for reading books. I’m so into it that at one time I had a bookreader on Android Market. I read a lot. Lately I’ve been reading more than a book a day because I’ve been stuck in hotels non-stop. I have been using the Nook software on my android phone to read books. It’s nice on a plane and in the hotel because it’s compact and easily charged. It is a bit small so I’m constantly on the lookout for a book reader that’s optimal.

Nokia N-810 

This is a little tablet device that runs a Linux derivative. I tried developing for this and the sdk was useless and the samples didn’t compile or run. Not surprisingly the available software was bad. Otherwise not a bad device but the screen was too small and the charger was proprietary.

Fujitsu U820

A little 7″ touchscreen laptop that runs Windows. I used Windows XP then Windows 7 on it and the experience with Win7 was ok but mediocre. Pull-downs aren’t great on a touchscreen and the display is really too small for a full desktop experience. There’s no pad since you’re expected to use the touchscreen.

Xoom Wifi

I just got this and really like it. On a plane it owns – almost 10 hours of battery life at full-tilt. Lots of storage (especially once they get the sd card working). I can hotspot my phone and with the Xoom browse the web – the experience is excellent. For book reading it’s good but imho too big. It’s heavy to hold (I bought the case/stand which works well but does dictate how you can sit while reading).

So, the Xoom is great at a lot of things – email, multimedia, travel, remote meetings, … but it’s really too big as an at-home book reader.

Nook (original)

I had an original nook. It was a total fail imho. The battery life rocked, but the display was poor except outside and it wasn’t backlit so useless in bed. The screen was slow enough that flipping pages gave me a headache (figuratively). For casual book reading it’s ok, but it had no other uses.

Nook Color

I love this thing. The weight is nearly perfect, the display is crisp and bright and, once rooted, it has an awesome app selection. Mine now has email and calendar and the ability to download market apps. Sure it’s slow to browse compared to the Xoom but much of the time I don’t care.

  • Weight: at just under a pound it could shed a few but it’s way better than the Xoom and usable in-hand and easily works for reading in bed. I don’t want it so light that it bends and fails. It feels solid.
  • Battery Life: at 10hrs it’s not the old nook but it’s plenty for a day’s reading or even for a trip.
  • Instant book: I really like that my book is always a single click away. That’s how I use my nook so it’s a great shortcut.
  • App Availability: Even if the processor isn’t lightning, having mail and calendar are big deals.
  • Wifi Only: I think this is a plus. It’s trivial to hotspot my phone when I’m away and when I’m home I’ve got wifi. Why pay two data providers?
  • Keyboard: works but difficult. It’s too slow for editing, really – I’d way rather use the Xoom (or my phone with Swype or Dragon Dictate) for answering email.
  • No Microphone: I wish it had a microphone for dictation, if the processor could keep up with it. I might try a headset but that’s awkward at best.
  • Instant On: what a great feature. Push the front button, slide, then instantly at the book. I could do without the slide, but w/e.
  • Display: Woohoo it’s backlit! I think the display is a good fit between power usage and raw resolution. Having better technology (OLED?) would be great but for now this is close to as good as we get. I think the backlighting could be a bit more even and the display is generally cheap, but it’s adequate for the year or two until something lighter, stronger, with a better display comes along.
  • Charger: Apparently you can trickle-charge it from a PC as long as it’s turned off [B&N claim the display uses more than a usb amount but I wonder if you lowered the brightness if that’s true]. The real charger plugs into the micro-usb-that-isn’t-a-micro-usb port on the nook and delivers 2A vs the usual 1/2A usb amount.



Tagged with:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.