When Barnes & Noble first announced the Nook, I decided it was the eReader for me because of its versatility. The fact that it is buit on a standard operating system, Android, and has expandable storage, means there are less constraints on the device. While I have been a happy owner of the original Nook, I bought a Nook Color as a Christmas present for my wife. Today Barnes & Noble announced their replacement to the original Nook that fixes the few problems that I have had with it.
My main problem with the original Nook has been the process of highlighting text using the small touchscreen that is below the main E Ink display. It is simply too slow to move the cursor through the text to mark the beginning and end of the hightlight, and the buttons on the touchscreen are poorly placed so I often end up tapping on an area that causes the Nook to exit the book.
Lately I have been constraining my reading of books that I highlight frequently to my iPad because it is so simple to highlight text on a touchscreen. I still prefer reading on an E Ink display at night, so I have really been hoping for the E Ink touchscreen that is part of the new Nook. Highlighting on a touchscreen will be much easier and faster, and I am hopeful that highlighting will sync between the new Nook and the Nook apps, which has been a problem with the current Nook.
Another thing I’ve felt the Nook software has been lacking is social media integration. Book reading can be very social and I like to share information about the books I read with my friends. It seems natural to me that an eReader that connects to the Internet should be able to share information with Facebook and Twitter, and that is now a feature of the new Nook.
Finally, Barnes & Noble says that the new Nook has longer battery life, claiming it can last as long as 2 months on a charge with the WiFi turned off. Battery life, weight (the Nook weighs 7.48 ounces), and the eInk display are the reasons why I still prefer a dedicated eBook device over just a general purpose tablet for reading eBooks. The $139 price of the Nook makes it affordable enough for people to buy it along with other tablets like the iPad.