eBookNewser Morning News Munch: Pogue Pans the Nook

David Pogue, powie.jpgThe New York Times tech columnist, is surely one of the best known geeks around. And his charmingly dorky sense of humor can’t be beat. In his column yesterday, he reviewed the Nook, harshly.

Basically, he says it’s a Kindle rip-off, and all the features Barnes & Noble added to distinguish it from Amazon’s reader–the touch screen, eBook lending, built-in Wi-Fi–are buggy, underthought, or just plain bad.

Reading the review is kind of like watching one of the fight scenes from the 1960s Adam West/Burt Ward Batman TV shows. You can almost see the comic-book exclamations appearing on your screen.

Pogue socks the touchscreen in the guts, caling it ” balky and nonresponsive, even for the Nook product manager who demonstrated it for me.” POW!

He wallops the device’s slow performance: “It takes four seconds for the Settings panel to open, 18 seconds for the bookstore to appear (over Wi-Fi), and 8 to 15 seconds to open a book or newspaper for the first time, during which you stare at a message that says ‘Formatting.'” KABLAM! He goes on, rather poetically: “it’s slower than an anesthetized slug in winter.” OOCH!

To sum up, pogue goes for a sucker-punch: “Every one of the Nook’s vaunted distinctions comes fraught with buzz kill footnotes.” ARRGHHH!

Pogue thinks Barnes & Noble rushed the device out the door to compete with Kindle. Add to this Barnes & Noble’s trouble’s with fulfilling orders and the fact that the first Kindles pre-ordered when the device was unveiled are arriving in mailboxes this week, along with demo models in the stores, so that users and would-be users can chime in with Pogue if they agree (indeed, check the article comments for many such chimings-in). It’s maybe not a fun day for Barnes & Noble.