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B&N nook content test results and info from the user guide

I put together my initial impressions of the B&N nook yesterday and then we saw reviews from Pogue and Mossberg that offered quite a contrast to my mostly positive review. I spent 3 more hours reading content and using my nook last night and found I like the device even more as I get used to the navigation methods and discover the outstanding content support from various sources. The Sony Reader 505 set the standard for a readable eInk display, more so than the Amazon Kindle, and I am very pleased to say the nook meets that high standard and is also better than the Kindle. I found the second Kindle to have a less viewable display than the first Kindle (fonts were not as good on 2nd Kindle). I was actually able to read content on the nook just by the low light of Christmas lights, which is something I could not do with the Sony Reader Touch Edition.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

I put together my initial impressions of the B&N nook yesterday and then we saw reviews from Pogue and Mossberg that offered quite a contrast to my mostly positive review. I spent 3 more hours reading content and using my nook last night and found I like the device even more as I get used to the navigation methods and discover the outstanding content support from various sources. The Sony Reader 505 set the standard for a readable eInk display, more so than the Amazon Kindle, and I am very pleased to say the nook meets that high standard and is also better than the Kindle. I found the second Kindle to have a less viewable display than the first Kindle (fonts were not as good on 2nd Kindle). I was actually able to read content on the nook just by the low light of Christmas lights, which is something I could not do with the Sony Reader Touch Edition.

Content tested and confirmed to work

As I stated previously, the promise of the nook and a primary reason I believe it stands out above the Kindle and Sony Reader devices is the support for multiple content sources. I have tested the following on my new nook and transferred the ebooks in various ways.

Through Adobe Digital Editions app on my MacBook Pro:

Sideloaded through a USB cable:

  • Ebooks from eReader.com (secure eReader format)
  • Ebooks from Fictionwise (secure Ereader and EPUB formats)
  • PDF files from Google and own conversion

For the secure eReader books purchased through Fictionwise and eReader.com you need to enter your credit card info just once for each service and it will be applied across all the ebooks in your library from that store. I receive coupon and discount offers just about every week from these ebook vendors so you can really save a lot of money buying ebooks through these sites rather than directly from Barnes & Noble. You do need to sideload this content, but that is quite easy with the nook.

I understand Sony is transitioning all of their Sony Connect eBookstore content to EPUB format in the next couple of days and wonder if this content will also be able to be used on the nook through Adobe Digital Editions.

My public library card is acting up, but I will try it as soon as I can and understand from others that it is working just fine through Adobe Digital Editions. This was expected, but I still want to confirm the same myself.

Info from the manual

There is quite a long user guide for the nook loaded on the device by default. I spent some time reading it and found a couple things I thought you might like to know:

  • You automatically get a 14-day free trial with magazine and newspaper subscriptions so you can try them out before committing to paying anything.
  • Subscriptions are delivered between 2 am and 5 am local time onto your device.
  • 10 issues of most subscription content is saved so if you want to keep longer you need to save/archive.
  • You may need to Check for new content after sideloading books if they don't appear automatically.
  • USB 1.1 is used to sideload content.
  • You can swipe the lower touchscreen (when turned off) to turn pages.
  • The AT&T wireless radio is 850/1900 MHz and connects via GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, and HSDPA.
  • Even though the manual states other titles should be in the my documents folder, I placed them in a custom folder with subfolders and they worked just fine.
  • The eInk display is 800x600 so it is easy to format any image to use for wallpaper.

Things I would like to see in an update

Like most all gadgets today, the nook is not perfect at the moment. There are some things that would be nice to see implemented, but I still think the nook is the best device available at the moment. The page turn/refresh rate is slower than other devices, but this doesn't really bother me since the display is fantastic. Here are a couple things I would like to see implemented though:

  • Let me choose to go to a page number, rather than just a chapter
  • Ability to sort through B&N ebook store by price, rating, release date, etc.
  • Get rid of Read confirmation on color display. If I open a book then I obviously want to read it so why have me confirm this fact?

If you are looking for a device that is open to multiple content sources, has an excellent eInk display, has multiple wireless connectivity options, and is reasonably priced then you may just want to consider the nook.

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