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Pogue just killed B&N's Nook

Beyond Barnes & Noble's own marketing propaganda, I've not come across much in the way of positive stuff written about the Nook ebook reader, but David Pogue writing for the New York Times has basically killed the device with his review.
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Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

Beyond Barnes & Noble's own marketing propaganda, I've not come across much in the way of positive stuff written about the Nook ebook reader, but David Pogue writing for the New York Times has basically killed the device with his review.

I'll leave you to read the review (and if you, or someone you know is thinking about buying a Nook, I recommend reading this piece), but I'll pull some highlights:

"... the color strip feels completely, awkwardly disconnected from what it’s supposed to control on the big screen above."

"... the touch screen is balky and nonresponsive ..."

"The only thing slower than the color strip is the main screen above it."

"... Nook’s screen is achingly slower than the Kindle’s ..."

"It takes nearly three seconds to turn a page — three times longer than the Kindle — which is really disruptive if you’re in midsentence."

"Often, you tap some button on the color strip — and nothing happens."

"'Over one million titles?' Yes, but well over half of those are junky Google scans of free, obscure, pre-1923 out-of-copyright books, filled with typos."

"... missing features are symptoms of B&N’s bad case of Ship-at-All-Costs-itis."

And so it goes on in the same vein. It's an excellent cautionary tale for those thinking about buying a Nook, but it's dismal reading for anyone who has forked out cash for one.

I have to agree with Pogue's verdict on the Nook. What we have here is a device that exists as a knee-jerk reaction to Amazon's Kindle, and the shortfalls show just how badly the project has been rushed to get the device out of the door in time for the holidays.

The problem with ebook readers is that manufacturers don't really know what customers want. The 3-second page turn is clearly not how I read (and being a speed-reader it would drive me bananas) but the folks at B&N's QA department must be happy with it.

Could you buy a Nook now and be sure that it'll get better over time? Dunno. I think people bought Kindle's with the same thing in mind and not much has been changed there via firmware updates.

While many people are drawn to ebook readers because of the size and convenience, from a technology perspective they all seem positively primitive. Yes, the eInk screen is a nice screen and delivers a experience close to that of the printed page when it comes to text, delivering every possible book form factor via a single device is going to take some clever people. And so far it seems that book sellers don't have access to people who are clever enough to distill the book reading experience into a piece of tech.

My advice is simple: don't buy a Nook.

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