Nook Color: Barnes & Noble’s Wrong Move

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The announcement of the Nook Color did not come as a huge surprise, as a leaked accessory had already proven its existence. After looking at the specs, I fear that Barnes & Noble have got it wrong. There is a reason why Amazon and Sony have not introduced a color version yet, and that is because of the upcoming onslaught of tablet devices.

When it comes to reading black-and-white digital books and newspapers, that market is e-reader territory; color publication is down to tablets – such as the Apple iPad. We know that upcoming books are coming in color, but this is only in preparation for the range of tablet devices that will flood the market by the end of the year and early 2011.

Also See: Barnes & Noble Nook sales struggle against Amazon Kindle

Devin Coldewey from CrunchGear made me laugh when he said “Talk about bringing a knife to a knife fight when someone else already brought a gun” He goes on to say that e-readers have only survived this long as they are not in direct competition with the iPad – seems like the Nook Color will have a huge bullseye painted on it now.

Do not get us wrong; the new color e-reader looks to be a nice device, and their best yet. We know that tablets are more expensive, but you may as well just pay the extra and have one device that can do so much more.

  • spoddity

    I think the price is the differentiating factor. A lot of people aren't going to buy Apple's tablet because it is just too expensive. Your argument against the Nook Color could also be aimed at the iPad: why pay for an iPad when you could pay slightly more for a Macbook and have so much more? People buy what they can afford at the moment. Nook Color introduces a tablet/ereader device at an effective price point for a lot of consumers.

  • Russ

    The difference is (and why the Nook Color will be successful) is that the Nook does not force a $25-$30 per month charge. Most of us are getting weary of having to pay another $5 here, $10 there every time we turn around.

  • http://none john k

    You miss the big picture. I’m waiting for the front lit color tech to come to the laptop world. Most people find backlit displays annoying,.

  • Woodstock69

    the review failed to mention convenience of size over the Ipad. Carrying a Nook is so much easier than the tablet with the same functionality I need at half the cost. Bigger is not better in this situation of what I need in a e-reader.

  • morphoyle

    The cost is supposed to be $249. Less than half the price of a tablet, with most of the functionality. Why should I pay more than double for an ipad? You are assuming that people have an unlimited supply of money. This “article” was probably a result of Apple PR or bias.

    • Ryan

      I agree.

      • Jay

        Yeah…. I agreee but there are no app store.. without app it is just a device.. hopefully they will have some soon and an upgrade to 2.2

  • Dave

    You miss the real significance. The nook color is a wifi android tablet for half the price of a galaxy tab. Ebook reading is just an app despite how the nook is marketed.

  • roblearns

    Question, what kind of tech journalist believes they looked at the spec's when they don't know the CPU?

    B&N says buy the device with confidence, it doesn't have flash or Android 2.2., but it will next year. Lots of people have got burned hoping for an upgrade.

    The choice of CPU will tell you right now, today, whether that CPU is hefty enough to run Flash well.

    THere is a reason its a secret, and whats shocking, is all these journalists thinking they know the spec's, when they don't.

    Here is a very likely scenario: the CPU is underpowered, thats how they got the cost down.
    The CPU will never run flash well. You need a Cortex A8 or better.

    They probably have an ARM9 or something – FAIL. Just give us the spec's and we can show you how it runs on a device that has similar spec's.

    All these people thinking they will get Flash – maybe to avoid a lawsuit they'll issue an update that includes flash over 1 year from now, at the end of 2011.

    And when they do, it will run like garbage, but it'll just be a 'beta' download buried on a support page somewhere, to prevent the lawsuit.

    2.1 Android, no-flash, isn't an accident, but our lousy fake-journalism web, can't do the least bit of investigative journalism, and instead just constant takes press releases, repeats them verbatim and adds their meaningless, non-critical commentary.

  • Mark Dulcey

    I think you've got it backwards. It's the iPad that has a big target painted on its back, and this new device (at half the price) is the first competitor (aside from the Archos tablets which are still vaporware at this point) to be on target. (The Galaxy Tab could have been a contender but not at the price it's selling for.)

    If Barnes and Noble wants this to be a real player though, it will need to get Android Market access. Perhaps that will come along with the Gingerbread upgrade.

  • Jim

    Wow did the author get it wrong!
    I am totally shocked at his poorly arrived at conclusion…. Exactly the opposite is true.
    Given its design and capabilities, and gives its price point and size, the Color Nook is a slam dunk to be a huge success.
    How could the OP be so blind to a great product at a wonderful price point?

  • Pete

    The processor is a TI OMAP3621 running at 800mhz. And B&N has continually put out updates to improve the original nook. So roblearns' post full of negative assumptions is a FAIL. The nook color looks to be a formidable tablet by any measure.

    The only thing needed to make this tablet exactly what I want is a front-facing camera for video chats. It would be great for my wife reading her magazines and children's books to the kids and doesn't read paperbacks for long periods of time.

  • max

    Both the author and Devin Coldeway have been drinking too much cool aid from Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. They can't wait to jump the gun without researching the specifications of the device and what really appeals to a common consumer. We don't want to pay $250 for an iPad or Galaxy Tablet for functionality that we don't need. Devin Coldeway couldn't even get the screen correct. He misquoted the Nook Color superb capacitive display which is similar to an iPad to be a resistive. How can you draw any conclusions when you don't even undersand the specificaion of a product?

  • Ruby

    You may be censoring the comments and you can't disapprove the fact the jumping to gun without understanding of the specification of the device is poor journalism.

  • James Smith

    The new nook will be competing with the I pad not the kindle. If you are an avid reader e-ink is so much easier on the eyes. You just cannot read a back lit screen all day without getting eye strain and headaches. I predict a drop in nook sales as compared to the kindle 3 as it is just more gimmick and less actual usefulness as an e-reader. I hope someday there will be a color e-ink screen but until then it's black and white for me.

  • Ruby

    This world is not black and while; it is full of color . If you go to a any physical bookstore, you'll see besides the black and white novels, there are children books, cook books, manuals, handbooks, magazines, text books and they are all in color. If someone wants to buy a one trick pony such as the kindle, it is fine but calling black and white e-ink screen as the only acceptable ereader in town and high quality color tablets as gimmick is just naive and narrow visioned. I work and read on my LCD screen for more than 13 hours a day everyday and I never have any eye strain and headaches. Color is in the present and mulit-purpose device is the future. If people want to remain in their black and white world reading black and white novels, it is their choice.

  • Chris Weber

    A lot of folks complain about the back lit screen, and you can't read them all day without getting a headache. I don't know any book/magazine readers who are at it for 8 hours, daily. But I do know a lot of people stare at LCD laptops all day. I don't think $250 is that much either.

  • Anton Poster

    I finally had a chance to see one Friday night (11/19/10) and was way more impressed than I thought I would be. I just purchased a full-fledged nook (WiFi+3G version) in June and enjoy it fully, but the back-lit color screen will be a boon for people like me who mostly read late at night and/or those interested in a cross-over entertainment device. In an ideal world a modern family would have both both e-ink and color readers. Along this line, I discovered last night that so long as a single account is used for purchase from Barnes & Noble of ePublications they will be present on all of up to six devices. This means that a book can be purchased and read by two or more family members at the same time for one price (no eLending involved) and also means that a family can choose between specific devices for different times of day and/or applications. The Nook color will just add to a person's or family's versatility.

  • lpolos

    I haven't kept up with technology for years..pc is 12 years old..just got a cheap walmart phone with slow internet ..why..money and don't want to be a slave to devices because of the investment..been wiating for a device that is reasonably priced w/o monthly fees and small..nook color is it..very happy

  • moe

    i purchased a nook color this week. i was interested in an e-reader and got so much more without a whole lot more than what i want or need. i can read books in black and white , read mags and papers in color, i can surf the net (color is vital here) and watch videos and listen to audio books and music. i can also read office files (although editing is not possible right now). while i think the ipad is cool, it is too much like a computer but short of it and too much money for my pocket. the nook is a perfect fit in my bag, for my wallet and for my needs and lifestyle right now. i don't need a camera as i have a digital one and one on my blackberry for times in a pinch.

    i think the nook color could be more successful with better marketing, as i havent seen much about it until i started researching e-readers. the author's assessment was flawed and short sighted. review your needs and the product in person and make an informed decision for yourself. dont drink anyone's kool-aid other than your own.

  • Gene Jackson

    I purchased the Nook Color and think it's the best e-reader hands down! This is my 5th e-reader. My first was the RCA e-reader that came out about 10 years ago and was ahead of it time but did catch on then. I then had numerous Sony e-readers my latest, which I sold for the Nook Color, was the Sony PRS-650. I really loved the Sony and felt at the time it was better than the much hyped Kindle. The size, the weight, the crisp screen, and excellent battery life made my reading experience very enjoyable. I had concluded at that juncture that I did not want a color screen because eye strain. Like many this view was only based on hear say. When I first checked out the Nook Color I was totally blown away with almost every aspect of Barnes & Nobles new Kindle, Ipad Killer. The Nook Color is well built and every aspect of this device is outstanding except the battery life however I thought this issue would be something I would have to get use to but for me it's battery performance is suffice.I have had this device for several months and my reading experience is the best to date. The eye strain issue does not exist with this device. I am a tech geek and I love Windows 7 but my preference is Macintosh and I never purchased a Ipad because I have a Macbook Pro and the applications I need, Pro Tools and Logic Pro don't run on Ipad so buying a Ipad, even as great as it is, didn't make sense. The Nook Color fit s perfectly between my Iphone 4 and Macbook Pro. I am surprised that the person who wrote this article has no clue about the reality of e-readers. The Nook Color is the best e-reader device on the market Of course the Galaxy and other tablets are awesome however the price of these tablet are expensive. The NOOK COLOR ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Harris

    Obviously the author has been proven wrong, 3 months later. BN has had a tough time keeping up with the demands. And, as it turns out, the Nook Color has been a dream-come-true device for the hackers out there: They've transformed it — relatively easily — to a full-blown tablet at around half the price of an iPad or the "other" ANdroid tablets.

  • David

    I expect that the Nook Color will be even better once it gets the flash update and app store that was eluded to on HSN. The sooner the better….