Nook Color E-Reader– Possible Game Changer

By Peter Chubb - Oct 28, 2010

When I said yesterday that Barnes & Noble had made the wrong move with its Nook Color, I have to admit that I was a little hasty in my assumption. I do not mind admitting when I am wrong, and our readers took me to task. I now understand that there are those of you out there who would gladly pay half the price of an iPad for a device that does not offer as much.

There is a good reason for this, as there is still a huge market for e-readers – so maybe the Nook Color is a game changer after all? So how come Sony and Amazon are not considering a color option? The new Barnes & Noble e-reader is much more than a Kindle, as it will offer web browsing, much like a tablet PC does.

Nicholas Kolakowski from eWeek believes that the new Nook could change the e-reader game, and analysts believe that Barnes & Noble will now move ahead of Amazon and Sony, the number one and two leaders in the e-reader market respectively.

James McQuivey from Forrester believes that the new Nook is not just a standard e-reader, but also a hybrid. Both Amazon and Sony will now have to rethink their e-reader strategy, as the early signs look promising for the Nook Color.

Do you think that the Nook Color from Barnes & Noble is a game changer?

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Also See: New Barnes & Noble tablet, 6 months out of date

  • Pam

    I have been holding out on buying an e-reader, but this one interests me. Why? Because I read at night, but if I leave the light on — which I must do with other readers — it disturbs my husband's sleep. So my current solution is reading books, usually the Kindle version, on my iPhone, which is actually more workable than I expected. But I do find myself wishing for something just a little larger, and a little more feature-rich than the iPhone Kindle app. I like touch screens, so the backlit Nook Color might just be the answer. I look forward to trying one out in the local B&N.

    • edgore

      I picked one up the other day, for similar reasons. Unfortunately, the lowest brightness seting is too bright for my eyes in a dark room. Hopefully that can be patched in a future software version – I could do wih about 2/3 the brightness of the lowest setting they have right now. Otherwise though it's great. The screen is clear, and the ebook application is plenty fast. The only other problem I am having is that you can turn pages by touching (not swiping) on either side of the screen, so occasionally it will flipp pages when I did not mean to – again, something they can fix in software soon, I hope.

    • mary

      I agree with edgore- I bought it to read in the dark and it's rather bright.. I like to read while getting my toddler to sleep and the screen is much brighter than the lowest setting of the ipod, which has served as my ereader for the last year, and it's very distracting as she wants to look at it rather than sleep. It's a great product otherwise and I'm hoping there is/will be a way to dim it further.

  • matty

    I actually played with a demo version for an hour and it work pretty good. Didn’t actually see any video footage on it, since it didn’t have video app. Reading was good, but page turn seems a bit slow compare to ipad. Reading PDF files or magazine was ok, had some issue with resizing, but that maybe software issue. It a pain to scroll around to read a pdf, since full size is too small to read. Hopefully the retail version will fix this problem. So far very limited applications, but I think this is way better than the Samsung Galaxy for more than double the cost. I expect it going on sale next year for $199, since $249 still leave them a profit margin on the unit. This will out sale the galaxy, especially after it get rooted. Very sturdy design and easier to hold than an ipad. Angry bird work perfectly on it, why better than my phone version. Should sell a million units by Feb, if the minor response issue is fixed before it goes on sale.

  • SMD66

    Not a game changer because there is nothing new about it. It's an LCD screen that avid readers don't want. That's why eInk took off. I have a netbook that will do everything the nook color will do and a lot more. I don't like touch screens. The finger prints would drive me crazy. I don't like a smudged reading surface. I think it will sell, but even with the iPad, people still prefered to read on their Kindles and eInk nooks.

    • Kpsix

      It is actually a vividview (trademarked) screen that has significatly less glare than the ipad. It seems to be the perfect compromise between eink and LCD. It has a low light backlit function and also can be read in bright light because of the 178 degree vividview screen.

  • Jpkovar

    BN has the right strategy for the long term. Can the Nook Color run most Android Apps? Probably so. But BN would be foolish to give cart blanche to let new users load apps from Android Market that are designed for phones and then have them get all upset because this app wants a camera, and that app wants a compass or GPS, and another one wants Bluetooth – so they don't have full functionality on the Nook. Better to limit choices to the apps that will be happy running on the Nook – it will save millions in end user support. Will the lack of Android Market access out of the box matter much to tech savvy users? Probably not – no reason to believe root access to the Nook Color won't be exploited within a week of its launch date. Heck, half the fun is getting a new toy to do something it was never designed for!

  • meonee

    The Nook Color will not run apps straight out of the Android Market, but that does not mean it cannot run them. In fact, they have done a lot of tests on apps from standard Android smartphones and they pretty much run on Nook Color, which has Android 2.1 under the hood. (The Nook native interface and apps are just standard Android application layers.) Barnes & Noble special Nook SDK runs on top of the standard Android one and gives developers access to exclusive extensions and APIs for the Nook and its interface. So porting Android apps is not difficult. B&N says it is more like optimising them for Nook than porting them.
    Nook Color screen is supposed to be better (less reflective) for reading than iPad.

  • Pete

    I think this is a smart move, rather than try and beat Amazon at their own game, they change it. They have both the traditional e-reader market covered and now the rich media market covered. The good thing is this will expand their market offerings which benefits both devices. The hardware for the original Nook is good, so as long as they update the software to keep up with the new Nook, there's no need to try and improve it – just keep providing more and varied content.

  • Chuck

    it will depend on the type/number of apps. that B&N comes out with for the Nook Color. If all it does is web content and e-books, then it won't last. I will also depend on the hardware spec. (processor speed) and how fast someone performs a jailbreak on it.. If it's got a decent processor I can see it becoming the "geek" toy for a cheap tablet.

    • Garrett

      Well its run on Android so that basically answers that question.