What happens when a NOOK, an iPad and a Droid meet and have a three-way lovechild? NOOKcolor! Luckily for us (and all of you!), B&N has sent Gear Diary a NOOKcolor to review. Read on for my first impressions of this color eBook reader!
My first thought when I opened the shipping box was, “Wow. B&N really took presentation seriously.” The NOOKcolor comes in a sturdy well-designed box, but instead of opening from the top or front, it opens from the bottom with a neat magnetic closure. Instead of being something you might open and toss away, it makes it something you want to hang on to, it’s that well built. The NOOKcolor is suspended inside between some foam, and when you slide it out you discover the build quality didn’t stop at the box.
The device is incredibly well built. It doesn’t feel like a $250 tablet; it feels like it could justifiably cost double that (based solely on the hardware feel, it’s significantly better made than many cheap-ish tablets in this price range). It’s heavy without being uncomfortably so, and everything just feels solid. There isn’t anything that creaks, there are no rough edges, it just feels perfect. But what about once you turn it on?
I’m reserving any big thoughts on the software for the full review, but my very first impression was good. I don’t love the NOOK UI, but it’s only been about 12 hours that I’ve had the chance to get to know it. However, my limited browsing of magazines and kid’s book samples was, to say the least, FUN. If you’re looking for a way to read eMags on the go this just might be it. It does something the Kindle and the nook can’t do and it does what the iPad does for half the price and much less weight.
(top to bottom: NOOKcolor, eFUN Nextbook, Camangi Webstation, Amazon Kindle, Wired Magazine)
A big part of why magazines and children’s books look so good is the bright, beautiful color screen. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Colors really POP, and it’s very responsive to touch, thanks to the capacitive screen. I was able to tap and swipe through magazines and books with ease, and everything looked fabulous. The saturation and depth of color are wonderful. I haven’t had a chance to test it outside, but expect more on this in the full review.
Check out the gallery for several photos comparing the NOOKcolor to several devices, including the famous original Kindle, an eFUN NEXT Android Tablet, the Camangi Webstation, and even a regular magazine! The big question, of course, is whether this is worth the premium over a regular NOOK. I’ll reserve my full judgment until the review, but think about it this way: when’s the last time you heard an ebook reader referred to as FUN?