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article imageOp-Ed: Barnes & Noble brightens world of electronic readers Special

By Michael Bearak     Dec 29, 2010 in Technology
U.S. bookstore chain Barnes & Noble has released their newest version of the Nook and this time it is in color. The new Nook offers a variety of features that have made it very versatile.
Santa Claus decided to put Barnes & Noble's new NOOKcolor under my tree this Christmas. The new NOOK has a full color screen and a pop-up keyboard which is similar to the iPad and the iPod Touch. A major difference is that the Nook is built on the Android platform, which Barnes & Noble has announced will allow applications to be downloaded in the not too distant future, again making it one step closer to the iPad.
When you are ready to turn the page you have a couple of options: you can touch the right side of the screen or you can drag your finger from the right side of the screen to the left side. To combat Amazon's add that you can change phones, computers, and Kindles without losing your books, the Nook allows the same feature. Readers log on to the Barnes & Noble website and you are able to set-up an account where your e-books are saved so you can log on to any computer that has the Nook program downloaded and pick-up reading your book right where you left off. For this reader that means that I have my Nook as well as on my netbook.
Barnes & Noble also offers severely discounted books in their "Steals 'N Deals" section, which has heavily discounted books as well as free books. Besides that users can also subscribe to magazines and newspapers which are downloaded directly into your Nook when they come out.
Barnes & Noble
There are a couple of drawbacks to the Nook: the first is that you can't charge your Nook unless you hook it up to your wall outlet meaning it will not charge while it is synced to your computer. Now there is a car charger that you can purchase that hooks up through your cigarette lighter. Other drawbacks would include that you do need wi-fi to download, there is no built in model like the newest editions of the iPad. It is important to remember though that the Nook (and other e-readers) are not meant to be iPads. As long as you have wi-fi access you can check web-based email. The 7-inch screen makes reading very easy and there is also an enlarging feature that allows you to zoom in on things.
Still, the Nook is able to look at documents, play back music, and you can upload pictures to it in order to customize it more to your liking. As part of the Barnes & Nobles' desire to make apps available to NOOK users they have a website where users can develop new programs that can be rooted into your NOOK. The keyboard is very easy to use and responsive to the touch of the user with large enough keys to minimize miss-hits.
In all the battery life is very good, it came almost fully charged right out of the box, allowing for almost eight full hours of reading if you have the wi-fi turned off. In all the Nook is extremely user friendly, with minimal directions to get started. It is the full-color that makes it extremely nice compared to its competitors' and providing the biggest difference.
The NOOKcolor comes in at roughly $249 and can be found at Barnes & Noble as well as Best Buy and Books-A-Million stores.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about Nook, Ebooks, Barnes noble, Electronic reader, E-readers
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