Monday, December 7, 2009 by Jethro Jones
Click image for source from B&N.com
I am extremely fascinated by eBook readers, and if money were not an issue, I would own every brand just to have the best one.
Since so much of my impression of the new reader from Barnes & Noble is based on the actual experience using it, I have to say up front that it is mind-numbingly slow! The video below shows how much it lags and it is ridiculous. I recorded it with my iPhone so excuse the awkward aspect ratio and unsteady hand.
The nook does have some great features that I do really like.
First, the touchscreen down below is pretty nice. It adds an extra dimension for navigation and is more intuitive than the Kindle navigation. It makes sense to have that as the navigation. The problem you run into is that the touchscreen makes you think that the reading screen should be touchscreen, too, but it is not. Again, however, the innovative controls are nearly ruined by the laggy software (at least, I assume it is a software issue). You can see in the video when I look up a word that it is very difficult to navigate to the correct word.
Second, I really like that you can have wi-fi and 3G. From the demo unit, it looked like the nook takes whatever is available. Which means that I could not find a way to turn off the the 3G, but the wi-fi was on the whole time. It will be interesting to see how Barnes & Nobles' plan of allowing full-book previews in the store on B&N's wi-fi network. The real benefit to that is people will be seen reading nooks out in public, which is typically good for business.
One of the small annoyances that jumped out to me was opening a book. When I open a book, I expect to be able to start reading it. That is not the case. Opening a book takes you to an overview of the book. You need one more "click" to get through to the actual content. The overview page appears to be where you would lend the book, but I can't verify that since the demo unit didn't have that option, which I was really looking forward to using, as it is probably the most compelling reason to get a nook.
As far as for education, I think that this will be a pretty good device. Sharing books is good. I just hope that the lag goes away with some future updates. I can handle some lag in the beginning, but it has to be cleared up soon.
Any questions I didn't answer? What do you still want to know?
Have a Good Life.