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NOOK Color review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING



7.8/10
Informr score
The NOOK Color currently has an Informr score of 7.8 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 8 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Barnes and Noble recently came out with their newest eReader, the Nook Color. This eReader features a completely new operating system, with it being based on the Android OS. Being in color means that the new Nook can also take full advantage of markets that the Amazon Kindle cannot cater to. Children's books and full color magazines are two areas where the Nook should dominate the market.

The Nook is almost a hybrid between an eReader and a tablet. It has a fully functional web browser, music player and even has various games that are uploaded onto it or can be downloaded through the Barnes and Noble store. The Nook has a seven inch, 1024 x 600 pixel display, making it far superior in that category to the Kindle.

In terms of performance, the Nook Color has a TI OMAP CPU that goes to speeds up to 800 MHz as well as 512 MB of RAM and 8 GB of flash memory for storage. There is also WiFi for accessing the internet and downloading movies, but there is no 3G service and that is a slight disappointment. The battery life is decent, given the colored screen and other features, and it ranges up to two days with moderate usage. Constant usage gives you a battery life of between ten to twelve hours.

Overall, the Nook is certainly a competitor for the Kindle, however its colored screen also results in it catering to a completely different audience. Those who want more than just black and white text from their eReader will certainly be enticed by the Nook Color. Its ability to display children's books and magazines is another intriguing aspect. The only drawback to the Nook Color is its $250 price tag, which makes it $100 more expensive than the Kindle.

Need to Know: NOOK Color

1. Color screen. (The Good)

2. Sleek and lightweight design. (The Good)

3. Hefty price tag. (The Bad)

4. Low battery life, compared to Kindle. (The Bad)


Screen Size
7"
Storage
8 GB
3G
No
Reading Time
-


What the Critics Are Saying...


The eBook Reader

Barnes and Noble has done a lot right with the Nook Color—it's solidly made with a metal frame yet isn't uncomfortably heavy, the user interface is smooth and intuitive, the color screen is gorgeous—but that doesn't change the fact that it would be much more versatile with support for 3r...

- Nathan, The eBook Reader
Nothing But Tablets

So is this an ereader? A tablet? It’s an ereader with several bonuses thrown in. In the very near future, we will find out how much B&N wants to open this device up.  But even if they leave it somewhat locked down, it is still a fantastic device.  It looks and feels excellent.&nb...

- Allen Schmidt, Nothing But Tablets
Gizmodo

Caught between two worlds, the Nook Color is an undeniably interesting, if somewhat conflicted device. It's not quite a tablet, but it's more than a simple ebook reader. It can do things that an e-ink reader simply can't—even if it doesn't always excel at them—but it's nearly as cheap at...

- Matt Buchanan, Gizmodo
Engadget

So, is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we'll say this -- if you're a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we've seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an astound...

- Joshua Topolsky , Engadget
PC Magazine

With the original Nook and Kindle selling for just under $200 each (less than $150 each if you forgo 3G) and the Apple iPad starting at $500, the $250 Nook Color occupies a place right in the middle. As long as you don't expect full tablet functionality, and you keep your Barnes & Noble-approved...

- Dan Costa & David Pierce, PC Magazine


Prices (Where to Buy)




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Quick view

Screen Size
7"

The NOOK Color's screen size is 7 inches with 1024 x 600 pixels resolution.

Backlight
Yes

There is a built-in backlight for reading in the dark.

Storage
8 GB

Internal memory is 8 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

3G
No

This model has no 3G wireless capabilities.

NOOK Color Specs

Overview
Release date October 26, 2010
Regions available USA
Networks
No cellular data
SIM card No
Operating System Android 2.1 Eclair
Processor ARM Cortex-A8 800 MHz
Internal Flash Memory 8 GB
RAM 512 MB
ROM No
Flightmode No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 3 hours
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Aluminium
Colors Gray
Dimensions [H x W x D] 20.6 x 12.7 x 1.2 cm (8.1 x 5 x 0.5 in)
Weight 448 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1024 x 600 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 7 inches
Sensors Motion / Accelerometer
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features Capacitive Touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key Yes
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Connectivity
USB No
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA/WPA2
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, AAC
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats MPEG-4
Streaming Video No
External Speakers Mono
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
More
Additional comments
Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
NOOK Color Reviews
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Critic Reviews


The eBook Reader

Solid built and smooth UI makes the NOOKcolor a standout

from The eBook Reader

Barnes and Noble has done a lot right with the Nook Color—it's solidly made with a metal frame yet isn't uncomfortably heavy, the user interface is smooth and intuitive, the color screen is gorgeous—but that doesn't change the fact that it would be much more versatile with support for...More

Barnes and Noble has done a lot right with the Nook Color—it's solidly made with a metal frame yet isn't uncomfortably heavy, the user interface is smooth and intuitive, the color screen is gorgeous—but that doesn't change the fact that it would be much more versatile with support for 3rd-party Android apps.
If you are looking for something like the iPad that can be used for ereading as well as a multitude of other things, you are not going to get that with the Nook Color off the shelf. Its focus is centered on reading. B&N will be launching an app store for it in Q1 2011, but it remains to be seen what types of apps will be available.
There will certainly be those that choose to hack the Nook to allow it to install all kinds of 3rd-party apps, but that comes at the risk of voiding the Nook's warranty, and even then it's not the best option for Android apps because of the limited amount of hardware buttons, no camera, microphone, etc.
As it stands, the Nook Color is an ereader first and an Android tablet second. Don't expect to get the latter and you'll be happy with what you get more likely than not. And if you do want to use the Nook Color as an Android tablet it does take some technical work to set up, but isn't too difficult to work out.

Read full review

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Nothing But Tablets

A fantastic device for an amazingly cheap price

from Nothing But Tablets

So is this an ereader? A tablet? It’s an ereader with several bonuses thrown in. In the very near future, we will find out how much B&N wants to open this device up.  But even if they leave it somewhat locked down, it is still a fantastic device.  It looks and feels excellent....More

So is this an ereader? A tablet? It’s an ereader with several bonuses thrown in. In the very near future, we will find out how much B&N wants to open this device up.  But even if they leave it somewhat locked down, it is still a fantastic device.  It looks and feels excellent.  Having the ability to read different formats and everything from books to magazines turns out to be a bigger deal than originally thought.  You can surf the web and navigate through the bookstore easier than on any reading device out.  All of this for $250!  So what most people can draw from this is that you won’t find another reader/tablet for this price, with this quality, and this ease of use.  It’s a tremendous value that might get a few of us to start opening up a good book a little more.

Read full review

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Gizmodo

It's hard not to notice the NOOKcolor

from Gizmodo

Caught between two worlds, the Nook Color is an undeniably interesting, if somewhat conflicted device. It's not quite a tablet, but it's more than a simple ebook reader. It can do things that an e-ink reader simply can't—even if it doesn't always excel at them—but it's nearly as cheap...More

Caught between two worlds, the Nook Color is an undeniably interesting, if somewhat conflicted device. It's not quite a tablet, but it's more than a simple ebook reader. It can do things that an e-ink reader simply can't—even if it doesn't always excel at them—but it's nearly as cheap at $250. At half the price of the Tab or iPad, if you're looking for a super portable tablet thing that's primarily for reading, it's hard not to give the seriously capable Nook a long look, even if you might wanna wait 'til the B&N app store opens and it gets its first major update early next year for maximum goodness.

Read full review

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Engadget

It's not just an ordiary eBook reader

from Engadget

So, is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we'll say this -- if you're a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we've seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an asto...More

So, is the Nook Color worth your hard-earned cash? Well, we'll say this -- if you're a hardcore reader with an appetite that extends beyond books to magazines and newspapers, the Color is the first viable option we've seen that can support your habit. Not only does Barnes & Noble have an astoundingly good selection of e-book titles, the company seems to be aggressively pursuing the periodical business, which is a big deal. This is the first device we've seen that effectively and consistently presents a color magazine option. It's not the fanciest or most sophisticated presentation, but the idea of having your favorite glossy delivered direct to a device like this every month (in a truly readable format) is a major innovation. But besides all the reading you'll be doing with the Color, you're also buying into a potentially much bigger proposition -- namely, the idea that come Q1, this thing will be a viable Android tablet with an app store of its own. Granted, it doesn't have 3G on-board, and the OS could use some serious TLC and polish, but if B&N delivers on its desire to create a marketplace for Nook Color apps, you could be spending $249 not just for a great reading experience, but for something far bigger. For the price, you're getting a lot of product here -- now it's just a question of whether or not Barnes & Noble knows how to take advantage of that product.

Read full review

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PC Magazine

NOOKcolor's artful compromises make for a compelling, color reading experience that is ideal for both books and magazines.

from PC Magazine

With the original Nook and Kindle selling for just under $200 each (less than $150 each if you forgo 3G) and the Apple iPad starting at $500, the $250 Nook Color occupies a place right in the middle. As long as you don't expect full tablet functionality, and you keep your Barnes & Noble-appro...More

With the original Nook and Kindle selling for just under $200 each (less than $150 each if you forgo 3G) and the Apple iPad starting at $500, the $250 Nook Color occupies a place right in the middle. As long as you don't expect full tablet functionality, and you keep your Barnes & Noble-approved AC adapter handy, the Nook Color makes a perfectly amiable reading companion if you want to see your books in full color.

Read full review

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Laptop Magazine

eReader satisfaction guaranteed

from Laptop Magazine

Whether or not consumers will truly consider the Nook Color a "reader's tablet," it's a very good eReader with benefits. At $249, it's $150 less than the least expensive Galaxy Tab (which requires a separate data fee and two-year contract at that price) and $250 less than the least expensive iPad...More

Whether or not consumers will truly consider the Nook Color a "reader's tablet," it's a very good eReader with benefits. At $249, it's $150 less than the least expensive Galaxy Tab (which requires a separate data fee and two-year contract at that price) and $250 less than the least expensive iPad. And for this you get a first-class color screen, a robust content ecosystem, and reader-friendly features, but not as much freedom as a full-fledged tablet. On the flip side, the Nook Color costs $100 more than the Wi-Fi only Nook and $110 more than the Kindle Wi-Fi, both of which are easier to hold and view during longer reading sessions.
Overall, the Nook Color is an excellent choice for consumers who want color, web browsing, and a focus on reading. We can't wait for more magazines and apps to arrive on this platform. Bottom line: we think you'll be satisfied with this tweener.

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CNET

It hasn't reached it's full potential

from CNET

A lot of people wondered whether this would be classified as an Android tablet, and though the device does run on Android 2.1 (Barnes & Noble claims it will be upgradeable to Android 2.2 next year) and offers additional functionality--such as Web browsing, audio and video playback, and some b...More

A lot of people wondered whether this would be classified as an Android tablet, and though the device does run on Android 2.1 (Barnes & Noble claims it will be upgradeable to Android 2.2 next year) and offers additional functionality--such as Web browsing, audio and video playback, and some basic games--Barnes & Noble has deliberately left off the Android Marketplace place found on Android smartphones and such tablets as the Samsung Galaxy Tab. As a result, those interested in getting a full-fledged Android tablet for a good price will probably feel some disappointment with the Nook Color, because it clearly hasn't reached its full potential.

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TechCrunch

It's on top of its class as long as you consider it just an eReader with a few extras on the side

from TechCrunch

The NookColor is an e-reader. It isn’t a tablet. Once you understand that and once you understand the market for the former and not the latter, the NookColor begins to make more sense. It is an e-reader for people who want small size, a bright color screen, and an usable interface for buyin...More

The NookColor is an e-reader. It isn’t a tablet. Once you understand that and once you understand the market for the former and not the latter, the NookColor begins to make more sense. It is an e-reader for people who want small size, a bright color screen, and an usable interface for buying, downloading, and reading books. It won’t run Angry Birds and it won’t let you do your taxes. This is not a back door into the world of tablets.
However, because many of the features we discussed will soon be available on the iPad and other mobile devices, the $249 you’d spend for a NookColor may be better spent on a more capable Android or iOS device. But if you’re looking for a color e-reader for reading a few black and white books as well as some color enhanced e-books and kid’s titles, this incarnation of the Nook is hard to beat.

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