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NOOK review

7.3/10 AVG.

Informr score
The NOOK currently has an Informr score of 7.3 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 13 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The Nook is Barnes & Noble's first foray into the highly competitive electronic-book reader market. It was originally released in November of 2009 and quickly gained popularity due to its innovative interface, versatility, and compatibility with multiple file types without DRM copyright restrictions.

While it's marketed as an e-book reader, it does a bit more than just that. The Nook runs on a modified Android 1.5 operating system and, while it cannot access or run apps from the Android Market, it includes applications for playing music using the built-in speaker or 3.5 mm headphone jack, browsing the web via its built-in WiFi connection, or playing games such as chess or Sudoku. It also features 2 GB of built-in storage, which is expandable through a micro SD slot.

The 6-inch E Ink screen on the Nook provides a sharp contrast between dark and light tones that are readable even in bright sunlight. Since it does not have a backlit screen, the Nook is noticeably easier on the eyes than other portable devices; however, the drawback is that it is virtually useless in low-light situations. The books that this type of device replaces aren't particularly useful in low-light situations either, so there is a somewhat organic feel to the overall reading experience. Unlike a real book, the font style and size are fully adjustable to meet your own personal reading needs.

Rather than sporting a keyboard like Amazon's Kindle e-reader, the Nook sports a secondary touch-sensitive color screen used for controlling the device. This color navigation panel displays menu icons and navigation tools, as well as full-color book covers while browsing your library or shopping. It also functions as a touch-sensitive keyboard for typing notes or interacting with websites. While it is a cool feature, the color LCD seems to have a noticeable impact on the device's battery life.

There are a few particularly nice features that are included with the Nook and the NOOKbook Store. With the Nook's built-in LendMe technology, you can share books with a friend's Nook for up to two weeks. Users can preview samples of books while shopping in the NOOKbook Store directly from their device, or can access a number of books for free for up to an hour while physically in any Barnes & Noble location via their in-store WiFi connection.

Need to Know: Nook

1. The 6-inch E Ink screen provides a reading experience similar in size and appearance to the ink on a page of an actual book, making it very pleasing to the eyes. (The Good)

2. The Nook is fully compatible with many popular non-DRM formats, including EPUB, PDF, and PDB. (The Good)

3. Extra apps are included for playing music, browsing the web, and gaming. (The Good)

4. The lack of a backlight makes the Nook useless in low-light situations. A switchable backlight would have easily remedied this. (The Bad)

Screen Size
2 GB
Reading Time

What the Critics Are Saying...

Gear Diary

The nook is a great device. If you aren’t already tied into an ebook ecosystem, and you don’t need Amazon’s whispersync capabilities, the nook is a fantastic device. If you spend a great deal of time shopping in B&N stores, it’s an absolute no-brainer.

- Carly Z, Gear Diary

Is the Nook better than the Kindle? That's the question everybody wants answered, and the short answer is no. From a design standpoint, the Kindle is lighter and thinner. As for core features, the two devices wirelessly deliver similar content to 6-inch e-ink screens (the Kindle's is slightly better...

- David Carnoy , CNET
PC Magazine

In all, the Nook's updates are all quite welcome. Particularly the faster page turning that nearly brings Nook up to Kindle's speed. The new features make great use of the dual screens on the device, and the Web browser is definitely more pleasant than on the Kindle. One feature on the Kindle but no...

- Dan Costa & Michael Muchmore, PC Magazine

Unfortunately, the Nook is marred by a frustrating interface and persistent slowness. Switching between the lower and upper screens is sometimes confusing, and the lower screen’s “back” button sometimes takes you all the way back to the top menu, clearing out whatever was on the upper screen. Occasi...

- Dylan Tweney, Wired
Mobile Tech Review

What a difference a few months makes! The nook has moved from "no thank you" to "yes, I'll take one" in our book. There are a few things we'd like to see addressed: most important being a go to page number feature, but there are certainly no other glaring issues. The Barnes & Noble nook is the perfe...

- Lisa Gade, Mobile Tech Review

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Quick view

Screen Size

The NOOK's screen size is 6 inches with x pixels resolution.


There is a processor (CPU).


The eReader runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

2 GB

Internal memory is 2 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 16 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.


The e-reader is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol) battery. Battery life is rated for up to 10 days standby time according to Barnes & Noble's.

NOOK Specs

Release date June 21, 2010
Regions available USA, Canada
SIM card size No
Operating System No
Internal Storage 2 GB
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery, USB Power Adapter
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity No
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time Unknown
Reading Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 10 days
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors White
Dimensions [H x W x D] 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.3 cm (7.7 x 4.9 x 0.5 in)
Weight 329 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Grayscale
Technology E-ink
Colors Unknown
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 6 inches
Backlit Illumination No
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Anti Glare No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Page Turn Key No
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech No
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock No
External Volume Control No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth No
WiFi 802.11 b/g
WiFi Encryption No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC
PC Synchronization No
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, OGG
Video Playback No
Video Playback Formats No
Streaming Video No
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Vibration Alert No
Content Formats Supported
Content Formats Supported No
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): NOOK Wi-Fi

Related Links Quick Start Guide (PDF)
Manual (PDF)
NOOK Reviews
Where to buy NOOK
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