With E-reader devices running a price marathon, trying to be the most affordable, many people (myself included) seem to asking the same thing: Is an E-Reader for me?
I recently had the chance to play with the Barnes & Noble Nook Wi-Fi/G3. Truth be told, it's a pretty handy device. (Pun intended!) It's about the size of a mass market book and is comprised of an e-ink screen and a color touch screen. You can turn pages by using the four buttons (two on each side) or by flicking your finger on the touch screen. The e-ink has a nice, smooth look to it-- it looks as close to a real books pages as I've seen on one of these devices. I don't mind the fact that it isn't backlit. I'd rather not be reading a screen that is reminiscent of my computer screen!
There are two different versions out-- The Nook Wi-Fi and the Nook Wi-Fi/G3. I was using the Wi-Fi/G3 Nook and let it connect to the online bookstore via G3 my entire time I used it. The books downloaded within a minute and were instantly sent to 'My Library'. Once in my Library, all I had to do was 'Show Covers' and open my book! While reading, you have size options from small to extra extra large and three different fonts to choose from. You can't change the brightness of the screen (as it's not backlit). You can also bookmark pages, look up words, and write notes.
When it comes to extra's, I must say the browser leaves much to be desired. Since I don't need another web browser, it isn't too much of a deal breaker, but don't buy this for *just* web browsing. I like the fact that you can upload MP3's and add memory. Wouldn't want audio books clogging up my ebook space. (By the way, the Nook has 2 GB of memory.)
To test the Nook, I first decided to buy 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone'-- only to find out that JK Rowling has yet to give Ebook rights to any of her work. Thanks a bunch, Mrs. Rowling. (Why am I not surprised by this?) Next, I tried 'The Grey King' by Susan Cooper. It's one of my favorite books and I wanted to see if reading the ebook felt different than my usual paperback. I missed being able to flip ahead easily or to skim quickly through pages, but the ability to change the size and font was neat. This is silly (I know), but I do miss the ability to make the memories that come naturally with a physical book. It's hard to describe, but it seems hard for a paragraph on an ebook to make an imprint like the same one would with a physical book. Weird, I know.
I found the Nook to fit well in my hands and the weight didn't bother me. It is pretty purse friendly and commuters may find this to be quite the saving grace. I'm impressed by Barnes & Noble's Nook. While I'm not ready to make the move to e-books, the Nook is a nice device. Readers of E-books should enjoy this e-reader. Head over to your local Barnes & Noble or go to BN.com to learn more about the two devices!
UPDATE: I tried to download 'City of Ships' by Mary Hoffman last night, but that, too, is not out in e-book format. *sigh*
Also, I decided to see what manga choices were available for the nook. The Nook is not for manga/comic readers. I didn't see any titles from major manga/comic publishers when I searched the 'Store'. Everything I found was pretty adult-- not my taste.
Last, I forgot to make mention of the battery life (per charge) of the Nook. Booksellers say 4 days with the wi-fi on, 10 days without wi-fi. I've found the battery life to be a tad shorter-- more like 2 to 3 days with the wi-fi turned on. I didn't test it with the wi-fi turned off.