Follow-up: Core post: NOOK Media LLC: the finalization of the strategic joint venture between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft [Oct 6, 2012]
Ammunition Teams with Barnes & Noble on All-New NOOK [May 24, 2011] (emphasis is mine)
Ammunition’s long-standing partnership with Barnes & Noble reached a milestone today with the announcement of the All-New NOOK, the ground up redesign of the company’s successful NOOK digital reader. Working alongside the world’s largest book retailer, Ammunition developed product concept, industrial design, and packaging for the All-New NOOK, the third e-reader and electronic publishing device to join the NOOK product line.The challenge for the All-New NOOK was to create a lower cost, full featured e-reader and to do so on a timeline that would allow it to move to market quickly. The result is a $139 device that uses eInk technology, a touch interface, and wireless connectivityto create a more immersive and personal reading experience for users. With its simple, soft, rubberized form and refined details, the All-New NOOK is by far the smallest and lightest dedicated e-reading tablet to come to market to date.Pre-orders are available at Barnes & Noble retail and online stores with a ship date on or about June 10, 2011.
NOOK work [by Ammunition]
… In addition, our team provided the retail packaging accessory strategy for NOOK Color.
The NOOK website
Highly recommended event report: Barnes & Noble Nook announcement of new ereader [TeleRead, May 24, 2011] (only a few excerpts are here, emphasis is mine)
Nook Color is the best selling Android tablet in the US and second only to the Ipad in overall tablet sales.
Compared to Kindle 3: no buttons and optimized interface makes it faster and easier to use; same size display as Kindle with 10% less size and bulk; countoured form factor so it is shaped to the hand, uses soft-touch paint; twice the battery life of the Kindle; Kindle uses reflash to change pages and until now this was the only option to address the ghosting effect, the new Nook is 85% faster.
Touch screen uses infra-red technology. Design goal was that technology should disappear to make reading as much like a book as possible. Will display how many pages left in a chapter. 6 different fonts with 7 different sizes. The shop screen will give readers recommendations based on what you are currently reading. WiFi but no 3G. Will connect automatically to AT&T hotspots.
Questions: WiFi is the dominant share in readers so went with that also helped keep the cost down. 800 MHz TI Omap chip [the same as in the Nook Color]. In hearing from customers battery life was always 1 or 2 in requirements. Two months is based on 1/2 hour reading per day with WiFi off. Nook apps only available on the Nook Color – this is a pure and simple device. Uses Android 2.1. Expandable up to 32Gb. Old Nook device will be discontinued. Don’t expect it to cannibalize Nook Color sales because is aimed at a different market segment. Research suggests that some people will buy both products for different members of family. In next 3 to 5 years physical books will continue to dominate the market. Store sales are not declining. For touch screen worked with Neo Node. Digital revenue is fastest growing part of B&N revenue, by far. No ads on Nooks. Surprised at how well Apps have done. Store managers by slightly less than 1/3 of their books regionally.
Barnes & Noble Partners with Leading Content Providers and Developers to Launch NOOK Apps™ for NOOK Color™, Best Reader’s Tablet™ [April 25, 2011] (emphasis is mine)
– NOOK Developer™ Program Brings Popular, High-Quality Applications For Customers to Play, Learn, Connect and More on Award-Winning Device
– Major NOOK Color Software Update Expands Best-In-Class Reading Experience with Most Requested Tablet Features Including Shopping For Apps in NOOK Bookstore™
NOOK Apps were introduced with the major NOOK Color software update launched today (available at no cost at www.nookcolor.com/update). The update delivers what customers want: shopping for popular apps, full-featured built-in email, an enhanced Web experience, as well as new ways for adults and children to enjoy rich content. NOOK Color v1.2 includes a platform upgrade to Android OS 2.2/Froyo, along with support for AdobeŽ AIRŽ and Adobe FlashŽ Player.
… Built on the Android OS, it is fast and easy for third-party developers to deploy existing Android-based apps to NOOK Color’s open eReading platform. With the v1.2 update, Adobe AIR is available pre-installed on the NOOK Color eReading platform, allowing developers to create and deliver rich and interactive applications for NOOK Color using tools in Adobe Creative SuiteŽ 5.5 including Flash Builder™ 4.5, and Flash Professional CS 5.5. Developers can learn more about the tools and resources available to create AIR and native Android applications for NOOK Color on the NOOK Developer portal.Barnes & Noble will continue to work with the development community – including the program’s more than 5,000 registered parties – to bring NOOK Color customers the highest quality apps, through a simple, organized method of discovery through the Shop experience. The number of NOOK Apps will continually expand as new applications are added to the growing collection. The NOOK Developer program continues to experience strong momentum with hundreds of developer requests to qualify for application submission in the three weeks since Barnes & Noble opened its submission process for qualified registrants and introduced a new suite of tools and services to accelerate application delivery and distribution.
Developers are invited to join and qualify to submit their applications by visiting www.nookdeveloper.com. Unlike other developer programs, there is no program fee for developers to participate in NOOK Developer. Developers who qualify will be able to submit paid and free apps and will receive 70 percent of any paid app purchased by Barnes & Noble customers. Developers also have the option to offer free trials to NOOK Color users.
– Milestone Reached Just One Week After NOOK App Shopping Made Available to All NOOK Color Customers
– Angry Birds, Drawing Pad, Fliq Calendar and Pulse Among Most Popular Apps
– Best Battery Life Ever – Up to an Incredible Two Months on a Single Charge
– Ultra-Light and Compact for Optimal Portability, Lighter than a Paperback
– Full Touchscreen with E Ink(R) Pearl Display Technology for Reading Anywhere
– Optimized Display Performance Offers 80 Percent Less Flashing than Any Other eReader for the Most Immersive Reading Experience
– The Most Intuitive, Easy-to-Use eReader for Everyone
Barnes & Noble Expert Recommendations, Plus the Most Social Reading Experience with NOOK Friends™
– Pre-Order for $139 in Time for Father’s Day and Summer ReadingBarnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today expanded its bestselling digital reading offering with the All-New NOOK, The Simple Touch Reader. With a full touchscreen, NOOK™ features record-setting, extra-long battery life on the easiest-to-use, ultra-light, portable 6-inch eReader with the most-advanced E Ink Pearl display, and the world’s largest bookstore available by Wi-FiŽ. Now available for pre-order at www.nook.comand at Barnes & Noble stores for just $139, NOOK will begin shipping on or about June 10. Barnes & Noble adds the All-New NOOK, a significant leap forward in the dedicated eReader category, to a product line that includes the bestselling NOOK Color™, the only Reader’s Tablet™. Based on the success of the NOOK product line, combined with focus on the absolute best reading experience, Barnes & Noble now claims more than 25 percent of the digital book market – just 18 months after launching NOOK 1st Edition™.
Barnes & Noble has always recognized the simplicity and ease that the element of touch brings to its NOOK product line, and the All-New NOOK is no exception. With a simple tap to the 6-inch touchscreen, it’s intuitive and easy to navigate, shop and read. Customers can look up words, highlight passages, adjust the font size and style or search by typing on the responsive on-screen keyboard that appears only when a customer needs it. The paper-like E Ink display features crisp, clear text that’s great for reading anywhere, even in bright sunlight. The no-glare display offers 50 percent more contrast than NOOK 1st Edition.
At only 7.48 ounces (212 grams), the artfully designed All-New NOOK is lightweight and thin – 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than NOOK Wi-Fi 1st Edition™. Lighter than a paperback, NOOK’s sleek but durable, compact design (6.5 inches high by 5 inches wide by 0.47 inches deep) makes it easy to fit in a jacket, pocket, purse or backpack, holding up to 1,000 digital books and more personal content using the expandable memory slot. Its ergonomic, contoured design with a soft-touch back makes it easy and comfortable to read, even with just one hand, and for extended periods of time. And thanks to best-in-class battery life, read for up to 2 months on a single charge with Wi-Fi off – that’s twice as long as the other leading eReader available.
Barnes & Noble’s use of the latest-generation E Ink screen and proprietary technology offers unmatched performance on the All-New NOOK, delivering a seamless and immersive reading experience. NOOK offers 80 percent less flashing than other eReaders – whether turning pages, browsing for books or scrolling through your library. Page turns are lightning fast, using the touchscreen or well-placed side buttons, and with the new Fast Page™ feature, just press and hold a side button to quickly scan through content and skip right to the desired section.
“We set out to design the easiest-to-use, most optimized, dedicated reading device ever created and accomplished it with the All-New NOOK,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “Touch makes it simple to use, and the beautifully compact design makes it the most portable eReader in its class. Add to that an unmatched battery life, the most advanced paper-like touch display on the market and wireless access to the world’s largest digital bookstore, and we believe that for readers of all ages, the All-New NOOK is the best eReader on the market, and a great value at $139.”
The World’s Largest Bookstore in Your Pocket
With the All-New NOOK, customers can enjoy a wide variety of digital content, all at their fingertips. Shop for everything from new releases and current bestsellers to classics and more, all in a single search. The NOOK Bookstore™ offers one of the most expansive digital catalogs of more than two million books, magazines and newspapers. Enjoy helpful recommendations from Barnes & Noble’s experts, personalized based on customers’ favored authors and genres, to decide what to read next. Have more than 80 popular national and local market newspapers and magazines from the NOOK Newsstand™ automatically delivered to NOOK the moment they’re released, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA TODAY, as well as Forbes, Reader’s Digest, Discover, Fast Company and New York magazine. All periodicals are available for subscription with a 14-day free trial or via single copies.
Most NOOK Books™ are $9.99 or less, including most of The New York Times Bestsellers, plus there’s over a million free classics. Enjoy more than 100,000 titles from independent publishers and self-publishing authors using Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!™ digital publishing platform. Young readers will find more than 12,000 NOOK Kids™ chapter books in Barnes & Noble’s world’s largest collection of digital children’s content. Sample NOOK Book titles for free and download all content wirelessly over a Wi-Fi connection in just seconds.
When customers visit Barnes & Noble stores with their All-New NOOK, the shopping and reading experience gets even better. Connect to free and fast Wi-Fi and browse complete NOOK Books for free through the company’s innovative Read In Store™ program and get exclusive content and special promotions through the More In Store™ program. NOOK customers receive access at more than 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as other personal and public hotspots to browse, buy and download new content wirelessly.
Get Social with NOOK Friends
Another way NOOK customers can learn more about great books is through NOOK Friends, an exciting social experience previously available only to NOOK Color customers. From the home page, customers can see book recommendations from friends. See what your friends have posted about their current read, swap recommendations, share reading status, favorite quotes, and much more. Through TwitterŽ and FacebookŽ integrations, right from their current book, customers can tweet the title they’re reading, post on their Facebook wall and see what their NOOK Friends “like” on Facebook. With Barnes & Noble’s exclusive LendMeŽ technology, you can also lend eligible books to your friends at no cost for 14 days, and see and request to borrow friends’ LendMe books.
And coming in the next few weeks, Barnes & Noble will offer a new custom website, mynook.com, where customers can get recommendations from Barnes & Noble expert booksellers and NOOK Friends, access their NOOK Library™, and manage their device.
Read Your Way
Customers can customize their All-New NOOK and reading experience to their liking. Choose from 7 font sizes and 6 font styles. NOOK owners can personalize their device with one of Barnes & Noble’s screen savers or transfer personal photos (JPG, PNG, BMP and GIF) to make NOOK their own, and choose from a complete line of exclusive, new NOOK accessories (www.nook.com/accessories) to show their style wherever they go. They can also create personalized My Shelves to organize their NOOK Library and group reading content similar to their bookcase.
A customer’s entire NOOK Library follows them wherever they go. They can also easily transfer personal EPUB and PDF files to their All-New NOOK device to read documents on the go using the 2GB internal memory or a microSD™ card. Since the All-New NOOK is built on Android™ Operating System 2.1 and uses Adobe technology, device owners can also borrow digital books from their local library, a feature Barnes & Noble has always offered to NOOK device customers. Customers can also read seamlessly, accessing their NOOK Library and sync the last page read across their NOOK devices and their favorite mobile and computing devices using Barnes & Noble’s free line of eReading software (www.bn.com/freenookapps).
The All-New NOOK can be pre-ordered for $139 today and is expected to begin shipping on or about June 10, making it the perfect gift for dads and grads, and a great addition for every book lover’s summer reading wish list. Experience the All-New NOOK at www.nook.com or at the NOOK Boutiques™ and displays in one of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 bookstores. With The Barnes & Noble Promise™, the company offers unmatched customer support in neighborhood Barnes & Noble bookstores, as more than 40,000 booksellers across the country are ready to assist customers with setting up their NOOKs or choosing their next great read. The company also continues to provide award-winning customer service support via phone and email. The All-New NOOK will also be available beginning next month at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million, along with NOOK Color.
About NOOK™ from Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble’s NOOK brand of eReading products makes it easy to read what you love, anywhere you like™ with a fun, easy-to-use and immersive digital reading experience. With NOOK, customers gain access to Barnes & Noble’s expansive NOOK Bookstore™ of more than two million digital titles, and the ability to enjoy content across a wide array of popular devices. The award-winning NOOK Color™ Reader’s Tablet™, the best-value on the tablet market ($249), features a stunning 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen to read all of the content you love, shop popular apps, connect via email, browse the Web and more. The All-New NOOK ($139), the Simple Touch Reader™, is the easiest-to-use 6-inch touch reader, with the longest battery life of any eReader. In Barnes & Noble stores, NOOK owners can access free Wi-Fi connectivity, enjoy the Read In Store™ feature to read NOOK Books™ for free, and the More In Store™ program, which offers free, exclusive content and special promotions. Barnes & Noble was the first company to offer digital lending for a wide selection of books through its LendMeŽ technology, available through NOOK eReading products. Find NOOK devices in Barnes & Noble stores and online at www.BN.com, as well as at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million.
In addition to NOOK devices, Barnes & Noble makes it easy for customers to enjoy any book, anytime, anywhere with its free line of NOOK software, available at www.bn.com/freenookapps. Customers can use Barnes & Noble’s free eReading software to access and read books from their personal Barnes & Noble digital library on devices including iPad™, iPhone(R), iPod touch(R), Android™ smartphones and tablets BlackBerry(R), PC and Mac(R). Lifetime Library™ helps ensure that Barnes & Noble customers will always be able to access their digital libraries on NOOK products and software-enabled devices and BN.com. Barnes & Noble also offers NOOK Study™ (www.nookstudy.com), an innovative study platform and software solution for higher education, NOOK Kids™ (www.nookkids.com), a collection of digital picture and chapter books for children, and NOOK Books en espańol™ (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/ebooksenespanol), the first-ever Spanish language digital bookstore in the United States.
Nook Color e-book reader review from Consumer Reports [Nov 17, 2010]
– Reader’s Tablet™ Now Offering Popular Apps, Email, Enhanced Web Experience and New Rich Content for Adults and Children
– Customers Can Explore One of World’s Largest Digital Bookstores Featuring New NOOK Apps™, More than 2 Million Books, 150 Interactive Magazines and Newspapers and More Than 12,000 Children’s Chapter and Picture Books
– At Only $249, the Easy-to-Use, Full-Featured NOOK Color is the Best Value in the Tablet Market, Offering a Great Alternative to Expensive Tablets
– Exciting Free Software Update Now Available to All Current and Future NOOK Color CustomersBarnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, announced today that it added significant new features and content to the NOOK Color Reader’s Tablet, making what has already been acclaimed as the best reading device on the market, the best tablet value on the market at just $249. With a major update to its bestselling device, Barnes & Noble is delivering more of what NOOK Color customers want: shopping a broad collection of popular apps, staying connected with full-featured, built-in email and an enhanced Web experience. In addition, NOOK Color’s reading experience gets even better with enhanced books featuring in-page video, new interactivity in digital children’s picture books, and now over 150 interactive magazines and newspapers, including new popular titles like The Economist and Food & Wine. All current and future NOOK Color customers can experience all of the great new features in v1.2 now available at www.nookcolor.com/update and provided for free over the air (OTA) via Wi-Fi to customers beginning next week.
“NOOK Color offers the best reading experience of any device, and now delivers the most popular tablet features such as engaging apps so customers can play, learn and explore, free, built-in email, an Android operating system update for enhanced Web browsing and more interactive content,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “With our new NOOK Apps program, we’ve partnered with the world’s best publishers and developers to offer popular brands like Angry Birds, Epicurious, Uno, Lonely Planet, Dr. Seuss, Little Critter and many more quality and entertaining applications. These and other enhancements, plus new ways for adults and children to experience exciting content, make NOOK Color a great alternative to paying double the price – or more – for an expensive tablet. Our easy-to-use, full-featured Reader’s Tablet is available for only $249, and presents the best value of any tablet on the market.”
Introducing NOOK Apps
NOOK Color customers can get even more out of their Reader’s Tablet – built specifically for reading and complementary experiences – with a collection of top quality apps specially designed to take advantage of NOOK Color’s stunning 7-inch color touchscreen and to keep the whole family entertained, engaged, connected and organized. Enjoy great games like Angry Birds, Uno and More Brain Exercise, and stay up-to-date on news and weather with Pulse and My-Cast. Learn new languages with Lonely Planet Phrasebooks apps, and try new recipes with the app from Epicurious. Keep sharp with pre-loaded crossword puzzles, chess and Sudoku. Stay organized with calendar apps, relax with streaming music from PandoraŽ Internet Radio and spark creativity in children with Drawing Pad and more fun apps made just for kids like Sandra Boynton’s Going to Bed Book.
NOOK Color customers can easily discover and download apps in seconds from Shop on NOOK Color, so they can browse complementary apps alongside books, magazines and other content. Customers can explore a growing collection of more than 125 favorite NOOK Apps from leading third-party developers and content providers in categories including Play, Organize, Learn, Explore, Lifestyle, News and Kids. The NOOK Apps offering will continually expand as new high-quality applications, optimized for NOOK Color, are added from the large and growing number of qualified developers and content providers submitting their applications through the company’s new app submission process.
Barnes & Noble offers a selection of free NOOK Apps – including calendar and notes apps, requested by NOOK Color customers – and paid apps, with approximately half of the collection available for $2.99 or less and the vast majority priced at $5.99 or less. Customers will easily find their newly downloaded or preloaded apps by tapping the NOOK Apps button on the Quick Nav menu or Apps section in their library, as well as through the newly refined search. All updated NOOK Color devices will now include NOOK Email™ and NOOK Friends™ apps preloaded in addition to Pandora Internet Radio, Crossword Puzzle, Sudoku, Chess, Contacts and Gallery.
Stay Connected with Email
NOOK Color now helps customers stay connected with the full-featured free NOOK Email application built in to organize Web mail accounts in one inbox. Given NOOK Color’s compact design that fits easily into a purse, jacket or bag, email was one of the most-requested features requested by customers. Connect to Wi-Fi to check and send emails with a full-screen virtual keyboard, making it easier than ever to stay in touch while on the go. NOOK Email works across the top Web mail services including Yahoo! Mail, Gmail™, AOL and Hotmail.
Updated Platform and a More Complete Web Experience
NOOK Color’s update to Android OS 2.2/Froyo offers system improvements, enhanced browser performance and a more complete Web experience giving customers access to enjoy even more video, interactive and animated content. NOOK Color now includes support for AdobeŽ FlashŽ Player. Surfing the Web is even better with the ability to easily switch between larger desktop or mobile Web experiences and enhanced pinch and zoom. Additional enhancements include improved global search and quick settings such as battery indicator, shortcuts to settings and audio.
Enhanced Reading Experience and More New Rich, Interactive Content to Enjoy
Designed for people who love to read everything in rich color, NOOK Color now has even more engaging and rich content, plus a sliding page turn animation, requested by customers. Easily access personal files transferred to NOOK Color on your customized Home screen.
By exploring Barnes & Noble’s more than 2 million digital titles, one of the world’s largest collections of digital reading content, customers will find even more exciting and engaging content to enjoy on NOOK Color.
- NOOK Kids™: Barnes & Noble’s state-of-the-art NOOK Kids digital picture book experience – the first with the innovative Read to Me™ feature – has been expanded with 15 new Read and Play™ titles that bring animation, activities and stories together. In NOOK Color’s innovative Read and Play books, children can interact with their favorite characters and enjoy activities built right into the story they’re reading. Whether it’s drawing with Fancy Nancy or making the dogs go in Go, Dog, Go!, parents and children will enjoy narration, animation and interactivity that fits into the story and plot lines of new Read and Play titles including Splat the Cat, Are You My Mother?, Caps for Sale, Little White Rabbit and more, now available to explore and enjoy.
With more than 350 NOOK Kids digital picture books and more than 12,000 children’s chapter books, Barnes & Noble offers the world’s largest collection of digital content for children. Children can choose stories featuring popular characters like Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants, and Disney favorites like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Snow White and Cars.
- NOOK Books™ Enhanced: Watch that appetizing recipe being made step-by-step or learn how to perfect yoga poses with embedded video and audio in cookbooks, health and fitness, biography, photography and travel books, along with other interactive content on NOOK Color. With more than 225 multimedia titles (and growing), Barnes & Noble offers instructive content including Knitting for Dummies, You: Raising a Child and ELLE: Workout Yoga starring Brooklyn Decker. Learn more about bestselling books from authors including David Baldacci, Pat Conroy, Russell Brand, Keith Richards and many more.
- NOOK Newsstand™: Dozens more favorite magazines and newspapers are now available on NOOK Color – the first reading device to offer popular newsstand titles in rich, full color. From Us Weekly and Elle to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, NOOK Newsstand delivers your morning paper and latest magazines right to your NOOK Color, ready to read in an amazing new way. With enhancements to magazine navigation on NOOK Color, it’s even easier to enjoy the full-color, digital edition of the print magazine, including Barnes & Noble’s innovative ArticleView™ feature. Barnes & Noble continues to build its NOOK Newsstand offering, now with more than 150 top full-color magazines and newspapers including recent additions such as OK! Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, Travel + Leisure, National Geographic Kids, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Dwell, Outside, Saveur, The Onion, PC Gamer, Family Handyman and many more. All can be enjoyed with a 14-day free trial, via subscription or purchased in single issue form.
Get Social with NOOK Friends
With the new NOOK Friends App (Beta), NOOK Color creates the go-to social network for people who love to read, and offers even more ways to connect. Customers can create a group of NOOK Friends to easily swap books, get a friend’s take on a new bestseller, discover great new reads or see if someone’s enjoying a book they recommended on the Friends’ Activity tab. NOOK Color customers can view their NOOK Friends’ content ratings and reviews, shared quotes, recommendations and how they’re progressing on their latest book. Check out all or individual NOOK Friends’ LendMe™ books available and track all current and pending sharing activity. Updates to NOOK Color also make it easy for customers browsing the great content available in Shop to share which products they “Like” on Facebook and view how many other Barnes & Noble customers “Like” it, too.
NOOK Color v1.2 Now Available
NOOK Color customers can experience all of the great new features in v1.2 immediately at no cost via manual download at www.nookcolor.com/update. A free over-the-air (OTA) update will begin rolling out to customers via Wi-Fi over the coming weeks. Experience the new NOOK Apps and other exciting new features at the NOOK Boutique™ or display in one of Barnes & Noble’s more than 700 bookstores across the country or by visiting www.nookcolor.com. NOOK Color, along with NOOK devices, can also be found at Best Buy, Walmart, Staples and Books-A-Million.
Barnes and Noble NOOK COLOR eBook Reader Tablet [Nov 7, 2010]
Nook Color Goes Froyo [April 25, 2011]
Nook Color Review: Get the Scoop on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color [eBook Readers Resource, Feb 16, 2011]
As one would anticipate, the 7-inch, 1024 x 600 resolution LED-backlit color screen takes up most of the front portion of this reader. Note that the In-Plane Switching (IPS) display utilized here is the same screen technology used in Apple’s iPads and iMacs. Barnes & Noble however, has customized the Nook with its proprietary VividView technology which fully laminates the screen coating, thereby significantly reducing the glare.
… despite its VividView treatment, the Nook Color’s IPS display remains pretty reflective, thus, it still doesn’t quite match up to e-ink technology when it comes to providing a glare-free reading experience.
Nook Color review [Engadget, Nov 16, 2010] (emphasis is mine)
It’s hard to believe we’re already writing a review of the Nook Color, considering Barnes & Noble’s first foray into the e-reader world was revealed just over a year ago. In that time, the company has gone from no presence in e-books to owning 20 percent of the marketshare, and now has moved from a somewhat sluggish hybrid E-Ink / LCD device to a full color, tablet-like product. …
… the front of the device is eaten up mostly with that 7-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS display. …
… As we said, the screen is of the 7-inch LCD variety, and at the 1024 x 600 resolution, looks reasonably dense (from a pixel perspective) with a 178-degree viewing angle. Barnes & Noble is particularly proud of the screen, which the company says utilizes its “VividView” treatment to provide less glare. What that really means is that the screen coating is fully laminated against the display itself, making for less tiny, almost-imperceptible unglued areas which can catch light. Still, the display is pretty reflective, making reading in bright locations (like on a subway with stark fluorescent lighting) sometimes difficult. …
… Web browsers and gaming aside, the main focus of the Nook Color is that it’s an e-reader — so how does it fare in that department?
First let’s get something out of the way. Obviously this isn’t an E-Ink screen, so you have to decide if you’re on board or not for reading on an LCD display. If you’re entertaining an iPad or Galaxy Tab, we’ll assume this screen technology is not going to deter you from using the device as a reader. For us, the display tech isn’t a major hang-up — in fact, lots of the staff have been using iPads as reading devices with little to no trouble.
So as far as screen tech goes, the Nook Color looks gorgeous as an e-reader for standard books and goes one step beyond, delivering magazines and children’s books the way they were meant to be viewed. For standard e-book reading, there are tons of options for formatting, fonts, and coloring — even those with poor eyesight should be able to find settings that make the reading experience enjoyable. We really liked reading with the Color, and even though the device doesn’t sport animated page turns (a la the iPad), it does offer great options for notation and word or phrase discovery (you can do dictionary, Google, and Wikipedia searches right from a contextual menu). We also loved that you’re able to share quotes or info about what you’re reading via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
For magazines, the reading format is a bit different. The full pages of the magazine are displayed on the screen, and you can swipe left and right to move through them. What’s even better, however, is a scrubber (for lack of a better term) that you’re able to bring up just below your magazine content which lets you quickly jump through the magazine and then zoom into a page you want to read. We found this option great for skipping ads. Once in a magazine page, you can zoom and pan to see photos up close or read, but the Nook Color also provides a novel (no pun intended) option called ArticleView which lets you break out text on the page into a strip down the middle of the screen with plain, clearly readable content inside. It’s a great idea that worked most of the time. Sometimes, on pages with lots of captions or cutaway text it didn’t seem to capture everything. As avid magazine readers, we really love the option of a unified method of getting periodicals, and the Nook Color is the first device to actually show that it can be done without a tremendous amount of effort (and surprisingly little lost). There’s clearly room to grow in this area (and a lot of content still to nab — the current magazine catalog is only about 70 strong), but we like where it’s headed. We hate to beat a dead horse, but as with the rest of the interface, the magazine experience is hampered by the sluggishness of the UI.
The Nook Color also offers newspapers delivered daily, but we’re not quite as psyched on the layout of the traditional dailies. We found the page ordering and design of these digital editions confusing and clunky. There’s likely a hybrid of what Barnes & Noble is doing with magazines and what the company does with books for these publications — but the current state of daily papers is a bit of a mess on the platform.
The final piece of the puzzle is B&N’s push into the kids’ book market with its new formatting that not only allows children and their parents to page through full color versions of popular kids titles, but introduces a “read to me” function. The premise is rather simple: a professional voice actor reads the copy out loud through the Nook Color’s speaker, and a child can follow along. We’re sure this will be a quality addition to a parent’s arsenal of options for keeping the kids happy. We did have a few issues with some audio skipping early on in one of the books we tested, but it went away quickly and didn’t return. The kids books also offer a scrubber similar to the one found in the magazine section. One thing of note — loading these volumes takes a little more time — though overall the feature worked as advertised.