I got a chance to check out the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor as well as an upcoming software update for the original Nook eReader with an E Ink display. The software update will bring 50% faster page turns, as well as support for synchronizing your last page read across all your Nook devices (including mobile phones running Nook software.

I was pretty impressed with the page refresh update. I’ve always been a little disappointed with the slow page turn speeds on E Ink displays, but with the software update that’s due out in the next week or so, the Nook will be able to turn pages about as quickly as you can blink.

As for the NOOKcolor, it’s an awfully attractive little device, with a 1024 x 600 pixel IPS display, a number of views for your book library, a pretty nifty magazine viewer, and integrated apps that let you do things like share books with your contacts.

There’s an inherent tradeoff to the LCD display though. While the E Ink Nook can run for weeks at a time without charging and has an outdoor readable display, the NOOKcolor can last for a day or two on a charge and is best viewed indoors. On the other hand, the NOOKcolor has a decent looking web browser and support for multimedia. It’s not quite a full featured tablet at this point, since there’s no access to the Android Market or third party apps, but Barnes & Noble is expected to roll out some reader-centric apps soon.

You can check out a video overview after the break.

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5 replies on “Hands-on with the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor”

  1. Flash is coming in January with the gingerbread update.

    I had one of these, returned it. The browser’s substitution of tab and then use a zoom control was…unfortunate. But, even as a reader, it had its issues:

    1) It doesn’t support one of B&N’s main ebook formats, leaving loyal customers–some that had 700 or even 1000 books–out in the cold, which doesn’t instill confidence in buying ebooks from them.

    2) All the cool sharing and highlighting features only work for books purchased from B&N. Not for magazines purchased from them. Not for books from the library, which is one of their big selling points over Kindle.

    3) Even for the books you buy from B&N, there’s no way to get your notes off of the Nook into another file, e.g. a word document or text file.

    I thought–and still do–that the Nook Color has potential, but it is mostly unrealized, at least now.

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