So I am at the Android Developer Conference this week (AnDevCon II) and Barnes & Noble has a booth in the exhibition hall. When I stopped by yesterday, all they had on display was the NC. I stopped by again this afternoon between classes, and what do you know..they had a couple of Nook Tablets we could mess around with.
Random thoughts after playing around with it for 10 minutes, and talking to one of the technical reps:
1) I thought there was notably less glare than the Nook Color (NC). I stood under a bright light in the exhibit hall, and while there was glare, I could still read pretty well. I even tried to position the screen for maximum glare and thought the screen was still readable.
2) While it might be just 2 ounces lighter than the NC, it is noticeable.
3) Other than the glare reduction (i believe the rep told me there is an anti-glare layer between the glass and the screen itself)..the screen is exactly the same as the NC
4) Device seemed pretty responsive. No noticeable slow downs when moving between screens, flipping pages, etc. Didn't play any games or video.
5) NICE: the Nook Tablet is still bootable from SD. The rep said that while they think only 3% of sales of the NC go to people who want to root it, they are still sales they wouldn't otherwise have. And they aren't interested in removing the ability to root for those who want to do that. I was pleasantly surprised how ok they are with rooting. Plus, he said they have to keep the boot from SD option. When someone brings a messed up device into a B&N store, they can wipe the device clean and restore it to its original condition by booting the system from an SD card (by using the OS on the card to restore the system on the device).
6) the android version is 2.3.3
7) the UI of the device is pretty nice. I haven't played with my NC on the stock B&N OS though (i run CM7), so I'm unsure how different the UI is between the NC and Nook Tablet.
Overall, felt like a nice 7 inch device. Didn't feel much different than the NC, but I am guessing the spec bumps will make it a noticeable upgrade if you use it for things other than just reading.
Today at lunch I stopped by my local Borders and picked up a Kobo Touch. I chose it over the new Nook Simple Touch for many reason, which I will go into later when I write up a full review. Said review will probably wait a week or two so I have time to use the device. Though you might see a quick "initial thoughts" kinda post in the next few days.
With all that said..if you have any questions about the Kobo Touch, let me know by leaving a comment in this post. I'll do my best to get you an answer. If you wondering what a Kobo Touch is, see the Kobo Touch product page here.
Just a quick passing on of some information...engadget has just posted their review of the new nook touch e-ink reader. Their review is mostly positive other than a couple of minor issues. Also, while originally the new nook was scheduled to ship June 10, some folks are reporting that they received an email yesterday saying their nooks were shipping today. If you order today, it looks like it will ship in the next 24 hours (I just put one in a cart to check the shipping time, and it says "usually ships within 24 hours").
I am still on the fence between this and the new kobo..but since this runs Android, I bet it will get rooted. I don't expect to turn this e-ink device into a tablet or anything, but rooting it might open it up to more book formats. And maybe the ability to add more fonts, font sizes, etc. At least that is my hope. Who knows, I might talk myself into ordering one of these by the time I post this blog article.
This will most likely be the last post for a few days, due to vacation plans. Things should get back to normal (finally) early next week after I return. I am currently reading A Game of Thrones (54% complete, according to my Kindle) and I just started reading The Dark City #1 (Relic Master) by Catherine Fisher. The 4 book Relic Master series is being published in 4 consecutive months. I'll make this post a little larger than normal to tide you over until I get back.
-As expected, Barnes and Noble announced a new e-ink reader on Tuesday. Details here. I'm trying to decide which one I like better, the new Kobo Touch or this new Nook. I hope to do a comparison post on them soon to discuss this further.
-Amazon added a new Special Offers Kindle to their lineup..this time the Kindle 3 3G/WiFi with Special Offers
-SCRABBLE for your Kindle is on sale for $0.99 (normal price is $4.99. Yeah, not fantasy, but thought this might be of interest.
-Adrian Tchaikovsky has a new Apt short story available for you to read called The Last Ironclad. I need to catch up on books 5 & 6, and read these shorts stories, too.
-Paul S. Kemp with a few lines from his upcoming book, Godborn.
-You have a few more days to win an arc of the upcoming book Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk. I think I would like this series..I need to read book 1 soon-ish. Note that Amazon is listing this book as "in stock" even though the official street date is June 21, 2011. So check your local bookstores in the next week or so and you'll probably see it on store shelves.
The focus was almost completely on the characters, but even going so far as to not even set up a scene. Sometimes the characters would be discussing their next move or explaining some type of history and without any set up of the world around them, it seemed to me they were taking a break in the middle of nowhere to just "talk this out".
Moon has my attention with this series, she does terrific things with character, particularly characters from opposite ends of an ideological divide coming together and resolving some of their differences. The magic plays an important part, but it is by no means over done. The fantastic races and other elements come across as just part of the greater whole in an organic fashion rather than simply to say “Hey look – a dwarf and a gnome!” I wouldn’t recommend this book without having read Oath of Fealty, but conversely, since I would recommend Oath of Fealty, I would recommend Kings of the North as a must read.
Tome of the Undergates by Sam Sykes is definitely written for the basement dweller. Sophomoric and scatological, Sykes' debut novel would have a proctologist screaming: Too much! Its immaturity hinders it. This isn't adult fantasy; this is the whiny rumblings of adolescence. Full of posturing and cluelessness. The proverbial rebel without a clue. The novel wants to be edgy, but in a PG-13 kind of way. All the good parts are clearly still in the R-rated material provided by George R.R. Martin and Joe Abercrombie.
link: Blood of the Muse: "Tome of the Undergates" by Sam Sykes (Gollancz) ( this is actually the kindest/most kind passage from the review..I liked the book initially, but some of the things mentioned in this review applied to me, too..so that eventually I became less interested. Hence I read about 35% and that is it so far. Will attempt to finish at some point, though.)
In most novels, the final third of the book is the climax. In DEMONSTORM, the entire novel is the climax. It is one, big moving war. And in war, there are casualties. Barclay has never been shy about killing off characters. This book is no different. The carnage in DEMONSTORM is steep. The cost of fighting these demons is shocking. Our biggest worry, honestly, was that Barclay would take the easy way out. Cheat. Just so you know, he didn't. We cried.
link: Elitist Book Reviews: Demonstorm (I NEED to finish this book! Now idea why I haven't read it yet, considering how much I loved the previous 5 books in the series.)
Hulick displays a fine ability to show his readers what life in and around the gutter is really like, nasty and often very short. This very honest and grim atmosphere makes for a read that you can’t help but follow (and feel very glad that you can close the book afterwards and get away, certain characters aren’t that lucky...)
Perhaps the greatest thing I can say about Shadowheart is that through four long volumes of a story, Williams convinced me to care utterly for his characters and there’s a hole now in my life where they once lived. Few story tellers can do that. Williams does it with alarming regularity.
link: Review | SHADOWHEART by Tad Williams — A Dribble of Ink (Darn it Aidan..you are convincing me to move the last 3 books up on my to-read pile. I am a HUGE fan of his first trilogy, but was a little less excited about Shadowmarch. I own all 4 books, so no good reason I shouldn't jump into book 2 again soon.)
I've got a few news items related to ebooks and thought I would combine them into 1 post.
-Aldiko, the Android ereader application, announced a new partnership today with Books On Board. Basically, from within the Aldiko app, you will be able to browse for books and buy books from Books On Board (all without leaving the app). I recently tried all of the Android based ereader apps, and I prefer Aldiko. Yeah, if you have books from the Kobo or B&N bookstores, you will probably prefer their app(s). But for a 3rd party (non-storebacked) app, I think Aldiko is better than fbReader,Cool Reader, Moon + Reader, etc. This is a nice piece of news for those of you who like to buy books within a reading app, but don't want to buy from some of the bigger named stores.
-Kobo announced a new eReader today: the Kobo eReader Touch Edition. I have to say I'm highly interested...interested enough to return that Sony Pocket Edition I just bought 2 weeks ago. This Kobo reader looks to have the smaller size I am after, but with WiFi and expandable memory (which the Sony lacks). I am also interested to see what B&N announces tomorrow. Back on topic, from what I have read, if you order the new Kobo now, it should ship in time for Father's Day. It should have some features of interest for you non-US folks...see Kobo's blog post here.
-Get a refurbished Kindle 2 3G today at Woot.com for just $89. This deal is good today (5/23/11) only.
-You can buy a new Nook B/W e-ink reader for $99 in the B&N Ebay store here. Be aware, though, that this is likely another sign that the new ereader B&N will announce tomorrow is an e-ink reader..meaning this device will be superceded by the new device announced tomorrow.