I few weeks ago I received an American Express gift card at work and I set out to blow the money. I had been thinking about getting an ebook reader for a few months, but didn’t want to spend the money because I’m not really an early adopter. Since this was someone else’s money, I deciding to take the plunge. I spent a few weeks weighing the different ebook reader offerings. I looked at the Kindle 2, the Kindle DX, the Sony readers, and the Barnes and Noble Nook. Ultimately I ended up buying the Nook by Barnes and Noble, and here’s why.
I was attracted the the Kindle early on, but about the time I was looking was when they took a bunch of books out of their ebook store in a power play against Macmillion Publishers. I don’t like that kind of instability, so that was an instant con. B&N is a brick and mortar store with more leverage, so I don’t think this type of crap will happen with them. I also didn’t like the fact that you had to buy books from Amazon in their proprietary format. This Apple like behavior was a real turn off (notice the Ipad was not considered). B&N has more ebooks, so this decision was easy for me.
- Runs on Android I’m a big fan of Google’s Android OS, so this was a big pro for me. Even though the Nook does not currently have apps, it likely will in the future. I can then write more apps to extend what I can do with my e-reader.
- Can Lend Books Something the Nook offers that other readers do not is the ability to lend books to other Nook users to read. I am constantly borrowing/loaning books from friends and family, so this is a cool feature. I should be able to loan it to more than one person and for more than two weeks, but 2 weeks is better than nothing. I know they want to make more money, but come on…
- Great Battery Life The battery life is not as good as the Kindle because of the color touch screen, but it has been fine for me. I usually get around 5 days of battery life with heavy usage.
- PDF Support The PDF support so far has been good. Granted the e-reader is not the best way to keep reference material, but reading PDFs has been fine. Even my technical books have looked good. More than likely I will still buy hardback technology books and read the rest on the nook.
- E-Pub Support E-Pub support is a huge pro. You can get E-Pub books in a lot of different places, so I don’t have to just get books from B&N.
- Advertising Why is this a con? I was in an airport last week and I had 5 people ask me “is that a Kindle?” I had to explain to them that it was a Nook from B&N. Amazon has gained the name recognition, so B&N needs to step it up a notch. I thing that the Nook is a superior reader, so they need to advertise that. It’s in everyone’s, Nook customers and B&N, best interest for the community to grow.
- Lack of Backing from B&N This is speculation on my part, but the Nook seems like an experiment by B&N and it does not yet have the full backing of the company. The reason why I say this is that it seems like they are not ordering enough Nook readers and the accessories to meet the demand. I decided to buy the Nook, but they were not available until early February so I had to wait. When I made the order, I also purchased the Neoprene sleeve that they offer. I lost that sleeve in the airport last week and needed to purchase another one. They are sold out and will not have more until April! If B&N wants to really push this product they need to get behind it. The lack of inventory is not encouraging. I’m envisioning a small room in B&N HQ with a few shelves of accessories and readers with a staff of 2 people for order fulfillment. I hope I’m wrong…
All in all, I love my Nook. I can download ebooks while on the road with the included AT&T wireless. I haven’t tried out the periodical subscriptions yet, but likely will soon. I still have some gift card money, so will be loading up the nook with more ebooks.