Posts Tagged ‘The e-Reader Wars’

Best Buy Carries Nook

Monday, April 12th, 2010

The e-Reader Wars

Best Buy is now selling the Nook from Barnes & Noble. The Nook is a standard e-Reader, but has a touch screen navigation. Here are the basics:

  • 6″ e-Ink Display
  • 16-level Grayscale
  • 3.5″ Color Touch Screen for touch navigation
  • Quick Library View by book cover image
  • AT&T 3G plus 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
  • Free Wi-Fi in Barnes & Noble stores
  • 2GB internal memory, expandable via mini-SD slot
  • Android OS
  • Interchangeable back cover
  • Digital Lending
  • Speakers and Headphone Jack

There are a number of titles available, both free and paid. You can get free content delivered daily to your device. The Nook claims to be the first Android e-Reader, and the first with color navigation. It also boasts compatibility with other systems, including the iPhone and Blackberry. All in all this looks to be a pretty solid device.

One of the interesting features is the combination of Android and e-Ink. The in-store Wi-Fi is another feature I like. Barnes & Noble has encouraged readers to stick around the store by offering comfortable reading areas. This culture is maintained by offering free Wi-Fi. I thought this was a good move on their part. People are used to reading in the stores and would likely want to continue doing so.

I can see why Best Buy would want to carry it in stores, but the online version makes less sense to me. If they are offering the Nook on their website, I would imagine they would want to sell it cheaper than Barnes & Noble. As it is they both offer the Nook online for the same price.

After reviewing the Nook, I think it deserves more press than it previously has received. Assuming its claims are correct, it broke ground on a couple of features, mainly involving navigation. Whether you pick it up at Best Buy or Barnes & Noble, the Nook will cost you about $260. I recommend checking it out and seeing if it is for you. I think it is definitely among the front-runners in the e-Reader Wars.

Move over iPad, Hello WePad

Sunday, April 4th, 2010

The e-Readers Wars

While the world is still buzzing about the new iPad’s weekend release, we are continuing our series on The e-Reader Wars. Today’s topic is the WePad out of Germany.

WePad lays out a side-by-side comparison with the iPad on their website. Here is a sample of the areas where WePad beats the iPad.

  • 11.6″ 1366 x 768 Pixel Display
  • 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N450 Pineview-M Processor
  • 1.3 Megapixel Webcam
  • 2 integrated USB ports, Card reader, Audio output,
    SIM Card Slot, Multi-Pin Connector
  • Flash and Adobe AIR
  • WePad Apps and Android Apps
  • Multitasking
  • Supports all open eBook formats plus WeBook premium formats (available Q4 2010)

It looks like the only areas Apple wins in this head-to-head is battery life. The iPad weighs less too, if that is important to you. This looks like a pretty solid tablet. Android Apps are a definite plus. Hopefully this means actual Android Market apps, but if not you can check out some alternatives. Again, this is a tablet, not an e-Reader, but considering it supports open formats for e-books, that is a good start. I am still not convinced that this belongs in an e-Reader category, but as Apple seems to be pushing the concept, and this is the running theme for this series, I am making the comparisons.

The pricing for the WePad appears to be in development stages still, so when a price is published I will post about it. Until then, I think this is definitely a better value than the iPad. Whether it can beat an e-Reader has yet to be seen.

Apple iPad Hitting Stores

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

The e-Reader Wars

By the time I am done writing this post, the iPad release date will have arrived. There are multitudes currently freezing in line waiting to be among the first to purchase their beloved device. My first question is, why? A lot of people are going to buy this product simply because it has Steve Jobs’ stamp of approval on it. They will buy anything Apple makes. Others have looked at the specs and like what they see. Let’s take a look at the specs to see what these new iPad owners will get to experience.

  • 9.7″ backlit LED display
  • 1024×768 Resolution
  • 1GHz Apple A4 processor
  • 16, 32, or 64GB flash memory
  • Dock connector port
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
  • Built-in speaker
  • Microphone

The Wi-Fi model carries additional features including Bluetooth 2.1 and Wireless 802.11b/g/n.

As I was watching Modern Family this week, iPad got a huge plug. The geeky dad really wanted one for his birthday, and after a series of unfortunate events he ultimately gets to blow out birthday candles on his new toy. The show made a couple of good jokes, including one where Phil (the geeky dad) aligns himself with early adopters. Considering the guy is not a computer geek it makes me wonder if he is the perfect target demographic for Apple. A middle-aged man with no real knowledge of computers, who is looking for the latest and greatest thing to come out. Apple certainly has other demographics, yet the show highlighted this one particularly well.

So, getting beyond the hype, and the fact that this is an Apple product, is it worth it? I have said all along during the development phase that I think this will be a fun toy, whether or not I am interested in owning it. I am sure I could amuse myself for hours with the myriad of apps, especially considering that there is no phone, making it a glorified iPod Touch.

The early adopters referenced in the TV show suffered a setback this week, when we all learned that pre-ordered iPads would not be shipping this week. Those who paid up front won’t be getting their devices first, the people freezing in line will. If I had pre-paid I wouldn’t be too thrilled about that. I am sure those who paid early are too loyal to Apple to cause too much of a stink over it though. It’s kinda like how we Star Wars fans watched George Lucas destroy his own franchise and continued to send him money.

As I explained in my Kindle for iPhone post, I could probably read a book on it without too many problems. I’m not sure that I’d want to, but I would be reasonably able to do so. I am saving the topic of whether or not the iPad is even competing with e-Ink enabled e-Readers for another post. I don’t think iPad is a “Kindle killer.” I don’t happen to like the concept of anything being an anything killer, since it is typically hype. I don’t want the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 because I hate the iPhone, I want it because I am a Sony Ericsson fan and really want an Android phone. Same with the iPad. I am not interested in other products just to dismantle Apple’s market share, but simply because I am interested in other products. I think Kindle is pretty safe by the way. I could be wrong, but I don’t really see the two engaging in the all-out battle people are talking about.

The bottom line is, if you want to buy it, go for it. It is a well-designed product, and shouldn’t have any major issues. If you want a bigger screen, or Flash, hold out for one of the competing products. Tablets are just now hitting mainstream, so it couldn’t hurt to wait for the prices to come down, or for the next great device to come out in a couple months, whatever that product may be.