Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Tale of Two Kindles and a NOOK: Part 2 - The NOOKcolor

A few weeks after I delivered my dad's new Kindle, I was talking to my son on the phone, telling him about Dad's learning to use his Kindle and how much I was enjoying mine.  He said, "Well, actually, I need to tell you that I have purchased a NOOKcolor for myself."

He went on to explain his reasons for the additional purchase.  Primarily, it had to do with the larger touch-screen, the fact that everything is in full color, and the wireless web access.  (You can access the web through the Kindle, but it is difficult to manuever, due to the smaller screen size and the lack of the touch-screen.)  His enthusiasm was contagious.  I decided to explore the NOOKcolor on the Barnes and Noble website.

First, the color is beautiful.  It's especially nice for cookbooks, decorating books, anything with photographs or color illustrations.  (You can also enlarge and zoom in on the photos.)  I remember when we went from black and white TV to the first color sets.  The color was not good.   This experience was more like going from watching one of today's movies on a black and white TV to watching it in color in high definition.  I was sold on the color!

Barnes and Noble offers the option of purchasing subscriptions to many magazines, as does Amazon for the Kindle.  Of course, the color makes a huge difference with a lot of the magazines.  Another option for the NOOKcolor and the Kindle is to purchase the most recent issue of magazines and newspapers individually.  This is an option that we will enjoy when we're on vacation or when a special event or issue comes up that we want to explore, without purchasing an entire subscription.

Next, some books are interactive.  For example, some cookbooks have demonstration videos embedded in the text.  You just touch the screen on the NOOK to play them.   Brilliant!  I can have my NOOKcolor right there with me in the kitchen (in a protected area) and use the demos as I go through the recipes.  Also, some of the color children's books have interactive segments in the illustrations.  The child can touch a ferris wheel car, for example, and the car will rock.

By the way, the screen can be turned sideways to read the children's books and there is a "read to me" feature that the child can choose to listen to the book as the pages are turned.

The touch screen is very nice, but there is a learning curve.  I had no experience with touch screens (I don't have a smart phone) and am just now getting more confident using mine.  It just takes practice.

The web browsing capability is also very nice; the touch screen makes it easier to use and there are some other extra bells and whistles like the ability to preset your social media and e-mail for easy access.

Here is the final selling point for me:  My library system has books available to check out on e-readers from its website.  The NOOK is one of the e-readers that will accept the borrowed books; the Kindle is not.  This is a major money-saver and is what really made me decide to buy the NOOK.

The bottom line is that I will use both, and I'll be using them for different functions and for different reasons  (just as I will continue to read the traditional book).  The Kindle is a good basic reader with features that will appeal to people my age and older:  it's lightweight, simple to learn, has buttons rather than the more senstitive touch screen, the screen doesn't smudge easily, and it can be read in bright sunlight.  The NOOKcolor has, of course, beautiful color; touch screen; interactive functions; easier web access; and a larger reading screen (than my Kindle -- I understand that the Kindle DX has a larger screen) AND allows me to download e-books from my library.  Both the Kindle and the NOOK have many features in common that make my reading an even more wonderful and varied pleasure than it has been.

I would recommend, of course, that you visit the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites to learn more about both devices, especially if you are in the market for one (or both).  Happy reading!



Mollianne said...

You are getting very high-tech there, Girl! I feel like I'm on the Jetson's with all my space age technology!

Shelia said...

Hi Annie! Oh, you're so high tech! I don't have a kindle! I think I'm deprived! :) Thanks for popping in to see me.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)


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