Barnes & Noble Nook (second generation) E-Book Reader Review

Sun, Dec 25, 2011

Hardware Reviews

Barnes & Noble Nook (second generation) E-Book Reader Review

A year after the first generation of Nooks have come out and made a splash in the e-book reader market, the second generation made its entrance. Along with the Nook Color, this second generation of Nooks, known as Nook Tablet Barnes & Noble aims not to only have a share in the e-reader market, but also try its hand in tablet market. At a price that is more than half of the retail price of almost all tablet PCs (with the exception of its direct competitor Amazon Kindle), it tempts the tablet loyalist to shift to an e-reader and tablet in one. This Barnes & Noble Nook (second generation) e-Book reader review aims to see of the second generation Nook is successful in hitting two birds with one stone, or if it ends up being a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

When buying a second generation Nook, you will get the Nook Tablet, a wall charger, a cable for MicroUSB and a Quick Start Guide. As for the design of the tablet, it is similar to the Nook Color in terms of style and body. As the unit is narrower compared to most tablets, the Nook makes this a selling point, as it is easier to hold even with just one hand. Its soft touch keys also stay clean with its dirt-resistant feature, so neat freaks do not need to worry of their Nooks looking dirty only after a few uses. Compared to the first generation of Nooks, the second generation is still 0.48n inches thick, but it has significantly become lighter by a full pound.

The VividView ISP panel display has a 1024 by 600 pixel resolution, which is definitely high compared to ordinary e-readers. With 169 ppi, the Nook is also great with detail. Glare is reduced whether indoors or outdoors and wide drawings are precisely clear, thanks to the screen’s full lamination. Colors, brightness and clarity is more expertly controlled in this new generation Nook compared to the 1st generation. As with the previous generation though, access to the home screen or to the menu bar can still be done with the ‘n’ button located below the display.

The power button and volume controls are now in the tablet’s surface, while the 3.5 mm jack for headsets, microUSB slot, lanyars strap and microphone are on the sides. The included cable can only be used for charging, but any microUSB cable can be used to connect the device to the computer. This can be used to transfer music to the device, as there is no music store among its apps. The Nook does not have a camera or any image-capturing device. The 16 GB storage of the Nook only allows 1 GB for anything else, as 12GB is reserved for B&N content and 3 GB for the OS.

This Barnes & Noble Nook (second generation) e-Book reader review will not differ with previous reviews in terms of software because both devices still run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. However, Youtube, Android Market and Gmail are not offered, since the second generation Nook is not a ‘with Google’ reader. It has a fairly basic email app that is a buzz-kill for power users but fairly acceptable for those who want something uncomplicated. The music player is very basic as well.

As an e-book reader, it is rich in offerings connected with literatures – magazines, books and newspapers abound. As a tablet, the apps available are still limited, especially since it has no Android Market. With the Kindle Fire running on Honeycomb, the depth of applications available in the Nook still pales in comparison. In terms of personalizing, the Nook has the upper hand, as its wallpaper can be changed, has three home screens with changeable content, and icons that can be resized.

Of course, the Nook’s main strength is still as an e-book reader. This send generation model features Read and Record which allows users to record a reading which can be played back when the book will be reread. As for connectivity, WiFi is the main and only way to get online, as GPS, 3G and Bluetooth are not available.

Lastly, as for its battery, despite the hardware upgrades, the Nook can still last for more than a day despite heavy use. Having said that, Barnes & Noble Nook (second generation) e-Book reader reviews agree that this devices is a must for people who want a great e-reader with nice connectivity whistles in it.

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