I bought a Nook Color for my husband on Father’s Day. So we have had it for a few months. My husband primarily uses it, but I have played with it on occasion before I got my iPad. We were both surprised at how much we could do with it besides just reading books. In fact I think my husband plays games and other things as much as he reads on it. I looked into getting one for myself but settled on the iPad because I already had an iPhone and liked how I could join all these items. I will write this review comparing it to my iPad, so if you are looking at choosing between the two you can have the information you may need to make that decision.
Compared to my iPad 2
Before I got my iPad 2 we were pretty impressed with the Nook Color, but now that I have been playing with my iPad for a few weeks, I went back to look at the Nook Color and it felt like a child’s toy in comparison. Granted there is a huge price difference, given that the iPad is about double the price, so if you can’t afford an iPad but still would like a tablet, the Nook Color might be a good option.
Battery Charge and Life
The Battery Charges pretty quickly and lasts for many uses before needing to recharge it. It seems to not lose any charge when keeping it on but in the standby mode as opposed to being completely off. Even though we do not use it every day, we leave it on standby and do not lose much if anything in battery charge.
The nook color comes with a detachable charging cord. When we plug it in to recharge it there is an amber colored N that lights up to let you know it is charging. When the light turns green, it is fully charged. Generally this takes no more than 4 hours. I think that the light is a very nice feature so that you do not have to turn it on to see if it’s done charging.
The Nook and the iPad are about equal when it comes to charge times and how long the units last when fully charged. Both are Great!
Size Shape and Feel in the Hand
One thing I do not like about the iPad is that if you are not careful it could slip out of your hands. I keep mine in a case because I am afraid that it will slip and fall and break. The Nook on the other hand is a little easier to keep in your hand. It’s finish is not so slippery that it will want to slip right out of your hand. I would feel comfortable handling the Nook without a cover and like it’s smaller size which fits nicely in your hands.
The Nook Color measures 5″ x 8″ and is about 3/8″ thick. The actual lit screen size is only 3.5″ x 6″ The Nook Color weighs in at just under 1 pound. A very manageable size, weight and feel.
For comparison the iPad 2 is 7.25″ x 9.5″ and a little thinner at 1/4″ thick. The lit screen size is 5.75″ x 7.75″ and the weight is heavier at 1.5lbs. If screen size is more important to you than a small portable size then definitely get the iPad because it’s larger screen has advantages.
I think it comes down to what your uses are. For me I am at home most of the time and I prefer the iPad, but if I was wanting to take it along, I think I would rather bring a small tablet like the Nook Color.
The Touch Screen and Controls
The Nook Color has similar controls to the iPad. It seems like someone was looking at the iPad when it was designed. There is a button at the bottom that has an N on it and that serves as the home button. Volume controls are on the side. Earphones can be plugged in on top and there is a charging port. All the controls are easy to use and for the most part self explanatory.
The touch screen is smooth and touch sensitive. It feels smooth like touching glass but with a slight give to it. The feel is very similar to my iPad 2. The screen is a little smaller than the iPad’s screen.
Reading a Book
Even though the Nook Color is designed as a reader, surprisingly I do not think that is what it is primarily used for in our house. It is nice to use for books and if you do not want to spend money buying books and your local library participates you can set it up so that you can borrow books digitally on your Nook Color. I can do this on my iPad too with a free app.
Reading on the Nook Color is not completely like reading a real book but they have tried to make it have a similar feel in the way you swipe the screen to turn the pages. Also the typeface tends to look like a real book. The nice thing though is that unlike a real book, you can blow up the text to make it large print if you need to. Also I like the idea of not having all those books around. I know a lot of people like to have a collection of books, but for me I prefer not having extra things around that I do not need. My husband is the opposite, he loves having a real book to pick up and he enjoys having them on the shelf too. It’s really a personal decision.
Frankly I could see having one of these readers and hardly ever using it for reading. The nook color is really a tablet and a reader in one, so for less than half the price of an iPad you can have a nice little tablet and if you like to read books on it, that’s an added plus.
Public Library on the Nook Color
One cool thing with the Nook Color and the iPad 2 is that you can check out books from your library, if your library participates. You still may have to wait for a book to become available and you usually can check out the books for 2 weeks, but the trade off is that they are free!
Provided that your local library participates, you can use this feature on either the Nook Color or the iPad 2. Check with your library for more information.
Like the iPad you can get apps for the Nook Color, but there is nowhere near the selection and most of the ones we have gotten we have had to pay for. The cost is minimal though. Most of the apps are only a dollar.
I would have to give the iPad 2 more points for having way more apps.
Surfing the Net
You can go online with the Nook Color browser using your wifi at home or if you are in a public place you can usually connect to their wifi. Connecting was simple. All we had to do was detect our network and then enter our password. Once we did this once we never had to do it again.
Speed of surfing the net seemed the same with our iPad 2 and the Nook Color. I think that I would prefer surfing the net on the iPad though because of the larger screen size.
You can set up to get your email on the Nook Color but since my husband uses it primarily and he was not interested in this feature we never set it up. You can use the web to check email also.
Bottom Line, Nook Color or iPad 2
If money is no object, absolutely get the iPad 2. If you are on a budget though and would like a tablet or reader, then you will find the Nook Color enjoyable to use.