What The Nook Color Means For Travelers

by Anil Polat · 2 comments

Discerning the important differences between the Kindle and Nook for international travelers is a matter of looking at the details between two very similar products. Barnes & Noble’s new Nook Color is a product however, that has huge potential to become more than an eReader. Weighing it against either the Nook Wi-Fi or Kindle requires you to evaluate what type of travel gadget you’re really shopping for.

nook color

What Is The Nook Color?

The latest Barnes & Noble eReader, the Nook Color’s main selling point is that it’s got a full 17.8 centimeter (7 inch) color touchscreen. Released in November 2010, the Nook Color is the first eReader to sport a full color screen and currently sells for $249.

nook and nook colorThe Main Differences Between The Nook Color And Kindle

In essence, the Nook Color (right now) works much like the Kindle or Nook Wi-Fi. The Nook Color comes wi-fi enabled, although it doesn’t have 3G capability.

The lack of 3G for travelers, especially, is hardly something to be bothered about though as the browsing experience from even the Nook Color is fairly cumbersome. The Nook Color still uses the same Barnes & Noble eBook store and aside from vivid images in newspapers, magazines, and books, you’ll be reading ebooks much in the same way on either device.

  • There is also a about a $100 dollar difference between the Nook Color ($249) and Kindle ($139).
  • Reading is also significantly different – 8 hours for the Nook Color as opposed to 10 days for the Nook Wi-Fi.

Although the differences are, by and large, on the surface of between these two eReaders – where they really differ is in their potential. The Kindle is a dedicated eReader and designed for that purpose, whereas the Nook Color may become a versatile tablet in the near future.

Paying For Potential

The Kindle is bound by its hardware while the Nook Color is only limited from becoming a full-tablet device by the version of Android Barnes & Noble is currently running on it. There have been grumblings from the mega-bookstore that a January software update for the Nook Color will open up limited access to the Android Market, meaning it can run a number of Android apps.

  • Opening up the Nook Color to the Android Market takes the eReader one step closer to an iPad as opposed to either the dedicated Nook Wi-Fi or Kindle.

The problem lies in the muddled future for the Nook Color as Barnes & Noble’s intentions are difficult to read.

The Future For The Nook Color

cash registerWhether or not they will continue to open up the Nook Color is highly debatable – but in my opinion B&N will continue on the slow and cautious path. Based on Barnes & Noble’s past and impatient dedication to technology, it doesn’t seem likely that the Nook Color will evolve to be anywhere near an inexpensive iPad.

It also seems that B&N wants to keep the Nook Color as primarily an eReader, without straying into the full tablet waters.

That’s unfortunate due to the potential of its hardware – so unless something radical changes with January’s 1.1 update; most travelers are probably better off with a Nook Wi-Fi or Kindle. eInk is easier on the eyes anyway.

[photos by: pa1/2 (Nook Color, Nook and Nook Color), Steve Snodgrass (cash register)]

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 will January 1, 2011 at 13:16

I have a nook color can’t compare to ipad,however it has the makings of a tabet android.


2 Anil P. January 1, 2011 at 13:18

How do you personally find the reading experience?


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