The Nook handheld eBook reader – The investment gets better!

The Nook handheld eBook reader
The Investment gets better!

Barnes and Noble finally did what we were waiting for. To keep up with the competition, namely, Amazon’s Kindle, the Nook handheld eBook reader has an Internet browser (beta) in their latest software update (v1.3), and a whole lot more!

I have to admit, I was in the market to sell my Nook. If someone said they’d buy it for my offered price of $200, it was sold! With it would be the 2 year extended warranty plan and a Bleecker Cover in Asphalt. Is that a deal? Heck ya!

If I sold it, I would have bought the Apple iPad tablet as my portable eBook reader of choice. But, I didn’t sell my Nook and I’m glad I didn’t. Here’s why:

First, if I were to buy the iPad tablet it would be more than just to read books. I went to the Apple Store and gave it several test runs. Watching movies was awesome – but I rarely do that. Playing games was nice – but I don’t even have time to waste on games anymore. Pictures – this is the best thing about the iPad for my use. The iPad can turn the modeling and acting industry around with actors and models using the iPad as their portfolio. Photographers and artists can also use the iPad for a portfolio and yes, it’s awesome!

But outside of those great features, the most important aspect for me is productivity. I tested out the iWorks apps and although they are nice and cool to look at, the touch screen keyboard was horrible to work on. Yes, I know you can use an external keyboard but that just makes the iPad tablet what I have now. A laptop.

So again, I posed the question – what does the iPad have that my 15” MacBook Pro doesn’t have? It’s a simple answer. It doesn’t have anything.

That being said – the Nook eBook reader has added some features that make it more than what we (original owners) paid for!

For $259 we DID NOT GET – Internet browsing or games. Page turning was slow enough to irritate you, and the overall performance was, well, mediocre. The Nook software update v1.2 made some performance issues better! Better bookmarks, file management was included, better connectivity with in store wi-fi and better battery optimization.

Well, here comes the Nook software update v1.3! And wow, what an improvement!

First, The Nook eBook Reader was #2 out of the 10 top best Gadget’s of 2009 according to Time (http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1945379_1944278_1944289,00.html).

Now, the Nook eBook Reader is “The best of the Best” (CES 2010) http://www.g4ces2010.com/

The new Nook software update v1.3 include:
-Free 3G Wireless and Wi-Fi
-Read eBooks for free
-An Internet browser
-Better page turning response!

First things first – download the software update v1.3 manually and upgrade yourself, or do it automatically by tapping “Library” on your Nook handheld eBook Reader touch screen and check for new B&N content. It is available now and is done seamlessly. Make sure you let it run its course and the Nook will do all the work.

For Manual instructions go here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/nook/support/

I was so excited to just try the beta Internet Browser after upgrade. I tapped the new “WiFi” icon and found my Home network and I was on. I tapped the new “Web” icon and navigated to GlennMagasDotCom. It wasn’t lightening fast Internet surfing, but it was decent.  Although navigation was different as you use the color touch screen to navigate or scroll a webpage, I got used to it fast.

Of course, this will not be a person’s Internet browser of choice, but it is a reliable feature if you don’t have your laptop or iPhone and you have WiFi hotspots available.

The color on the touchscreen is great – unfortunately the E Ink display is black and white.

The included games are Soduko and Chess.

Okay, this floored me. A few years back I was a Soduko addict. And if I play games on my iPhone, number one game I play on my iPhone is “Chess with Friends”.

Barnes and Noble seemed to be catering to my specific wants and needs – like they were reading my mind. I wanted better bookmarks, v1.2 solved that. I wish there was Internet browsing, they did that. I love Soduko and Chess – and now, Soduko and Chess are at my page turning fingertips! Unbelievable.

But the Nook Handheld eBook reader isn’t made for browsing the Internet or playing games. It’s made to read books. And any improvement in that makes the $259 we spent on the Nook even worth more value!

Do I notice a difference in page turning? Absolutely yes!

Here’s how anal I got. I timed the page turning! Back and forward. Using my iPhone Clock’s stopwatch feature, I timed the page turning. It was between 1.3 to 1.5 seconds on my tests. And it did feel faster than the previous software upgrade.

I’ll give credit to the Amazon Kindle portable eBook reader. Steve Danlag, a GlennMagasDotCom contributor did his test in the exact same manner and got page turning speeds between 0.9 to 1.1 seconds. (read his Kindle portable ebook reader review here: “Amazon’s Kindle Portable eBook Reader Review” by Steve Danlag)

Another ‘book’ feature is being able to read available eBooks in full at the Barnes & Noble store when the “shop” icon displays “in store”. You can read available eBooks for up to 1 hour a day! Also remember, you can share your books with other Nook owners for a period of time – and then it comes back to you!

The new software update v1.3 is an excellent upgrade and one I did not expect so soon. The Nook handheld eBook reader, in my opinion, is standing out against the rest. Can it be better than the rest? Better than The Alex, The Kindle II, or any other eBook reader on the market? Well, the new software update tells me it can and running Google Android OS, I’m sure there will be vast improvements on performance and apps.

Nook owners: your $259 was well spent! Be proud to own the Nook handheld eBook reader!

Related eBook Reader Posts:
Listening to iTunes music on your Nook!”
Is your Nook eBook reader completely frozen?
How to setup the Nook Handheld eBook Reader
Free handheld ebook reader books – are you addicted?
Amazon’s Kindle Portable eBook Reader Review” by GlennMagasDotCom contributor, Steve Danlag
Portable eBook Readers: Will the iPad tablet be outshined?”

What are you reading on your Nook Handheld eBook Reader?”

About Glenn Magas