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My New NOOKcolor, first impressions

Since there's too much to cover in a single post, my 'review' of my nookcolor will be ongoing—especially since I'm still learning. I'm not trying to promote this reader over print books or any other readers; as my earlier post said, there should be choices in book formats, so why not choices in readers? I hope my notes will help you decide if the nookcolor might have the features you want.

My new nookcolor (hereafter abbreviated as NC, so as not to confuse anyone who thinks this is a 'regular' Nook) arrived on schedule Saturday afternoon. Aside from the usual difficulties in separating the contents from the secure packaging—the section with the cables was very hard to get at, and the spot marked "pull to remove" on the plastic covering of the NC itself didn't have an easy way to grab it so one could actually pull—step one, charging the unit was easy. And because you can use it while it charges, I didn't have to wait (although I did run through the simple user's guide that came with it.)

Now, I mentioned before that my primary reason for buying the nc was because it was getting harder to find content I liked for my eBookwise and because the NC was one of the only new readers with the back lit, LCD screen. Since I haven't used any other readers, my notes are based on comparing my eBookwise with my new NC.

Weight: eBookwise weighs 1 lb, 1.9 oz. The NC weighs 15.4 oz. Not a significant difference, although there's a different "feel" to them. It's very slim compared to my eBookwise, which has its large batteries tucked into the side of the device. However, that also works as kind of a hand-grip, so I never minded while I was reading. Also, the eBookwise lets you 'flip' the content so you can grip it with either hand. In comparison, my hard cover WHEN DANGER CALLS weights 1 lb, 3.5 oz, and my trade paperback, HIDDEN FIRE, weighs 13.6 oz.

The eBookwise is strictly a reader. It has features such as markup, highlight, find, etc, but there's no internet connection. It's for reading books. The nc has a lot more bells and whistles, including not only a WiFi connection (if you're in the right place), but also pre-loaded 'extras' such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku.

Comparing some of the basics:

Page Turning: eBookwise—2 large buttons; one moves ahead, the other back. Easy to use while holding the unit. NC—either tap the page or 'flick'. Tapping on the right margin moves to the next page; the left margin goes backward. Flicking works in either direction.

This was a 'sacrifice' I knew I'd be making. One-handed, it's a little harder to flick one's thumb while holding the reader, but it's definitely do-able. The tapping requires a bit more force, and if you tap too near the bottom margin, you get an options menu. (More on that in another post).

Font selection: eBookwise: 2 sizes, font determined by publisher. NC: 6 sizes, 6 different fonts. Also, you can change the line spacing and the margins as well as the background color.

Page Numbers: eBookwise: page numbers are 'screen' numbers, and depending on the font size you choose. There's a bar at the bottom with the screen number you're on, and it moves across so you can see approximately where you are in the book. NC: at the top, it says which page you're on and how many pages are in the book, as well as what book you're reading. The eBookwise doesn't always have headers; I think it depends on how the publisher has set it up.

Getting started:

The Nook starts you off with a video tutorial about the basics, including all the different "gestures" such as tapping, holding, dragging—nothing different from any other touch screen device, and since I have an Android phone, I was familiar with that.

You have to register the NC with Barnes and Noble, and since I had created an account in order to buy the NC, that was no problem. The keyboard is larger, and therefore much easier to use than my phone (which was a pain to set up, but that's another story). You also have to connect to a WiFi network. We have a home system, and I had to input a kazillion digit access code—again, not a problem with the keyboard. The only drawback is that there's no duplication of number/symbol keys on the alpha keyboard, so you have to tap back and forth to enter numbers.

The NC comes with some sample content already loaded. I think there must be a system by which they know who you are, because in addition to a couple of free kids' books (which I'm glad to have because our grandson knows how to use all these gizmos—you should see him flick his way through iPhone apps) and some classics, they had a sample of one of my Wild Rose Press short stories, "Hurricane Breeze." Flattering as that was, I can't believe that everyone who activated their NC got that sample—but wouldn't that be cool!

The text was crisp and clear, and as I'd mentioned in my earlier post, there's no problem with text running into gutters. Someone said her eye doctor told her e-books caused less eyestrain because your eyes don't have to keep changing focus to follow text on a sloping page.

As I learn more, I'll post more. I hope this is of some interest—if you'd rather I not dwell on the reader, let me know in the comments. I can probably find something else to talk about!