All photos taken July 1, 2011.
Finally I was able to get to a Barnes & Noble and see what everyone has been writing about: the Nook Touch.
Here it is, being touched by my flesh!
And of course I had to go there:
Not having the time to read Larsson’s trilogy continues to torment me. B&N didn’t help by having that on the Nook Touch I was trying.
Now here are photos you won’t see anywhere else. I brought along my original Sony Reader PRS-500 cardstock brochure. It’s the actual size of that device. So, you’re seeing a size comparison between the first gen of eInk device and the latest:
Aligned left to compare width:
Overlapped to compare height:
When I saw the PRS-500 for the first time, I thought it was the perfect size for a device. I thought tablet computers — what were then still PDAs — should be that size.
Well, today we have a new size champ: the Nook Touch!
Despite how it looked to me in photos — all boxy and squarish and bleh — in person it’s really impressive.
It has a rich feel, doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy, doesn’t feel disposable, and, really, it just tops what Sony has done with its Reader line. It also makes the current Kindle 3 feel like utter crap.
Barnes & Noble again scores big in the industrial design department. They’re three-for-three now, with every single Nook! They’ve really roared out of nowhere with this.
And here I am paging through Larsson (wait for it!):
OK, what’s that? Can you see it in the photo? It’s the ghost in the machine!
More of the ghosting:
If you can see that, it’s really noticeable when you hit blank expanses of a page, as above.
Here I try out some type sizes:
The smallest size:
Now that seems like a damn traditional book. I envy all of you with younger eyes who can still deal with that text size! Being able to have that much text on a screen at once would be wonderful to me.
Two close-ups of the text:
More shots of the ghost (some get blurry; damn my camera!):
I highlight these to let you know. Did I find this to be a PITA and overall distracting from the experience of reading? No. But I wonder if this is something that might get worse over the life of the screen? My suggestion to Barnes & Noble is to follow Kobo’s lead: Add a Setting so people can control the page refresh buffering. Some people might want it every page. Others, every four pages. Most people will probably keep it at six.
Speaking of that delayed flashing: I like it! So much so that when the full refresh happens, I hardly even noticed it happening! And that full refresh? It’s the fastest I’ve yet seen on any eInk device.
Let me pause here to address the hardware. The microSD card door is as good as any. Such a small door really can’t be made like armor. But I don’t think most people will be opening it much, so they won’t worry about it. Those of you who plan to root the device — be very, very careful with that door!
Reviewers mentioned the stiffness of the buttons. Well, buttons are a funny beast. If you make them sensitive, they tend to activate when you don’t want them to: Like while your Nook Touch is in your bag and being bumped by other objects. Given what the reviewers all said, I really expected to have the Nook Touch tilt in my hand as I held it while applying button pressure. Once you find the thumb spot for the buttons, you’ll be good. The device will not rock in your hand.
The indent on the back is really a nice touch too. It makes your fingers bend, instead of forcing them to splay out over a flat back. Whoever thought of this little touch is a genius. It will also prevent the Nook Touch from just sliding out of your hand.
Now, back to the fondle!
Here is my blog!
That’s the mobile skin WordPress puts on it. Let me tell you, there are only two words to describe this browser adequately: speedy and shitty.
Speedy in that it really built the desktop version of my blog (coming up) fast. I mean impressively fast.
Shitty in that trying to press the damn link that would show me the desktop version was a royal pain in the ass. But finally, I got:
And, lo, the full desktop version of my blog!
The browser really isn’t supposed to be there, so Barnes & Noble isn’t to be faulted for it being so shitty. But just how shitty is it? Let me show you!
Button mapping is inexcusably bad! It’s combined the two buttons into one. No way could I hit Home. In addition, but not pictured, it was showing such button mapping highlights in the graphic of that post too — where there are no buttons!
But none of you really care about this crap browser anyway. The general public will be happily reading. The rest of us will be busily rooting — and putting in a real browser!
Here I have tried out highlighting with a Note:
Selecting text perfectly will take a wee bit of practice, I saw. But I’d rather do that with a fingertip than having to — cough, cough, Sony! — pull out a damn stylus.
This is what an opened Note looks like:
I was trying to stay on a schedule, with limited time, so I didn’t think to try to grab some text to actually Copy and put inside a Note.
Here is dictionary lookup:
And you book-reading lot should drop to your knees in gratitude to Barnes & Noble for allowing you to control how an eBook looks (cue eBook and traditional print book designers ripping out their hair!). This is Larsson’s book with the Publisher Default switched on:
I just don’t know how the hell they expect anyone to want to read that. It’s so fugly — cramped and squished and the text is fugly and just Ewwwww.
So, yeah, all of you people out there designing eBooks thinking they will look as you’ve made them: Get that idea out of your head.
Three gens of Nook, a family portrait:
And look at this:
Here, let me do a zoom crop for you:
Taking a page from the Apple Store, B&N offers Nook Class! What better way to meet hot reading chicks? (Although I’d stay away from the ones who read Romance. They will likely sexually kill you to death!)
So, if you can’t tell by now, I bloody loved the Nook Touch! I think Barnes & Noble has just kicked the asses of both Sony and Amazon. (I leave out Kobo because I’ve yet to fondle their latest.)
I want one! Now to find a way to feed the damn Cats of Doom less…