Nook Color: Is It an E-Reader or Is It a Tablet?

Nook Color received a major update and the resulting E-Book reader is now closer to being a tablet than an e-reader. The device now supports Android 2.2 aka Froyo, arthritis which is not exactly the kind of operating system you would want on your tablet, but hey, here we are basically talking about an e-reader and not a tablet. However, now that Nook Color has got its own app store as well, the device is now straddling both e-reader and tablet side.

Apart from Froyo and app store, Nook Color now also supports Adobe Flash, which is bound to enhance the user experience. It will also add multimedia capabilities to the books. And what else, it has got Angry Birds as well. So, what do you call it now, an e-reader or a Tablet? It really does not matter what moniker you give to it. The reality is that at $249, the device is an attractive alternative to the pricier tablets.

Despite getting a taste of Froyo, Nook Color cannot access Android Marketplace. Barnes & Noble’s proprietary app store contains some 125 apps. Some of them are free, while you need to spare a couple of dimes for others. Ironically, Nook Color also comes with a built-in email reader, in direct contrast to the recently launched, and much pricier BlackBerry PlayBook. The company also stressed that it is not trying to populate its app store with useless apps and would focus only on the quality apps.

Since social networking is fast becoming a default feature of all the gadgets, Nook color comes with a beta app “Nook Friends”. The app integrates Twitter and Facebook with Nook’s contact list and thus you are all set to take your social networking to the next level. The firmware update is currently available for manual download, however, the company would be pushing it automatically in the next couple of weeks.

Though, it sounds all good on the paper. But how would it fare in reality. While the e-reader now has many more features, but ultimately Nook was built for being an e-reader and not a tablet. It would be especially interesting to see how its processor handles bulky apps and Adobe Flash. So, if you are considering buying a tablet, would you consider getting a Nook Color instead?


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