COMMENTARY | Tablet computers are hot today. More than 110 models and 40 million tablets have been sold. The productive usefulness of a tablet may be debatable, but the public clamors for them. Manufacturers strive to oblige. After careful consideration I chose a Nook Color. One year later I can tell you what I like, don’t like and what I’ll look for in my next tablet.
The Kindle e-reader was introduced in November, 2007 and eventually included 3G, WI-FI, and browsing capabilities on a black and white e-ink screen. I almost bought a Kindle but wanted a color screen.
The iPad, released in April 2010, was like candy to a baby, but I couldn’t justify the cost for a device with unknown utility. Another sticking point is that I’m an open source sort of guy who doesn’t like to be locked into products and services by a single company.
The Nook Color came out in November 2010 with Wi-Fi, a browser, color touch screen and a price of $249. I bought it primarily for book reading. Software updates download and install automatically. The current software version is 1.3.0
As an e-reader the Color Nook is superb. Books are easy to find and easy to download. I can store thousands of books with no added memory. The back lit touch screen is bright, colorful and easy to read. I can browse the internet if necessary, and there are 1,528 apps available.
Some of the things I don’t like are fingerprints on the screen, weight, poor video performance and clunky file storage. There is no convenient way to catalog or classify books in different genres or groups. I have to scroll through long lists looking for the next great book.
A new tablet simply has to address the items I dislike–especially the video performance. Since I use the tablet primarily as an e-reader screen size should remain at seven inches. I can’t justify spending more than $300 until I see better productive utility from a tablet device. For me a tablet will always be in addition to a desktop or powerful laptop.
Some tablets that may fit my needs are the new dual-core Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0. I am open to any great tablet, but satisfaction with the Color Nook gives the edge to the Nook Tablet.