nookcolor NOOKcolor
Barnes & Nobles’ Android eReader

Barnes & Noble brought us the first eInk-based eReader in the Nook, but it wasn’t the Android experience we’d come to know and love. Still, it was very good as an eReader, and it’s clear they wanted to go further with the Nook line as it’s almost become a full-blown tablet experience with the introduction of the NOOKcolor. We say “almost” because it still doesn’t give you the full Android experience, but for its price ($249) it gives you enough to keep you busy while still doing what it does best: delivering books. A VividView display that shows sharp and crisp images and text still rivals traditional eInk readers in direct sunlight, and if you root the device, the possibilities open up a world far beyond browsing the web and reading the latest books, newspapers, and magazines.

nookcolor2 Carnival Of Content

There’s no shortage of content on the NOOKcolor as it’s about more than just reading books: magazines, newspapers, children’s books, and more. Supported by Barnes & Noble’s NOOKbooks Store, you’ll have access to over two million titles at very affordable prices, including most of the New York Times’ best sellers selection.┬áNOOK Newsstand offers Magazines and Newspapers from all over the world in digital format, allowing you to consume your daily news as you normally would, but without having to worry about all of that paper. (Go green!) National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Newsweek, and Maxim are but a few of the many premier publishers featured. And as for newspapers, you won’t find the widest variety here in terms of local news, but most of the major outlets offer their crop of news. Even your kids and teens can get on the fun. Check out all of the great content options Barnes & Noble offers over at their website.

nookkindle NOOKcolor vs. Competition
How does it fair vs. The Kindle and others?

While the NOOKcolor and the Amazon Kindle are direct competitors in a bulging eReader war, there’s a lot to be had for each over the other. The Kindle offers you 7-30 days of battery life and e-Ink (both of which turn out to be very important for eBook readers), but the NOOKcolor lets you play music, browse the web, and do all sorts of things if you know how to root it. There are cheaper options in the Kindle – and free 3G access to download books wherever you are is nice – but there’s nothing like taking the NOOKcolor into a physical Barnes & Noble retail location and being able to read books for free for up to an hour per day. Keeping that real retail experience tied into an eReading experience gives B&N a huge competitive advantage over Amazon and Sony, so if either of the products’ technical specs are enough for you, it’s going to come down to content selection and the price of that selection.

android-tablets Interesting Alternatives
Other Androids For True Enthusiasts

It’s not just about the NOOKcolor, though. There exists many alternatives out there that run Android. Some unique, some not so unique, and some that just gets the job done. I could list the hundreds of decent tablets out there – including Samsung’s Galaxy Tab – but they all serve just about the same purpose, and none were really created with eReading in mind (though various apps enable you to do so.) Keep an eye out for the Pandigital Novel, a truly unique device that – like the NOOKcolor – brings a tablet and eReading experience into one package. You’re afforded a full-color display for your web-browsing, music-playing, and app-using needs. (It even ties into Barnes & Noble’s store, so you really can’t go wrong with this one for $50 cheaper!) Other fine tablets out (or coming out soon) are the NotionInk Adam, the Advent Vega, a line of Archos products ranging from 4.3 to 10.1 inches, ViewSonic’s very capable ViewPad G Tablet, and a whole lot more. Be sure to keep an eye on for any tablet-specific news as information will be pouring in daily.