Nook Color: Inspiring Frustration in Nook Users

The recent announcement of the Nook Color, to be released by Barnes and Noble November 19th, has been greeted with a wave of frustration from e-book readers. So many of them recently bought the original, black and white, e-ink Nook that next month’s release of an advanced version has them irritated about their decision.

I purchased the original Nook just a couple of months ago, putting me in the demographic of users who should be frustrated by the new Nook release. But contrary to the popular reactions, I feel the new Nook Color is only enhancing the world of e-readers for book lovers and shouldn’t dismay any current Nook users. If anything, the new Nook Color provides more options for consumers to choose from. Maybe not me, but I’m not going to use the same e-reader my whole life. So why is it annoying everyone? Because everyone wants an iPad (or something close).

Those who purchased the original Nook now realize that the new Nook Color is essentially a tablet with Android. The new Nook Color features a 17-inch touchscreen, displays 16 million colors, runs Android 2.1, has built-in WiFi, an 8GB hard drive, and a backlight. The Nook Color weighs only 15.6 ounces and is .48 inches thick. Pretty snappy.

Today, if I had the choice to purchase either the original e-ink Nook reader or the new Nook Color, I would likely choose the Color version for obvious reasons. Anyone would, if they had the extra $100.

The key here is to think of this predicament as choosing between a chicken breast or a filet mignon. The filet is obviously the better choice, but it will cost you $30. The chicken breast won’t taste as amazing, but you’ll only spend $17.

The original Nook, priced at $150, will continue to sell after the release of the Nook Color, which costs $250. Although consumers who purchased the original Nook might find some frustration in the Nook Color announcement, they should try to enjoy the $100 they saved. I guess it all comes down to how you want to use the technology. If you are an avid reader who is sick of lugging large, heavy books around, the original Nook is all you need. If you want to access social networks, browse the web, and experience only full-color media, the Nook Color (and the extra $100) is for you.

My favorite part about the original Nook is the e-ink system. It’s old news, but I think it’s noteworthy. In ultra basic terms, the Nook actually shifts ink around within the device, giving the screen such a realistic look. The first time I looked at the screen of a Nook, I was taken back. I was seriously impressed. The screen of the Nook displays text so similarly to print on paper, it’s almost creepy. I love it, and reading on the Nook is like reading out of a book, plain and simple. While the new 16-million color screen looks beautiful and crisp (from what I’ve seen), it’s not enough to persuade me to ditch the original. Honestly, it isn’t enough to make me feel frustrated that I purchased the Nook just a couple months ago. I can get a $100 tablet with Android from Walgreens.

If you want an e-reader, go with the Nook. If you want a tablet, but don’t want to spend the money on an iPad, check out the Nook Color. It doesn’t stand up the quality and feature set of Apples tablet, but I really don’t think it’s trying to.

So, do you buy an iPad as an e-reader, or a Nook as a tablet?

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