Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘nook’

Barnes & Noble Fired Its Entire Nook Hardware Engineering Staff ➝

Jay Yarow writing for Business Insider:

The engineers were let go last Thursday, according to our source. This follows Barnes & Noble dismissing the VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein in January.

The Nook was too little, too late. They had a lot to compete with and there just wasn’t enough compelling elements to gain mindshare in the market.

Nook Simple Touch and the Kindle 3 ➝

Marco Arment has published a great comparison between the Nook Simple Touch and the Kindle 3. This bit near the end sums up his thoughts quite nicely:

My ideal e-reader would be the Nook hardware and interface, but backed by the Kindle’s ecosystem and services. It’s easier for Amazon to achieve Nook-like hardware design than for B&N to achieve a Kindle-like ecosystem, so it’s much more likely that the next Kindle will be a better fit than the current (or next) Nook.

I currently own a Kindle 2 and even though a lot of the features in these newer readers are nice, I don’t expect I’ll be buying one, even in the next couple of years. I openly admit that I don’t read books all that often. But, I do read more than anyone I know. Tools like Fever and Marco’s Instapaper make it super easy to read, a lot. But, I have a feeling that ebook readers aren’t the type of devices that users will upgrade very often. I think Amazon and Barnes & Noble need to assume that their customers are only going to upgrade once every three years or so.

People that read, read a lot. But, there isn’t a lot you can add to an ebook reader that will make people feel the need to upgrade.

Barnes & Noble Sending $100 Gift Certificates to nook Pre-Orderers ➝

Laura Northrup reports for The Consumerist that those who have pre-ordered the Barnes & Noble nook have received emails from informing them that if their nook is not delivered by December 24 they will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble gift certificate.

For those that do not receive their nook by December 24, Barnes & Noble plans to ship it overnight on December 29.

Barnes & Noble has really botched the launch of this device, after missing ship dates left and right and their overall inability to fulfill orders, this is obviously their way of trying to cool tempers. I’m not sure if it’s going to work though, those who ordered the nook as a gift would surely rather have the nook on time. But, at least their trying.

On a lighter note, the nook is slow, and it’s differentiating features come with some major caveats, but it’s incredibly hackable. Engadget’s Thomas Ricker reports that clever nook owners have managed to get a web browser, Twitter, and Facebook app on the device.

Then again, how useful are these hacks if Barnes & Noble can’t actually ship units in any reasonable capacity.

Barnes & Noble nook Reviews Start Pouring In
10/22/09: Barnes & Noble ‘nook’
10/17/09: Barnes and Noble E-Book Reader

Barnes & Noble nook Reviews Start Pouring In

Reviews of the Barnes & Noble nook have started appearing from all the usual suspects. The general opinion is that although it is a decent device, it is slow and all of the differentiating features come with major caveats.

Barnes & Noble will be updating the nook’s software soon but for now here’s what the reviewers have to say.

David Pogue regarding the nook’s screens:

Worse, the touch screen is balky and nonresponsive, even for the Nook product manager who demonstrated it for me. The only thing slower than the color strip is the main screen above it. Even though it’s exactly the same E Ink technology that the Kindle and Sony Readers use, the Nook’s screen is achingly slower than the Kindle’s. It takes nearly three seconds to turn a page — three times longer than the Kindle — which is really disruptive if you’re in midsentence.

Wilson Rothman mentions a huge caveat to one of the nook’s biggest features:

Lending is another non-Kindle function rolling out this week that I’ll be following up on. You select a book from your collection, lend it to someone listed in your Nook contacts, and they receive a message via email and on their Nook’s “Daily” screen, where periodicals, offers and other notices show up. When they accept, they can read the book for two weeks. During that time, you can’t read it, and when it reverts back to you, they get a notice to buy. You can’t lend the same book to the same person twice.

Walt Mossberg regarding the size of the nook’s catalog compared to the Amazon Kindle’s:

Nook claims a catalog of just over one million digital books, versus 389,000 for the Kindle. But this is somewhat misleading, because over half of the Nook catalog is made up of free out-of-copyright titles published before 1923, the vast majority of which are likely to be of little interest to average readers. Barnes & Noble refuses to say how many modern commercial titles it offers, or even whether it has more or fewer of these than Amazon (AMZN).

Joshua Topolsky has this to say about the nook’s user interface:

At first blush, the Nook’s user interface and navigation is a bit overwhelming. If you’re coming off of any traditional reader, even one as complex as the Kindle, what Barnes & Noble offers seems far more daunting. Aside from having to learn a completely new way of getting around, adding that dual screen interaction to the mix is rather confusing when you first flip the switch. The foundations of the UI aren’t hard to understand, but if you walk into the device without knowing your way around, you’ll end up feeling pretty lost at first.

I was excited about the use of two screens to interact with an e-book reader. Using a touchscreen LCD to navigate menus and an e-ink display to show text sounds like the best of both worlds, but unless Barnes & Noble can find a better way to implement this it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a hit with consumers.

But, the biggest downfall of the nook to me is the lack of web browser. The Kindle’s browser isn’t perfect but since my main use for such a device would be to read text from the web, having a web browser is a huge win.

Barnes & Noble ‘nook’
10/17/09: Barnes and Noble E-Book Reader

Update 12/20/09: Barnes & Noble Sending $100 Gift Certificates to nook Pre-Orderers

Barnes & Noble ‘nook’ ➝

Barnes & Noble nook

Barnes and Noble has officially announced their e-book reader. The device has arguably the best name for an e-book reader to date, “nook.” The device costs $259 and will ship by the end of November. The device uses an interesting interface. It has a color touchscreen underneath its 6-inch e-paper display that is used to navigate through menus and selecting books to read using a coverflow-like interface.

Barnes and Noble will obviously be the source for the content on nook but this device has something other don’t, and that’s sharing.

Share favorite eBooks with your friends, family, or book club. Most eBooks can be lent for up to 14 days at a time. Just choose the book you want to share, then send it to your friend’s reader, cell phone, or computer.

Sounds quite generous, considering nook’s main competitor, the Kindle, doesn’t offer any sharing services.

Barnes and Noble E-Book Reader

Update 11/19/09: Matt Hamblen reporting for Computerworld:

The Nook, a $259 e-reader from Barnes & Noble Inc., will hit the booksellers’ stores on Nov. 30. That’s in time for holiday shoppers, but too late for “Black Friday,” Nov. 27, the traditional day of pre-holiday sales by retailers.

Update 11/21/09: The New York Times is reporting that Barnes & Noble’s e-book reader, the nook, is sold out for the holidays.

Update 12/4/09: The nook’s expected ship date has slipped to January 11. This is why some companies announce products when they’re ready to ship.

Update 12/10/09: Barnes & Noble nook Reviews Start Pouring In

Update 12/20/09: Barnes & Noble Sending $100 Gift Certificates to nook Pre-Orderers