So, what is a Nook Color?

So, what is a Nook Color?

As promised, more about my new Nook Color

As you know, I have an Amazon Kindle (2nd gen), and in fact so does Jackie, and so does Crispy (his is the newest 3rd gen one), and we all love them!

The Nook is the Barnes and Noble (big US bookstore, both brick and mortar and online) version of the Kindle which also has the e-ink screen. The Nook Color is their newest version with a full colour 7″ 1024×600 capacitive touchscreen and wifi access.

What Barnes and Noble don’t tell you is that the Nook Color (NC) is in fact a full Android tablet that they have locked down to be just an e-reader with a basic web browser and some very basic games. BUT…with a little work you can root the NC (gain full access to the file system) to unlock it to be a fully functional tablet with full access to the Android Market and all the fabulous goodies that that allows you to install.

So, being as I really wanted an iPad but couldn’t afford one, along with the fact that I love a challenge and the idea of making a piece of technology do more than the people who sold it to you want it to, I got myself one last Friday- and I love it! For much less than half the price of the most basic iPad I have a tablet that will let me read books, watch movies, play games, browse the web, email, and more!

That’s my desktop to the right (sunset over Tobago- it does lovely screenshots) with the basic apps I use most- and yes, that’s the Android Kindle app so I can read my Kindle books on my Nook 🙂

There are some fabulous user communities online where I got most of the info and files etc. to unlock the NC, most notably androidcentral, xda developers and nookdevs. With a little reading of their excellent sites I have rooted my NC and made it do pretty much everything I want it to. The only thing it’s really missing is the ability to play flash, but that’s because it’s running Android 2.1. There is a way to make it run 2.2, but that’s not quite as stable and you lose the dedicated Barnes and Noble e-reader software (which is actually very good). There are hints that B&N are going to be putting out an update to 2.2 in the very near future, so I will wait for that (and for someone cleverer than me to then jailbreak it).

It also only has wifi access and so needs an access point to get online, but as I just found out that if you are an Optimum internet subscriber (which I am for our home internet), you can use all of their hotspots for free- and they pretty much cover all the local towns. And if I go further afield I can turn my phone into a hotspot and get online through that 🙂

So I have to say that I would heartily recommend this over a lot of the other tablets I’ve seen out there- it’s cheaper, has a better screen than most, needs no subscription, and plays Angry Birds beautifully! In fact, if given the choice, I’d think I’d even choose this over an iPad 🙂

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