The nook files: First post

I really need to get a quality consumer-oriented nook review out the door. But you know? I’ve been too busy reading. For almost six weeks I was poised with mouse button finger over the “Cancel” link on my nook order. I worried about Barnes & Noble’s hardware, I worried a lot about their software development – I really, really, really worried about the content lock-in – to them or Amazon. (I’m still worried about the content buy-in).

But at the end of the day – I just want to read. I want to have a dozen books in a book sized-device that has a higher resolution than current LCDs. I don’t want physical tomes to take up shelf space, that take up dead weight when I move houses again. I just want to read – conveniently. And honestly, any halfway decent eBook reader is going to let me do that.

So that’s what I’m doing.

Some quick first impressions since tuesday:

  • The packaging was gorgeous. But it was a complete PITA to get open. I should not need an instruction sheet to tell me how to get the nook out of the packaging. Save that for the physical display in the store.
  • The “new device smell” was great. I think they must have that stocked somewhere – like new car fragrance
  • It’s slow. Not unbearably slow, but slow. You know what – it’s okay. I am very, very, very easily frustrated by slow technology devices. And I’m not frustrated by this one. (I’m also on vacation for a month, so take that lack of frustration with a grain of salt).
  • Barnes & Noble has made purchasing pretty straightforward. I finally understand the eBook Wish List thing now. I still don’t understand why it can’t be public. But I get the integration with the nook store. (p.s. I’ll also cut them some slack with the social media site thing – they bought one, poor B&N – they should partner with Goodreads)
  • The device design is well done. Sure it takes some cues from Apple and others. But it’s really well done. It fits well in my hand, the forward/backward buttons work well, I like how the back of the device is designed (I actually keep it out of the cover, picture notwithstanding).
  • The filesystem on the nook in USB media mode is a little confusing. I don’t really like the “My Documents” and “My B&N Downloads” separation.
  • I still haven’t figured out the wallpaper size (I used 600×800, but that’s still not quite right)
  • I did try using the dictionary – that was pretty unbearable. And it didn’t work at times with error messages only a programmer would love (really, I don’t need to know I have to force close the reader process).
  • The device shows a tremendous amount of promise going forward. Once performance improves, and the android apps are made better, and the error messages nicer – this device really is going to be something. e.g. “Needs work, shows promise”

I like it. I really do. That’s really all that needs to be said.