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Nook Color Tops E-Readers: quick, elegant

Barnes and Noble introduced the Nook Color just in time for the holidays, and it is a gorgeous, light-weight e-reader.  It’s leg up on other e-readers (such the Kindle and Sony reader) is its color.  It’s dense, high-resolution 7-inch, 1024 x 600 IPS screen (even better than the iPad’s btw) makes reading color magazines a pleasure.   The response is quick (using a TI OMAP 3621 CPU clocked at 800MHz) and the software is a pleasure to use.  The reader is only .48″ thick and very lightweight (13 ounces vs. iPad’s 1.5 pounds) which makes a big difference.  Underneath the reader is the Android 2.1 operating system.  If you are looking to use all of the functionality of Android, then you will be disappointed.  It only has a limited number of apps available at the Nook Color’s first release, but this will change.

However, if the main reason for buying the Nook Color is to read books, you’ll find its reading application to be wonderful.  When you open any book, you can also highlight passages (which are organized in a separate list under Contents), bookmark pages, and call up a dictionary at any time.  This is a really great experience.  The Nook Color also allows many of its books to be lent to others.  This is accomplished through its LendMe(tm) application.

Books are easily ordered on-line through its built-in Wi-Fi (802.11b/n/g).  The web is available through an on-board web browser and the unit has a built-in speakers and phono jack.

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