William Stanek here, continuing the e-reader discussion with an in-depth look at the Nook from Barnes & Noble. Anyone who's been watching the e-reader and e-book market knows, the Nook is the latest entry in this highly competitive space where Sony, Amazon and now Barnes & Noble look to be the global leaders. So far I've introduced the device and started digging in to hardware specifics. Now let's look at supported document and graphics file types.
The 6-inch screen provides a resolution of 600x800 pixels--or approximately 170 pixels per inch. High contrast and high resolution, with a near 180º viewing angle ensures easy reading in variety of lighting conditions. With sixteen levels of gray, the screen provides excellent display for charts, illustrations and other types of graphics. The LCD screen displays 144 x 480 pixels.
Turning the page in an e-book takes about a second and the battery supports approximately 10,000 continuous page turns on a single charge (with wireless turned off). This number of page turns per battery charge is fairly typical.
Nook runs the Android 1.5 operating system. Using a standard USB cable, you can connect the reader to your computer and then transfer media to the reader. You can use the reader to view files in a variety of document formats.
Document file types supported by the reader include:
- EPUB This file format is used with files created for the e-publishing standard. Related files end with the .epub extension and can be secured or unsecured.
- PDF This file format is used with files created for Adobe Acrobat. Related files end with the .pdf extension and can be secured or unsecured.
Secured files have digital right management (DRM) applied to protect the intellectual property rights of the copyright holder. Unsecured files do not have DRM applied. Nook supports DRM protected PDF and EPUB files.
Nook supports display of PDF in both normal and "reflowed" modes. In the reflowed modes, the reader takes the original content and reflows it at an alternate font size of your choosing. The result is surprisingly good and most documents reflow almost perfectly. However, the more complex the content, the less satisfactory the result.
To ensure the highest quality, PDF and EPUB are the formats of choice. PDF and EPUB support font styles (bold, italics, underline, etc), advanced layout, tables, charts, graphs, illustrations, and more. The Nook supports five different font sizes for text. Most eBook content you've obtained from Fictionwise can be imported to the nook via a memory card or USB port as well.
In addition to being able to display tables, charts, graphs and figures in documents, the Nook can be used to display graphics as either stand-alone images or slideshows. The supported formats are:
- Bitmap This file format is used with screen captures and other bitmapped files. Related files end with the .bmp extension.
- JPEG The Joint Pictures Expert Group (JPEG) format supports high-resolution graphics and compression. Compression reduces the size of JPEG files. However, the higher the compression the more image data that is lost and the lower the quality. Related files end with the .jpg or .jpeg extension.
- GIF The Graphics Interchange File (GIF) format is best used with low resolution to moderate resolution graphics as well as with graphics that have lots of text. Related files end with the .gif extension. By reducing the colors in the color palette and using options such as dithering, GIF images can be squeezed into smaller size files.
- PNG The Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format supports lossless compression ensuring images can be squeezed into smaller files without reducing quality. Related files end with the .png extension.
These graphic formats are the popular formats used on the World Wide Web. GIF is a good format to use with standard graphics or graphics containing text. JPEG is a good format to use for high-resolution graphics and pictures. PNG is a good format to use to squeeze high-quality graphics into smaller size files. The least efficient of these file formats is BMP. Typically BMP files are much larger than the same files converted to GIF, JPEG, or PNG.
Thanks for reading, time for me to get back to work! Hope you'll take a look at my new book Windows 7: The Definitive Guide.
William R. Stanek
williamstanek at aol dot com
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