Inside the E-Book Wars: The Nook in Depth (Part 5)

By William Stanek
December 2, 2009 | Comments: 5

William Stanek here, completing the 5-part in-depth look at the Nook e-reader 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. In the previous four posts, I've explored many of the Nook's features. Now let's complete the discussion with a look at other things you may want to know.

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Wireless and Wi-Fi are important capabilities. Nook uses the same 3G wireless technology that cell phones use (services provided by AT&T and free to you) and also is able to automatically detect Wi-Fi hotspots. Wi-Fi hotspots include the free Wi-Fi in all Barnes & Noble stores and any pre-configured hotspots that the device can access. When the wireless capability is enabled and the device detects a compatible Wi-Fi hotspot, the device will switch to Wi-Fi and use it's faster connection.

NoteIt's important to point out that 3G wireless is technically 2G - 3.5G and the device supports this. Using Wi-Fi, playing audio or performing both tasks requires more battery power and a full charge will last only about 2 - 3 days. Otherwise, the Nook's battery lasts about 10 days on a single charge.

Nook supports e-books written in English and most Western European Languages. This includes French, German, Italian, and Spanish. But does not include characters Arabic, Asian or othernon-western alphabets. With PDF, the Nook displays PDF documents in different languages and different character sets as long as the font is embedded in the file.

Other things you should know about the Nook:

  • The rechargeable battery should last 2 to 3 years. If you need to replace the battery, you can remove it and replace it yourself (without having to send the device in for service).
  • You cannot print pages from the Nook.
  • When you are on a plane, you'll need to turn off the wireless feature. To do this, access Settings and enable Airplane mode.
  • You can return Nook within 14 days of receipt by calling B&N's 800 number or returning it to any B&N store. If you've opened the box and used the Nook, a 10% restocking fee will be charged (unless the device is defective).
  • If your Nook is lost or stolen, you must go to your B&N.com account to de-register your nook or call Customer Service. You are liable for all purchases until you do so.
  • If your nook is lost, stolen or needs to be replaced, a copy of all your eBook purchases will be available for download at the online e-book library.

One of the more controversial features of the Nook is the LendMe technology. This feature allows you to lend an e-book from your Nook to any device on which the B&N eReader is installed. The loan is for up to 14 days and while the book is loaned out, you cannot read it--just as with a physical book you've loaned to a friend.

Currently, lending e-books works like this:

>>>>>> At any time within the 14-day lending period the person to whom you've loaned the book can return it to you. If the person doesn't return the book, the book is returned to you automatically when the 14-day lending period expires. Currently, you can loan out an e-book only once.

Every Barnes & Noble store should have Nook demo units available beginning Nov. 30. Nook is sold in the U.S. only until December when it will also be available in Canada. If you are traveling outside the US or Canada, you should be able to access the online e-library wherever you have Wi-Fi connectivity.

You won't be able to purchase e-books while outside the US or Canada (until B&N expands internationally). However, any magazine or newspaper subscriptions will continue. This means new editions of magazines and newspapers will be added to your online e-library and you'll be able to download them when you are connected to Wi-Fi anywhere in the world (at least that is what's stated).

You aren't stuck reading only on the Nook. You can read your e-books across a wide range of devices by downloading the free eReader app to your iPhone/iPod touch, BlackBerry, or Windows/ Mac computer. E-books you've purchased are automatically synced between your Nook and other reading devices where you've installed the eReader app.

The end. So there you have it--lots of information about the Nook, provided in a 5-part discussion.

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

PS

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm not paid for blogging and haven't received any thing that could be considered compensation for writing about any particular e-reader. I have asked for readers to sample but haven't received any.


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5 Comments

That's a lotta info...thanks. Any chance you'll bottom line your findings, maybe a chart? Call me greedy...

Hi Jen,

Thank you for your comments. I'm glad you found this posts to be helpful. If I continue with this series, I'll try to post comparison and feature summary charts. Next up I'd like to talk about Kindle 2 and Kindle DX but can't shell out for the readers at this point. Buying the readers I have now cost a small fortune.

Best,

William

Great info. Thank you. You might also cover how to install micro sd cards by removing the back. I have had a Nook for several days and like it a lot. B&N has lots of free books you can download and coping over .pdf books to my documents works well.

Hi,

Thanks for you comments! Really loving the Nook so far.

William

Hi,

I wrote a post for installing microSD cards with a few helpful tips as well for general use.

http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2010/01/barnes-noble-nook-installing-a.html

Best,

William

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