Thursday, February 23, 2012

Looking at Tablets

So I was looking over the end of yesterday’s post, and I said something about posting something more substantial.

Yeah, I apologize for that. I don’t know what I was thinking. Me and substance are not good bedfellows. Plus, I don’t want to be accused of having too much substance. I hear substance abuse is a bad thing.

Now that we have that out of the way, how’s everyone doing? I know I’m above ground and providing for my family, so it’s not too bad here. As much as I complain about work, I do have a job, and I do mostly work with good people, so it’s not that bad at all.

Out of curiosity, I stopped by Barnes & Nobles near work last night to check out the Nook Color Tablet. I’m not much of an iPad or Android Tablet fan, but I’ve been curious about how the hardware responds and how the media looks.

Now, let me say, while I love paper books, they are kind of a pain to keep at work. A few Christmases ago, I got one of the 3G/WiFi Nook readers that was a refurb, back when they were JUST starting to hit around $100. I have used this every day, and I’m currently reading the final book of the Hunger Games on it. I have been very pleased with it, and I’m not looking to replace it because it still works beautifully so that would be foolish, but I do wish I had something that I could share with the Geekling, with children’s books and the like.

I have played with the Amazon Kindle Fire, and while it’s nice, it looks like it gets a lot of its perks when you’re also an Amazon Prime member, which I am not. Plus, while I do like some “brickness” to my devices, as shown by my love of my Microsoft Zune, it just seemed a little too thick for me, and it wasn’t comfortable. So, since I already have an existing product relationship with B&N and the Nook, I wanted to give it a try.

Do you know how difficult it is to find a working demo of a Nook tablet in any retailer? Even in B&N, the one they had on display was dead from use, but the gentleman, who I believe was named Jared, at the Nook counter was able to get a working demo unit from the back to show me.

They have just released an 8 gig version for $199, and that’s the one I’m curious about. That’s 8 gig onboard memory, and it’s still upgradable to 32 gigs using a micro sd card. You can load movies and music onto it, and it looks good.

The onboard apps looked outstanding as well. I didn’t look at the normal books, since that’s not quite what I’m looking at it for. I prefer reading paper or an e-ink screen, and I don’t like reading too long on a back-lit LCD screen. I did have a chance to look at Netflix streaming on it, and the picture was clearer than streaming through the Xbox to my 720p TV. We also downloaded “Hop On Pop” which is one of the Geekling’s favorite, to see how it looked, and dang, is that Read To Me interactive book feature fun. It lit up the words on the screen as they were read, and if you clicked on the Cup, it showed the word and said what it was, and same with Pup. Even items not in the story, like the grass when they all fall off the wall, is recognizable for them to click on.

The tablet was smaller, but fairly sturdy. Since the Geekling loves touch screen devices, even having her own (deactivated) Motorola Cliq that has kids apps on it, this seems like a good idea. It has a long battery life, even when showing movies, so it will work well on flights to California or in the car, and while it’s not something that the wee one will have constant access to, it still has enough fun stuff that I know she’ll enjoy that it will make a good “You’ve been a good girl today, you want to look at a storybook?” item for bedtime to switch up the actual storybooks a little bit.

Shannon will be taking a look at them out in Cali now that I’ve said they look interesting, and if she likes them, then we’ll discuss picking one up. Something like this is going to be a family item, so we need to make sure all in the family agrees with it.

So I ask you, my limited and silent readers, does anyone have a Nook Color Tablet? What do you think about it? What have you heard? Please, feel free to let me know in the comments.


I’ve said before…

It’s so lonely.


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