What’s particularly nifty about it is that its face is e-ink technology… the same type of display that is used for the Amazon Kindle eBook reader, which means the battery should last forever. It also makes this odd blink-out-blink-in when the minute changes.
There are multiple formats you can display – big numbers, little numbers, dates, various cities, etc. But there are some things missing that I’ve come to expect from a digital watch – the big one being alarms. Why no alarm on this? All in all, it’s a very nice product, and certainly is a conversation starter!
I’ve also got another new toy – the Barnes & Noble NOOKcolor (yes, that’s how they write it) e-reader. I have to say it’s quite seamlessly integrated into the Barnes & Noble store (you’d expect no less), and you can easily buy books. But that’s true of just about every ereader.
What sets the NOOKcolor apart are some additional features. For one, it has a full-color touchscreen… which means that magazines are eye-popping on this device. It also means the battery life is less – about 8 hours of reading a day. It plays music like just about every other e-reader on the market, but it also plays full-blown videos, too! And they’re smooth and gorgeous! And if that’s not enough for you, how about apps? Yep; underneath the e-reader is Android 2.1, so there are some apps available…chess, Sudoku, crosswords (yay!), a picture gallery, a music player, and Pandora. That’s right; Pandora. You can turn on the wireless, and stream Pandora to your NOOKcolor all day, every day (assuming you’re a paying Pandora member, of course). And yes, that shortens the battery life. So does Web browsing, but you can do Gmail and Google Docs very nicely, thank you.
It’s become the device I take around most often with me now for taking notes, reading, doing email, and playing music. Well… that and the charger…
Did I mention that you can spend an hour every day in a Barnes and Noble store reading any book they have for free? Yeah… you don’t own it, but you can read it. Just like you do now in the analog world. That’s super nice to be able to do.
And, oh – my favorite thing about the Barnes & Noble e-readers: you can lend your books! If you and I both have e-readers, and I own an e-book that you’d like to read, I can lend it to you for a couple of weeks! During that time, I can’t read it, but you can. At the end of the two weeks, it automatically comes back to me and disappears from your e-reader.
Barnes & Noble has promised an upgrade in the January 2011 timeframe that is supposed to improve battery life and add some more apps. They’re never going to provide the entire Android Marketplace because there are so many apps that are phone-specific. But they’re saying that they’ll provide their own marketplace that has the relevant apps available.
I have seen Angry Birds running on a hacked NOOKcolor, and can’t wait to play the real thing on a fully-supported device! A $250 touch tablet that runs Android? Yes, please! Get one for yourself, too!