Archive for November, 2011

November 17, 2011

Reporter’s Notebook: B&N Nook Tablet

by Auri Rahimzadeh

imageI picked up a Barnes and Noble Nook Tablet on Tuesday, a day ahead of it’s official availability. These are my impressions after a few days’ use.

Overall: 4 out of 5 – Recommended, especially for parents and those looking for a media consuming tablet. If you’re looking for something with a camera, or a tablet to replace your laptop, look elsewhere – this is a media enjoyment device, and it handles that task very well.

Pros:

  • Beautiful display, with viewing angles wide enough for sharing.
  • Quick and incredibly easy to use, especially for $249.
  • Support desks at B&N stores across the country.
  • Easy to set up, well geared towards new tablet users.
  • Great attention to detail on the user interface, other than typical Android annoyances, like no animation when changing orientation.
  • Double the storage of Kindle Fire for only $50 more, and expandable via MicroSD, unlike the Fire.
  • Decently light, and feels lighter than Kindle Fire.
  • Article View in magazines is a nice feature to bring text to the forefront in a quick, scrollable fashion.
  • “Just works” at Starbucks – no login required other than choosing the Wi-Fi connection, which is expected.
  • 2 free hours of reading every day at B&N stores nationwide – quite good for the parents as a holiday gift, and gets them out of the house.
  • Free Books for [all] Nook Owners every Friday

Cons:

  • Nook App Store – many apps that are free on any Android device via Android Market or Amazon App Store cost money on B&N’s app store. Compared to the other two markets, which support a great many devices, this seems counter intuitive.
  • Free books are hard to find. No free books included with device to show off its capabilities. There is a same of National Geographic, though, and an excerpt from a cooking book.
  • No obvious ability to share web pages, or save them as PDF for later reading/viewing.
  • No built in sharing other than lending books to others.
  • Free Books apparently require a credit card number, although I have yet to confirm this.
  • Didn’t ask for B&N Member Rewards number during sign up.

In Between:

  • A higher resolution screen would be ideal, although the 1024×600 is acceptable and readable-enough for the price point. Those who complain really should just go get a book, or wait a year when higher resolution displays are cheaper for tablet makers and used across more devices.
  • Netflix content is on the device’s content menu, but not Hulu+. Hulu provides a lot of television shows, so it makes little sense it wouldn’t be integrated with the menus of a media consumption device.
  • Closing the cover on the device when it’s in a case should either lock the screen or dim the display. Neither occurs.
  • There may be a low screen refresh rate – or at least it appears that way in dark rooms. I’ll have to test for this issue a bit more.

Bugs:

  • When reading PDFs, there’s a grey bar on the top of the screen, taking up 5% of the real estate. So, no full-screen PDF viewing in Portrait orientation.
  • Included Netflix app Instant Queue doesn’t work instantly. Must first add the item to the queue, then close the window, then tap it to play, even though the notification icon has the play icon on it.
  • “Sign In” link on Home screen is for Netflix, which makes little sense. Also, I was already using Netflix on the device, but it wanted me to sign in again to “link” my Netflix account to my B&N account. Why didn’t it do that automatically when I used the Netflix app on the device? Or during setup?
  • The browser-based sign-in screens on the device only use 40% of the screen real estate, making it incredibly difficult to navigate.

Other Observations:

  • To make up for the lack of apps that I use for reading news, I’ve started using the [gasp!] browser again. The browser on the Nook Tablet is incredibly easy to use and fast. Of course, that’s to be expected – it’s basically a skinned Android browser 🙂
  • I love the sounds the Nook makes when it’s charging, charged, unplugged, and unlocked. It’s the little things that make the experience.

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From the backside. From left to right: Amazon Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7 inch).

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Face forward. From left to right: Amazon Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7 inch).

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Thickness comparison. From left to right: Amazon Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7 inch).

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Best buds. From left to right: Amazon Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab (original 7 inch).

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The Nook features a very well done, informative intro video. This product is well geared towards the non-techie crowd. Of course, I’ve also heard it is easily rooted (hazzah!).

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The Nook easily connects to Wi-Fi. At Starbucks and Barnes & Noble it automatically connects. When you enter a B&N shop, it even asks if you want to start shopping or read a book. Nice touch.

November 13, 2011

Guys Buy Stuff on the Internet, Too – An Article on Marketing to Males

My friend Andy Marken sends an email once a week containing an article that’s always interesting. See, Andy’s in marketing and communications, and has been for quite some time. He’s very good, very thorough, very connected, and very honest in his writing. I quit e enjoyed this week’s article, and I’m posting it on our blog. I think I may do this more often – while we write our own entries, I’ll post his as well to keep our followers informed 🙂

Best,

-Auri

From Andy:

You may not have noticed it but the other half of the population likes guys …they just don’t "like" them. Even the best of us are OK to have around sometime but women are always trying to remodel us.

Big difference is women have better role models and even when their role models are bad they’re good!

Just remember guys make decisions too – when the woman says he can, And hey we buy stuff…lots of stuff!

If you find it interesting/informative/helpful/fun, pass the piece along to those who want to/need to know.

Here’s the link — http://bit.ly/tLx3xQ

Use it as you want with or without attribution.