Thanks to the awesome Nook Color community, we are now able to turn a Nook Color from a simple e-reader into a fully functioning Android-based tablet.
If you’d like to take on this relatively easy project, just follow the same steps I did at this link…http://reviewhorizon.com/2010/12/how-to-root-nook-color-1-0-1-using-auto-nooter/
It will still work perfectly fine as an e-reader, but with some small tweaks, you can add a ton of functionality to this device, including access to the Android Marketplace where you can download all your favorite apps (ex. gmail, google maps, angry birds, yelp, evernote, etc). This process of hacking the Nook Color is also known as “rooting.” I just rooted my device today and I am pretty blown away. For $250, this tablet can handle the majority of tasks that most people buy an iPad for. Granted, if you have your heart set on using certain Apple specific apps, then this tablet might not be for you…however, most of the popular Apple apps these days either already have an Android version or they will soon be developed. One other thing to keep in mind is that the Nook Color is a 7″ screen device. This makes it significantly lighter and more portable than the iPad (although the Kindle is considerably lighter than the Nook!). Steve Jobs has mentioned that Apple won’t make a 7″ device because anything smaller than 10″ (like the iPad) will result in a crappy user experience. However, after holding/using the iPad and now a 7″ device like the Nook Color or Galaxy Tab, I definitely appreciate what a smaller form factor has to offer. The iPad is just way too heavy to hold for a significant period of time. So if you’re looking for a device to double as a tablet and an e-reader I’d definitely have to give the nod to the Nook Color. Even though it’s feature set and user experience isn’t quite on the same level as the iPad, the Nook Color does deliver as a solid e-reader with unexpectedly solid tablet functionality. Last thing to mention here is that if you are looking for a device to primarily function as an e-reader, I’d have to recommend the Kindle. It’s just so much lighter, the battery life is phenomenal, and the text on a Kindle is so much easier on the eyes over extended periods of time. The screen on the Nook Color supposedly comes with a special coating to decrease eye strain, but there’s really no comparison to the zero eye strain of the Kindle.
That’s it for now. More impressions to follow after I use the Nook Color over the next couple weeks.