Cozying Up [Barnes and Noble nook]

Last Wednesday I made one of those spur-of-the moment purchases that I almost never make. And for those of you who want to say otherwise, this rule applies to anything whose price tag is over $50.

That’s right, I let myself drop $200+ on the Barnes and Noble nook at the local store.

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I know, I know. I didn’t need to spend the money, but I couldn’t help myself. But the thing is, I don’t think I’ve been this satisfied with a purchase since my iPod.

Everything about the nook is fantastic. The screen refreshes at a fast rate, the touch screen is fairly responsive and offers a lot of options at a single touch.

Browsing the ebook store is really easy over AT&T 3G or wifi if you’re near a hotspot and you can easily download book samples or add titles to your eWish List.

Speaking of the wifi, Barnes and Noble has done what Amazon wishes it could do with the Kindle. When you go to your local store with the nook, you can instantly connect to the store wifi and receive free downloads, coupons and offers you can’t get at home.

For example: I went to the store the day after I bough my nook and was treated to a free illustrated copy of Alice in Wonderland for download along with weekly essays from writers in the industry. They even have a special coupon for nook owners that show up on your screen that gets you 50% off the leather-bound collected works of Lewis Carroll.

That said, there are a few things that the nook doesn’t do well.

The biggest issue I’ve noticed is that the battery (projected to last up to 10 days on a single charge) drains at an accelerated rate, even when the unit is asleep. I noticed that it dropped by 5% over the course of 3-4 hours without having even turned it on after charging.

Fortunately, Barnes and Noble is already aware of the problem and is working on a software update that should eliminate the problem. Hopefully they’ll push this out soon, as it renders the nook useless after a day’s use.

I’ve also become aware of a popping sound coming from the built-in speakers on the bottom of the unit when it is put into sleep mode. While this is minor, part of me believes that it may in some way be connected to the batter drain issue.

Both of these remind me of a nearly identical problem the original iPod classic had just a few months after launch. One of the updates Apple sent out caused the iPod to drain it’s battery completely when it was shut off because of a low static that emitted through the earbuds. It is for that reason that I cannot yet fault Barnes and Noble for sending out a faulty system update. It happens to every company and let’s not forget that this is the first time they have entered the electronics business.

Even still, I’m very happy with my new little baby and haven’t been able to pull myself away from it for longer than it takes to eat or take a dump.

More updates to come as things develop.

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