There’s something strange about Barnes & Noble’s recently unveiled NookColor e-reader–it works as an e-reader, sure, but in many respects it’s really just a tablet in disguise.
Don’t believe us? We’ve created a handy chart comparing the NookColor, the iPad, and the Dell Streak (a recently released Android-based tablet). There are minor differences in size, battery power, weight, and cost, but for the most part, it’s hard to distinguish the NookColor as an e-reader purely by its specs.
The one big difference: the NookColor doesn’t have the full Android Marketplace–instead, Barnes & Noble is creating a developer community that will make custom reading-centric apps for the device. So far, the company is working with Lonely Planet, Dictionary.com, and Pandora on apps. But the fact that the NookColor will have a Pandora app means that the app store won’t be completely reading-centric.
The device also allows users to visit and update statuses on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter–and it has Gmail access. Which brings us back to our original question: Why isn’t Barnes & Noble just calling this a tablet? And for that matter, why not give users access to the Android Market? The NookColor clearly has uses beyond a traditional e-reader–perhaps Barnes & Noble should embrace them instead of limiting the device’s functionality.
|Screen Size||7 inch diagonal backlit VividView Color Touchscreen high resolution display with 1024 x 600 delivering 169 pixels per inch, IPS technology||9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology||5 inch capacitive multi-touch WVGA (800×480) display|
|Battery||Rechargeable battery, 8 hours of reading with the Wi-Fi off||25 watt-hour lithium ion battery, up to 10 hours of battery life with Wi-Fi||530 mAh battery|
|Dimensions||8.1 inches wide x 5 inches high x 0.48 inches depth||7.47 inches wide x 9.56 inches high x .5 inches depth||6 inches wide x 3.1 inches high x .4 inches depth|
|Processor/storage||ARM Cortex A8-based, 45nm OMAP3621 processor, 8 GB storage built-in, micro-SD||1GHz Apple A4 system-on-a-chip, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB flash drive||1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB storage built-in, 16 GB micro-SD|
|Weight||15.8 ounces||1.5 lbs Wi-Fi model, 1.6 lbs Wi-Fi + 3G model||7.7 oz|
|Wi-Fi/3G||Only Wi-Fi (Barnes & Noble may add a 3G version in the future)||Both 3G + Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi-only models available||Integrated 3G + Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) + Bluetooth 2.1|
|Cost||$249||From $499.99||$299.99 with 2-year AT&T contract activation|
|Apps||Custom Android app store||Apple app store||Android Marketplace|
|Operating System||Android 2.1||iOS 3.2.2||Android 1.6, will receive 2.2 as an over the air update|