The Good Large library with tens of thousands of e-books, as well as newspapers and magazines; built-in Wi-Fi connectivity (no PC needed); separate capacitive color touch-screen pad for navigation, and a virtual keyboard for notes and annotations; 2GB of internal memory (capable of storing 1,500 electronic books) as well as a microSD expansion slot for additional memory; font style and size are adjustable; displays image files and plays MP3 music files; compatible with Windows and Mac machines; battery is removable and user-replaceable; allows free browsing of full-text books while within Barnes & Noble stores; you can lend certain e-books for up to 14 days free of charge; EPUB format compatibility lets you read free Google Books and loaner e-books from your local library; page turn speeds are faster with firmware upgrade.
The Bad No protective carrying case included; color LCD has an impact on battery life; in-store reading and loaning capabilities come with notable limits and caveats; no support for Word or text files; no ability to download books when outside the U.S.
The Bottom Line The Nook Wi-Fi doesn't quite measure up to the Kindle in terms of design and overall performance, but it's a worthy alternative if you're looking for a more open e-reader that supports the EPUB format.
Barnes & Noble Nook (first generation)
Editors' note (May 24, 2011): Barnes & Noble has announced that the $169 (3G+Wi-Fi). The remains in the line at a price of $249.will be available as of June 10, 2011. It features a touch-screen, and retails for $139. The first-generation model reviewed here will be discontinued immediately. Remaining inventory will be sold off at closeout prices of and
Editors' note: This review has been updated extensively to account for changes in the Nook's features and performance resulting from firmware upgrades on, and , as well as the availability of the third-generation Kindle and the Nook Color. Note that user reviews prior to April 23 and November 22 reflect the earlier respective versions of the firmware.
The Barnes & Noble Nook, the first Android-powered e-book reader, has had an interesting, if somewhat tumultuous, history. When it was first unveiled in the fall of 2009, a lot of people were excited because it appeared to offer some key competitive advantages over the version of the Amazon Kindle e-reader that was available at the time.