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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Comparing the Nook Color to the Nook Simple Touch

Nook simple touch vs nook color

For my last birthday Mike surprised me with a Nook Color, as you may recall. For Christmas, I bought him the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. Pretty much from the moment I brought the Simple Touch home, I knew I'd want to trade. Fortunately for me, he was game and I found myself using the Simple Touch. Now that I've read several books on each, I thought perhaps you'd like a brief comparison of the two.

The Nook

First, the Nook Color.  A Nook Color is very similar to a Kindle Fire. You can read books, you can watch Netflix, you can check Twitter and you can play Angry Birds. As the name would suggest, it's got a great picture, and while the sound isn't the best, it's more than adequate for watching old episodes of Buffy or Caillou. You can download apps like the Overdrive app for library books, and with the wifi, download your library books directly to the Nook Color. This is a huge improvement over having to download them to your laptop and transfer them. For books you purchase from Barnes and Noble, it's a one click process. The Nook Color is slightly taller than a Kindle Fire. It has a touch screen for turning pages and only a very few buttons to worry about. You can adjust the font and brightness on most (but not all) books. I really enjoyed it.

It does, however, have a few flaws. First, it's fairly heavy.  I mean, not BOOK heavy, but heavier than you'd think. It doesn't always display the cover on books, unless it's a book you purchased from Barnes and Noble. And last, and most annoying, the battery life is AWFUL. If you leave the wifi on, it's even worse.  It was not uncommon for me to grab the Nook on the way out the door only to find that I didn't actually bring anything with me to read, because it was dead. For Mike, the weight is not an issue. Not only is he a big strong manly man (HI MIKE!), but he does 95% of his reading lying in bed on his stomach with the Nook on the bed.  He also rarely takes a book with him to run an errand (I don't drop the Pirate off at school without a book in my bag, despite not planning to actually put the car in park while I am gone), so he rarely leaves home with a dead Nook. It is disappointing to get to bed and find the battery dead though, because you can not read on a Nook Color while it is charging. EDITED TO ADD: Google says you can read it while it's charging. I was unable to make it work on my own and I haven't tried this yet, but I may have spoke too soon on this point.

Nook simple touch.

So why is the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight better? Is it ever! As the clerk at Wal-mart pointed out, "all this one does is read books." Why thank you helpful Wal-mart lady, but that's what I want to do- read books! I simply didn't USE any of that other stuff. I couldn't leave the wifi on because of the battery issues, so I never used Twitter or Facebook or email on it. I am not a movie buff, so I didn't need Netflix. I have Angry Birds on my phone. It's very light, very easy to hold with one hand. The back is contoured perfectly for your hand and you don't tire of holding it. You don't need to hold with one hand and flip pages with the other, because with the Nook Simple Touch you have two options- you can turn pages by touching the screen, as with the Color, or there are little buttons on either side to press. This means you can hold it with either hand, and continue petting your cat or coloring princesses with your child with the other. (I use that second instance as example only. Ahem.) The battery life is extraordinary. This thing lasts forever AND I can read on it while it's charging. The Glowlight is not an electronic light, as with the Color (or your phone) but more like an actual book light, and you can turn it off if you're reading in daylight. (And if you get one, totally get the one with the light.)

Does it have flaws? Of course. You can't download library books directly to it, you have to use the awkward Adobe Digital Editions as a stopping point. (It does have wifi, so you can download books directly from Barnes and Noble, if you're the book buying sort.)  It's not color, so you lose pretty covers. You can't play Angry Birds. Does Mike think he lost the Nook lottery? No, I don't think he does. (Except maybe on the battery issue.) But I definitely won. I love this thing.

What about you? Do you have a Nook? A Kindle? What would you feel is a vital quality to have in an e-reader? Weigh in in the comments, please!


  1. I have a Kindle - second generation, I think - and every time I pick it up the battery is dead even though I never leave the connectivity on. I'm not inclined to use it and the few times I want to, I can't. I'm glad you're loving your Nook!

  2. I have a fire I use everyday. Yes, I have to charge it at night but that is because I am on it at least 8 hrs a day reading lol. I have a 2nd generation kindle and it was always dead. So I knew I needed an upgrade. I use Amazon a lot so Kindle was the obvious choice for me.

  3. I have a a 2nd gen Kindle and the battery life is AMAZING! I turn Wi-Fi off when not in use but it holds a charge for about 2 months and I use it all the time. I don't mind the 2 step download to get audiobooks on there.

    I can't believe you cannot read while charging the Nook color. That seems like a huge oversight.

  4. I've been tempted by the Colors and the HDs but I think I'm gonna remain a Simple Touch girl.

  5. I can't say enough good things about my Nook with Glowlight.

    I have the Nook Color, received it when they first came out in 2010. I could probably count on one hand how many books I've read on it. The darned thing always had a dead battery. Always.

    I got the Nook with Glowlight in early December and have read 5 books on the same original charge. And i still have 45% battery life remaining. It's amazing. But I don't read with the Glowlight or Wi-Fi on, those will run the battery down quicker.

    Overall, I'm very pleased with my Nook with Glowlight. It's definitely better in my opinion over the Nook Color.

  6. I love my simple touch. Both The Hubster and I have the pre-glowlight models. I have an ipad but I only use that for reading for pdfs that don't play nice with the nook. I love the small size and weight of the simple touch. I like being able to read one-handed with it (particularly when I'm walking on the treadmill). Can't do that with a bigger tablet.

  7. Well there you go - you're both happy!

  8. Honestly I don't want extras on my Kindle. I'd just get distracted and not read anything. I don't even wish I had color. I DO wish that I had a light on mine though because my book light is quite cumbersome. Oh and touch screen would be nice, but ehhhh. Glad it ultimately worked out for both of you!


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