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New Nook Simple Touch

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30 Dec 2012, 12:17 AM
Post: #1
Argos are currently selling the Nook Simple Touch at £59 and its Lautner Ink Cover at half price (£12) so I took the opportunity to invest in a third eBook platform. (Don't let on to my wife - I'll be in serious trouble...) I've only a few minutes play with the eReader so far, but here's some initial impressions.

Packaging and presentation is nicely done, with an elegant box containing the eReader, a getting started booklet and a USB cable. Initial boot up is quick if you have already set up a Nook account - assuming you skip reading the 432 screens of Terms of Service (I kid you not!) It connected to the home Wi-Fi very quickly and downloaded the couple of books in my Nook library almost instantly.

Navigation is fairly intuitive, though there is a tendency to use single tap for opening things and double tap where other UIs would use tap-and-hold. Paging is by tapping the left or right sides of the screen or by customisable buttons on each edge of the screen frame. The screen appears to use infra-red touch detection like the Kobos and Kindle Touch/Paperwhite.

The reading experience is comfortable with a clear screen, fast enough paging and a good range of fonts, weights and layout options. However it doesn't appear possible to zoom illustrations - so the text in the very first diagram in the built-in manual is all but unreadable.

Initial impressions suggest that accessing the Nook book store through the eReader is a much better experience than through the Web browser. There *does* appear to be the facility for readers to leave reviews and there are also (unattributed) editorial reviews. Some books also allow a sample to be downloaded even though this option is not shown in the Web-view of the store - although this was rather hit and miss - for one set of books I am interested in only the second in the series had a sample... Overall the initial impression is that the Web store is doing the Nook a major and unjustified disservice.

Plug the Nook Simple Touch into a PC and it installs three drivers before complaining "OMAP3630 - No driver found". Actually this isn't surprising as Windows doesn't have a driver for the OMAP3630 - so this can be safely ignored. The eReader appears as a mass storage USB device to the PC with a clean four folder file structure which looks like it will be easy to use.

The Lautner Ink Cover is an official Nook Italian synthetic leather cover. It feels very smooth and soft, but I suspect may mark easily. The Nook has a couple of indents that neatly lock it into the cover so there are no unsightly straps across the corners. The cover is held closed with a magnetic tab and folds back on itself to be held open by the same magnets. The only criticism I have so far is that the Nook tends to rock within the cover if the left hand physical page buttons are used. This may become annoying if you prefer holding the device in your left hand.
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04 Jan 2013, 03:04 PM
Post: #2
Excellent review Frogplate and completely in line with my own thoughts, particularly in terms of the books store when viewed via a web browser.

Did you try setting it to Wumbo?
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27 Mar 2013, 04:25 PM
Post: #3
(04 Jan 2013 03:04 PM)Lou Wrote:  Excellent review Frogplate and completely in line with my own thoughts, particularly in terms of the books store when viewed via a web browser.

I have just dusted off my christmas present nook simple touch from dear husband who got me an e-reader without doing any research!! - wondering if anyone has got any further with getting the most out of a US product here in the UK - all books I want seem so overpriced, and the freebies are hard to track down.

I bought one "proper" book for my book club, and have found a motley collection of shabby classics, just wondering if I'm doing it wrong or just don't "get" it !!
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28 Mar 2013, 10:24 AM
Post: #4
Don't dispair! I've managed to find most things I was looking for either on the Nook site or elsewhere and then do price comparisons. You have to just decide what genre you want to browse first and then search that way. And don't forget if you are a member of your local library they may have an ebook service too. You just need to download Adobe Digital Editions onto your PC/laptop and then you can buy or borrow ebooks from many different places. Project Gutenberg has lots of free ebooks. Just beware of scanned books if you are into foreign language books and this process can totally corrupt whole words with foreign characters in. My mother finds it easier to browse the nook site on the device itself rather than the main website from a PC so that may be another aspect.

Good luck!
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28 Mar 2013, 12:28 PM
Post: #5
As a vaguely scientific test I've just checked the last 20 books I've read in both the Nook and Amazon Kindle stores. These were a mixture of fantasy, science fiction, Scandinavian crime, science and text books as well as a few miscellaneous titles. All are quite good sellers, and not rare books by any means. But I should point out that most were read on the Kindle, so there is an inbuilt bias to Amazon.

Of the 20 books, all were available for the Kindle, but I could find only ten in the Nook store. Those ten books would cost £43.07 to buy for the Kindle and £50.24 on the Nook, meaning the Nook store is about 16% more expensive for these books.

Discoverability seems to be poor in the Nook store, and as Nordic Pixie says browsing on the device itself does seem better. I've found examples of books that have no preview on the Web but can be previewed on the Nook itself.

I'd also agree about Project Gutenberg - I get a lot of classics from there and the quality is usually excellent. There are plenty of other legitimate sites that can provide Nook content too, such as http://www.smashwords.com/. Does anyone know any FAQs or other resources that list good quality sites were content is available for the Nook?
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