Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Product Review: Nook Tablet HD+

Alright, this is kinda different from what I usually talk about on here but who knows, maybe someone will find it useful.

When the Kindle first came out, I was extremely opposed to it. I was one of those "a book is an object" people and I loved just exploring the library and finding random old things. I still feel that way, and there are some books that don't work in e-book format (I just bought House of Leaves, for instance), but when the Nook came out, I kinda wanted one for a few reasons. At the time, the Kindle was a lot more proprietary than it is now. You couldn't read epubs on it (I'm pretty sure you can now?) and you couldn't get Overdrive books from the library with it. The Nook had an Android OS, which I'm a fan of. So for Christmas of 2010, I received the original Nook Color. This thing had been through a lot. During the tornado, I had left it sitting on the couch. When we went into the living room, the roof was gone, the couch was halfway across the room, but the Nook was sitting there, still kicking.

Once I moved abroad, the Nook was indispensable. Obviously, I couldn't bring very many paper books with me, so I read tons of books on the Nook, both from the library and ones that I bought. Since I moved to Germany, I read 63 ebooks. Assuming (pretty conservatively, since I read fairly long books) each book is an inch thick, that amounts to a stack exactly as tall as I am. I had also occasionally used it to play games or look at knitting patterns, although I mostly used it exclusively as an ereader.

However, shortly before Christmas, it started acting weird. Basically it would be plugged in for a while, but then stop charging around 50%. The charger was pretty beat up at this point, so I thought it was probably that but then I tried a different charger and the same thing happened. With as much as I read, I thought it would definitely be worth it to buy a new Nook. I wanted another Nook for two reasons: all of the books I'd already bought could be downloaded to it, and it had access to the Google Play store, so I could put the Kindle App on there and read Hunter's books, too. We were going back to America so I could buy one there, plus if I bought it in Montana there would be no sales tax!

My original plan was to get the 7" one. This is the sort of regular, book sized one. But at the store, Hunter suggested I get the bigger one because it wasn't that much more expensive and I could take more advantage of the tablet type features. I'm really glad I listened to him because I love it so much! I can play tablet games like Ticket to Ride and Elder Sign:Omens, read books from Google Play, Kindle, and the Nook store, read my RSS feeds, do crosswords, look things up in Chrome... it was really worth it. I even found a knitting app that can look up and import .pdf patterns from various sources and download them, plus it has an integrated stitch counter. And for me, one of the most important things is that I can read in the dark. Because of Sadie, I'm awake a lot at night while Hunter is sleeping and I can read unobtrusively.

There are of course, a few cons. There is no camera or USB port. It's a little weird that there's no camera, since even the Kindle Fire has one, but really if I want to Skype I have a laptop for that. I don't really need a USB port, either, but I can see how some would think it was a nice feature. I guess the only relevant-to-me complaint I have is that it does TOO MUCH. I have read slightly less than I used to because I can do all these other things on it! So, I wouldn't recommend it if all you want to do is read because there are cheaper devices for that. But if you want a tablet that's cheaper and a bit less functional than the Windows thing or an iPad, this is a really good option.

Hope someone benefited from this.

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