The all new 2011 Nook ebook reader, known as the Nook Simple Touch or the Nook Touch, is a wi-fi only device that was released in June of 2011, and within just a few days of launching earned the CNET Editor’s Choice Award, with CNET calling the Nook the “Best e-ink reader.” That’s quite a hefty thumbs up from the pros, and could indicate that this new edition of the Nook ereader has a strong shot at giving the Kindle ereader a run for its money.
The question of the day when it comes to the Barnes and Noble Nook is this: how does it compare to the Kindle? That’s what everyone really wants to know before they even worry about Where to Purchase Nook Wi-fi. Is there finally an ereader on the market that can bump the Kindle eReader from its long held title of ‘King of the eReader Hill’, or is the 2011 Nook just another Android device that will try, but won’t be able to muster the resolve to challenge the Kindle?
After researching what the pro’s thought, and spending a nice amount of time with this savvy new Nook Touch, we definitely salute Barnes and Noble for the effort they put into releasing an innovative and high quality product that is not only a new and improved 2011 Nook edition, but is also an ereader device that is a formidable rival to the Amazon Kindle, in more ways than one. We absolutely agree with the pros that the all new Nook Simple Touch is the new star of the show.
The first and most obvious distinction between the two is their displays. While they both feature a clear, crisp, high contrast 6″ pearl e-ink screen, only the 2011 Nook Touch has a touchscreen interface that truly provides a more user friendly, efficient, and enjoyable experience. It is this innovative touchscreen that allows the Nook to so candidly live up to its reputation of being the ‘Simple Touch Reader’.
The touchscreen functionality on the Nook Touch allows for smooth, intuitive and very user friendly navigation, and is very responsive, performing rather “zippy” for an e-ink device. Reducing the flashing effect of page refreshes that typically occurs with e-ink was a priority for Barnes and Noble, and they did a superb job of it. Instead of the screen flashing at every single page turn like it does on the Kindle, you only see the flash on about every 5th page turn, which is a nice improvement. Both the Kindle and Nook had virtually the same speed for page turns, but using the ‘swype’ technique on the Nook’s touchscreen is just a bit more innovative and fun.
We enjoyed that the touchscreen interface is optimized for e-reading and enhancing your experience with fun functions such as highlighting text, adding notes, and more using the virtual keyboard. If you want to bring up the built-in dictionary, all you have to do is tap and hold the word you want defined and voila, you’ve got your answer. Navigation is streamlined with intuitive menus that respond to the small directional button, allowing you to scroll through and to make a selection by pressing the button. Very user friendly indeed, which is something users are looking for when they consider the option to Purchase Nook 2011.
Other design features we liked included the clean, smooth style of the new Nook Simple Touch with its soft-touch paint that provides a smooth and rubberized feel. While this looks and feels nice, the one downside is that it exposes fingerprints and smudges pretty loudly, so you will need to constantly wipe it down. There are four narrow buttons on the side of the screen that cab be utilized to turn pages, fast forward, or rewind through the pages of the book. The Nook weighs in at 7.48 ounces, about an ounce lighter than the Kindle. The touchscreen navigation eliminates the need for a lot of buttons or keyboards, hence allowing the shorter, cleaner design of the Nook.
The 2011 Nook Touch comes with 2 GB of storage on board, and a microSD expansion slot for increasing your storage up to 32 GB, which should be more than enough space for all your books. The battery life is up to 2 months if you turn the wi-fi connectivity off when you’re not using it. Though the Kindle also has a 2 month battery life, Barnes and Noble says that if you measure how many page turns are made in between charges, then the Nook has double the battery capacity of the Kindle. We were not able to test this claim as of yet, but will update this review as soon as we get clarification on that topic. Until then, you can be assured that the Nook’s battery life is very strong, and at least as good as the Kindle’s, serving you well should you decide to purchase Nook 2011.
Barnes and Noble boasts the largest bookstore with over 2 million titles for the Nook and Nook Color, with thousands of those titles being free, and the majority of paid books priced at $9.99 or less. Magazine and newspaper subscriptions are also available, as well as a superb selection of Nook Kids titles to choose from. The Barnes and Noble Nook features a book lending option to loan to and borrow from your friends and family, and also supports checking books out of your local library, hence you do not always have to spend money to have a fresh read on the ready.
There is probably not an electronic mobile device out there that doesn’t support and highlight the popular social networking platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, and the new Barnes and Noble Nook is no exception. You are able to easily share passages and update your status right from where you are in the book you are reading. The Nook also features its own social networking with the Nook Friends option that provides the framework for either creating your own or joining an existing digital book club, which can grow to be as large as you would like for it to. Its a fun way to enjoy your favorite books with other Nook owners who have common reading preferences.
What we wish it had? There is no 3G wireless connectivity available on the new 2011 Nook Touch, and there is no audio playbook, which rules out audio books. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, but some book lovers may consider an audio book option to be a feature they can’t live without. There is also no official web browser. Again not a deal breaker as it is very simple to gain access to an undocumented one. It does not support apps like the Nook Color does, and does not have an email app or capability.
Should you bother looking for Where to Purchase the Nook Touch? Well it all comes down to your objectives. If you are looking for a high performing dedicated ereader for the sole purpose of curling up with a good book and keeping in touch with your friends via Twitter and Facebook, then the new Barnes and Noble Nook Simple Touch will be perfect for you. If you want to also be able to surf the web, email, listen to music, play games, and run apps, then the Nook Color or the Nook Tablet is more your speed. Check out our Color Nook Review for more information on the Nook Color, the reader’s tablet.