So, it’s been a while since my last update, and I’m happy to report that all is well here. I met the love of my life, she moved in with me (more on that story later), and I got a Nook HD+ from Barnes & Noble. This is the part that the internet cares about, so let’s get right to it.
Yes, I actually have one, I bought it with actual money, and nobody is giving me any kickbacks for what I am about to write about this piece of electronics. As such, if I choose to say something like “OMG SQUEEEE” or “Meh, ghey” then you know that my account has been hacked because I don’t say things like that.
If you don’t know me, and the chances are sky-high that you don’t, as you probably found this by searching for “ghey Nook”, I hate reviews for electronic devices. Don’t get me wrong, if a site like Gizmodo or Engadget does it, then the review should be reasonably informed and should largely stick to what people actually care about rather than getting into a pissing contest about what HD is and isn’t.
But the comments sections of such sites, and worse, comments at the big-box stores (I include Amazon.com in this category because it’s huge and invariably all shopping inquiries pass through there) make me want to nuke the Earth and salt the smoldering remains so no online comments can ever grow back.
Thus: I agonized over the following choices in my meager budget range of I-really-don’t-want-to-go-over-$300 USD -after taxes:
- Kindle Fire HD
- Nook HD
- Nook HD+
- Google Nexus 7
Apple is immediately off the list because short of booking some goofus on the stairs someplace and stealing one, the iPad is not “in-budget”. Plus I hate iTunes, and furthermore it doesn’t work with Linux so, byeeee.
The Kindle Fire HD seemed promising but I’m really not a fan of two things: Fixed non-expandable memory (so again, bye Apple) and Amazon Prime. Sure, Amazon Prime might be turbo-awesome and my life is irreparably empty without it, but it feels like Amazon nickel and diming me to death, and also feels like extortion. (“We have 5 books available in that category. Millions more available to Prime members.”)
The Google Nexus 7 loses because of the fixed memory thing and also I heard it was sold out everywhere. Can’t buy what they don’t have, people!
The Nook HD (7″) loses because I am male and prefer my tablets and e-readers to have 2196P HD and a 42″ screen, all for under $300 USD and it has to weigh less than a helium atom.
The winner: I bought the Nook HD+, obviously.
What I Like:
- I really like the 9″ screen. This is sad to say, but I streamed Netflix over it with my actual 42″ HDTV mere feet away and the picture was much sharper on the Nook. Welcome to irrational electronics buyers anonymous.
- I am currently reading The Trouble With Physics on the Nook and really enjoy the reading experience versus my lay-day’s Kindle (not sure what b/w model it is), which is serviceable but not remotely as cool. Plus the shortcuts and highlighting is much, much better than the not-even-remotely-comparable Kindle.
- OMG you guys, FlipBoard. SQUEEEE! We are like, totally BFF. As if liking, nay, loving an app is a reason to like, nay, love an e-reader, but OMG SQUEEE use it and you’ll understand.
- Magazines look really sharp on the Nook, and I like “ArticleView” that lets you read just the articles without the pages of ads. Then again, that’s like watching NFL football without the ads during the Super Bowl.
- Battery life is a-OK, so far.
- There aren’t millions of apps, but what they do have seems to be formatted for tablets/e-readers and so far all of the ones I have used look and feel good. I think what gets lost in translation is that you can actually go to sites that require apps on phones, such as Facebook and IMDb. When I want Facebook I use the web browser, and when I want to use FlipBoard I go to the Apps section (or my home screen, where it is on speed-dial).
What I Don’t Like:
- My Nook HD+ currently does not have a case, because Barnes & Noble sells them for $45 USD before taxes. Target got that down to $39.99 USD but in either instance I am using the box it came in until that can be whittled down to $20 or less. Come ON, there’s no excuse for Nook cases to cost that much.
- The Nook is said to have more selection than the Kindle (not sure if that is with or without Prime) but hopping between BN and Amazon isn’t convincing me.
- Weighing in at a little over a pound, the Nook HD+ can get a little unwieldy when I am laying on my back reading.
- None of my “Ultraviolet” movies are playing on my Nook. Not sure if this is Vudu’s fault as I used that service to redeem the codes, or if Ultraviolet sync is an issue. I only have three UV movies so this isn’t a major issue for me but I am calling it out anyway.
Well, I bought it and am therefore stuck with it, but so far less than a week into it I am really enjoying the Nook HD+. I am unsure what the shelf life of such a product is, and at present I am not inclined to replace my existing book collection with e-versions. I like that a lot of “stuff” can be crammed on the device and really like than I can expand the memory with minimal fuss. I suppose if I ever want more functionality than the Nook provides I can get a full-on tablet or a laptop.
In short, the Nook HD+ does what I need it to do, beautifully. So far.
Also, in case anyone cares about this, I’m not missing the camera. I have a regular digital camera, and I have a camera (front + back) on my phone. I really don’t need one on the Nook.