Yesterday, November 19, 2010, I went to Barnes & Noble in nearby Lincolnshire. I want to go there and get a book by David Allen called Getting Things Done. There is a real following around Allen’s method of organization and planning. You can Google Getting Things Done or just GTD as it is referred to by adherents. I would expound more but GTD is a topic for a future piece. Plus, the book I was looking for was out of stock.
Upon walking into the store and before learning they did not have the GTD book in stock, I stopped to look at the Barnes and Noble net pad reader that they call the Nook. I had heard of the Nook but I had not heard great things about it. It was a late entry, a me too, well behind Amazon’s Kindle product. It became a third tier product when Apple unleashed their instantly popular and market leading iPad.
My business partner, my primary client, a close friend, and my niece Melanie were among the first on their block to get iPads. In short they love them and use them in lieu of laptops for surfing, light email, playing games, and even a very expensive calculator. My partner, Ara, uses it to demonstrate our software product DemandCaster and for other power point presentations. Oddly, when I asked all them if they read books, magazines, or news papers, they all said no.
I know the Kindle and the Nook were both designed as monochrome display e-readers first. They had internet WiFi and then 3G capability only to facilitate the selling and download of books to these devices. In the third generation of the Kindle and the second generation of the Nook, the price is basically an impulse purchase. The Kindle is $139 for the WiFi version and $189 for the 3G version. The Nook is $250 and is only available in WiFi not 3G. The new Nook has a color screen whereas the Kindle is still only available in monochrome.
When I was looking at the nook in the Barnes and Noble store yesterday an engaging salesperson, Mitchell, came over to extol the virtues of the new Nook. He was very helpful. I almost walked out with one. He took the time and enthusiastically showed me all the features of the new device. I had never experienced such sales pressure in a Barnes and Noble store. I am not complaining, I am actually glad that Mitchell took the time to show me the features of the new generation Nook. I just was not used to any kind of sales pitch in Barnes and Noble where the ambiance has always been more come in, browse, read, buy a cup of coffee, and maybe leave with some books, music, and magazines.
In considering getting a netpad device, I was only considering the iPad or the Kindle. The only consideration was price. Did I want to pay $650 for the iPad and have color and full web access? Or did I want to spend $189 for a book reader. The iPad, for 3G requires another monthly payment of what $20. I really do not want another monthly cable/internet/cellphone kind of payment? No. It is becoming like a car payment. Maybe if there is no WiFi and I really need to access the web for something, I will just use my cell phone.
I really like the Nook. It is affordable and beyond basic book reading capabilities, it is color, can surf the web, and I could use if for light email. While it has a smaller screen, I am never that far from my work desktop or my own laptop which I would use for more serious writing such as this posting.
The Kindle is still the most affordable but is strictly a book, newspaper, and magazine reader. Everyone that I have ever seen reading from one simply loves it. As I mentioned above, everyone that has an iPad also likes their device.
I understand there are a slew of other devices about to hit the market. Verizon has just launched an Android netpad with the 7” screen. It is the same price as the iPad. There is some value in going to the Android OS since our company email and my phone are both Google/Android based. But, this is a smaller consideration since I would simply access my various gmail accounts and Google docs via the internet… er… cloud… whatever it is all evolving towards.
Usually with new technology, I wait. I am not the first guy on the block to go out and get the latest and greatest gizmo. I wait to see what others buy and use the technology. I don’t buy the first product out of the shoot. I wait to see how competitors react. I wait because I know that either the prices will drop or the capabilities offered at the same price will increase. In short, I wait. It is funny because the first users of the Kindle, switched to the third generation Kindle, and some even switched or added an iPad to their inventory of electronic/computing gadgets.
Here is a great article on cnet.com that explores the dimensions of the e-readers. It was very helpful as I learned the new Nook is Android based. http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20009738-1.html. I should have just listened to Mitchell last night and just bought one.
So, feel free to weigh in here:
- Do you have a netpad? Which one? Do you love it?
- If you do not have one, are you planning on getting one?
- Do you read books and magazines on your device? I especially want to hear from iPad users on this one.
- How is the touch screen typing? Do you text and type short emails? Or do you do real work?