Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire: The Dust Begins to Settle

Barnes & Noble has been blessed. The majority of the tech reporters, pundits, curmudgeons and reviewers have now had time to play with the new Amazon Kindle Fire and the new B&N Nook Tablet. And the winner appears to be… 
The Nook Tablet. The reason? There are many: 

  1. The new Fire web browser is slow and awkward.
  2. The Fire is locked into 8GB of storage on the device. It cannot be expanded. the Nook Tablet comes with 16GB of storage and has a MicroSD slot that can accept up to 32GB card for a maxed out total of 48GB. Both have “cloud” services.
  3. The Nook Tablet has a 20%+ longer battery life.
  4. Most tech reviewers felt the Nook Tablet’s screen was sharper for movies, magazines and books.
  5. Barnes & Noble has had three years to perfect its touch user interface. Amazon’s touch UI is 1st generation and looks and feels it.
  6. Don’t under estimate the power of over 700 brick and mortar B&N stores with tens of thousands of trained digital booksellers vs Amazon’s out-sourced tech support.
  7. For about $80. per year you can buy Amazon’s media services package. Barnes & Noble took the Ala Carte menu system where you can pick from well over a dozen various media services – some free, some with monthly charges.

Barnes & Noble stayed the course and simply made a new more advanced Nook with over a hundred new features, while Amazon chartered new waters with a completely new UI, borrowed hardware, plenty of advertising and a great low price. 
My money is on B&N, good job guy’s. 

Amazon’s New “Touch” and “Fire”


Amazon fired off a new line of Kindle’s today. The new basic Kindle eReader is just $79. The new more advanced Kindle “Touch” (looks like the B&N Nook “Simple Touch”) starts at just $99. And finally, Amazon introduced the new Kindle “Fire” a full color tablet eReader (similar to the B&N “Nook Color) for the very low price of $199.

Obviously Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other eReader manufacturers are in a race-to-the-bottom sprint for the lowest price. Reminds me of the old adage of – give away the razor (eReader devices), – and make money on the razor blades (eBooks, apps, other media).

The former guys-in-charge at Border’s (now sipping rum and Coke on a beach somewhere) must be reading all this and thinking – “Wheee… we got out of that industry – just in time!”

The current guys-in-charge at Barnes & Noble (now sipping coffee in a board room in New York city and shaking their heads) must be reading all this and thinking – “Hmmm… we do we do now?”

It’s not only the low prices that should be worrisome to B&N, but the incredible treasure chest of downloadable media already in place at Amazon. Amazon offers eBooks, a music store, an audio book store, a video store, a cloud storage service, an Android app store and more.

Plus this past week Amazon went live with its arrangement to over 11,000 public libraries in the U.S. to offer eBooks and audio books (Amazon owns Audible the largest distributor of audio books in the U.S.) Barnes & Noble uses Adobe’s ePUB eBook file format and has had pretty much exclusive arrangement with public libraries for the past couple of years.

Is this doom and gloom for Barnes & Noble? Is the Nook dead? I hope not. The Nook Color and the the Nook “Simple Touch” have been the darlings of the eReader world for the past year. Both were rated “Best Buy” in the September 2011 issue of Consumer’s Report.

It has been strongly rumored that B&N will introduce at least two new devices in late September or early October. Let’s hope that they are priced right, and feature laden.

Stay tuned!


Barnes & Noble Releases Nook Color Major Update!

Barnes & Noble announced and ** RELEASED ** a major free upgrade this morning that turns your Nook from a simple eReader to an Android Tablet PC with its own App Store with dozens of free and reasonably priced productivity apps, games, and fun stuff.

You can either wait for the OTA (Over the Air) upgrade which should automatically download and install over WiFi sometime within the next 7 days, or if you want it now you can download to your PC and side load it (instructions are on the B&N Nook Color web site).

At the amazing price of $249.00 this will kill the Motorola Xoom, BlackBerry Playbook, Samsung Galaxy and dozens of other Android tablets just being released that all start at OVER TWICE THE PRICE OF THE COLOR NOOK!!!

You made the right decision buying a Nook Color and now your patience for waiting for the upgrade is available now!

B&N nook color update soon!

It seems that the rumor mill is heating up with Barnes & Noble Nook Color update web posts growing by the hour. Already a tremendous value at $249 the update to Android 2.2 should make the Nook Color the hottest tablet device since the iPad.

Rumors are flying that Barnes & Noble corporate nook account reps and technical support staff are being trained tomorrow, Monday April 25. Hopefully the free over-the-air WiFi update will begin soon after Monday’s training. HSN customers have been told that they are first in line to receive the update, but that’s bound to upset the folks who bought the Nook Color at B&N stores and Best Buy.

If rumors come true then a new B&N branded app store, NetFlix player, Angry Birds, Adobe’s Flash and perhaps dozens of other Android apps will make the Nook Color the bargain Android tablet of the year.

The Nook Color comes with an 800 MHz TI processor, 8 gigs of storage, a high-resolution 7 inch color touch screen, WiFi (B,N,G), MicroSD card slot and more.

B&N has trained “Nook Smart” Digital Booksellers in each of its 705 stores in all 50 states. If the upgrade goes smoothly there will over 3,000,000 very happy existing Nook Color owners, with millions more waiting to make a purchase at just $249. Good luck to HP, BlackBerry, Samsung, Motorola, Acer and other tablet makers beginning at $499.

HD TV on your iPad

I’ve messed around trying to watch, record, and edit TV on mobile devices for years. For the most part unsuccessfully. Recently I think I’ve found the perfect solution.

Here’s what you’ll need to have: 1) An Apple iPad (either Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi+3G), 2). An Elgato HD-TV “box”, 3). An Elgato H.264.HD processor stick, 4). The Elgato EyeTV app from Apple’s app store and finally a HD TV video source such as a cable TV or satellite “box.”

Since the Elgato HD-TV “box” really isn’t a TV tuner (like their other products), but simply provides a conduit for the cable or satellite “box” the signal is sharp and clear and does not eat up CPU cycles on your Mac.

The included EyeTV 3.x software is mature, stable, and easy-to-use providing an electronic TV Guide (1 year subscription included), DVR scheduling (single episode or series), library function of recorded programs. Plus, of course, live TV viewing of both SD and HD channels.

Although a Elgato H.264.HD processor USB “stick” is not required it does make a significant difference in the the host Mac because it “off-loads” much of the hardware functions like ripping and serving the video portion of the signal. DVR “ripping” of videos into iPad or iPhone formatted files is significantly faster using this device.

Elgato offers universal software apps that work on both the iPhone (and iTouch) as well the iPad that provides viewing, editing, and scheduling your TV. Use it on your local Wi-Fi network, or from a remote location over Wi-Fi or 3G.

Elgato provides a complete and elegant solution to watching SD and HD television and recordings on Mac and a variety of IOS devices. A very good “system” indeed!

Will the Verizon iPhone be a winner?

Undoubtedly the Verizon iPhone will be a huge winner for both Apple and Verizon. As an example I compared 3G coverage in Michigan, AT&T roughly 15% of the state. Verizon approximately 95% of the state.

I love the MiFi concept of the Verizon iPhone. Up to 5 people can get WiFi. But the bad news is that a phone call in or out breaks (stops) the WiFi connection. It seems that Verizon’s CDMA 3G can only support one connection at a time – either phone or data.

Mobile Technology for Today's Savvy Geezer!

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