How does the new $50 NOOK tablet compare to the $50 Fire?

nook_tab_2016

Barnes and Noble has a new NOOK tablet coming on November 25th. Most recently, B & N has had a line of tablets co-branded with Samsung, but now is getting back into the tablet game again with this new budget friendly device. It’s priced at $50, clearly competing with Amazon’s 7 inch Fire tablet.

Here’s a comparison table of the specs for the two devices:

Fire 7” NOOK
Price Starting at $49.99 $49.99
Screen Size 7″ IPS Display 7″ IPS Display
Resolution 1024 x 600 (171 ppi) 1024 x 600 (171 ppi)
Colors Black, Magenta, Blue, Tangerine Black
Processor Quad-core 1.3 GHz Unknown
Alexa Enabled Yes No
Google Play No Yes
Content Access to millions of movies, TV episodes, songs, books, apps, games, and more via AMAZON Audio: M4A, 3GA, AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV, OGG, AAC

Video: MP4, 3GP, WMV, ASF, AVI, FLV, MKV, WEBM

Gallery (pictures): JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP

Reader/Other: PDF, ePUB, DRP, ePIB, HWP, HWT, HML, HWPX, DOC, DOCX, TXT, RTF, DOT, DOTX, HWDT, XLSX, XLSB, XLS, XLSM,XLTX, XLTM, XLT, CELL, HCDT, PRN, TXT, CSV, TSV, HTML, HTM, PPTX, PPT, POTX, THMX, SHOW, HSDT, HTHEME

Audio Mono speaker,

Built-in microphone

Unknown (website specs only list headphone jack)
Storage 8 or 16 GB

(expandable by up to 200 GB microSD card)

Free unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content

8GB on-board memory

Add up to 128GB with an optional microSD card and store eligible eBooks (NOOK Books® with Digital Rights Management enabled only) to make more room. All of your NOOK® purchases are stored for free in the NOOK Cloud.

Cameras VGA Front-facing camera +

2 MP rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording

Front: VGA

Rear: 2 MP

Connectivity Single-band Wi-Fi b/g/n Dual-Band (2.4GHz/5GHz) Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)

 

Battery Life* Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music Up to 7 hours of reading, watching videos and web browsing
Weight** 11.0 oz (313 g) 8.80 oz
Dimensions** 7.5” x 4.5” x 0.4”

(191 x 115 x 10.6 mm)

7.40” x 4.2” x 0.39”

 

Customer Support Screen Sharing + email, web, and phone In-store support provides assistance for setup, connectivity, and basic troubleshooting when you visit Barnes & Noble bookstores

The specs on the new NOOK tablet seem pretty comparable with the 7″ Fire. There are a few pluses for the Nook. Unlike the Fire, the new Nook doesn’t have the special advertising offers on the lock screens. It also runs a straight version of Android (6.0) and has the Google Play store installed on the tablet. (You can install the Play store on the Fire, but it involves work and whether it continues to function is at the mercy of software updates.) The new NOOK tablet also features dual band WiFi rather than the single band sported by the Fire.

The Fire, of course, now has voice integration with digital assistant Alexa installed on the device.

The tablet is available for pre-order now with free shipping on the Barnes and Noble website. Tablets begin shipping on Friday, November 25, 2016. It will also will be available in stores on Black Friday.

I ordered one of the these new NOOK tablets and will be posting a review after I have played with it for a while. 🙂

And PS: If you are interested in one, at least for the time being, the Samsung-branded NOOK tablets are still available (and at sale prices!).

Daily Links and Deals: Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales

daily_links_1Today, a look at the age statistics some think are driving ebook sales. Also, a Wisconsin library is the poster child for how e-vendor changes affect patrons, Samsung acquires an AI and a a piece on the effects of “security fatigue”. In deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga and a deal on the Alexa enabled Triby.

Daily Links for Thursday, October 6,  2016:

Wisconsin county library system informs patrons of loss of digital magazines (Talking New Media) There’s no getting around it: when libraries change vendors it can be hard for patrons.

Samsung acquires Viv, the AI bot developed by the original creators of Siri (9 to 5 Google) Will Samsung soon have its own AI system?

‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly, New Study Suggests (NIST) Raise your hand if you have ever thought, “If a large corporation like X can’t protect themselves, what can I do?

Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales Though Print Still Holds Strong (Huffington Post AU) Interesting statistics on what age groups really drive ebook sales.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals include Kindred by Octavia Butler and Wolverine: Enemy of the State: Enemy of the State Ultimate Collection by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., and Kaare Andrews.

In Today’s Deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E (3rd Gen) 11.6″ Touchscreen Convertible Ultrabook and the Triby – Smart portable speaker with built-in Alexa Voice Service in Grey.

Through October 9th, the Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap is available for $100.

This week, Prime members can save on Kindles. The basic Kindle is $50, The Paperwhite is $90 and the Voyage is $150.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find features savings on the first eleven volumes of Yusei Matsui’s global hit, Assassination Classroom. The Romance Daily Find has the three books in the Pulse Trilogy from Shoshanna Evers.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is I Know This Much Is True A Novel by Wally Lamb. The Extra Daily Deal is The Saint of Seven Dials
Collectors Edition (four books in one volume).

Also, a selection of titles called Romance On The Ice for $4.99 or Less until October Until October 31st.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until October 14, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Dating Tips for the Unemployed by Iris Smyles.

Google Books has a selection of Hot Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

 

Daily Links and Deals: Today Is International Read an Ebook Day

daily_links_1Daily Links for Friday, September 16, 2016:

Two important stories on the Galaxy Note 7: The CPSC has finally made the device recall official and a how-to on finding out if your Galaxy Note 7 is safe using your phone’s IMEI.

Today Is International Read an Ebook Day (Digital Book World) You can share your #eBookLove today and get a chance to win a tablet from Overdrive!

7 finger-friendly keyboards for tablets and phones (Computer World) These are so helpful! I use the Anker Bluetooth Ultra-Slim and it makes life so much easier.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton.

In Today’s Deals, up to 55% off select Play-Doh toys.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution by Carol Berkin. The Romance Daily Find is Dirtiest Secret by J. Kenner.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Last Dickens A Novel by Matthew Pearl. The Extra Daily Deal is Kinsey and Me: Stories by Sue Grafton.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until September 23, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan.

Google Books has a selection of Topsellers Under $10.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: Has consumer tech forgotten the baby boomers?

daily_links_1Today, an article that asks if consumer tech products are meeting the needs of baby boomers. Also, some of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones are exploding and it looks like the end of the line for Google’s Nexus. In deals, a Samsung Virtual Reality headset.

Daily Links for day, August 31, 2016:

The end of Nexus: This year’s Google phones to forge new path (Android Central) It seems that this is the end of the line for the Nexus branding.

Sling used to say it wasn’t promoting cord cutting. Now it’s running cord-cutting ads. (Recode) This showcases both a change in strategy for the company and the always delightful Danny Trejo.

Has consumer tech forgotten the baby boomers? (Recode) An interesting look at the particular tech needs of this age group.

Samsung halting some Galaxy Note 7 shipments following multiple user device explosions (9 to 5 Google) Um, you might want to hold off on upgrading for a bit…. Especially as there are stories about the phones mysteriously cracking inside bags.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Epic: Legends of Fantasy (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn) edited by John Joseph Adams. With contributions from George R R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Robin Hobb, and Paolo Bacigalupi.

In Today’s Deals, the Samsung Gear VR – Virtual Reality Headset (US Version with Warranty).

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is your choice of three history books for $1.99 each. The Romance Daily Find is Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is Map of Bones: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins. The Extra Daily Deal is Friends With Benefits Box Set (Books 1-3) (Friends With Benefits Series) by Luke Young.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Show Dog by Josh Dean.

Google Books has a selection of Hot Book Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

Daily Links and Deals: Library usage falls 14.3 percentage points since 2005

daily_links_1Today, a story about library usage falling, bad security features in Samsung’s Smart Home line and tips to keep your phone battery working for the whole day. In deals, there are savings on two Anker items, a bluetooth speaker with mic and a Qi charging pad.

Daily Links for day, May 2, 2016:

7 ways to keep your dying Android phone or iPhone alive (PC World) Great tips to help your phone’s battery keep up with you.

Even your connected car will need antivirus software (Techcrunch) First we had to re-boot our cars, now we are gonna have to virus check them?

Samsung Smart Home flaws let hackers make keys to front door (Ars Technica) A smart home is not necessarily a secure home.

Library usage falls 14.3 percentage points since 2005 (The Bookseller) Does this take into account digital visits as well as physical ones. Many people tell me they are using the library rather than pay high publisher’s prices.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers for $1.99.

In Today’s Deals,there are several Anker product deals: the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with Built-in Mic and an Anker Wireless Charger PowerPort Qi Wireless Charging Pad.

Mother’s Day is less than a week away! Amazon has some great deals on both e-ink Kindles and Fire tablets:

First, in e-ink Kindles, you can get $20 off the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and the Kindle for Kids bundle. 

There are several promotions on Fire tablets. The 7″ Fire (normally $49.99) is only still only $39.99. Amazon is also offering savings on the Fire HD 6 (8GB and 16 GB versions) and the Fire HD 10 is $50 off for a limited time. There are also still deals on pre-owned Fire tablets.

And, yes, I am also still seeing the option for 5 payments of $58 for the Kindle Oasis pre-order. Current delivery date is June 1, 2016.

Time is almost up on the trade-in offer from Amazon on your old Fire tablet.  Trade-in must be completed by May 9, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Eye Candy by Katherine Garbera for 99 cents.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is His Wicked Games Boxed Set: A Cunningham Family Bundle (Books 1, 2, and 2.5) by Ember Casey for $1.99.

And, you can still get $20 off the Kobo Glo HD.  Free shipping is included but I am not sure about a Mother’s Day delivery at this point. 😦

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes For the Sins of My Father: A Mafia Killer, His Son, and the Legacy of Mob Life by Albert DeMeo for $1.99.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)


Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

How do we define an e-reader?

kindle-381242_1280How do we define e-reader anymore? Or the term e-reading device? I ask this in all seriousness, because I think the way the terms are being used (or mis-used, as the case may be) creates a lot of confusion….

During CES2016, there was a lot of coverage about the new Samsung “Super Fridge.” The fridge featured cameras and a touchscreen and would allow you play music, stream TV, check if you are out of milk and even order groceries. Everybody was talking about this thing.  It has been mocked and joked about on the Internet.  This refrigerator is, in a way, both the poster child for everything the Internet of Things has the potential to be and, simultaneously, a symbol of status and decadence because of its expensive price tag.

Not surprisingly, shortly after the first announcement of this “Fridge of the future,” ebook blogs Teleread and The Digital Reader both asked the question, “Can you read books on it?” After, all isn’t that one of the first things we ebook lovers think of when we see shiny new electronic things?

Now, most people would probably agree that it is a stretch to call a refrigerator an e-reading device. But what about a phone? A lot of people read ebooks on their phone. So much so that I frequently see articles that refer to phones as e-reading devices. And this isn’t new.

It used to be that when someone referred to an e-reader, they meant a dedicated device, probably e-ink, that was used almost exclusively for reading ebooks. Over the last few years, that definition has gotten quite a bit looser. In 2014, I wrote a post questioning the appropriateness of calling an phone an e-reader. I wrote that piece when some article noted that apple had released a bunch of new e-readers. They were actually iPhones and iPads, not dedicated e-readers.

Please don’t get me wrong. Reading on cell phones has totally revolutionized the way we are able to read. But there is no getting around the fact that that device’s primary function is to be a phone, not an e-reader. The fact that it is capable of e-reading is definitely a bonus factor. But just because you  CAN read ebooks on a device like a phone does not mean that we should call it an e-reader.

So what’s the problem with calling a phone or a an iPad or any other tablet an e-reading device? In my opinion, quite a bit.

Every few weeks, somebody writes a piece with a variation on a title like “Why print books are better than ebooks” or   some such… Michael Hyatt’s Why I’m Putting ebooks on the Shelf for 2016 is one of the latest of these making the rounds. The problem with these pieces is that often, the points the article makes about ebooks really apply to a particular kind of device and not e-reading in general.

How many articles have you read that slam e-readers for the blue light or the backlight that keeps someone awake at night? What about all  the distractions that keep you from reading or complaints how difficult it is to take notes on a device? Each one of those questions has a different answer, depending on the device we are reading on. But the fact that all of these attributes is linked to the generic term “e-reader” can cause a great deal of consumer confusion.

If you are extremely tech savvy, the distinction probably doesn’t matter. But if you are someone looking to purchase a device, believe me, the definition does matter. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with someone who says they are looking for an e-reader. When I question them about what they want to do with the device, it becomes quite clear that what they are really looking for is a tablet that they can also use to read ebooks.

As pundits begin to question whether the time has come and gone for dedicated e-readers like the Kindle or the Kobo or a Nook, I think the term e-reader may face even more scrutiny  in the long run. Even as more and more people are reading ebooks, we are ultimately going to need to have a clearer terminology about just exactly what we call an e-reading device. It is made even more complicated by the fact that we don’t quite know what to call devices like the Nook Color, the Samsung Nook  and the Kindle Fire. Are they e-readers because you can read on them? Are they tablets because they have apps? The terminology is confusing. If anything that we can read on becomes an e-reader, then how do we differentiate? It is a conversation we need to have.

And, as more and more devices become part of the Internet of Things and become both Internet enabled and digitally interactive, we are going to need new terms to define those objects as well, particularly in terms of ebooks and e-reading. Otherwise, life is going to get pretty confusing as more and more of our lives become digitally connected.

So here I am, thinking about that Super Fridge as the symbol of my e-reader definition problem. Not long ago in my post, Are you having a problem reading?, we talked, in passing,  about the the concept of digital distraction. How distracting will this new refrigerator be if it streams my favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or plays my favorite Pandora station while I am cooking dinner?  As a lifetime reader, I cannot tell you how many meals I have scorched, burned, or otherwise been forced to salvage somehow because I had my nose stuck in a book. To tell you the truth, I am not sure I would want a refrigerator I could read on in my kitchen. And when every device in my kitchen becomes an e-reader, I have a serious temptation problem.

Can you imagine the breakfast table of the future? There I’d be, waiting for somebody to update my cereal box and worrying that my ebook was getting soggy. Thanks, but no thanks.

How about you? How do you define e-reader?