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Nook Color a Hit and a Miss

Barnes & Noble's hybrid device gets a lot right, some wrong.

En español | Summary:

  • Nook Color lets you read digital books, magazines and newspapers in color
  • Blurs the lines between electronic book reader and tablet
  • At $249, it costs half as much as entry-level Apple iPad — but $100 more than most e-book readers
  • Shortcomings include weight, battery drain and limited screen size for some applications

 

While they look more or less the same, there's a fairly clear distinction between an e-book reader and tablet: The former is designed to download and display electronic books, while the latter is a multifunction device that's more like a computer: It lets you surf the Web, read e-mail, play games, view photos and listen to music.

Barnes & Noble's new Nook Color ($249; bn.com/nookcolor), however, lies somewhere in the middle. While it's primarily an e-book reader — with support for more than 2 million books (along with magazines and newspapers) — it also provides some tabletlike functionality.

An oversized model of the Barnes & Noble Nook Color electronic reader is displayed during an unveiling event in New York

— JB Reed/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The price reflects this cross-pollination, as it's about $100 more than most e-book readers (including the regular $149 Nook), but half the cost of a beefier Apple iPad tablet (starting at $499).

Here's a closer look at the Nook Color, including its pros and cons.

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