The Barnes & Noble Nook: A Closer Look

Last Updated Dec 7, 2009 12:26 PM EST


When the Barnes & Noble Nook e-book reader was announced in October, a whopping 83% of Business Hacks readers said they were either interested in it or planning to buy one.

Folks who pre-ordered should be getting their units any time now. Everyone else will have to wait until early 2010.

In the meantime, the gadget gurus at Gizmodo managed to lay hands on the Nook, and a thorough report follows. Bottom line: "It can't kill Kindle yet, but it's an alternative worth considering." Here's a full excerpt:

Do this now: Disregard all other ebook readers on the market besides Nook and Kindle. Unless you plan to get all of your books from back-alley torrents, or stick to self-published and out-of-copyright PDFs, you are going to need a reader with a good content-delivery system, one it connects to directly via wide-area network. And as long as you're set on e-ink as your preferred means of digital reading--and it's still the choice that's easiest on the eyes and the battery--you're going to need a reader that isn't crapped up with gimmicks that supposedly compensate for the slow display.
I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I love e-books, but I have little interest in toting around a dedicated reader -- not when I can read comfortably on my iPhone.

That said, the Kindles and Nooks of the world offer plenty of appeal for frequent travelers and business users who spend of lot of time looking at PDFs.

If you've received your Nook, hit the comments and tell us how you like it. If you haven't ordered yet, did Gizmodo's review sway you one way or the other? Photo by Gizmodo.
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.