After Hours

Geek Gifts 2011: Nook Reader

For the readers on your holiday shopping list, the $99 Barnes & Noble Simple Touch eReader would be an excellent gift.

The Barnes & Noble Nook that is getting the lion's share of media coverage now is the Nook Tablet, but the Barnes & Noble Simple Touch eReader is still worthy of gift buyers' attention this holiday season. In fact, there is very little I don't like about this eReader.

Specifications

  • Nook Simple Touch eReader

    6" touchscreen

    Weight: 7.48 ounces Height: 6.5 inches Width: 5.0 inches Depth: 0.47 inches Resolution: 800x600

    Wireless connectivity via Wi-Fi

    E Ink Pearl Display

    Best-Text Technology optimizes each letter for ultra crisp words

    Battery life: You can read for more than two months on one charge. Memory: 2 GB holds up to 1,000 books; expandable microSD4 card up to 32 GB Supported file types: ePub, PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP

    Access to more than 2.5 million titles, including books, magazines, and newspapers

    Ability to borrow books from your public library.

    Ability to share recommendations on Facebook or Twitter.

    Ability to swap books with friends through LendMe.
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Price: $99.00
  • TechRepublic photos: Cracking Open the 2011 Barnes & Noble Nook e-book reader (Wi-Fi)

What I like

  • Lightweight: I spend a lot of take in doctors' offices, and I've learned to pack as light as possible for those errands. This device is a great size and weight for me to carry to these appointments. I imagine it would also be an ideal size to pack for plane rides.
  • Battery life: The fact that I would only have to charge the Nook eReader about once every two months is a huge plus.
  • Easy to read text: The device uses B&N's trademarked Best-Text Technology, and I can attest that the text was crisp and very easy to read.
  • Ability to borrow from the library: The library borrowing capability is one of my features of eReaders that offer this feature. It allows me to support our local library, get books for free, and check out and return books at any time of the day.
  • Price: The first eReader I used was the Sony PRS-600 Reader Touch Edition, and my biggest complaint was that the $299 price was too steep. That was in 2009, and since then, eReaders have come out that have more features for less money. Nook Simple Touch eReader is worth ever bit of its $99 pricetag.
  • Selection: The list of titles offered is impressive, especially when you include what you can check out from the library.
  • Apps: There are free Nook Reading apps for the iPhone, Android, iPad, PC, and Mac. I downloaded and used the Android app and found it to be a nice enhancement to the Nook experience.

What I don't like

There isn't anything I don't like about the Nook Simple Touch eReader. The only quibble I have with the device is that my account setup took a little longer than desired. I tried to set up my account several times on the eReader, and when that didn't work, I tried setting up my account using Safari. When I switched to Firefox, I breezed through the setup.

Geek bottom line

The Nook Simple Touch eReader surpassed my expectations. Unless you're in the market for a device that has more capabilities, such as the $199 Nook Color, the Nook SImple Touch eReader is sure to make any reader on your shopping list happy without breaking your budget.

Geek Gift Score (out of 5)

  • Fun factor: ***
  • Geek factor: **
  • Value: *****
  • Overall: *****

Want more reviews of tech gadgets and gizmos? Download the PDF of TechRepublic's Geek Gift Guide 2011.

About

Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.

0 comments

Editor's Picks