Why the Nook Color is the Best Android Tablet

Since the launch of the iPad, many Android tablets have been launched, but none of them have been able to match the iPad in terms of usability, price or even apps. The iPad (and the iPad 2) starts at $499 (for the 16 GB Wi-Fi version, while most Android tablets start at $599 (Galaxy Tab) for the unlocked version. Some of them are even priced as high at $799. Now that it’s clear that none of them can beat the iPad in terms of price, I can’t think of any Android tablet that offers more bang for your buck than the iPad.

Granted that the Wi-Fi versions of the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Motorola Xoom will be priced around $499, but they still can’t beat the iPad in terms of apps. The App Store has 65,000 tablet apps while Honeycomb has just about 100. The number of apps will surely increase over time, but for the time being, the iPad is the king of the hill.

So why this post?

Well, Barnes and Noble launched the Nook Color last year to compete with the Amazon Kindle. It has a 7 inch color touchscreen display and is powered by Android. It was meant to be just a simple ebook reader, until some Android enthusiasts discovered that it could very well be used as a fully functioning tablet. It was hacked to enable Android apps, the Android Market. It also has a Cyanogen Mod 7 ROM using which you can install Android 2.3 Gingerbread on it.

In short, you can use it for almost everything that you would want to use an Android tablet for – Android apps, games, email, browsing, video, music and obviously, ebooks. Even so, it was still a slightly risky hack which deterred the average Joe from modding it to unlock its true potential.

Today, Barnes and Noble officially released a new software update (1.20) which installs Android 2.2 Froyo on your Nook Color. It brings a new App Store curated by B&N- Nook Apps which has a selection of some Android Apps. The new update makes it an even better tablet, which offers really good value for money. It is priced at just $249, which is half what the iPad is priced at. Obviously, it is not as powerful as the iPad, but it easily handles basic video playback, web browsing, light games, email and ebooks. I have been a big fan of the Amazon Kindle, but the Nook Color beats it in every aspect. Unless Amazon launches its rumored Android tablet soon, the Nook Color is poised to grab a larger share of the ebook reader market.

Coming back to the topic, the Nook Color is probably the best Android tablet you can buy today, at least in terms of value for money.

Nook Color

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  • tktim

    The Nook Color is the best value for your money. A lot more bang for your buck: The Asus ATF101 for $399 or Xoom (at Best Buy and other places).

    iPad2 32 GB vs Xoom 32 GB

    RAM 512 MB iPad2 vs 1 Ghz Xoom
    No USB port iPad2 (need external sd/usb adapters *) vs USB port Xoom
    No SD Card slot iPad2 (need external sd/usb adapters *$29) vs SD Card slot Xoom
    No HDMI output port iPad2 (need external adapter $39) vs HDMI output port Xoom
    Screen 9.7 iPad2 vs 10.1 Xoom
    Screen 1024 x 768 iPad2 vs 1280 x 800 Xoom
    Screen ppi 132 iPad2 vs 150 Xoom
    No Camera flash “bulb” iPad2 vs Camera flash “bulb” Xoom
    Camera Rear less than 1 MP (0.92) iPad2 vs 5 MP Xoom
    Camera Front less than 1 MP (0.7) iPad2 vs 2 MP Xoom
    Speaker 1 iPad2 vs 2 Speakers Xoom
    3G iPad2 vs 3G Xoom
    No 4G iPad2 vs 4G LTE Xoom
    No Barometer sensor iPad2 vs Barometer sensor Xoom
    No Browser Tabs iPad2 vs Browser Tabs Xoom
    No Adobe Flash Player iPad2 vs Adobe Flash Player Xoom
    Requires iTunes even for file transfers iPad2 vs Normal file transfers – USB, SD card, etc. Xoom

    Wifi Price 599+29+39=$667 iPad2 vs $599 Xoom
    3G Price 729+29+39+$797 iPad2 vs $799 Xoom(3/4G LTE)

    Carry On: Tablet + 3 adapters (USB,SD,HDMI) iPad2 vs Tablet only Xoom