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Inspired Correspondent
Htom_Serveaux
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

N2E: The First Hour

My local B&N received their N2Es today, and I picked up my reserved one.  Based on less than one hour's use, here's my impressions so far.  It should go without saying (it doesn't, but it should) that these are all my subjective impressions (except where I'm reporting on physical attributes, and even then, I'm mostly just eye-balling stuff).  I've had my N1E since March of 2010.

 

I opened and powered up the N2E in the store (fully charge before use?  Nah.)  Battery was at 77% out of the box.  One thing no one has mentioned (that I've seen) is the speed of the N2E.  Everything seems snappier than the N1E.  It jumped on the store's wi-fi so fast that I thought it had failed at first.  The N2E responded crisply to touches and commands.  I believe the impression of this is going to depend on what you're used to and what you're comparing it to.  If you're comparing it to your iPad, Xoom, or even the NC, you're not likely to be impressed.  Coming from the N1E, I was.

 

The touch interface is slightly laggy and could take some getting used to if you've never used the N1E.  If you're coming from the N1E and you use the same sort of touch-and-pause method (and by pause I mean a fraction of a second) that you have to use on the color LCD screen of the N1E it works fine.  The strange cognitive dissonance of the color touch screen is gone.  That was never a biggy for me, but I do remember it taking about an hour to get used to navigating the N1E when new and, if I was away from it for a while, it taking a few minutes when I picked it back up to get back in the zone of it.  The N2E is intuitive, and I was navigiating the hell out of it from the beginning.  You know how you always wanted to touch the book title to fire it up?  Well, now you can.  I was worried that fingerprints on the screen would drive me nuts, but really, none are visible (at least not yet).

 

The "n" button works every time and quickly.  I used to get a little frustrated trying to get the LCD to come up on the N1E.  Tap the "n", nothing.  Tap it twice, nothing.  Tap it once and it comes on, but too late, I'm hitting it again and it's back to "Home" even though I wanted to change a text preference.

 

I thought I would miss the splash of color and the color book covers in the LCD screen of the N1E, but I didn't.  Not for a second.  Having the covers on the main screen, and being able to interact with them, is much more natural.  Something else I've never seemed to really notice (or at least think about later) is how annoying that bright LCD is if you're not using it and you're trying to read the eInk screen above it (until it shuts off). 

 

Reflectance of the touch screen seems to be the same as the N1E.  Holding them side by side and angling them towards the light causes the same amount of glare.  In fact, I think the N2E takes more glare to make the screen illegible, possibly due to the increased contrast of the Pearl screen.

 

Page changing only does the black flashing every few pages.  It's strange to see the page change without that flashing, and I don't know how it's implemented (buffering pages?) Somebody elsewhere mentioned ghosting.  I saw none other than when I went from a page with a dialog on it to a completely blank screen.  The dialog was ghosted on the screen until the new page's content appeared.  No ghosting during normal reading at all.

 

Registering the device was easy: enter the e-mail and password for your B&N account and my nook library was there.  The on-screen keyboard works about the same as the color one, but better (faster, and more "definite" in some way.)

 

I was unable to read any in-store books or even my library, as they refused to download.  I'm certain this had to do with the store's network infrastructure and not the N2E, as all other network functions were plenty quick (browsing titles, "More in Store", etc.) and this store is notorious (to me) for having a wonky network.  When I take my N1E in I'm more surprised when the "Read in Store" works than when it fails.  Once I got it home and got past my infamous network security (white listed MAC address, a huge hexadecimal network key) it connected immediately.  After that I was able to actually read some of my nook library (and the first book I opened came up on the same page I had stopped on with my N1E.)

 

The Pearl eInk screen background does not appear whiter (I thought it would) but the text contrast is improved over the N1E.  Not wildly better, and side by side you (or rather, I) can't tell that much difference.  But, when I moved them both incrementally away from the light source I could comfortably read the N2E screen after the N1E screen had become something of a strain to read.

 

There are more text size and font options than with the N1E, and three margin options (no, you can't have non-fully-justifed, just the choice of narrow, medium, and wide margins).  This seems like no big deal (or it did to me) but it so happens that the first book I tried had very narrow margins (heck, no margin really) one the N1E and I didn't realize how much it bothered me until I was able to incorporate a better margin on the N2E.

 

Now about that infamous bezel.  I don't know what's up with the photos on the web site, if they're scaled or if there's some optical illusion going on, but the bezel on the N2E is not too wide at all.  In fact, holding the N1E and N2E one above the other I'd say they're within a millimeter or two of being the exact same size (and may be the exact same size).  The bezel is not too wide at all, it's the exact right size for your thumb (well, *my* thumb) to rest on it without hanging off the edge or coming into contact with the screen.  The N2E does not look blocky and square in person as it does in photos.

 

I've handled the K3 and, like some others, felt that it was *too* light and thin.  I don't know how or why, but the N2E does not.  It's definitely lighter than the N1E, but does not feel fragile.  The surface of the back and bezel provides some tactile grip without being spongy or rubbery.  The indent on the back is great, and the N2E just seems right when I'm holding it.  When your hands are wrapped around the text part (and the N2E is all text part) there is no extra weight hanging unsupported outside of the grip area.

 

The page turn buttons on the bezel take a little more conscious effort to operate, but not much.  You just have to be more directly on the ridges and you don't have as much lateral leeway as you have on the N1E's buttons.  In exchange, the ridges are at least an inch tall, so you have more choice in the vertical placement of your thumb or what ever digit you use to page with.  Oddly, by default the lower buttons page *back* while reading, but page *forward* in menus and lists.  If you prefer (as I do) the N1E's arrangement you can go to Settings and make the page buttons work that way (lower for forward, upper for back) during reading.

 

It seems there were other things I wanted to point out as I composed this in my head on the ride back, but a BMW just about took me out at a light that changed suddenly red (she had to lock the brakes and turn into the curb; if I rode closer to the center of the lane she'd have got me) and I think some of my thoughts wandered away after that.*

 

So, that's the news from Kosovo for now.

 

*If you don't ride, you can't imagine how much faster an experienced or even semi-experienced rider can stop a motorcycle than you can your car.  Give us some extra room, please.

 

Contributor
mbetter
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-03-2011
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

I'm about five hours in and I absolutely love it.

 

In the first hour, I swapped the page buttons like you did but I just recently swapped them back. I realized that I'm basically pushing the page forward button all the time and if I have it on top, i can hold the N2E more comfortably. Give it a shot, I could see switching it back and forth given the specific position I'm reading in.

AlanNJ
Posts: 3,722
Topics: 64
Kudos: 1,518
Registered: ‎03-09-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

I haven't even used the buttons.  I've been doing all navigation from the screen only.

►Without order there is chaos◄
Inspired Correspondent
Htom_Serveaux
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎03-13-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour


mbetter wrote:

I'm about five hours in and I absolutely love it.

 

In the first hour, I swapped the page buttons like you did but I just recently swapped them back. I realized that I'm basically pushing the page forward button all the time and if I have it on top, i can hold the N2E more comfortably. Give it a shot, I could see switching it back and forth given the specific position I'm reading in.


I can see where that would work on the N2E.  Without the extra mass on the bottom (like the N1E) it would be natural to grip it higher up, putting the top buttons in easier reach.  I shall give that a try.  Thanks.
Wordsmith
LectorGS
Posts: 452
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

For those who may have a problem with leaving finger prints on the screen, I suggest you use a stylus.  I have been using one and it works well.  I bought a 10-dollar stylus, nothing super fancy.

 

 

Lector GS
AlanNJ
Posts: 3,722
Topics: 64
Kudos: 1,518
Registered: ‎03-09-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

I've been using my N2 for a day now and haven't seen a fingerprint on the screen.

►Without order there is chaos◄
Inspired Wordsmith
gstone
Posts: 1,317
Registered: ‎09-05-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

Does the N2E display the metadata description for sideloaded content or is it like the N1E and only displays the file properties?

AlanNJ
Posts: 3,722
Topics: 64
Kudos: 1,518
Registered: ‎03-09-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour


gstone wrote:

Does the N2E display the metadata description for sideloaded content or is it like the N1E and only displays the file properties?


Not from what I can see...

►Without order there is chaos◄
Inspired Wordsmith
gstone
Posts: 1,317
Registered: ‎09-05-2010
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

That's a bummer.

New User
jessdd
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-04-2011
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

I am in the process of doing research to decide between either the Nook 1st edition or the New Nook.  Just curious how often anyone who has the N1E uses the audio option and then whether you miss not having it with the N2E.

Inspired Correspondent
Htom_Serveaux
Posts: 146
Registered: ‎03-13-2010
0 Kudos

Re: N2E: The First Hour


jessdd wrote:

I am in the process of doing research to decide between either the Nook 1st edition or the New Nook.  Just curious how often anyone who has the N1E uses the audio option and then whether you miss not having it with the N2E.


I actually installed a microSD card in my N1E for the express purpose of placing MP3 files on it, then never did.  I never used the audio function of my N1E in a year and a half, not even once, so I expect I won't miss it much.  :smileyhappy:

 

I have a very compact Sansa MP3 player that does a much better job, I have WMP on my netbook (which often accompanies the nook and I when we go about) and even my phone has WinAmp on it.  I.e. you probably have something better (much better) for music files already on your person than the N1E is.

 

If you mean for audio books, well, that might be a different story, but I ASSume most media players handle those too, unless some specific DRM is in play that I'm not aware of.  I know my Sansa recognizes audio books separately from music files, but I don't have any on it, so I don't have details.

 

Wordsmith
LectorGS
Posts: 452
Registered: ‎04-19-2011
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Re: N2E: The First Hour

@jessdd

 

I tried the audio option on my device only once.  I tried to sideload some music and because I did not follow the steps accordingly, the music did not play.  I have the new edition, which comes without it, and to be frank, I don't miss it at all.  However, a friend of mine who also has a N1E thinks that the audio option is just, to quote her own words, :  "awesome." 

Lector GS