7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2012 7:35 AM by Alex Garcia

    Review of the ReaderDock N-Station

    Sardonic

      I just got the ReaderDock N-Station for my Nook Color and haven’t seen a review so I thought I would post one…

       

      http://www.readerdock.com/index.php/how-nstation-works/

       

      This purchase falls into the category of ‘nice-to-have’, but that’s what Father’s Day is for.  I got it mainly because I frequently read/surf-the-Net when I am eating alone and the various (and sundry) items I have been using top prop my Nook up is getting tedious.

       

      The N-Station is very good.  It is solidly built and with a wide base is very stable.  Once I got my Nook seated on the micro-USB the first time it slips right onto the USB every time now.  Which is much easier for charging; I still have trouble inserting the USB that came with my Nook.  This is an improvement.

       

      The N-Station has many notched positions between portrait and landscape and with just a twist you can set your Nook at any position.  For tilting (up and down versus flat) there is a small knob behind the holder on the stem that you loosen to adjust and tighten to lock in position.  The knob could be larger and positioned further away from the stem supporting the holder.  If you have large fingers this could be difficult.  After a few days with my N-Station I have the tilt set so it really is a minor problem for me.

      The wide base provides enough stability that adjusting the rotation or pressing ‘n’ to get to the main Nook menu can be done with one hand.

       

      For charging you must use a USB/Wall adapter like the one provided with your Nook.  Any USB adapter that plugs into a wall outlet will work.  I am using an old one from my original Nook1E.  You must use the micro-USB provided (with the special prongs) with the Nook to charge.

       

      The speakers are good, even very good, though I am not an audiophile.  And here is my biggest problem with the N-Station.  It does not have a battery supply to power the speakers.  You must be attached via USB to power the speakers, so you cannot take the N-Station and just place it on a table and listen to music or watch a movie.  A minor plus is you can power the speakers via a normal USB but you will not be ‘charging’ your Nook Color.

       

      When you connect the N-Station to your PC via the USB it does NOT connect to the PC.  I.e. you cannot sideload content to your Nook while it is in the N-Station.  This is a minor inconvenience and does not diminish the experience.

       

      Another plus is he N1E and Simple Touch both fit in the N-Station, but do not connect to the USB port.  The wings on the side that hold the Nook block the page turn buttons.  This is not an issue for the Simple Touch, but for the N1E you have to wait for the bottom screen to sleep before swiping to turn the page.

       

      The ReaderDock sells for $69.99 at the website above.  Overall I give the N-Station a solid B.  It would be an A but for the inability to power the speakers without being connected and I think this price point is a little high.

       

      At $50 I would give a B+.

       

      Not having to ‘fiddle’ with that USB cable to charge is a very big plus.  

        • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station
          petesnook

          Thank you for making the effort to post this review. It is very well done - a nice combination of facts and how the features meet (or not) your requirements.

           

          In looking at the link, I noticed one other feature that someone might find useful: The audio jack of the N-Station can be used to connect other audio devices such as MP3 players. It's not clear if one needs a separate cable or if the supplied audio cable can be disconnectred from the rear of the frame and connected to the external device.

           

          Also, the Features section specifically mentions that the Nook can be successfully connected to a computer for transferring files.  However, you indicate your experience has shown otherwise.  Have you tried both the Nook cable and a generic micro-USB cable?  Have you contacted the manufacturer for assistance on this issue? I can envision this being a useful feature if it would work.

           

          Again, thanks for this post.

          • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station
            Sardonic

            Interesting, Compulsive.

             

            I have a laptop and docking station with two USBs off the docking station.  My Nooks have always connected to the laptop and two windows explorers open (1 for the Nook and another for the SD Card) from the USBs through the dock.

             

            Therefore, I tested with a USB cable directly from my laptop to the N-Station and I still can't see my Nook on windows explorer.

             

            I also tried with the speakers both on and off and cycled the on/off while in the dock (I realize the speakers don't have any thing to do with network connectivity) and that did not work either.

              • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station

                Sardonic wrote:

                Interesting, Compulsive.

                 

                I have a laptop and docking station with two USBs off the docking station.  My Nooks have always connected to the laptop and two windows explorers open (1 for the Nook and another for the SD Card) from the USBs through the dock.

                 

                Therefore, I tested with a USB cable directly from my laptop to the N-Station and I still can't see my Nook on windows explorer.

                 

                I also tried with the speakers both on and off and cycled the on/off while in the dock (I realize the speakers don't have any thing to do with network connectivity) and that did not work either.


                Don't know. I just know it worked for me. I had to replace my NC not too long ago. With the old one, it just showed up as "media" and the sd card was just given a letter name. On the new one, it actually shows up as NookColor, but the sd card still shows up as letter. On the other hand, if I hook my NC up to my computer using the computers usb, the computer can't see it, though it will see other things (with or without the n-station). Hubby installed a usb hub for me and my computer will now see the NC with or without the n-station. Machines are fickle. :smileyhappy:

              • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station

                Dear Sardonic and fellow members,

                 

                We would like to thank you very much for posting this review and adding comments.

                 

                There are a few points in the original review we are happy to address:

                 

                1. Regarding the knob in the back -- this doesn't need to be tightened every time. Once you've adjusted the proper tension you should be able to just move the cradle up and down and it will stay in position.
                2. PC Connection -- connecting to a PC while docked should work. We've tested this many times. We can’t be sure what the problem is in your specific case, but this does work as far as the design and circuitry is concerned. Please contact us at our website if you want us to help.
                3. Battery Supply – when we envisioned the N-Station it was as a hands-free device (w/charging and sound). For example – viewing recipes in the kitchen, comfortably watching a movie or show, and so forth. We polled a lot of Nook owners and battery power or portability was only cited by around 10% as a wish for the product. It’s still something to think about though!

                 

                Finally, on price… we are a small start-up that pooled personal savings together to make this product a reality, as we saw no docking station for the Nook in existence. We simply don’t have the volume or scale (yet!) to offer a lower price point. As a small business, the production, shipping & importation charges we face are higher than major producers who can spread these expenses. What we can offer is great service and a fair price for what we feel is an excellent product. (plus free shipping)

                 

                Thank you all and please keep any comments or questions coming!

                 

                 

                Robert

                The team at ReaderDock

                • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station
                  Sardonic

                  Robert & ReaderDock Team,

                   

                  Thanks for the response; we enjoy hearing from the people and companies working to enhance our Nook experience!

                   

                  And let me say, I am really enjoying the N-Station. 

                   

                  To your first point, yes, once you get the vertical set and tighten the knob you don't have to adjust it very often.

                   

                  I don't typically write reviews, but after stumbling on your device surfing the 'Net I couldn't find many so I decided to write my own.

                   

                  After reading many, many, many gadget reviews I have learned to pay attention to the tiny details.  I frequently find this nit-picking, yet when I get a new device more often than not I find these details spot-on.

                   

                  About a battery supply, I would have been in the 90% - just get me something sturdy that holds the device and charges it.  It was only after using the N-Station for a week and experiencing how good the speakers work that I realized a battery supply would be a nice to have for sound portability; I am not in the under-30 demographic (nor the under-40) and don't like ear-buds.

                   

                  I have tried again to get the N-Station to attach to my laptop/network and been unsuccessful.  I have even tried some advanced technological processes such as 'wiggling' the USB connector, to no avail.

                   

                  I will submit a request for help on your website.

                  • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station
                    Sardonic

                    UPDATE:

                     

                    I logged my problem connecting my laptop/network via the N-Station and the ReaderDock team responded today.

                     

                    Well, problem solved.  There was one permutation that I hadn't tried.  I only use the 'special' Nook Color USB for charging.  I use a regular USB for sideloading and it has always worked fine.

                     

                    So, once I moved the 'special' USB from the wall adapter to a USB port on my network the Nook Color connected to the network.

                     

                    We are all aware of the shoddy construction of the 'special' USB (some months ago mine fell apart and I used small rubber band <used to bundle green onions> to hold it together and it works fine) and the more it is used (moving  from wall adapter to USB port does not help that situation, not to mention the trouble.  I have many USB ports so this is not an issue for me.

                     

                    Thanks for the help ReaderDock Team.

                    • Re: Review of the ReaderDock N-Station
                      Alex Garcia
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