7 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2012 11:54 AM by bobstro

    Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"

      Chris Meadows at the Digital Reader writes, in "New iPod Touch Looks Better for Reading Than Ever":


      As I’ve said a number of times before, mostly over on TeleRead, the iPod Touch has long had the potential to be the preferred pocketable for people who didn’t want to have to pay through the nose for phone service. Pair it with a prepaid MiFi for net access and you’re good to go whenever and wherever, with no need to fret about contracts or paying for minutes you never use.

       

      The biggest new feature from an e-book lover’s point of view is the new 4” screen, same as the iPhone 5’s, which means it can fit a couple more lines of e-book text on the screen at one time (at least for reader apps that are adapted to take advantage of the new taller screen shape), and at retina resolution so it’s one of the clearest LCD screens ever, inch for inch. ...

      ...

      In a way, I feel a bit bad about plugging Apple devices like this, given the company’s many examples of reprehensible behavior over the last few years. But for all that the company has been total jerks, it is still a lot closer to owning the handheld mini-tablet niche than it is to owning the larger tablet niche. A year and a half ago I went looking for a good Android equivalent to the iPod Touch and couldn’t find one.


      This struck me when I was following the live blogging of the non-iPad-mini announcement at the big iPhone / iPod / iTunes upgrade press conference. That iPod Touch does look like it owns a particular space, which is a space that an ebook-oriented "tablet-device" maker might think of looking into.

       

      And look at Amazon: they've gone big, but they've left the pocketable LCD ereader space vacant. There may be room there to get in before Amazon.

       

      Whatever the new Nook Tablet version 2 looks like exactly, I expect B&N will probably do the same as they did when they introduced the Nook Tablet, and push the preceding tablet into the next price point down. If they price match Amazon, that is $160 for the NT version 1 and $200 for the NT version 2.

       

      The easiest way to hit a lower price point is to do a "NTv1 mini", which would keep the pixel density of the NTv1, which at 5" would be a resolution of 500x854 ~ and the closest Android equivalent is the Samsung Galaxy S MP3 Player, with a WVGA 480x800 resolution.

       

      The more aggressive design is to retain the 600x1024 resolution, which would provide substantially higher pixel density on a 5" screen. Other than the form factor, the other big change to include would be the one that I am hoping comes with the NT version 2, which is louder, stereo, speakers.

        • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"
          bobstro
          The Kobo Mini is a 5 inch eInk reader, sort of a smaller NST. It's definitely a reader, and not a tablet, but it has the outdoor readability and battery life expected of an eInk device. Samsung also has a 4.something inch mini device that looks very much like it larger full-on tablet brethren.
            • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"

              bobstro wrote:
              The Kobo Mini is a 5 inch eInk reader, sort of a smaller NST. It's definitely a reader, and not a tablet, but it has the outdoor readability and battery life expected of an eInk device. Samsung also has a 4.something inch mini device that looks very much like it larger full-on tablet brethren.

              Samsung has two small players in its Galaxy line. They have a 4.2 and a 5" (they also have a 3.6). I just bought the 4.2 to replace my ipod and love it. I didn't buy it for reading, but I've played around with reading apps and really enjoy using it. I looked at the Galaxy Player 5, but it seemed too big to be pocketable to me. Disclosure: I am a 5 foot tall woman, my pockets are small. 

               

              My ipod was an old 5th gen nano, but I had originally wanted to replace it with an ipod touch (my son has the 2nd gen touch). But Apple made me mad when they updated itunes and broke some stuff that made our ipods much less useful and their respnse to me was "just buy new ones."

               

              If B&N had a mini tablet in the 4" range, I probably would have at least looked into it. I don't have a smartphone and probably won't be getting one in the foreseeable future. I'm not sure how useful these little media players are if you own a smartphone, since it's basically a smartphone without cell service.

            • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"

              Just my uneducated opinion here.

               

              I can't think of very many good reasons to pick a 5" device for reading OVER

               

              - Something like the Samsung S3 or Nokia Lumia 920 or oPhone 5.

              - A 7" Tablet

              - A 6" eInk eReader.

               

              I think the real direction to go in is flexibility or split screen which allows flexibility. Amazon has a patent on a splittable three screen Device that folds up into one third the size.

               

              I think Qualcomm or Apple also have patents in related areas.

               

              That would be a real solution.

                • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"
                  roustabout

                  If you're already carrying a smart phone with a good-sized screen, absolutely, a 5 inch player is gilding the lilly. 

                   

                  If you don't need or can't afford a personal cell phone and the monthly bill that comes with then a pocketable wifi-only device is a great tool to have.  I'm particularly fond of using mine along with B-folders as a repository for things that are easily organized in a contact database but absolutely can't be left unsecured or in the google cloud.  If I had kids, I'd be all over getting them media players instead of phones or iPods. 

                   

                  Recently I've added a cell phone to the mix because work doesn't pay for me to talk to my family and right now there are some calls coming that I have to take in real time or close to it.

                   

                  I'm a news junkie, and find that on the phone and on the media player, I am primarily intersted in reading news - newsrob for my rss feeds and lately Flipboard for pure, delicious gobs of eye candy. 

                   

                  If I have time and inclination to read longer format stuff, I'm going to go for a larger but not too-large screen.  I like the glow and the tablet for reading novels, but I don't carry either everywhere.  I carried the media player everywhere, and now carry the cell everywhere. I sometimes carry both, especially if I happen to want a half-decent camera. The media player has a remarkably good camera. 

                    • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"
                      keriflur

                      roustabout wrote:

                      If you're already carrying a smart phone with a good-sized screen, absolutely, a 5 inch player is gilding the lilly. 

                       

                      If you don't need or can't afford a personal cell phone and the monthly bill that comes with then a pocketable wifi-only device is a great tool to have.  I'm particularly fond of using mine along with B-folders as a repository for things that are easily organized in a contact database but absolutely can't be left unsecured or in the google cloud.  If I had kids, I'd be all over getting them media players instead of phones or iPods. 

                       

                      Recently I've added a cell phone to the mix because work doesn't pay for me to talk to my family and right now there are some calls coming that I have to take in real time or close to it.

                       

                      I'm a news junkie, and find that on the phone and on the media player, I am primarily intersted in reading news - newsrob for my rss feeds and lately Flipboard for pure, delicious gobs of eye candy. 

                       

                      If I have time and inclination to read longer format stuff, I'm going to go for a larger but not too-large screen.  I like the glow and the tablet for reading novels, but I don't carry either everywhere.  I carried the media player everywhere, and now carry the cell everywhere. I sometimes carry both, especially if I happen to want a half-decent camera. The media player has a remarkably good camera. 


                      You could just get a cell phone with an SD card slot and a good camera, and lighten your load by one device.  :smileywink:

                       

                      I also do not carry my NST, unless I'm going somewhere where I know I'll have some dedicated reading time.  For everything else I just read on my phone (which has a 32gb SD card and 8mp camera).  I recently moved from a 4.3-inch screen phone (Rezound) to a 4-inch screen phone (Dinc 4g) because the Rezound was a bear, and I honestly don't notice much of a difference screenwise.  As the big battery drain on backlit devices isn't page turning, it's having the screen on, the fact that I'm probably turning pages slightly more often probably makes no difference at all.

                       

                      So for me, I see no need for a 5-inch device.  It seems to me like a weird, in-between size, too big for my pockets (I have girl-sized pockets, the Dinc is almost too big), but too small for comfortable long-term reading.

                       

                      As far as the monthly cost of a cell phone - if you don't have a household of kids all sharing a landline, it's completely doable to drop the landline and use those funds to pay the monthly on a cell phone or two.  I haven't had a land line in over 5 years and don't miss it one bit.

                        • Re: Nook Tablet mini? "New iPod Touch Better for Reading Than Ever"
                          bobstro

                          keriflur wrote:

                          [...] I also do not carry my NST, unless I'm going somewhere where I know I'll have some dedicated reading time.  For everything else I just read on my phone (which has a 32gb SD card and 8mp camera).  [...] As the big battery drain on backlit devices isn't page turning, it's having the screen on, the fact that I'm probably turning pages slightly more often probably makes no difference at all.


                          I'd rather keep my phone battery life for "important" things like calls, calendaring, alarms and similar work tasks. Carrier network connectivity gives me a constant time source for travel between timezones, so it's my alarm clock. I'll listen to MP3s on a flight, but while I can watch a movie on a 4 inch screen, I'm not that desperate to fill every minute with media consumption. My phone is for "checking things", not doing things. I'd rather have a smaller phone than my now-aging Droid 2, and dedicate it to those sorts of tasks, plus hotspot functionality. Key is that it be small enough to always be with me, and always have battery left for essential functions.

                           

                          As far as which larger device to use, it depends on where I'll be. If I'm at home or on business, a 7 inch color tablet is perfect. In this mode, using the device is likely my focus. It's large enough to take notes on, small enough to use in a crappy coach seat, it's great for reading and it fully integrates with the apps on my phone. This is my device for "doing things", mostly indoors. For work, that's email, calendaring and notes. Between the rear-facing camera for whiteboard captures and a good tablet keyboard, I've been able to eliminate using a paper notebook. If I'm away from wifi, I can fire up the hotspot on my phone briefly and still get things done. Since getting a tablet, my laptop has essentially become a traveling desktop for writing documents. For home, the 7 inch tablet is used for email and reading. 

                           

                          A smaller eink device is ideal for idle time. In this mode, the device is incidental to what else I'm doing. I'll read if I have a few minutes, but it's strictly a nice-to-have. Extended battery life and daylight readability are more important factors for "beach nook". I don't want to be worried about finding AC power or futzing with cables. The NST is hardly cumbersome, but I would be interested in seeing how small they could make a device with the same screen as the new Kindle. I like the idea of a sealed capacitive screen instead of sand-attracting gaps for IR sensors. Size-wise, I'm interested in the Kobo Mini just to see how usable a 5 inch screen is for reading. With eink, I'd expect it to be fine. Wifi is mostly for syncing. Pocketability is key, but not at the expense of readability. I'm in the "thin 5 or 6 inch" mindset for this device.