8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 16, 2015 8:46 AM by lkmiller

    Keeping Nooks relevant

    Omnigeek

      B&N may be losing me as a customer for the silliest reason.

      Shortly after my year-long warranty on my Glolight expired, the rubber border started tearing and I simply couldn't get an answer on how to get a replacement.  I was pretty happy with the Glolight until then, it took SD cards and had a good resolution and lighting.  About the only complaints I had were the raised power button and limited memory (seriously, why couldn't they have doubled the memory capacity when they released it?).

      The frayed rubber was annoying but some months later, the rubber went beyond fraying and simply snapped.  Then the top frame started coming off while the Glolight was in my laptop case or cargo pocket.  Some months later, the 'n' button came out of the case and got lost -- no matter, I could still use the power button to wake it.  Then the power button came out and I had to resort to keeping a paper clip handy so I could poke at the real buttons.

      This got really inconvenient on my trip overseas as I found myself camping or hiking in conditions where having my ereader fall apart was ... suboptimal.  I started taking my HD with me on daily trips -- bad idea as it fell out of my pocket into bottom of the canoe and lay there for a good 20+ minutes (unbeknownst to me until I got out of the canoe).  I tried the bag-of-rice trick and still get a blinking red LED when trying to charge it. 

       

      Flash forward to this week.  I finally broke down and bought another ereader which shall remain nameless but it's EPUB-friendly, has excellent resolution, and I no longer have to worry about grabbing a zippered plastic enclosure to use it in the hot tub.    I found I had to hack said ereader to set my own screen saver images (randomized B&W comics).  It took a little work but the hack was fairly easy.  The new ereader has more effective memory but is a pain in the butt because it seems to crash while processing content if the EPUBs are "malformed".  It uses a backlit LED system that's okay but I preferred the Glolight display as well as the ease of turning the lighting on only when desired/needed.  I don't mind it being slightly bigger but it's heavier than my Glolight was (not by much but I was really impressed with how light and handy the NST and Glolight were).

      I would love to see a new Nook that combined the resolution and IP67 quality of my new ereader with a form factor and display quality similar to the Glolight -- and please, if you're going to use rubber bits that fray, provide a way for consumers to replace them.  I would gladly have bought a replacement rubber strip last year!  Keeping the NST form factor with an improved Glolight display and more memory would have been ideal for me -- I liked the buttons for page flips instead of continually swiping.

       

      As far as the HD goes, I preferred the HD to the Samsung NGT.  I couldn't believe how Samsung neutered the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S5 with inadequate memory when flash memory was so cheap.  I understand why BN corporate wanted to get out of the business of designing and building their own ereaders and tablets but for a short period, BN really led the way and had the best designed products.  IMO, going the walled garden route was what killed them.

        • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
          DeanGibson

          Are you in the military?  That would account for the rough wear.  Oh wait, I don't think the military (at least the USA one) uses canoes (not even in Special Ops).  Maybe you have children ...

           

          On the serious side, check out Craigslist for a used Simple Touch -- I've seen them in good condition for as little as $10.  And do note the $50 B&N rebate for old Nooks when buying a new one.

          • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
            bobstro

            Omnigeek wrote:

            [...] no matter, I could still use the power button to wake it.  Then the power button came out and I had to resort to keeping a paper clip handy so I could poke at the real buttons.

            Kudos to you for sticking with it that long. Reading this fills me with the impulse to go stand in line at the next big Apple event with a busted eInk reader (with paperclip), reading long after all the i-devices have lost their charge. I assume the NSTG had a clock? If so, I could help all the people whose watches die after 8 hours.

            Flash forward to this week.  I finally broke down and bought another ereader which shall remain nameless but it's EPUB-friendly, has excellent resolution, and I no longer have to worry about grabbing a zippered plastic enclosure to use it in the hot tub.

            If the name rhymes with "lobo", I think you'll like it. The feature I've most come to appreciate is the sync with Pocket. I routinely save articles off during the day, then read them at leisure while soaking in the evening.

            The new ereader has more effective memory but is a pain in the butt because it seems to crash while processing content if the EPUBs are "malformed".

            I've found that a pass through Calibre's "polish" function usually clears up any issues. Surprisingly, you do not have to actually convert the epubs to the alien format for them to read well. Calibre seems to do something on the transfer that causes the ebooks to be recognized as "that" format. I've quit bothering with the actual conversion process altogether.

            I would love to see a new Nook that combined the resolution and IP67 quality of my new ereader with a form factor and display quality similar to the Glolight

            That other company also has a new, smaller unit, although it's not water-resistant. From what I've read, it holds its own against Amazon's latest.

             

            The reason I mention all this is that the other company doesn't build the unit themselves. Much like B&N, they've sourced from another big overseas manufacturer. Unlike B&N, they've maintained their own character with the device. I once found a YouTube video from the actual device manufacturer, and they have a lot of other really interesting devices that B&N could offer. Unfortunately, I suspect B&N has a lot of Galaxy Tabs to sell before they meet the contractual terms with Samsung.

            [...] for a short period, BN really led the way and had the best designed products.  IMO, going the walled garden route was what killed them.

            I agree. For a bright shining moment, B&N stood out for not being Apple. Then they tried to be Apple and it killed them.

              • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                Froide

                I see that you bought a rhymes-with-Lobo ereader. Did you also buy an 8" Samsung S-series tablet?  If so, do you prefer reading on the rhymes-with-Lobo?

                • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                  Omnigeek

                  bobstro

                  Kudos to you for sticking with it that long. Reading this fills me with the impulse to go stand in line at the next big Apple event with a busted eInk reader (with paperclip), reading long after all the i-devices have lost their charge. I assume the NSTG had a clock? If so, I could help all the people whose watches die after 8 hours.

                  Here's the thing.  My Glolight still works.  I like it, how it feels and looks.  It would have remained FULLY FUNCTIONAL if B&N had just been able to sell me a replacement rubber border.  It could still be fully functional if I could get or make 3 replacement parts.  I'm thinking about trying to use a 3D printer at the local library to make replacement buttons and then maybe some kind of corner clamps and side strips to replace the rubber border but need to get a micrometer and find time.  My frustration is that B&N won't sell replacement parts for a product they still have on the shelves.  It's probably $1 in total parts that I would happily pay $5 (and begrudgingly $10) for.

                   

                  If the name rhymes with "lobo", I think you'll like it. The feature I've most come to appreciate is the sync with Pocket. I routinely save articles off during the day, then read them at leisure while soaking in the evening.

                  I use Flipboard and Evernote more than Pocket -- am trying to reset my password so I can try Pocket out in more detail but that's another story.

                   

                  That other company also has a new, smaller unit, although it's not water-resistant. From what I've read, it holds its own against Amazon's latest.

                  I like the size of this unit except the Glolight was thinner and much much lighter.  I like the addons and hacks available via Mobileread.  I just wish B&N had some vision to take the best of both worlds and introduce a Glolight 2.  The current corporate direction doesn't give me any confidence.

                    • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                      bobstro

                      The end result might not be as polished as the original, but 3D printed replacement parts are now an option, although it might be relatively expensive getting the fit just right. You could try transplanting the innards to a new case.

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                    lkmiller

                    Omnigeek wrote:

                     

                    It uses a backlit LED system that's okay but I preferred the Glolight display as well as the ease of turning the lighting on only when desired/needed.

                    Well, I thought I knew what reader you were talking about until this part.  I have one of those, and one of my favorite things is being able to turn the frontlight on, off, and adjusting it by merely running my finger up and down the left margin.

                     

                    I do agree that B&N started to lose me by going from leaders with the best readers to being out-of-date and totally left behind.  Then they started all this stupidity with the inability to sideload, and they lost me completely.

                      • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                        Omnigeek

                        I meant it's backlit by LEDs, not that the display itself is LED.  I like the resolution of the display, don't like the glass feel as much as I liked the NGL.  It is most definitely backlit, not frontlit.  I don't really care about adjusting the lighting as I generally only used the lighting when it got dark and the lighting was preset to the level I liked -- all I wanted to do was turn it on and off easily.

                         

                        I like the way this supports shelving through use of custom metatags but getting to the library seems cumbersome -- the NGL's single button worked and worked well.

                         

                        There's supposed to be an NGL Plus coming out soon.  I really don't care if it's designed in-house but I would like them to fix the things I dislike in the NGL design and adopt some of the things I've mentioned.  It seems ludicrous to me that BN could be losing customers over a stupid rubber strip.

                          • Re: Keeping Nooks relevant
                            lkmiller

                            Hmm, I thought that was still called frontlit since its not coming through the screen.  At any rate, I was actually refering to the ease of turning it on only when needed.  One thing that bugs me about the Paperwhites is that the light can't ever be completely turned off.

                             

                            I hadn't heard about the Glowlight Plus.  It would be good to see they haven't completely given up on selling real ereaders, but I don't think I'll be interested in it myself.