Previously, pnosker.com staff writer David Liu expressed excitement over the newest Nook Color update, which we’ve previewed in the past, being released. He says if you want a tablet and are on a budget, then the Nook Color is probably your best option. I’m here to offer a counterpoint: even if you’re on a budget, the iPad is still the better tablet to buy and will be worth your money.
In case you missed it, the Nook Color finally received its much anticipated firmware update to essentially make it a dirt cheap tablet as it still retails at $249.99. That’s probably the best price for a legitimate tablet PC out there but unless price is the only thing you’re considering and just want to show your friends how you’re “hip” and have a tablet, there’s no reason to not save up your money and go for the iPad or better yet, the iPad 2, whose entry level price point (with Wi-Fi and no 3G) is $499.
When you compare operating systems, there isn’t really much discernible difference we don’t think. One is iOS and the other is Android 2.2. Not anything groundbreaking on either side. The iPad 2 is probably more powerful but that’s exhibited in the price point so that’s expected. And if you didn’t see a computer company having a more powerful machine than a book seller, then you should just go get your D.O. from Antigua and talk to me later.
Apple obviously has a much better reputation as a technology company too. While they’re obviously going to do what Apple does and put out a slightly better product every year, who’s to say that Barnes & Noble won’t do the exact same thing ever year when they need to make some money? At least with the iPad and other Apple products, you know you’re at least getting an iOS improvement if nothing else. Who knows if B&N has any kind of budget to do anything technologically? They’ll have the same OS that your Smartphone has. Fantastic.
Which brings me to my next point: nobody knows if Barnes & Noble will even be in business in a couple of years. Similar, albeit smaller, stores like Borders have already gone under and Amazon is crushing B&N in book sales. Prior to this update, the Kindle was the market leader in the e-reader category. You probably don’t know anyone with a Nook Color and still probably won’t. You’re not going to look cool with it. People will probably wonder if Barnes & Noble still is in business.
The Nook’s screen isn’t going to look as pretty as the iPad’s either. One’s bigger and beautiful while the other was designed to read books. You do the math. One is a miniature computer essentially. One was a poor man’s Amazon Kindle, which isn’t exactly the most beautiful thing in the world.
The App Stores aren’t comparable either. While Apple has its long running App Store that dates back to the iPhone’s introduction almost four years ago, Barnes & Noble’s is in its infancy and they’ll have to rely on the fledgling Android version, which doesn’t compare to Apple’s.
Keep in mind that GarageBand and iMovie have also been released at a price point of $4.99 for the iPad 2. Beat that Barnes & Noble. Unless they start selling their delicious pastries through theirs that immediately appear at my fingertips, no thanks.
The iPad has the sleekest design and will get people talking to you. The Nook Color will just make people wonder about that book store that used to be down the street.
We all know that Apple isn’t going out of business any time soon and will likely continue to prosper as it dominates the Smartphone, notebook and tablet markets even with Steve Jobs on medical leave.
Engadget recently declared the iPad 2 THE tablet PC on the market and that’s not going to change just because an e-reader upgraded. Save up for the iPad 2. The Nook isn’t worth it. By the way, iBooks allows the iPad to read books too so it wins there as well.