Nookcolor: Finally, an E-Reader in Living Color

Click to zoom.
For a long time, I've hoped that someone would build an e-reader in a Kindle-like form factor, but with a color LCD display -- not because I was positive it's a better way to go than E-Ink, but because I thought it was worth a try. Barnes & Noble's Nookcolor is pretty much the e-reader I was thinking about -- and I took it for a test drive for my latest Technologizer column on

The Nookcolor isn't a Kindle killer: I think a lot of E-Ink fans aren't going to be swayed by the idea of swapping a month of battery life and a glare-free screen for eight hours on a charge, color, and touch. But the Nookcolor has a lot to recommend it (along with a few glitches which I hope B&N will fix shortly -- it's been conscientious about releasing regular updates for the original Nook).

If the Nookcolor is a hit, will Amazon respond with a color-LCD Kindle? You never know, but the most obvious answer is: no, probably not. Last year, Jeff Bezos said a color Kindle was years off; the fact that the Kindle uses E-Ink is a defining aspect of its personality. It's what makes a Kindle a Kindle, and my guess is that from this point out, e-reader buyers will get to pick from two very different approaches to e-readers. (On the other hand, it wouldn't be a stunner if other players such as Sony tried LCD.)

While I was mulling over the subject of e-readers I also blogged at Techland on the fact that I do most of my e-reading on devices that aren't actually e-readers-my iPhone, especially. I called that post "The Best E-Reader May Be No E-Reader at All."

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of PCWorld Newsletter