∞ The stupid iPad article from the Wall Street Journal

If I were to give a stupid award, today’s would easily go to the Wall Street Journal’s Brett Arends for his latest iPad article.

[ad#Google Adsense 300x250 in story]His article entitled “Move Over, Apple! My Tablet Cost $200,” goes through the process of purchasing a tablet, but he admits he didn’t want to spend $500 for an iPad. His choice? A Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

He calls it a tablet, but it’s not a tablet. That point had to be made.

Comparing the Nook to an iPad is like rolling up to a new Ferrari with your 1974 Pinto and bragging that your car was cheaper.

Arends Nook didn’t really do anything out of the box, other than reading magazines, which it was intended to do. He had to run a hack on the software so it would run Android. The hack, of course, is done at your own risk, so if you screw it up, you have a dead Nook and will have to go buy an iPad anyway.

Photo courtesy Joe's Pinto Page

Hacking a Nook to have limited functionality is like throwing a spoiler on the ’74 Pinto and believing you’ve changed the car.

So, when he finished, how did it work?

“It doesn’t have any cameras. It has a slower processor. It’s not for power users. The video support is pretty limited. A few Android programs still won’t run on it. And dedicated gamers will doubtless find it frustrating,” wrote Arends.

And with all that said, he seems thoroughly impressed with his new tablet.

If this is your idea of a tablet, then Apple probably doesn’t want you anyway. Apple takes pride in its design, software and user experience. Clearly, Arends doesn’t.

Enjoy your Pinto.



  • http://twitter.com/rennarda Andy Rennard

    Or, for about the same price, buy an iPod Touch

    • Anonymous

      a.k.a., the “iPad nano”

  • http://crankygeek.com Jack Brewster

    What I want to know, Mr. Dalrymple, is what exactly is your problem with ’74 Pintos?

    • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

      LOL! Nothing as long you don’t get hit from behind :)

      • Peter Cohen

        That’s what SHE said.

        • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

          I knew someone was going to say it

          • http://www.facebook.com/Jeff.Faria Jeff Faria

            Someone always says it. It’s one of life’s three inevitabilities: Death, Taxes, and ‘That’s what SHE said’.

      • https://me.yahoo.com/a/qJDryvoEhIjGtA2dj4aHrLkq7FQfZ16q0g--#47896 The Cappy

        The Pinto analogy is incorrect. The original intent of a Pinto is as a car.

        A better analogy is a guy bragging his car cost less than yours — then you find out he bought a lawn-mower and fiddled the engine to get it to go 25 mph down the street. You might ruin the lawn-mower trying to goose it like that, and even if it works, it blows as a car.

        THAT’S the right analogy.

    • EmbeddedInAmerica

      “What exactly is your problem with ’74 Pintos?”

      Ah yes, back in the day, when the Ford Pinto was knicknamed “Chariots of Fire.” There was that whole little to-do about where the Pinto had its gas tank situated and rear-end collisions.

      Other than that PR nightmare, it was a cool car.

  • http://www.istockphoto.com/DionLynk Dion Lynk

    What a D B! (Rhymes with Loose Tag) Apple haters, “The ground has and will continue to shift under your feet”. The nook is a good book reader, but not in the least a competitor to the ipad first gen, let alone the ipad 2. The ipad’s ibook reader trumps the nook’s reading experience and it’s not even the focus of the ipad, it is however the main idea of the nook. Here’s to you “lame article WSJ blogger”.

    • Anonymous

      The iBook experience is horrible. The iPad is a wonderful device, but it succeeds as an ebook reader only via the Kindle app.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594289803 Jerry Ballard

        Right… I love noting my page on the Kindle as ‘location 17957′. That is truly brilliant design.

        • Jouster

          Page numbers are now supported on the Kindle.

    • http://twitter.com/shigzeo shigzeo

      Apple’s iBook is quite horrid. Why design a digital reading platform to mimic a book? Unneeded page turn animations, left over page effects, the book shelf – it is all backward, pointing to an analogue world, when its design should embrace its platform. Apple make great hardware, but lately, I choose anything but their staple software choices for the same task as too much space is devoted to otiose graphics that point to nothing but analogue nostalgia.

      • Anonymous

        I happen to like iBooks. So it must be just a matter of opinion… unless you believe that YOUR opinion is somehow naturally tuned to some cosmic righteousness.

  • Guest

    Yeah, you might be right in your points. But what is the purpose for being a total dick about it? This pretentious article has made me decide to unsubscribe from this feed. I don’t need this kind of negativity in my life, let alone on my internet.

    • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

      Sorry to see you go.

      • Peter Cohen

        I’m not.

      • http://joostschuur.com Joost Schuur

        Don’t worry, Jim. I just subscribed to the feed to make up for ‘Guest’.

        • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

          Thanks :)

        • http://joostschuur.com Joost Schuur

          Well, crap, turns out I already was subscribed.

          Guess that shows you something about brand awareness when you follow a site via RSS, doesn’t it?

    • http://twitter.com/CamilloMiller Camillo Miller

      I’d love to see “your internet”, but I don’t do drugs, fortunately.

    • CP

      You didn’t have to post an anonymous comment, Brett.

      • http://www.loopinsight.com Jim Dalrymple

        ROTFL!!!

    • http://www.bynkii.com/ John C. Welch

      Shouldn’t you not be posting negativity if you don’t like negativity? You were pretty harsh on Jim there, you may have even hurt his feeling.

      I’m unsubscribing from you Guest. Your negativity on my internets is really harshing my mellow.

      • http://www.theuniversalsteve.com Anonymous

        Good thing Jim only has one feeling to hurt.

      • Erik

        Nice double negativities, there. ‘Shouldn’t you not be’ should be ‘Should you be’. Just sayin’.

        • http://www.theangrydrunk.com The Angry Drunk

          Despite what your third grade teacher told you, using double negatives won’t cause the Earth to explode. John’s syntax was perfectly comprehensible. Also, I’m going to kill the fucker who started this “just sayin’” shit.

    • Sean

      Seriously?! If you’re on the internet and don’t want negativity, then you’re probably going to have to either spend ALL of your time, on LOLCats, or just disconnect completely… (Although, you may encounter some negativity on LOLCats if you find that one of the cats “can’t has a cheezburger”).

      • http://twitter.com/jmproffitt John Proffitt

        Are you kidding? Those LOLcats are nasty. They shred the couch, pee on the bed, bring in dead birds, eat your cheezburgers…

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      I enjoy seeing the influx of new Loop readers from Jim’s articles on TechCrunch and ZDNet. They’re all so cheerful and supportive.

      • http://twitter.com/darxmac thomas

        And Daring Fireball, oh how i applaud Gruber for not allowing comments on his site ..

        • http://joostschuur.com Joost Schuur

          Which solves two problems in one: He doesn’t have to deal with the wide array of eccentrics that they attract, and I’m not tempted to read them (which I’ve apparently failed to heed here)

        • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

          Still, if you manage to ignore the loons — or have fun making fun of them — then you’ll find some great commenters and discussions here.

    • Guest

      Your Internet? lol Comment of the century.

    • waitWHAT?

      Don’t let the door hit you on your… well on second thought, I hope it does.

    • Anonymous

      You ARE the negativity in your life.

      This guy and his opinion aren’t the reason you feel plagued.

    • His Shadow

      What is this disease that permeates the internet? This disease that demands attention for the act of stating one is no longer going to pay attention?

      Arends article is garbage. Fools should not be suffered gladly, and Jim’s is hardly being a dick, never mind a total dick, even tho Arends deserves no respect for his ridiculous anti-Apple articles. Jim is merely pointing out that Arends comparison is nonsense, which it is. Objective journalism is not pretending every viewpoint, no matter how ignorant, is somehow worthy of respect. There is no point claiming to be objective when you are just fence sitting. The whole point of looking at both sides is to determine which side makes more sense, whose argument is supported, not protecting everyone’s feelings by ignoring glaring errors in positions.

  • Figurative

    Not to mention his time to do the research and hacking. It always cracks me up to read accounts where some nimrod spends countless hours to do mods and hacks in order to save a few bucks. As if their time was worthless.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcus-R-Moore/676140569 Marcus R. Moore

      Isn’t it?

    • Dontspammebro

      Their time is worthless, look at what they do with it.

      Now if they got a job and moved out of their Moms’ basements…

    • Andy in Indy

      Let’s count the hours, shall we:

      He read an Article on Ars Technica & thought it sounded easy enough – 5 min He downloaded 2 files from the internet – 10 min on broadband Booted and registered his nook – 10 min Loaded his program on the nook – 10 min (not really that long, but we’ll guess) Re-booted the nook & signed onto Google account. – 15 min

      Are you really dissing this guy for spending less than an hour to save (in his mind) about $200? He doesn’t think his time is worthless, he thinks it worth about $200 per hour.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marcus-R-Moore/676140569 Marcus R. Moore

        Yeah, to get what he admits is a fraction of the functionality and performance of the device that cost $200 more. Wow, he wins!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594289803 Jerry Ballard

        Its not the time (or lack thereof) that he invested in his experiment. Its that he’s recommend this to unwary readers that they try this themselves, somehow indicating that it will result in an experience in any way competitive with the iPad.

    • SteveP

      His clearly is.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, what a bunch of losers. What good has ever come from geeks experimenting with technology in a garage?

  • CJ

    I hear Radio Shack is coming out with a Tablet…the TandyTab. $100, black & white. No motion, all stop frame stuff. Killer calculator on it.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      Also boots up in DOS and gives you a blinking green-screen cursor.

      • Drsbmac

        Sorry – the blinking green-screen cursor is an option and won’t be available for at least 3 OS upgrades.

    • http://www.powerwatchers.com/ Dean Lewis

      Now, now. They have CoCo technology at the ready. That TandyTab can have up to 64 colors on the screen at one time!

    • kirkgray

      I heard it was going to be called the TRS-tab.

      • Anonymous

        I heard it was going to be called the Kindle.

  • Guest

    iPad fan boys are funny. I think this article won the Stupid Award.

    • YossarianLives

      Yay! Another guest with something profound and new to bring.

      Care to elucidate on your point? You seemed to finished before any intellectual discourse was allowed to commence.

      • Anonymous

        Well, the original article was written after actually using a Nook and evaluating its strengths and weaknesses. This article boils down to “it’s not an iPad so it sucks”.

        • YossarianLives

          But Arends is comparing it to a product that he hasn’t even seen, only heard about. So what is your point?

          This article is an exposé of the hatchet-job review (which is more like ” It’s not an iPad therefore it is great ” ). The original is dismal, going on for paragraph over paragraph trying to justify a piece of garbage that’s he’s chosen to buy, made worse since it was posted in a supposedly reputable publication.

  • Shock Me

    Isn’t the Nook $250 retail?

  • http://www.theuniversalsteve.com Anonymous

    I had a 1974 pinto. It was pea soup green. There are two things I remember about it: when I let up on the gas pedal it decelerated as if I had jammed on the brake, and it had the most comfortable driver’s seat of any car I’ve ever owned. I managed to never get rear-ended so I survived owning the car. I sold it to a friend of a friend for $600 some time around 1986. As far as I know he didn’t get blown up either.

  • Anonymous

    I tried to convince myself that my hacked MSI wind was a MacBook – except it was slower, had no backlit keyboard, the camera didn’t work and I couldn’t update it.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, I had a ’72 Pinto and as long as no one rear-ended you, the car ran great (even after an oil change place drained the oil and, because my girlfriend forgot what kind to put in it, let her drive it with no oil.) We put 10k on that car with no regrets!

    p.s. ours was orange.

  • Anonymous

    Did he have to use a PC to hack the Nook? If so, that’s technically part of the cost.

    • The Om3ga Man

      So by that logic a pc or mac needs to be included into the cost of a I pad too.

      If you buy SD card with code already on it then a pc is not required for the book.

      • Anonymous

        They will activate iPad at Apple Store in minutes, for free. A Mac or PC is optional.

  • http://twitter.com/dallasmarks Dallas Marks

    Sadly, it’s the most popular article on the WSJ web site. Nook, schnook.

  • Anonymous

    «Arends Nook didn’t really do anything out of the box, other than reading magazines, which it was intended to do. He had to run a hack on the software so it would run Android. The hack, of course, is done at your own risk, so if you screw it up, you have a dead Nook and will have to go buy an iPad anyway.»

    To be fair to Barnes & Noble and the Nook, though, the SD card has boot priority so you can’t ever completely screw up the device. If you totally botch the on-device install, just pop a clean OS image on an SD in and reboot – good as new.

    The article isn’t quite as bad as you make it out to be, Jim. Arends mentions all the caveats about the iPad offering more than a rooted Nook Color, but makes the argument that the Nook Color meets the needs of some subset of would be iPad owners, which I think is perfectly legitimate. He doesn’t bash the iPad (or the Xoom or the Galaxy, which he also name checks); he praises the capability and utility – and price! – of the Nook Color, and uses that as a segue into a discussion of the likelihood of significant profits accruing to manufacturers on the high end of the nebulously-defined “tablet market.”

    It’s actually decent analysis, with a glaring oversight in that it doesn’t consider the value to consumers of superior user experience. It’s based on a cohort of users who don’t care about user experience, and assuming that they will constitute the majority of the market. Apple’s bet, if I read it correctly, is that the majority of the market will appreciate superior user experience and pay a premium for it – even though the iPad is currently the bargain-priced item! If anything, the Nook Colors of this world will eat away at the share of the Galaxy Tabs (same screen size, same OS), not the iPad, but that wasn’t Arends’ thesis anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Hacking a Color Nook appeals to the same sorts that hacked a Dell Mini 9. It’s smaller, slower, cheaper. Did I say slower? Yeah, it’s more just a thrill that you can do it, rather than something you want to do anything meaningful with. It’ll be 2 weeks before Arends sticks his Nook in the bedside drawer and forgets it’s there.

    • The Om3ga Man

      Is that the drawer right next to the waste basket probably containing his ipad?

  • Anonymous

    I think you’re being unfair to Pintos Jim. And I have some Pinto horror stories. (But at the same time, it was when I was traveling cross-country with six attractive women on the way to college. So it wasn’t all bad.)

    It’s more like you would pull up next to a Ferrari driving a pedal car.

    • The Om3ga Man

      If you have never tried it, then you do not a valid perspective to be able to draw any functional comparisons.

  • Anonymous

    The fact that the Nook can be turned into a reasonable android tablet, considering the price of it compared to some of the other android tablets out there is pretty interesting.

    It seems your actual issue with the article is that it mentions the iPad at all, and this is horribly offensive that someone could consider a somewhat hacky android tablet in any way comparable to the iPad.

    So, how is it stupid to say “there’s an interesting way to get a $200 tablet. It’s not as good as an iPad, but it’s good for me, and maybe other people!”.

    Maybe it’s a Ford Focus to a Ferrarri, but hey, lots of people drive them. The article didn’t imply otherwise.

    Stay classy, stay smug, eh.

    • Jouster

      Ford Focus’ll get you from A to B without being…uh….rooted.

    • Steven Fisher

      If that’s all you think it can do, it’s wasted on you.

    • Anonymous

      A horse with three legs is “pretty interesting.” That doesn’t make it useful.

      Also, your “lots of people drive them” remark is sound, but misapplied as you completely or intentionally miss the fact that it is the iPad that lots of people “drive” and the non-iOS competitors which few drive. The Ferrari is driven by few, but at least has the advantage of being uniquely powerful and appealing. The Xoom, for example, is like a Pinto with a Ferrari price. Driven by few, ugly, and useless to boot. Has none of the upside of either car and the downside of both.

      Those who imagine that the majority embrace non-iPad solutions and that somehow Apple is out of touch with the needs of the common people are themselves isolated and deluded. The public world-wide has voted for Apple with the only votes that matter… cold, hard cash.

    • Player_16

      Brett Arends has form when it comes to Apple. Check out his other articles like… http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-the-ipad-could-cost-you-more-than-the-xoom-2011-03-08 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124821056118269783.html See, he’s more into finance; not tech. He’s just poking around with lots of ‘street’ cred instead of tech cred which was why he referred to Ars for written advice.

    • Anonymous

      It isn’t that Jim is offended, but that regular consumers don’t understand that although Nook is 50% of the price of an iPad, it has only 1% of the functionality. It’s a book reader, or it’s a nerd toy, but it is not an iPad. Pretending Nook has even 50% of the functionality of iPad is doing a disservice to users. It’s like saying don’t buy a MacBook Air, buy a can of tuna, it’s cheaper and it is also made out of aluminum. Who does that help? Saying you can save money if you only want book reading is good advice, same as recommending an iPod to people who only want music listening. End of story.

  • Mace

    Did you just say that the iPad is for power users? Really…I mean cmon I love apple, he’ll im ousting this from my ipad but it ain’t no tool for power users…blogging, or reading blogs doesn’t make u a power user btw

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594289803 Jerry Ballard

      You really need to do some investigation to make better use of the tool you have in your hands if that’s all you’ve been able to figure out to use it for.

    • Anonymous

      Also, newsflash… 99% of people who use computers are not “power users,” whatever that term even means. Most people want to just use a mobile computing device for information access, exchange, and communication. And sincerely, anyone using an iPad who can only figure out how to read blogs from it is a kind of dim that no gadget can ever remedy.

      It’s like walking out of a library and claiming it is useless because the “only” thing the books were “good for” was building a book fort.

      Step up your game, Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.

  • Anonymous

    I’d rather have an iPad than a Nook Color, if I had to have just one of those two (as it turns out, I own a Kindle, but no iPad … yet).

    But I’d rather have the Pinto than the Ferrari, in practical terms. After all, for the price of an oil change in the Ferrari, you could buy another Pinto.

    Unlike the iPad, which is very price competitive with its… actual competitors (the Xoom at least comes close to it, unlike a hacked Nook), the Ferrari really is all nameplate and prestige pricing. You can get most of the performance (like 99%?) for a lot less money with a Corvette*.

    (* And I say this as someone who has never liked them … or Ferraris.)

    • Player_16

      Have you ever changed oil in a car? Too easy…

  • Guest

    Brett Arends sounds like the winner to me. No doubt he got paid for his time to hack the nook, got paid to write the article and im pretty sure the nook will go on his expenses too. It’s no wonder he was thoroughly impressed…

  • rickg

    I stopped reading when you said “The hack, of course, is done at your own risk, so if you screw it up, you have a dead Nook and will have to go buy an iPad anyway.” which is not, in fact, correct. One of the nice things about the NC is that there’s a documented way to reload the OS from its internal storage. You can get back to the OS that shipped on the Nook Color in minutes.

    I have an NC, rooted. It’s a nice, light alternative to an iPad. If what you want is primarily an ereader that can double as a light duty tablet, it’s fine. GMail, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Angry Birds (and most games that don’t need accelerometers, etc) and most videos work perfectly well on it. For casual, around the house use it’s perfect. It’s an especially good buy at the moment when tablets are evolving so quickly.

    Is it an iPad? No. Do I care? Not that this moment. I don’t have a need for most of what an iPad does. I might in the future and if I do, I’ll buy an iPad. However, unlike Jim, I’ll know what the hell I’m talking about when I review one

    • Anonymous

      And these are the people the article was talking about: the (lesser) utility the Nook Color provides, particularly once rooted, meets their current needs and the price is great. If these people turn out to be the majority of buyers in the tablet market over time, then the expected profits will not accrue to Apple, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, HP, RIM or Google.

      THIS article is an overreaction to Arends.

    • Anonymous

      Paying 50% of the price of an iPad to get 1% of its functionality is not a bargain for 99.9% of Arends’ readers. It’s bad advice, plain and simple.

      iPad is $499 and goes 10 plus hours per day for 2 years and then you sell it for $250. It is the cheapest tablet. Period.

      • FormerNookOwner

        The nookcolor is not 1% of the functionality, that’s pretty dumb. In some ways, it has more functionality than the iPad since the rooted NC has access to Android Market. Apple won’t allow all sorts of good (and bad) things into the App Store, Google isn’t so particular. I wouldn’t say NC is much less functional at all, only that it isn’t as good.

        And your claim that the iPad is the cheapest tablet, “period” is even worse. The NookColor costs you $250 or less NOW, you don’t have to sell it in 2 years to get to $250. (And guess what, an iPad won’t be worth $250 after 2 years. If it goes from $499 to $325 (less eBay fees) after 1 year, what happens after another?)

        As I wrote in another post, I sold my NookColor. It didn’t meet my needs and I think an iPad will meet them. But your lame assertions and imaginary statistics lend nothing to the argument.

  • Steven Fisher

    It worries me a little that the “Except for exploding on impact, the Pinto was great!” people are sane compared to the “Of course a shitty tablet is as good as the iPad!”

  • Andrew

    I don’t think your comparison to a Pinto is appropriate. I would say the apt comparison would be something like a Porsche to an ice cream cone.

  • Anonymous

    I keep thinking of the Apple = Ferrari analogy, but it’s not really appropriate. Ferraris are true high-end luxury items. They’re competing against yachts, helicopters, beachfront condos, and Rolls Royces in terms of disposable income.

    But Macs, iPhones, and iPods are just slightly more expensive than competing products (if there are any.) And their total cost of ownership is lower since Apple products last years longer than those made by their ruthlessly cost-cutting competitors.

    But iPad is in a different class entirely. There really are no usable competitors that cost less. And Apple’s economy of scale will make it nearly impossible for any competitor to beat iPad on price with anywhere near the quality.

  • http://twitter.com/Kevniv Kevin N

    Why do you care?

  • Anon

    This comment thread is a good example of why Daring Fireball doesn’t have threads. Doesn’t add value to the original post.

  • Kmccmack

    Pinto vs, Ferrari, that’s why I hate analogys. People spend too much time fitting the argument to a specious comparison, when we should be comparing the iPad to Nooks.

    I happen to have spent a lot of time with both devices. The Nook Color has a lot going for it, for the price. If you’re the kind of person who likes taking things apart and putting them back together in new and novel ways, then the Nook is right in your wheelhouse.

    If you’re a developer, well, Android has a lower barrier at entry than IOS. The Nook is almost an ideal platform for testing your chops at some basic mobile app development.

    If none of that interests you, hey, iPad all the way!

  • Guest

    That’s funny; my own “stupid award” for today would go to your own coverage of PWN2OWN. “Hacked in five seconds”? What is that supposed to signify, exactly?

  • FormerNookOwner

    Unlike most of you, I’ve done what Arends did. I bought a Nookcolor shortly after they came out (I missed the first batch.) I wanted an iPad but didn’t want to spend the money, all I really want to use it for is to reach IT books that I get as PDFs. The NC seemed like a decent reader and “poor man’s” iPad. To sum it up, I tried to love it but couldn’t. I really, really tried to just like it, but didn’t. So I sold it on eBay about 2 weeks ago. It doesn’t handle PDFs that well, and Steve was right that 7″ is too small (for PDFs.)

    I rooted it and installed the Kindle app, Dolphin browser, etc. Rooting is VERY easy and I doubt there’s much risk in it. The browser was good, Kindle app was good, etc. I read a full-length book on it and it was pretty nice. I like the Kindle app color scheme which seemed to partly compensate for the glossy and lower quality screen. I still picked up my iPhone for web browsing despite the NC’s bigger screen. Android can do a lot, but I didn’t like it that much. NC doesn’t have all the Android buttons so there is this annoying “back” button on the screen that you need for everything. The software is crashy for sure. The Nookcolor hardware is very high quality, excellent fit and finish, and a nice size for the big pocket. There’s a lot of good in it, but I am still so damned glad I sold it and can’t wait to get an iPad2. I sold it JUST before B&N started selling them new on eBay for $200, I sold mine for $225. Woohoo!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for this post. Despite the flaming in the O.P. and the comments, I found myself still interested in a $200 tablet for web browsing and reading (I guess I’m “stupid” for wanting to save $300). You’re experience with pdfs convinced me to look elsewhere. I don’t have anything against an iPad, but I only want about 40% of what it does.

      • formernookowner

        Not stupid for wanting to save the money, not stupid at all. If you don’t want an iPad and will be using a lot of PDFs, I would suggest larger than a 7″screen. For regular ePub books, text files, etc, the 7″ screen is just fine. The problem with PDFs is more than just the screen size though, the PDF reader doesn’t work very well either. I downloaded Adobe Acrobat and some other PDF readers and had trouble with them too. Maybe Xoom or another higher spec tablet will be better but then you’re not saving any money.

    • http://twitter.com/Moeskido Moeskido

      Always helpful to hear about actual hands-on experience. My wife and I briefly considered a Nook Color as a cheaper stopgap, too. I feel like we might have dodged a bullet that would have made her school reading more difficult.

  • Morejunk

    When I view this post on my iPhone, GoogleAds puts up an ad for the Wall Street Journal. Right under the intro sentence.

  • Anonymous

    It isn’t Apple that defines these product categories, there are industry analysts who decided that iPad is a “media tablet” (as opposed to a “business tablet” like Windows TabletPC) and Nook (and Kindle) is an “eReader”. iPod touch is more like “media tablets” than a Nook, and is also around $200, but Apple doesn’t get to apply the tens of millions of iPod touch sales every year to their tablet market share, nor to their smartphone market share, although iPod touch is very similar to a smartphone also.

    You could easily rewrite this article using an iPod touch as the cheap tablet, or an HP mini netbook, or a pad of paper and a Sharpie and a comic book.

    Truth is, if you are out to buy a tablet, iPad is the cheapest by far. It’s cheaper than Samsung’s generic 7-inch tablet (half the size), and it’s cheaper than XOOM. Trying to muddy those waters is disingenuous.

  • RichardL

    I completely disagree. The rooted Nook color is really quite nice. And quite a bargain.

  • http://mangochut.net/ mangochutney

    In my humble opinion there are three reasons for the way Adrends’s article turned-out:

    N°1: His wife didn’t allow him to purchase one, so he had to find a cheaper “tablet”.

    N°2: The Nook was not what he wanted, but a bit of tinkering could make it better. Thus his opinion of the device changed due to the fun he had tinkering with it. — It’s the same with LEGOs; building the stuff always was more fun than actually having it stand around on a shelf.

    N°3: New Toy Syndrome.

    I rest my case.

  • jdoe

    Wait…you call yourself a writer? Your second paragraph calls out Brett Arends saying he’s wrong and “..it’s not a tablet. That point had to be made.” Then your analogy compares a “car” to a ….”car”. That’s kind of a stupid analogy to make. A better one, based on your statement, should have compared a car to a bike or something. Regardless of how I feel about the nook, that point had to be made.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/TGZ75URQ6DKTCNXV3RV36ZKALQ Matthew

    Brett Arends just wrote an article about how the more expensive Motorola Xoom could be considered magically cheaper than an iPad. I think he has an axe to grind. First, he claims a more expensive tablet (Xoom) is better, now he’s claiming you should get a nook color because it’s cheaper?

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-the-ipad-could-cost-you-more-than-the-xoom-2011-03-08?pagenumber=2

  • masa

    He’s just bragging that he hacked his Nook, and using this headline to catch readers.

    Good on him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samson-Felshman/1156650290 Samson Felshman

      I hacked my nook. It took me thirty minutes, and 20 of those minutes was waiting for the SD Card to finish the install. [Three minutes was spent using Google, one finding my SD to microSD card, and six following the directions.] If he’s bragging about that, he really shouldn’t. By the by, it’s a really nice $200 device. [But I sold it and am getting an iPad, because it's a bit slow and doesn't do the things i want it to do musically.]

  • enlightenment4themasses

    “He had to run a hack on the software so it would run Android. ” WRONG! Nookcolor runs Android out of the box! Unfortunately it is A2.1 without flash, what is needed is A2.2 or even better is Android 3.0. Next, Dalrymple is so drunk on Apple Kool-Aid he can’t stand comparisons to Ipad from lesser devices especially from a device not even designated a tablet, so he shouts: “He calls it a tablet, but it’s not a tablet. That point had to be made.” WRONG AGAIN! The Nookcolor is a full android device running a B&N ereader hard coded app, that cripples the device to a couple of primary functions. Once the B&N shackles are taken off via rooting the Nookcolor is a limited tablet. Both the NC and Ipad are primarily display devices with very limited input ability. Displaying movies, music, ebooks, pdfs, browsers, etc. So if it’s a pinto to Ferrari and 95% of use is driving to work and going shopping, in other words real world usage, most people would be content with a Nookcolor as a tablet. Especially those who want a bargain. As Android 3.0 evolves Nookcolor (since A 3.0 is designed specifically for tablet use) will be an even more viable tablet. It’s pretty clear who is stupid with limited vision, however the post was enlightening because I wasn’t aware that Apple Kool-Aid had that kind of side effect.

  • http://www.powerwatchers.com/ Dean Lewis

    Nice round of hits and comments on this article, Jim. You’re on your way to becoming the John Dvorak of the Android fans. I mean that in a good way. I mean when it comes to driving hits — not actually being Dvorak, which I wouldn’t wish on a cockroach. Or something. Maybe I just woke up and am still too sleepy to be writing a comment…

  • http://twitter.com/av1k Avik Nandy

    Jim, this article is full of win. I read the same thing earlier and had the same feeling about his “result.” It was a joke! For $200 I’d rather get an iPod touch instead and get more horsepower out of a smaller form-factor device compared to the setup he created using the Nook. At the end of the article, I was left agape, wondering how this guy was even allowed to print this after seeing that paragraph about the limitations. Glad he’s getting properly ripped here.