Merry Christmas to All! It is Christmas Eve, hopefully everyone is ready, but I'm sure there are a few last minute gifts to buy.
As always electronics are hot items, here is my take on some of them.
The Barnes and Noble Nook, I have one of the original devices with WiFi and 3G. I have not yet used the color Nook yet. First, the pros, I like the newsprint style screen, it makes it very easy to read outside by the pool, beach or park. The buttons for turning the pages are easy to use, and it is light weight and easy to carry. Mine fits nicely in the side pocket of my Namaste Knitting bag. Searching for new books to download is also very user friendly and purchasing is a breeze once you have your Barnes and Noble account set up. Of course when you take your Nook into Barnes and Noble there are always coupons and free downloads of the week to try. You just show your Nook to the cashier for the coupon code and you are on your way. Customer service is top notch, I had a problem with my nooks and within 3 business days I had a replacement Nook and the return shipping code. No hassles. Also the Nook will accept other formats, I load pdf's of my knitting patterns on it to make them more portable.
The Cons, my nook received a stress fraction at the button I used most for page turning, but as stated above, the customer service people were excellent and replaced my Nook hassle free. It was a reconditioned Nook but I found no issues with it, it was like new and I have not had any further problems. Also the new color Nook resolves this problem by having a touch screen to allow you to turn pages without the button as well as the software upgrade to the existing models of the Nook.
The web browsing on the Nook, is not worth your time, at least not on the pre-color models, the navigation is done through the 2 inch screen at the bottom and is more frustrating than anything. It is not worth the time or effort, if you want to web browse I suggest another device. Things like games on the Nook seem pointless to me, since they are very limited in type and quality of the graphics.
Overall impression of the Nook, it is great if all you want to do is read a book, nothing else. If your expectations are simple then the Nook is a great device. I can also see it as an excellent device for school children and young people.
The iPad, I have a new model 32g iPad purchased at the Apple Store. The Pros, I will try to limit my thoughts here, but I must say that I love my iPad. I used it constantly and find it hard to remember life without it. First, if your a reader, you can download the Nook, Kindle, Blue Fire and other reader apps to your iPad, thus not limiting you to one source for your ebooks. I also have a reader app Good Reader, that also you to highlight and mark up pdf files, I have found this invaluable for my knitting patterns. The iPad is easy to use, everything is done by touch, no buttons to push or break. Of course, you have access to the App Store, with a host of products for productivity. The graphics are typical Apple, excellent! This is not a review of the various apps, available because some are clearly better than others. There has been some question as to the portability of the iPad, my rule of thumb is that if it fits in my purse it is portable, and my iPad fits in my purse.
The iPad is also great for those who are not computer savvy, you don't have to strong keyboarding skills to be effective on the iPad in fact it is great for people who only type with two or three fingers. I do pretty much anything on my iPad that I do on my laptop. I also like the screen size of the iPad, it makes it easier to see recipes and knitting patterns without having to enlarge the font or pictures. I would not enjoy a 7" iPad. Again, customer service with the iPad is terrific and with all Apple products I would imagine. I purchased mine at my local Apple Store and the process was very painless and the staff very friendly. My iPad account was active, and set up before I left the store.
The Cons, the cons are that it is a bit heavier than the Nook, and if you carry yours in your purse as I do, you will notice the difference in weight. The button on the side that used to control the internal gyroscope as changed in the last upgrade, to turn it on or off now is a four step process. I find that very unfortunate. The reason to turn it off is if you are reading a book if you tilt your iPad too far it will turn the page for you and you may not want this. It was nice before when you could just press the button on the side to control this feature. The lack of flash capability is some what disappointing, although many sites are moving away from using flash, there are still plenty out there that do, but if you are away that your iPad will not support flash before you go looking for a certain site, it can be handled, if you can find the information from another source rather than a flash site.
Overall impressions, I love my iPad and frankly it has replaced my Nook as far as reading books, the larger screen the ability to turn my book to portrait or landscape mode is a plus for me and the ability to have a variety of eReader formats and sources for ebooks is a huge plus for me. The touch screen makes this device easy for anyone to use and I would highly recommend it for someone perhaps a senior citizen with prior limited computer experience. I believe they will find it easy for them to use and allow them access to their email and information sources they may have previously shied away from.
The Nano, the new 6th generation Nano, is one of my favorite new devices. The Pros, The size is awesome, you can take it anywhere and there are a number of wrist bands and cases to make it even easier. I have the 16G model and it has replaced my iPod Touch as my music device I use daily. I plug it into my car, my speakers at work and also use it with my earbuds. The graphics on the screen are great for the size. The Cons, the size is a trade off for capacity, 16G is the largest offered. For me the 8G just wasn't enough space as I found with my 8G iPod Touch. Also, the charging devices are not interchangeable between the Touch and the Nano, so if you are adding one of these devices to your collection be prepared to add new support devices as well. This is also true for non-Apple accessory products, for example I have an adapter for my car that allows me to play my music through the car stereo speakers; with the Touch that adapter also acts as a charger while playing the music, but not with the Nano, again, the small size has it's trade offs.
Overall impressions, if you are a runner, walker or active person you will want this new Nano, the size is perfect, it is light weight and much easier to use while exerising than its longer counterparts with arm bands etc.
If you have an iPad or iTouch, keep on the look out for new knitting related apps. As I mentioned I love Good Reader for my iPad, allowing me to read and mark up my knitting patterns that I have downloaded in pdf. Also Vogue Knitting has an app for both the iPad and the iTouch, that allows you have have a portable inventory of your stash and needles, plus a very nice stitch dictionary!
And there you have it, my little take on technology and knitting apps.
Now go have some fiber fun!