25 October 2011

Color Nook, Dell Streak, Kindle Fire, Oh My - Tech Tuesday

First Stop - Nook Color

Books are like food for me, necessary to my existence. I can't imagine a day when I am not surrounded by their lovely spines. But then I read Dick Eastman's Plus Edition article (If you are not a member, you must sign up for this valuable newsletter.) about the Nook Color and was hooked. My family obliged and gifted me with one for Mother's Day. I was hoping to use it not only as an e-reader, but also as a small tablet. I like that the Nook Color can be used to surf the web, check email and keep up with social media, but I quickly became frustrated with a few things.
  • limited number of apps (back in May there were just over a hundred)
  • lack of apps I really wanted; Hootsuite, Google Reader, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, GedStarPro, Genealogy Gems and others (They did just add Dropbox on 10/20/2011)
  • platform did not support zinio.com, which offers easy to navigate digital versions of Your Family Tree, Who Do You Think You Are? and Irish Roots.
  • inadequate search interface with the Barnes & Noble Nook store
It turns out that while I enjoyed reading books on the Nook, I wanted more than it was capable of providing. I didn't really want an e-reader, I wanted a tablet. My daughter was more than happy to take the Nook Color off my hands. As a college student, she is able to purchase many of her textbooks digitally and the Nook would allow her to carry her books independently of her laptop.

Second Stop - Dell Streak
In July, Staples had a great deal and I bought the Dell Streak 7 for $199. This is a seven inch tablet, about the same size, but slightly heavier than the Nook Color. It is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. Because it is Android based, it can access the Android Market and a seemingly endless number of apps. Here are some of the ways I use the tablet.

1. Write blog posts.
2. Read e-books from both the Kindle and Nook stores.
3. Listening to Genealogy Gems podcasts.
4. Communicate via Skype
5. View documents from Dropbox via Adobe Reader
6. Access my passwords and user names through Roboform
7. Keep up with social media via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Hootsuite. 
8. Save items in Evernote. 
9. Read genealogy magazines via zinio.
10. Read blogs in Google Reader.

A tablet has definitely been a better fit for me. There are lots of inexpensive ones out there, including the Dell Streak 7 Wi-Fi Tablet at Amazon. Except for its battery life, I thought I would be satisfied with the Streak indefinitely as I am not one to go out right away and buy the newest thing. Well, I was satisfied until I heard about the new Kindle Fire.

Third Stop - Kindle Fire

Yup, I pre-ordered one. I had to. There's a line. It's first come, first served. And I want to get it first. The Kindle Fire will be released on November 15th. Will it outshine the Nook Color? I'll let you know. 

Happy Tech Tuesday!

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!


More reading about e-readers and tablets:

Android Wars by The Ginger Jewish Genealogist 


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