Nook Simple Touch Review

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The Nook Simple Touch from Barnes & Noble is the best alternative to Amazon's Kindle. It's cheaper than the ad-free Kindle and it includes a touchscreen, which the basic Kindle does not.

The plain-vanilla sibling of the souped-up GlowLight, the Nook Simple Touch garners enthusiastic praise in expert and user reviews. PC Mag honors it with an Editor's Choice award, lauding its price, responsiveness, and touchscreen convenience. The expert Nook Simple Touch review extols the fast page turns, whether with a swipe or a press of the navigation buttons, and the crisp, dark text. The display is easy on the eyes and navigation is intuitive, according to users' posts at Best Buy, where they assert that it beats reading on a computer or tablet and also outdoes competing models. Many reviews make a point of saying that the Nook is very comfortable to hold and having one facilitates book buying; a few concede they now read more than before. Users also comment approvingly on the glare-free screen and long battery life.

The Nook Simple Touch (starting at $79, Amazon) may not have a built-in light but it does sport a touchscreen -- a six-inch E Ink Pearl display that offers the choice of six fonts and seven sizes. The basic Simple Touch weighs 7.48 ounces, which is somewhat heavier than other ereaders, including the Simple Touch GlowLight, although it's hardly a brick. The battery lasts up to two months if Wi-Fi use is kept to a minimum and the connection switched off when not needed. There is 2GB of storage, of which 1GB is taken up by Nook software and the remaining 1GB available for content. Like the GlowLight version, this Nook Simple Touch comes with a microSD card slot that can accommodate a microSD card with up to 32GB -- enough to store tens of thousands of books. The Nook Simple Touch supports EPUB and PDF files as well as JPG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files.

This ereader is every bit the equal of the Amazon Kindle, just slightly more expensive but also devoid of ads. If you want the cheapest good ereader available, the no-fuss basic Kindle is your champion. If you want a low-cost ereader with a touchscreen -- or one that's unencumbered by ads -- the Nook Simple Touch is it.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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