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Tablet Transition Pt4: Galaxy Tab 2 Trumps NookColor Big Time

Two years ago I jumped into Tablet use by buying a NookColor (NC) and then adding a Cyanogen Mod7 SD card which allowed the Nook to boot as a full Android device (v 2.1). Last month I could not resist a Groupon Deal for a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 for $150 + free shipping. After a few weeks testing and synching all my apps, the verdict is in.  It’s time to give my NookColor to my niece! Why you ask? Continue….

After some preliminary work with the Galaxy, the Nook seems so old and slow. The differences are partly hardware and partly software. Android 4.0 is smooth and very mature. The faster and more robust processor and additional RAM in the Galaxy all combine to make its experience better overall. One reason I liked the Cyanogen Android mode on the NC was the ability to access both B&N and other ePubs along with my Amazon Kindle eBooks. Now I have tested and synched both Nook and Kindle accounts to the Galaxy and have all my eBooks avail on one device.

The Nook app on the Cyanogen Android Nook did not fully synch all my eBooks for some reason. Worse yet in full Android mode, the NC ate battery very quickly requiring at least one midday recharge. The Galaxy is very efficient running for over a day between charges with intermittent use. It’s battery time compares to the plain vanilla NC but with all the newer technical advances.

The display shots that follow show only part of the display differences. Nc&Galxy1

The touch screen on  the Galaxy is more sensitive and the visual and auditory feedback makes for a clear UX.  Additionally, the Galaxy is both thinner and lighter than the NC. My favorite productivity and research app, Evernote (EN) works much better on the Galaxy then either on the NC or LG My Touch smartphone.  For me the best improvement is “speech to text” which is much more accurate on the Galaxy.

Reader Test

First I tried to load the same book, Jack Kennedy Illusive Hero, by C. Mathews in NC Android and Galaxy Nook app modes for a direct visual comparison. The NC Android app kept crashing as the newest update was too much for the system. Not to be deterred, I then booted the NC in standard mode to make the visual comparison as below.


If one looks closely at the NC screen in the left one can see the scanning lines which actually flicker when viewed from my camera. The Galaxy display is cleaner both on the pic and through the camera lens. I matched the text sizes and layouts as best I could. While the Galaxy lacks the tinted background and displays less text per page, the formatting is cleaner more resembles printed text. This combination makes the reading experience a better one for me on the Galaxy.

The Bottom Line

2 years further down the development path for Android tablets, and now we have a very functional device with excellent overall performance @ a gr8 price point, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2. Sure there are a lot of very cheaper tablets on the market, but the Galaxy stands out, unless you are an iPad fan, lol.

Our digital devices don’t often break down, but they come with a different type of planned obsolescence. As apps become more complex to take advantage of technical improvements in hardware and OS software, it becomes harder to keep updating older devices with fixed hardware configurations. Evernote updates, for example, stopped working on my NC several revs ago while the NC Android update broke the system today. So, gift your older devices like my NC to a relative or friend and catch this tablet wave. That water’s just fine!

Copyright © 2013-2014 Edward Martino, PhD. All Rights Reserved.