Is The $250 Tablet Around the Corner?
With consumers lining up at three o’clock in the morning to buy an Apple iPad 2 and the rather pricey Motorola Xoom not offering a very competitively priced alternative, we think it’s just a matter of time before we see a low cost tablet that matches most of the features of an iPad. In fact, if you’re willing to do some minor “re-programming,” there’s a very capable tablet available right now for around $250.
No Need to Wait Any Longer
As it turns out, one quite capable $250 Android tablet, is called the Nook Color from Barnes & Noble. The only hitch is you have to perform some minor “tweaking” which may void the warranty. The good news is that “rooting” the Nook is simple enough for just about anyone with the slightest bit of technical ability. There is even plenty of help available including a web site which offers just about everything you need to turn the Nook Color into a tablet that can even run the latest Android version called Honeycomb.
Rooting a Nook Color
is Super Simple

Whether you’re talking about a phone or a tablet, rooting a device with a multi-user operating system like Android, means enabling “root access” or administration privileges which allows you to load third party apps and other system software. Rooting a Nook is easy; you load up the Nook’s microSD card with the necessary software, turn on the device and you’re off and running. A free tool called Auto-Nooter not only provides the scripts to “root” the device but it also loads some useful utilities and apps including the Android Market which is how you’ll get your copy of Angry Birds or any other popular Android app.
If B&N Can Do It
Why Not Amazon?

Whether or not Barnes and Noble decides to go with the flow and make the Color Nook as much an Android tablet as an e-reader remains to be seen however, if they can build a business model around such a device than Amazon should be able to as well. Jeff Bezos has always maintained that his number one priority in an e-reader is that is provides an experience as close as possible to reading an actual book. Would a color Kindle tablet break from that tradition and become as much as an app player as a book reader? Would e-reader users accept hours of battery life instead of weeks and how about a bright transmissive display instead of a paper-like reflective display?
A Market for No-Frills Tablet?
Currently there are many very satisfied Color Nook owners who have converted their $250 e-readers to Android tablets. We’ve even read about owners overclocking the Nook’s 800 MHz ARM processor. There are some missing features; you don’t get the usual Android buttons on a Nook, no cameras, no GPS, or accelerometer but you do get a connected, 7-inch color touchscreen tablet that surfs the web, reads emails, plays apps and even reads e-books all for a lot less than an Apple iPad.
Apps Sell Tablets
What Barnes and Nobles has to realize is that along with books, magazines, music and movies, they could also sell apps for their tablets. Amazon has already got a jump on them with the launch of their own Android apps marketplace. Won’t it be fun to read Amazon-quality user reviews of apps? Wouldn’t a low cost color tablet/e-reader make a lot of sense for Amazon? We predict Jeff Bezos will moderate his prediction on a color e-reader being “multiple months” away and start promoting the idea of a color tablet/reader sometime this year.
The $250 Tablet is Already Here
If the question is “how long do we have to wait for a $250 tablet,” one answer might be check out the Nook Color or wait and see what Amazon has in store. Will Apple’s competition come from affordable e-book readers especially if and when Amazon jumps in instead of coming from established laptop vendors like ASUS, Acer and others? We think there’s a good chance Amazon could give Apple a run for its money. We even read reports of Amazon hiring Android developers.
Retrevo is Tablet-Friendly
Don’t forget to check out Retrevo where you’ll find reviews and manuals for all the latest gear and gadgets including laptops, HDTV, cameras, and more.

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Color Nook

Only one inaccuracy in your article. The Nook DOES have an accelerometer, at least it seems to. It responds to changes in orientation. The only caveat in using a rooted Nook Color for a tablet is that you have to be careful what apps you download. There are many apps that count on having a GPS or a camera available. They will not crash the device, but you will get annoyed trying to close them when they hang up.

So far, i am very happy with mine. I will even say that the Android Marketplace is much easier to use than the Apple App Store. So far, I have not thought of a function I have not been able to find multiple apps for.

Android is not for everyone, but if you are someone who longs for the days of old when computing was a bit of an adventure, you will be right at home. If you are a non-geek, don't worry. It has all been automated to the point that you don't have to enter the "wild, wild, west" unless you choose to.

One big plus is that the Android community is much more responsive than Apple or any other corporate entity when it comes to solving problems or answering questions

Nook Color

I'd love to see any leads you get on a cheaper Nook or split payment options. also you may want to warn people of the HSN version which as far as I can tell they are charging more for the 100 preloaded books that you can download for free. Flex pay would have been nice but not when it is so overpriced there.


Yeah, picky.

Whether or not Barnes and Noble decides to go with the flow and make the Color Nook as much an Android tablet as an e-reader remains to be seen however, if they can build a business model around such a device than Amazon should be able to as well.

See Andrew on X3 with JC Dvorak on dvorak.org/blog. I try to update X3 as often as possible.

Pandigital Novel half the price of Nook

Check out the Pandigital Novel. It runs Android. I bought one for my wife for $120 at Radio Shack. Like Nook in your article, there is a warranty breaking fix available to allow it to access Android Market. But, out of the box, it comes with a browser that lets you access the net and email.

It's not an Ipad but so far (two months use) seems to do quite a bit.


The Pandigital now has a link on its home page that lets you convert the reader to an Android tablet with access to the Market Place, no jail breaking or root access required. Just converted mine..may take a couple of tries, but it works!