Barnes & Noble Nook Color Review and Gaming Performance

Posted by B. Johnson
June 7, 2014 | 0 comments
Barnes & Noble Nook Color Review and Gaming PerformanceEarlier, i’ve just shown you guys 2 Nook tablets from Barnes & Noble.

Despite being low-profile tablets, i’m actually a bit impressed with these 1 of these 2 tablets, especially with the specs it comes with.

I’m talking about Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ if you haven’t known already.

This tablet is actually the latest-gen and possibly the most advanced tablets released by this company under the Nook series.

One of many things that makes me amazed with this tablet is its mobile GPU.

For a not-so-popular tablet, i think it’s really amazing to see how this tablet is packing the PowerVR SGX544 GPU – which is the same GPU found inside the iPhone 5.

However, despite having that powerful GPU, apparently it doesn’t mean that Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ will have such great gaming performance.

For most of older games like Angry Birds Star Wars, Blood and Glory, Dead Trigger 1 and Frontline Commando - all of these games can be played smoothly on this tablet, which is not so surprising given its great GPU.

However, for the latest game like Asphalt 8: Airborne, even though this arcade-racing game runs in full high graphics on this tablet, surprisingly it doesn’t run so great on this tablet.

In fact, it runs really laggy and slow, with many framedrops here and there in the gameplay.

So the same thing is probably gonna happen on other latest graphics intense games like Modern Combat 4, N.O.V.A 3, Dead Trigger 2 or GTA San Andreas, although these games can still be played on this tablet, of course in medium or even low graphics.

Anyway, after showing you guys those 2 tablets from Barnes & Noble, now i want to move on to the next tablet, still from the same manufacturer.

Today, i want to bring up Barnes & Noble Nook Color to this review.

Unlike Barnes & Noble Nook HD+, Barnes & Noble Nook Color is definitely the low-end model from this company, given that its specs are just way too low compared to the latest-gen model.

However, that’s not the only thing that i want to discuss in this review.

Even though this tablet is a low-end tablet, there’s probably something cool from this tablet that is still worth sharing to you here.

Okay then, if you’re interested to get to know with this low-end tablet from Barnes & Noble, then here you go, my personal review of Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

Anyway, if you like what i’m sharing in this review, don’t forget to share this post to your Twitter or Facebook friends by pressing the social media icons around this page.

It would mean a lot to me and this community.

Introduction

Under the Barnes & Noble, there are some pretty interesting tablets released by this manufacturer, mostly are running Android – actually all of them are running Android OS.

So getting one of these tablets probably is still a good idea given a huge database of Android games that you could play on that Android tablet, although not all of them will run perfectly on this tablet – given that these Barnes & Noble Nook tablets are mainly intended as a reader tablet, not a gaming tablet.

If Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ tablet is the high-end model from this company, then Barnes & Noble Nook Color is definitely the low-end model, thanks to its low-grade hardware specs.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color Review and Gaming PerformanceHowever, as a reading-dedicated tablet – as well as simple media-consumption device -, then the low-end specs inside this device can still be acceptable because users will mostly use it as device to read books or magazines, watch movies, play some casual games, check out their favorite photos, browse the web or listen to music.

And high-end specs are not required to execute all of these basic tasks.

It goes the same with Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

Even though this tablet is packing some low-grade internals, it doesn’t stop it from being a good reader tablet.

Thanks to its TI OMAP 3261 single core processor, 512MB of RAM, PowerVR SGX530 and a low-resolution 1024x600 pixel display, all of the basic simple tasks like reading books, watching movies, browsing the web, listening to music or even playing some casual games, can be executed nicely on this tablet.

But there probably are still some stutters or lags here and there especially when opening many apps/tasks at once, given its low RAM capacity.

But the question remains, despite being a pretty good reading-dedicated tablet, does Barnes & Noble Nook Color have what it takes to be a Kindle Fire killer, especially in terms of performance?

Well, we’re about to find out in this review.

Design

In terms of design, Barnes & Noble Nook Color actually looks pretty similar with its sibling, Barnes & Noble Nook tablet, with the same elements like the “hook” on the left bottom bezel (which also can be found on other Nook tablets), rounded edges and bulky bezels all around the front side.

Not to mention the shinny metallic looking bezels that blend perfectly with the on-screen navigation button.

This tablet may not have the same elegant look just like the latest-the-most-advanced Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ with its premium looking design.

However, as a low-end tablet dedicated as reader device, this Barnes & Noble Nook Color actually still looks pretty nice with its simple design.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color Review and Gaming Performance

As a low-end affordable device, i personally still like its design, especially because it just doesn’t look like any other regular Android tablets out there.

So i think it’s always good to see tablets with their own design characteristic, making them look unique and stand out among their rivals, even though they are not so popular in tablet market.

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  • 7-inch 1024 x 600 (-169 ppi)
  • 800 MHz Ti OMAP 3621 Processor
  • PowerVR SGX530 GPU
  • Open GLES 1.1, Open GLES 2.0
  • 512Mb RAM
  • 8GB internal storage
  • microSDHC card slot for up to 32GB FAT32
  • Android 2.2
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
  • EBook Reader
  • Supported Text Formats DOCX
  • Supported Still Image Formats PNG
  • Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition 1 x headphones
  • 8 hours battery life
As a low-end tablet, then you just cannot complain anything about this tablet, especially its hardware specs.

Besides, in the first place, this tablet is originally intended by manufacturer only as a reading-dedicated tablet, with other basic simple media-consumption tasks being the secondary abilities (like watching movies, browsing the web, checking out photos or playing games).

So basically, this Barnes & Noble Nook Color will deliver the best experience for users if it’s only used as a reader device.

But even so, it’s great that Barnes & Noble doesn’t forget to give more abilities to this tablet, making it an all around good media-consumption tablet, not just a reading-dedicated tablet.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color features a low-grade 800MHz single-core TI OMAP 3261 processor, 512MB of RAM, PowerVR SGX530 GPU and its display is 7-inches sporting the resolution of 1024x600 pixels. Well, by looking at its specs, then many of us definitely will throw away this tablet from our tablet hunting list.

However, given that this tablet is an old-gen tablet, plus it is a low-end reader tablet, then it’s probably still good idea to get this device for your kids or young-aged brothers that can help them learn or study about something.

Besides, you probably can get this tablet at really low price point, below $80.

But if you want to get a much better choice from the same manufacturer, then you might want to switch to other option, like Barnes & Noble Nook HD+ or Barnes & Noble Nook HD, which are the latest-gen tablets from this company.

So they bring many upgrades here and there on the hardware.

Screen

Given that this tablet is labeled as a low-end tablet, then there is nothing to write home about its display.

This tablet is using that low-resolution 1024x600 pixel display, which is the lowest resolution around the tablet market to date.

But the good news is, Barnes & Noble Nook Color still deserves to be positioned in the market – specifically in lowest-end budget tablet market – alongside Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Lite and other low-end budget tablets with the same 1024x600 pixel display.

So you are not gonna be alone if you decide to get this tablet.

There are still many people out there, even until today, that are still stuck with this low-resolution display on their tablets.

User Interface and Features

Similar just like the other tablets from Barnes & Noble, this Barnes & Noble Nook Color also still has the same simplified Android UI.

So if you decide to get this tablet, then you must also accept the fact that you’re not getting all the complete features that you’ve come to love on your regular Android tablets.

However, if you happen to not really like the stock Android UI, then you will feel at home when using this simple tablet.

Besides, this tablet is basically an eBook reader tablet – similar just like Kindle Fire tablets with the same simplified Android UI -, so it’s probably better to have this simple UI, enabling you to be familiar with this tablet without any complicated learning curve, especially if you’re not a tech geek.

Performance

Given its low-grade hardware specs, then it’s really obvious that Barnes & Noble Nook Color will not have the same fast and smooth performance just like the other Nook tablet – Nook HD+ and Nook HD.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color is packing a 800MHz single core TI OMAP 3261 processor, 512MB of RAM and PowerVR SGX530.

Compared to even the first-gen original Amazon’s Kindle Fire – which already came with a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, 512MB of RAM and PowerVR SGX540 GPU -, then Barnes & Noble Nook Color was not really impressive even around the tablet market in 2011.

However, Barnes & Noble Nook Color is mostly used by users just for doing some simple basic media-consumption activities, like reading eBooks, watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web or playing some simple casual games.

So these low-grade specs are still adequate and good enough to execute all of these basic simple tasks without any meaningful problem.

Besides, this tablet only comes with the simplified Android UI, with many basic Android features eliminated on this tablet.

So this probably could help a lot in boosting its performance and making it run smoother for those basic simple tasks.

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It’s probably not such a good idea to use this tablet as a gaming tablet. In fact, if you’re planning to buy this tablet for gaming, i strongly suggest you to switch to other tablets with more powerful hardware but still at the same low price point of this tablet.

Barnes & Noble Nook Color definitely will not be capable to deliver good gaming performance, let alone the best.

Its single-core TI OMAP 3261 processor with clock speed of only 800MHz – which kind of reminds me with the clock speed of cheap Chinese Android smartphones -, small 512MB of RAM and PowerVR SGX530 are definitely not ideal hardware for today's gaming – no doubt about that.

But even so, there are still many Android games that can still be played smoothly on this tablet – but mostly the games that were released in 2012 or before that year, like PES 2012, Samurai Showdown, Need for Speed Undercover and any other older games.

On the other hand, for the latest graphically demanding games released in 2013, this tablet definitely will suffer a lot in performance.

I mean, even the latest-gen Barnes & Noble Nook HD+, which has more powerful dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4470 processor, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX544, is still NOT capable to run the latest game - Asphalt 8: Airborne - in smooth performance and in full graphics -.

So it’s really easy to guess that Barnes & Noble Nook Color will have much even worse gaming performance then its siblings.

If you want to know more about the gaming performance of Barnes & Noble Nook Color, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out our YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, this tablet is basically really good if you only use it as an eBook reader tablet, not some heavier media-consumption device.

So for just reading books or magazines, this tablet probably could last in more than 12 hours – which is not so surprising given that simple task like book reading is not heavy and won’t consume a lot of power from its battery.

But if you intend to use this tablet to do some heavier media-consumption tasks, like watching movies, browsing the web or playing casual games, then you can expect this tablet to last around 8 hours or so.

And its battery life will drain much faster if you use it for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen, like watching movies in marathon or playing games in the row.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, overall, i’m definitely not impressed at all with Barnes & Noble Nook Color.

It has low-resolution display, low-grade-performing hardware (800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and “outdated” PowerVR SGX 530 GPU) and horrible gaming performance.

So if you’re on the street looking for a much better media-consumption tablet, then you might want to stay away from Barnes & Noble Nook Color, given its low-grade specs and performance.

There are still many other options across the market that are just way better than this tablet, plus at the similar price point, like HP Slate 7 Plus with Tegra 3, HP Slate 7 Extreme, Asus MemoPad 7 HD, Samsung GALAXY Tab 3 Lite, GALAXY Tab 3 7-inches and many other more.

Oh wait, not to mention the brand new rumored Xiaomi/Mi Pad from Xiaomi (a Chinese smartphone/tablet manufacturer led by ex-Google Android, Hugo Barra), which reportedly will come with the latest-most-advanced Tegra K1 with that jaw-dropping 192-core Keppler GPU.

So you probably want to wait patiently before this cheap Xiaomi MI Pad tablet launches to the market in the near weeks or months – reportedly will cost around $160 (WTF!!).

So if you’re still thinking about getting Barnes & Noble Nook Color, i recommend you to stop thinking about that already. Switch to another option.

You deserve a much better tablet than Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Period.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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