Nook Simple Touch Review: Cheap But Customer Service Not So Hot

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Nook is Kindle’s biggest rival, and has done a great job at competing to date. For almost every Kindle product there is a Nook product designed to offer something similar, but with its own individual features.

The Nook Simple Touch originally competed with the Kindle Touch, but Kindle have since discontinued the product, presumably because the touch feature is also offered by the Kindle Paperwhite, as well as the Kindle Fires.

That means Nook’s Simple Touch is now in a slightly different market position, probably being the leading brand name among eReaders offering basic touch facilities. But is the Nook Simple Touch worth buying? Read on to find out.

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Key Specs For The Nook Simple Touch

Average Price: $89.99

Release Year: 2012

Screen Size: 6 inches

Screen Type: e-Ink

Weight: 7.48 oz

Storage Size: 2GB

Internet: Wi-Fi

Main eBook Format: ePub

Nook Simple Touch: The Pros

Touch Screen: Nook was an early adopter of touch screen technology, and the Simple Touch improves on that significantly. Having touch technology gives any product an up-to-date contemporary technology feel and appeals to users of tablets and smart phones who are accustomed to touch-screen control.

Some also find touch screen technology preferable to buttons because it involves more physical interaction, to some extent making up for the loss of having a real physical book in the hand.

Price: The Nook Simple Touch comes in at a great low price, costing the same as the standard Kindle with ads. But unlike the Kindle, the Nook Simple Touch doesn’t have ads, which makes for a nicer user experience, and essentially makes it better value from money in this respect.

Size: Size is an important consideration with eReaders. In order to remain portable they need to stay small, and the Nook Simple Touch is just right. It’s about the same size as both the Kindle and Kobo Glo, which means it’s ideal for carrying around wherever you go, and isn’t inconvenient to hold.

Weight: Like size, weight is also an issue with eReaders as they’re designed to be portable as well as to replace conventional books. The Nook Simple Touch is very light, weighing around 8 ounces. It might not be the lightest in its category, but its good enough to make it easily carried around as well as comfortable to hold in a reading position for prolonged periods of time.

Battery: The battery life of the Nook Simple Touch is also respectable. It actually beats much of the competition at the same price point by offering up to 2 months of use from a single battery charge. This beats the standard Kindle and Kobo reader with which it competes.

Barnes & Noble eBook Store: With access to the Barnes & Noble eBook store there are over 2 million books and magazines at your fingertips. Plus, every week Barnes & Noble offer a free book to Nook users which is a nice bonus.

Nice User Interface: The Nook’s user interface is easy to use and a massive improvement over the original Nook. Those picking up a Nook for the first time will find it quick to get to grips with.

Fast Page Turn: A common complaint of eReaders, especially among those of the last generation, was page turn speed. Thanks to an improved processor inside the Simple Touch, the turn speed is now rapid which ensures that the reading experience is kept as smooth as possible.

Reads Many Formats: The Nook can read a wide range of eBook formats, including some that the Kindle won’t. This is a bit plus for the Nook against the Kindle.

Expandable Memory: The Nook Simple Touch includes an expandable memory port which means you can increase the Nook’s storage by up to 32GB. 

Nook Simple Touch: The Cons

No GlowLight: Although there are many good things about the Simple Touch, unfortunately it doesn’t offer any screen lighting for use in the dark. That makes it inferior to the Simple Touch GlowLight as well as the Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Glo. If you want to read in the dark then this isn’t the device for you.

Only 2GB Storage: Although 2GB is a standard storage capacity for entry-level eReaders, it’d still be nice to have a little more. 2GB isn’t that much.

No access To Kindle Store: Although the Nook has access to its own book store, it can’t access the Kindle’s or the Kobo’s, and can’t read Kindle or Kobo book formats either. That puts all of Kindle’s and Kobo’s material off-limits.

Poor Customer Service: One of the big issues with any device offered by Barnes & Noble is customer service. Unfortunately Barnes & Noble have got themselves a bit of a bad reputation for customer service, with customer after customer complaining that they receive very little support and are replied to very slowly. Some also find Barnes & Noble’s no refund on eBooks policy very frustrating too.

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Is The Nook Simple Touch Worth Buying? 

While the Nook Simple Touch is cheap, it does have some failings. The worst problem is probably the customer service issue though, and that’s something Barnes & Noble really need to address. As an entry-level eReader with touch screen though, this is a decent product at a good price, and compares favorably with the basic Kindle.

Naturally, the best deal you’ll get is at Amazon for this one and you can check out their sales on them here.

For all tablets, we’ve also reviewed the Kindle Fire HD 8.9Kindle Fire HD, New Kindle,  Samsung Galaxy Tab 2Asus Google Nexus 7Kobo Arc, Kobo ArcKobi Mini and the Sony Reader. We also did a side by side comparison of the Kindle Fire HD versus the Apple iPad to give you an idea of the choices you have. It’s a big market out there for buyers now…just choose wisely and figure out exactly what you want your tablet to do for you.
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