I did it all for the Nookie.

2011, arguably, will be known as the year tablet computing truly emerged. Ever since Apple’s iPad was released last April, Android geeks have been poised to take the giant head on, similarly to how they took on the iPhone and Blackberry. The only problem is that up until recently the only Android tablet on the market was the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which has the reputation of being a complete piece of garbage. Right now, and looking forward, one of the biggest contributors to Android tablets gaining praise and popularity might be a device you would least expect: the Barnes and Noble Nook Color.

Seriously.

At a New Years Eve party, a friend of ours was caught fiddling on her Nook Color. Curiosity took over me and I got my hands on the device. I quickly discovered that it was running Android and the first thought that entered my mind was “I wonder if you can hack into this thing and turn it into an Android tablet.” After a hangover induced web search the next morning, I found out that people have been rooting this thing since it was first released, and Barnes and Noble are officially planning to upgrade to Android 2.2 sans Android Market.

E-readers were never on my radar until recently. Amazon’s Kindle killed it in sales this holiday season. Simultaneously, the Nook Color quickly became Barnes and Noble’s top selling item. The iPad was supposedly built to take over the world of E-reading, but we all now that’s bullshit and it will actually usher in the transition away from laptops and netbooks (the little pieces of shit they are) and towards flat, touch screen only, portable, optical drive-less, cloud-based, app-based tablets. Yay?

I received my Nook Color as a birthday gift from my in-laws just last week. I immediately took it home and found directions online to root it and get access to all the wonderful features one could get from Android.

(Note: For directions on how to root your Nook Color, head on over to nookDevs. If you brick your device, it isn’t my fault. Seriously, if you cry to me about screwing it up because you are incapable of reading directions with a difficulty level similar to baking a cake, I will falcon punch you in the tits.)

The process: Rooting your Nook Color is really easy, as long as you aren’t a complete dumbass and are capable of precisely following directions. The best part about rooting your Nook is that unrooting it and putting it back the way it was is simple.

The results:

Suck on that, Galaxy Tab!

Right away, I was impressed at how responsive the device is. There really aren’t any software or hardware hiccups in the system, and getting it to run smoothly really just takes a little time tweaking around with settings.

I highly recommend using ADW.Launcher as a home screen to give the device an Android feel. You can get full access to the Android Market, as well as sync it up with your Google Contacts, Gmail, and Calendar. Using YouTube is a bit buggy, and sometimes there are text placement issues while web browsing (which really has nothing to do with the Nook, more to do with the fact that there is not a single good Android browser in existence).

What’s also awesome is that you still get access to all the proprietary software Barnes and Noble has pre-loaded, such as the store, web browser, music player, and library. Sweet!

The verdict: For $249, this is a pretty sweet little piece of home-brewed tablet computing, considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab will cost you around $499 and the iPad 16GB starts at $499. HOWEVER, I see rooting as a benefit to people who already own a Nook Color or were already planning on getting one, the main reason being that it lacks a lot of features other tablet computers have/will soon have such as a camera, 3G/4G data, peripherals, more built-in memory, faster processors, etc.

Let us know about your Nook Color rooting experience in the comments below!

-Brad Whiteside

One Response to I did it all for the Nookie.

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