This Christmas brought many surprises including a chance to get hands-on time with the Nextbook e-reader device, powered by Android. It hooks to the Borders bookstore, but supports epub, pdf and more.
You may also watch the review in HD right here on YouTube
The Nextbook device is a 7″ tablet, with the look and feel of an Android phone. The internal hardware leaves limited room to add applications or do many things. It does support an external SD card slot.
It has it’s own version of the Android Marketplace and many apps will not load or run due to the limited space. The built in YouTube player locally caches all of the videos so space went even faster for teens trying to watch YouTube. We loaded a file manager program just to go in and delete the cache files to free space.
After reading the web a bit, we found that you could hack your way into accessing and loading the Android Marketplace, but placing apps on the SD card was hard to do. Not for the consumer.
However, the bonus was a fast loading ebook reader with a good library behind it. We were able to pull books from the public library and load pdf files. The wifi was like any Android device, remember to turn it off to save precious battery. It does not run battery life like an iPad, but did well in normal usage over a couple days.
So overall, I say you can do better for the price for sure with the Kindle for a e-reader. The Nextbook was a good step in the Android world, but not enough other features to make it stand out.
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