How the Nook Tablet Works

3: Nook Tablet Features

Comic book fans may love the Nook Tablet's ZoomView feature.
Comic book fans may love the Nook Tablet's ZoomView feature.
Courtesy Barnes & Noble

When it comes to tablets, it's important to know your audience. While the iPad wants to be everything to everyone, the Nook has a different purpose. Keep in mind that this was a tablet developed for Barnes & Noble, presumably to keep their customers loyal. And while their customers may be interested in checking their Facebook status or open to the idea of a game of Angry Birds, they're primarily in it for the books.

A good example is children's books. If your youngster isn't quite ready for a soliloquy, just tap the "Read to Me" button, and the story is read aloud to them. Even better, the "Read and Record" feature allows a person to record themselves reading the book -- perfect for a parent or grandparent who might not be able to be there every night at bedtime.

On the reading side, the Tablet also features magazines and comic books, as well as the usual 2.5 million Barnes & Noble titles. There are even some "enhanced" books available -- a fitness book with video demonstrations or extra photos, for example.

When you're reading a book on the Nook, it's designed to look like -- hooray! -- a real book, meaning the screen is filled with text without pesky browser bars or the like. You can call up "Reading Tools" by touching the middle of the screen, which will give you options to see a table of contents, share comments, find text and adjust fonts and brightness. The Nook Tablet is also surprisingly adept at displaying comics. It offers ZoomView, which allows you to focus on single panels as opposed to the larger page.

But the Tablet isn't just for bookworms. Netflix and Hulu Plus are pre-loaded apps, and video streaming should be a breeze with a good WiFi connection. Of course, just because you have the apps doesn't mean you have the service; although free trials are offered on the Nook Tablet, you do have to sign up for the subscription services if you want to continue. Here's where you'll see a noticeable difference between the Kindle, the iPad and the Nook Tablet: You can't directly download music or video onto the Nook. You can hook it up to a PC and drag files onto it, but otherwise you're strictly streaming.