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Hardware Hacking Hardware Build

Turning Your E-Reader Into a Cheap Tablet 193

grahamsaa writes "NPR's Weekend Edition aired a story today on how rooting the Nook Color can turn it into a full fledged and relatively inexpensive Android tablet. The story claims that the process takes about half an hour, and only requires the purchase of a Nook and a microSD card, and points listeners to a YouTube tutorial on how to root the device. Could this signal a change in how mainstream users see devices like this? Could rooting Android devices like the Nook ever become mainstream?" We ran a story about this in December, and I haven't seen a flood of hacked readers anywhere so I doubt that tablet makers have anything to worry about.
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Turning Your E-Reader Into a Cheap Tablet

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  • by arob28 ( 2025644 ) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @12:59PM (#35630732)
    For not suing everybody like Sony is.
  • I love my Nook Color (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:18PM (#35630906)

    I currently own a nook color that I rooted with Eclair (2.1). For me I wanted something in between a phone and a full laptop for when I am sitting around in waiting rooms. It serves this purpose perfectly. I would not give this tablet to anyone who tech illiterate though, as it is still rough around the corners. Given that the hack is only a few months old, I am extremely impressed with its current abilities, especially with its low price tag, and am eager to see how it continues to progress. Some of the cons are that it is not 3G, does not have a camera, and its sensors may be lacking or the hack making them available seems to be lacking. Though the hack does bring some entirely new functionality to the Nook. It was found that the WiFi chip also includes Bluetooth which is turned off in software. It is now available in some of the ROM's and now provides the ability for Bluetooth keyboards and SIP calling.

    Overall, I could not be happier with a $200 tablet. It really does everything I need it to do and then some. It has decent battery life and retains all of the standard Nook functionality in addition to the features provided by rooting it. I consider it a great value when compared to the Galaxy tab as I find it difficult rationalizing the missing features are worth an additional $400. Moreover, so far it seems that B&N have been amenable to people rooting their Nook. As they should, since I buy books from B&N that I wouldn't have previously, and am encouraging others to buy their hardware and books because of their attitude towards the hacking community and the versatility of their hardware.

    It really seems like one of those rare situations where everyone is winning. Fortunately, B&N doesn't seem to be in a hurry to shoot themselves in the foot with both barrels, a la, Sony, etc.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:32PM (#35631020)

    I had a VW beetle that was faster than any car you owned, and ran perfectly.. Hell I beat corvettes easily in it. 298HP in that light car with 19" wide rear tires utterly decimated snotty kids in their chargers and corvettes easily. It's amazing what you can do with a super-beetle engine, a turbo, and knowledge on hot to modify it. I ran a 12psi boost on a superbeetle engine for 2 years before I blew the transmission up, the wide tires were stressing it hard as they would not slip on take-off. Wheelies in a bug were fun as hell.. I was getting a 9.89 quarter mile times out of it, spent less than $3000 back in the late 80's to build it. Great high-school kid project, but then I have been racing cars since 12, bike since 8.

    Aluminum rims on a beetle are better, far lower unsprung weight.

  • by basotl ( 808388 ) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @01:34PM (#35631040)
    Booksellers in Barnes and Noble often seem to point out that it can be rooted to any "geeky" individuals they notice browsing the device.
  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:17PM (#35631354) Homepage

    The one useful thing about root-ing it, other than giggles, might be underclocking it even more to improve the battery life.

  • by ZosX ( 517789 ) <zosxavius AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:22PM (#35631372) Homepage

    Uh it has the same memory as a galaxy tab and can be overclocked to 1ghz. While the arm core may not be as fast as a galaxy, it can't be nearly as slow as my ancient G1 at 600mhz, which is happily running froyo at the moment and has the least amount of RAM of any android device. (192MB) If 512mb in android isn't enough for you maybe you need to lay off all the widgets and background apps stealing CPU cycles. I would imagine that a lean Nook running froyo would be more than just usable.

    The galaxy tab is nice, but also over twice the price of a nook. For some speed isn't everything. I mean what are we really talking about here? Another 2-5 seconds to load a web page? Another 2-3 seconds to load an app? Does everything have to be immediate? I don't see the appeal of the tab either. The honeycomb based tablets are the next generation. It will be interesting when that level of hardware starts hitting close to the price of a nook now.

  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Sunday March 27, 2011 @02:44PM (#35631516) Journal
    They seem to be getting behind it. Reportedly they're going to have a regular Android App marketplace [] on the thing. There are rumors of an official full Android software update. Why fight it? The more people who buy it, the cheaper the economies of scale become for their reader.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson