Up until this weekend, I loved my Barnes and Noble Nook. Sure, the B&N digital download store doesn’t have the selection that Amazon does, and the software is slow and bloated, but I love the hardware. It has the potential to be a really nice device.
But Barnes and Noble keeps screwing it up.
First, if the paperback version of a book is $16, and the hardcover is $24, charging $19 for the digital version is not a good deal. Stop trying to pretend like it is guys. Especially when Amazon offers the same book in digital format for $10.
But more importantly, and this goes for all companies: stop designing hardware for “optimal” use patterns. Design them for realistic ones.
This weekend I was irritated to find my nook crashed/froze while I was transferring some documents to it. I reseated the battery per the instructions on the website and all was well. Then, after only a few hours of reading, my nook was at “critical battery level.” When I got home I promptly plugged it in, but noticed the charging light wasn’t on. After a few hours it was clear it wasn’t charging. I went through a myriad of troubleshooting tips from the B&N forums, but the thing is totally dead.
When I finally broke down and called tech support, I was told that charging my nook overnight, or more than 4 hours, is bad for the battery. So is letting the battery dip below 20 or 30%. Apparently by using my nook the way I use every other portable electronic device I destroyed the battery.
It’s completely unreasonable to expect consumers not to charge devices overnight. It’s likewise unreasonable to expect them to never let a battery run down.
So now I’m waiting on a replacement battery, and if that doesn’t work a replacement nook. I’m not happy about it. I read my nook almost every day on the subway. Not having it at the beach this weekend was frustrating. Going a week without it while B&N replaces it part by part isn’t making me any happier about it. Thankfully my friends with their dead tree books were kind enough to refrain from saying “hahaha my book never crashes” as I stared at the lifeless corpse of my nook.
The Kindle is looking pretty attractive right about now.
PS: Why on earth is B&N making me wait a week with a broken device when they carry the battery at one of their stores half a block away from me? I’d go down and just buy another battery, but right now I’m not in the mood to give B&N any more of my money. Unfortunately the Kindle 3 is sold out right now.
Update: While the rep on the phone said to expect my battery Monday, it actually showed up today. Later this evening we’ll know if it’s the battery or the nook.
Update #2: As expected, the battery is not the problem. The battery that I got did have cialis generic enough charge on it to boot, and the nook is just not charging it. They’re sending out a new nook, which I should have Thursday or Friday of next week. I still fail to understand why it can’t be replaced at a B&N store, but at least they’re taking care of it.
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