I’m very fortunate in that my job provides regular bonuses. One thing I normally do is reserve a small portion of that bonus for “personal” use (“toy” money, basically). This helps keep me sane. This time around, I decided to get a tablet. After looking around at prices, capability, availability, etc., I settled on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color.
“But wait!” I hear you say, “That’s just an e-reader, not a tablet!” Well, technically yes. While the Nook does run Android (Froyo), it has a custom B&N interface that limits it’s capabilities and leaves B&N in control of what can be loaded and what apps are available. But the Android community found out something – the Nook Color boots first from the MicroSD Card if there is a bootable card in the slot. What does this mean? It means this:
That’s right, that’s a Nook Color running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb). In fact, the Nook Color was the first consumer available tablet running Honeycomb. Before any other Honeycomb tablet was available, people were running it on the Nook. Even better, the Nook is capable of running Honeycomb from the SD card, without having to root the device. You can also install it to the device’s internal memory, if you like.
There are a few catches. The current version of Honeycomb for the Nook is based off of a “preview” version of the OS, so it’s not quite the same as what you see on the Xoom or the other tablets. There are a few apps that don’t work, or don’t work right – whether this is caused by this being a preview release of Honeycomb, the fact that I’m running it off of the SD card, or a driver/other issue with the Nook hardware, I don’t know.
Really, it meets my needs – though once the new version based off the release version of Honeycomb is ready, I will switch to that. I might change to one of the other available ROMs if I decide I need more functionality. Nookie Froyo looks good, too – and if I want I can actually use another SD card for it and keep my ability to run Honeycomb, too.
Oh, and the biggest benefit of running from the SD card? I can switch back to the stock, unrooted Nook system easily.
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