Nook Color vs eLocity A7

Discussion in 'Nook' started by JackOnan, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    BJ's is offering the A7 for $299 until Dec 17 so I think its worth discussing if the A7 is worth the extra $50 over the Nook Color. Note that tax and shipping charges may increase that $50 difference to $80 or more.

    A7 Advantages:
    Tegra 2 CPU @ 1GHz
    HDMI out
    Mic, camera
    USB Port
    Front buttons
    Android 2.2 already installed and open

    Nook Color Advantages:
    Higer resolution IPS screen (could be a disadvantage for some apps)
    Multi-touch vs A7 1 Point touch/Gestures
    8GB of storage built in vs only 4GB on the A7
    Possibly better support

    I think the lack of true multi-touch really kills an otherwise perfect device, which is why I'm sticking with my Nook Color.
    Please post your thoughts on the matter.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  2. rico2001

    rico2001 Senior Member

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    I'll go to bjs and see if they have an A7 to play with. Will give you my honest opinion tonight.
     
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  3. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    That would be awesome. Nothing can beat a hands on report. I'd actually considered returning the NC (which I haven't even received yet! lol), until I learned about the lack of multi-touch on the A7.
     
  4. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    The A7 also has a lower resolution screen. But OH Jack why put us in the path of temptation??? :p

    Actually, I've been wondering the same thing. That $300 price point sure is inviting. But I keep telling myself the $250 NC is my wife's fancy-shmancy new ereader, and that keeps me calm. The A7 has several features that I'd really never use...camera, HDMI out, docking port.

    But I do have some "news". I suspect the NC IS NOT multi-touch either (there's an interesting debate about how/whether the A7 is on Amazon). Here is the rub: the NC FOR SURE registers two-finger touches, but I don't think it recognizes gestures (other than pinch-zoom, anyway). My suspicion is based on playing with the new (5.0) version of Google Maps with both my NC and my Droid: I have the compass, and can rotate and change the viewing angle using multi-touch on the Droid. No compass on the NC, and the same gestures produce nothing.

    One caveat to this observation is that I'm using a rooted and modded system on the NC. So perhaps when B&N is kind enough to give us 2.2, the question will likely be resolved.

    -Matt
     
  5. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Tonight? How many times do I have to thank you? When are you setting up a Paypal account? ;)

    -Matt
     
  6. rico2001

    rico2001 Senior Member

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    Sorry JackOnan no luck getting my hands on one, my BJ's doesn't have the A7. :(

    So... I'll do my best giving you may opinion on how they match up on paper:


    Nook Color
    OS - Android 2.1
    Screen - 7" Multi-touch Capacitive TFT LCD with 1024 x 600 resolution (170 dpi), anti-glare, 178° viewing angle
    Processor - 800mHz Cortex A8 processor
    Ram - 512 MB
    Internal storage - 8GB, microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB
    4,010mAh battery, 8 hrs
    WiFi b/g/n
    Bluetooth (none at the moment, likely enabled with custom rom)
    3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
    1 mono speaker
    micro usb port
    Size - 205mm x 128mm x 12mm
    Weight - 447g

    eLocity A7
    OS - Android 2.2
    Screen - 7" Single-touch Capacitive TFT LCD with 800 x 480 resolution (133 dpi),
    Processor - Dual-core 1GHz Tegra II T-250 processor
    Ram - 512 MB
    Internal storage - GB, microSD card slot supporting up to 32GB
    Front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera
    3,000mAh (2x1500mah) battery, 5 hrs.
    WiFi b/g
    Bluetooth 2.1
    3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
    2 sterro speakers
    mic
    standard usb port
    hdmi port
    Size - 208mm x 122mm x 12mm
    Weight - 462g

    So far I love my NC, can't say enough about it, it's better than what I expected and the screen is better and sharper than my HTC Evo. That being said, the NC is a work in progress and if you are not an adventurous type, like rooting, enjoying the playing with the software and roms, the HC may not be the right fit for you. The A7 seems to have really good specs performance wise although the screen is lacking and some say the viewing angles are horrible. Since we all are looking at the screen 100% of the time while using our tabs, viewing quality is quite important IMO. The NC screen is beautiful and is made by LG, may favorite lcd manufacture.

    Right now the NC needs softkeys and it's uncertain if the 2.2 update will address this issue. The A7, like many other devices have dedicated areas for it's softkeys. Pretty important and need items for many apps, but I'm learning to live with it since I know things will get better down the road. The NC primary profiles is portrait, which I like and from most pics of the A7, it starts in landscape.

    Pricewise for me, I wanted to get a tab under $200 since I don't currently have a need for a tab but wanted something to play with to get my feet with android tablets. The NC was a stretch but after really doing research on the specs, I can to the conclusion, like many others that it was too good to pass up on. Minus the cam/gps and 3g, the NC is as good as the Samsung Galaxy tab. Now is the extra $50 for the A7 worth it? I really can't answer that; dual core processor vs. high res, high dpi multi-touch screen.

    To me it comes down to which device is going to get more improvements and development in the upcoming future. The A7 is currently complete and running a solid, fully functional version of 2.2. The NC is running modified 2.1, covered up by a limited B&N Nook launcher, workspace and settings. I have no doubt the NC will become much better, smoother, and faster than it is now... and in that lies the fun for us tech head who strive to make every device we have better than it was built.

    Well hope that helps and either way you go, would be a good choice.
     
  7. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    Sorry, It was a nagging gremlin that needed to be dealt with.

    Maybe someone can try the Touch Tester on the NC and report the results. The gestures would be a function of the software - so as long as the NC has hardware support for at least dual touch, then we are ahead of the A7. I'm not sure why those functions such as the compass are not working on the NC - perhaps the screen hardware on the NC is communicating in a non-standard way(was it the same 2.1 version of Android on both devices?).

    Thank you rico for trying and the writeup. I agree that the screen is the most important part - as right now I am typing this on a 42" monitor :). I have no aversity to modding the NC, so I think I will stick with it. I'll save a few bucks and won't have some features that I probably won't use anyway(HDMIout etc). And considering the issue where google was "accidentally" spying on people, maybe better not to have a mic and camera ;-).

    And also to mention the fact that games on the A7 may not work properly without true multitouch - how to shoot and move at the same time. So what good is all that CPU power for gaming?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  8. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, good news: Multitouch Tester reports 2 touch points. Which of course makes sense because pinch-zoom works in Google Maps and Dolphin HD. I wouldn't be surprised if the lack of multi-touch functionality I'm seeing in Google Maps is because I have a wonky installation.

    By the way: noodDevs has updated the rooting procedure considerably, and it now includes a number of additional mods, such as enabling GMail and the Market. The story is evolving quickly.

    -Matt
     
  9. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    This is great news. Lots of fun ahead of us :)
     
  10. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh boy, that was Freudian in more ways than I can count.

    Of course I meant nooKdevs, not nooDdevs. LOL

    -Matt
     
  11. rico2001

    rico2001 Senior Member

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    Was really no need of testing, the multi-touch works in the gallery of any NC (rooted or non-rooted). The stock web browser just doesn't support multi-touch, but only double tap zoom in/out.
     
  12. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    Actually, this was a worthwhile test since the A7 also has pinch-to-zoom which makes it appear as though it has multi-touch. It uses software emulation and is reportedly not very accurate at times. We need to get someone with an A7 to run the Touch Tester - but I am almost certain it will show only one touch point.

    I think its settled that the A7 is a steaming pile of parts haplessly thrown together and not worthy of our attention ;) At least this will make us feel better.
     
  13. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah, interesting. Well, like I said: I've got pinch-zoom. I've got two big fat touch points in Multitouch Test. But I ain't got no rotate and I ain't got no "change camera angle" in Google Maps. To be continued...

    Jack, thanks so much for saying "the A7 is a steaming pile of parts haplessly thrown together and not worthy of our attention." I've seen a few early reports (here?) that viewing angles are not so hot, and wifi is acting up on the A7. I hate to gloat (no I don't, I love to gloat) but wifi is a pure joy on the NC. I've owned so many "fringe" devices...Archos media player, Slacker music player, Nintendo DS...where the wifi was inconsistent and hit-or-miss. Thank goodness the NC is rock-solid.

    -Matt
     
  14. gadgetrants

    gadgetrants Moderator Staff Member

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    OK, just a little more gloating: there is a frustrated A7 owner at Amazon (actually, now two), complaining to eLocity that he can't sideload Angry Birds (WHAT IS IT with that game???). I am curious why it sideloads no problem on the (rooted) NC, but not the A7. Obviously it's apples and oranges, but is it because the A7 is locked down?

    Well, I think it's inevitable that the dev community will root it (before 2011?) and begin installing Android as it was meant to be experienced. And then we'll have a fair fight.

    -Matt
     
  15. JackOnan

    JackOnan Member

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    I'll look into this further when I actually get my NC on Tuesday. Could have something to do with the rooting process of the NC that installs the Google apps[or maybe the way in which the app communicates with the hardware].
    Of course by "steaming pile..." I actually mean a finely crafted device, ahem (not to slight the designers who I am sure worked very hard). But they dropped the ball with the multitouch which gives us NC owners no reason for pause[and I'm wondering if the limit to single touch is due to the hardware or software. If its the software then maybe someone may be able to enable true multi-touch with a rom update. But I'm thinking its a hardware limitation or the designers would have used it from the start, but you never know].
    I'm very glad to hear the Wifi is working well. This is the reason I passed on the Archos70 - that and the 256MB of RAM.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

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