Playing some Sudoku and reading Engadget on our Nook
? Yeah, we are! Obviously, after hearing about the Nook 1.3 firmware update
this morning, us bookworms nabbed the latest software to check out the added features. The over-the-air update took about a total of ten minutes from start to finish, and when the e-reader had restarted the new Games, Wi-Fi, Audio, and Web shortcuts were more than obvious on the main menu. The browsing experience, which is clearly marked beta, is very similar to that on the Spring Design Alex
-- you input the address on the touchscreen and an expanded view of whatever site you're visiting appears on the E-Ink display. You can use the LCD to navigate the page, though the physical page turn buttons work as well, which is actually a nice trick. It isn't the fastest browsing experience, but it'll definitely be useful for quickly reading some news or checking the weather when you are near a WiFi network – we got a page not found message over 3G.
As for the Sudoku and chess games, it's all pretty standard -- the boards appear on the E-Ink screen and you use the touchscreen to input numbers or move pieces. We weren't near a Barnes & Noble to check out the borrow-a-book feature, but the navigation seems to have gotten even snappier since the 1.2 update
, and the lower screen is refreshing noticeably faster. Our early verdict? Those Best Buy shoppers
are getting a heck of a much better Nook than we did a few months ago