Does the Nook Color Work with different chargers and cables?
In regards to the charger, I'm sure some of this is rooted in the same lawyer fear-mongering, but there are a few points to consider. If you use a charger that is rated for a lower amperage, the battery will charge more slowly. Higher amperage and it will charge more quickly. Either scenario could theoretically reduce the lifespan of the battery if the battery is designed to charge best only at a certain rate. If the battery charges too quickly, there is also the possibility that it could get too hot while charging, which definitely reduces lifespan.
Lastly, let's face it, there are a ton of really cheap and crappy USB chargers in the wild. They could fry your stuff, blow a capacitor, burst into flame, and who knows what else. B&N may just be trying to protect your Nook Color from cheaply manufactured junk so that you will get the longest life out of it. If the convenience of using others is worth the risk to you, that's your decision to make. Comparing the amperage ratings on your various chargers that you want to use would be an easy thing to do in helping you decide whether or not to risk it.
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1) The nook color (NC from now on) charger does charge faster. Plus, you get the nice colored "n" at the end of it. I usually leave my NC charging during the night.
2) My phone is a Motorola Droid X (same microUSB cord). I've never used the supplied Motorola AC-to-USB charger supplied, as my wall outlets at home have USB power outputs. My DX charges from 0% to 70% through my wall USB outlet in just over one hour, and will possibly reach 100% within 2 hours. If I plug my NC (using supplied NC cable cord, or any random microUSB cord), it'd take about 3 to 4 hours to charge from 0% to 70%, and in my case, using said wall USB outlet (which is a Belkin manufactured wall outlet), the device won't get past 85~90%, (Weird huh?) even if left all night.
3) I also use Motorola's microUSB car adapter; results are similar to those of the wall outlet; the NC will charge, at a slower pace, and won't get past 85%.
4) I own a crappy car socket-to-usb adapter (rated at 700mAh, which is higher than a computers stock 500mAh USB port). I get the same results using this.
5) My computer is a Lenovo ThinkPad T400, (not that it matters, but I run Windows7 Pro for my multimedia needs; and Ubuntu 11.04 for everything else). Connected via the NC supplied cable or a random cable (I have a nokia branded microUSB cable, from 2 years ago, when i had a e71; before switching to an android powered G1); I get the same results with either one; the NC WILL charge, but at an even SLOWER pace... I haven't checked if it even reaches 100%.
Plus, as someone else has already said, the supplied NC cable wont work with any other device; as it is just a tad longer. The reason for this, is for the cable to connect with a "deeper" sensor in the NC, to provide battery charge state for the awesome "n" that lights orange for "charging" or green for "charged". (Note that this light WILL come on regardless of the charger you're using. But it won't turn green unless your NC's battery is at 100%; which, again, in my case, hasn't happened).
Guess that's it. Hope I helped.