A $250 device reverse engineered to run Android 2.2.1
At the outset, Barnes and Noble's e-book reader has been intended to be a dumbed down version of an Android tablet. However, it's not because it's lacking in hardware, but far from that. Armed with an 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a 1024 x 600 pixel display with capacitive touchscreen, the Nook Color was always a promising Android tablet - especially at its $250 price. It's a shame then that Barnes and Nobles had wiped out all traces of its resemblance to Android; replacing the user interface (UI) with its own proprietary Nook UI instead.
However, considering the open source origins of the underlying Android platform, the dormant power of Nook Color's hardware didn't lay unutilised for long. Users had already started rooting, that is gaining Super User privileges to override the Nook UI, their Nook Color to eke out full functionality. In a latest development, the e-reader has been hacked to run Android 2.2.1. What that means is your Nook Color now gets a home screen and the ability to launch Android applications right off the bat. It also gets the phone icon in the process, but that's moot considering it lacks the communication hardware to make and receive calls.
The Nook Color's competent hardware, excellent touchscreen display and a killer price of just $250 makes it ideal for the tinkering kind to consider it as an Android tablet with just a little bit of effort. That's not much of an effort when you juxtapose it to the enormous savings you make over a full-fledged Android tablet.