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A look at the newest digital reader: A pro's take on the Barnes & Noble Nook

December 18, 2009 | 12:00 pm

Barnes & Noble recently began shipping its Nook digital book reader. It was promptly trounced by reviewers, who have savaged it as "extremely sluggish" and "half-baked."

With no dearth of media reviews for the Nook, we instead turned to Garth Conboy, president of eBook Technologies, a La Jolla, Calif., consulting firm that specializes in digital readers.

Conboy has worked with e-readers for more than decade, having been vice president of software engineering in the late 1990s for SoftBook Press, the creator of one of the first dedicated e-book devices. He even co-owns several patents for e-book inventions.

Asking a grizzled veteran for his opinion risks several outcomes. For instance, they may be tough to impress, because they've "seen it all before." Or they understand how difficult the task is and may be more willing to forgive faults than the average gadget reviewer.

How does Conboy treat the Nook? You can watch his take on the device in the video above to find out.

-- Alex Pham

Follow my random thoughts on games, gear and technology on Twitter @AlexPham.

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