DSC04341 300x250 Nook Color rooted, is it better as an eReader or Android tablet now?Unsurprisingly, the Android 2.1 Nook Color has been rooted, less than two weeks after it hit the market.

We’re hardly surprised at this news (the root was accomplished by XDA) – it was inevitable. The root probably isn’t perfect and will get better/easier over time for sure, but that’s the not really the interesting part.  The real question now is about the Nook Color arises: is it an eReader or a tablet?

With the e-ink WiFi-only third generation Kindle being sold by Amazon for $139, and the tablet leader the iPad at $499 for the cheapest model, the $249 price tag of the Nook Color must be making a number of people pause when deciding on what to buy. With the device now rooted, it could become an even harder task to make this decision, as essentially you’re getting a quality-built touch device (according to nearly all reviews) at half the price of the iPad and $350 less than the also-Android Galaxy Tab (no including the data plan of course).

Of course, now that it’s rooted, it’ll only be a matter of time before Android 2.2 builds appear (it should have the hardware to handle it) making it all the more attractive. However, the Nook Color does have some drawbacks if you want to use it as a dedicated Android tablet (i.e. reading won’t be your primary use). The most glaring problem is a lack of a camera, which of course also afflicts the iPad.  Also, battery life is a bit of an issue, as it’s only about half as good as the iPad with WiFi running.

On the other hand, the thing is just $249, is light and is attractively built. So if you don’t yet own a Kindle (or perhaps you do, but don’t want to spend the money on an iPad) this could be a great compromise between the heavier Apple device and the black and white Kindle.