Walt Mossberg

Recent Columns by Walt Mossberg

Mossberg’s Mailbox

iPad Battery and Nook vs. Kindle

Does the new Apple iPad have a removable battery? I haven’t seen any mention of this issue in all the stories about it.

A: No. Like Apple’s (AAPL) other current portable devices, the iPad has a sealed-in battery that isn’t user-replaceable. The company claims the battery gets about 10 hours of running time between charges.

When I use the zoom control in the Firefox Web browser, the whole page zooms, but I can’t seem to get text to enlarge very much. Can you help?

A: I have found that zooming in Firefox increases text size considerably. But there’s a feature that might help you. In the View menu, under Zoom, you can check on “Zoom Text Only.” This focuses the zooming function solely on the text and, in my quick tests, seemed to make the text get larger more rapidly. I was able to make the text really huge, in both the Windows and Mac versions of the browser.

I upgraded to Windows 7 and discovered that the calendar is no longer in my Live Mail. Why did Microsoft (MSFT) eliminate the calendar?

A: There is indeed a calendar in the latest version of Windows Live Mail. It can be called up from the menu in the lower left corner–it’s the second item, just beneath “Mail.” If you aren’t seeing it, you may have an older version, and you may want to download a fresh copy of the latest edition. You can get it at: download.live.com/wlmail.

It’s almost my birthday and my husband says he wants to get me a Kindle or a Nook. I read your review of Nook but was wondering what your thoughts are now that Nook has been updated and some glitches repaired.

A: I haven’t tested the Nook with the latest fixes. But, when I tested it in December, I found it not only to be slower than the Kindle, but to have a clumsier user interface, and a catalog of e-books that was mostly made up of pre-1923 books that are out of copyright.

So, unless Barnes & Noble (BKS) managed to overhaul the whole thing in a couple of months, I would still recommend for the moment going with the Kindle.

The other option would be to wait for Apple’s iPad, which will work as an e-reader and have a better screen and elegant software. But that product hasn’t even been released, so I can’t yet say how it would measure up.

You can find Mossberg’s Mailbox, and all of my other columns, online, free of charge, at the All Things Digital Web site, walt.allthingsd.com.

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