Anyone remember the original Nook Color? The odd e-reader-gone-Android-tablet was first released over a year ago, and arguably is what started the market for small, cheap, 7-inch Android-based media consumption tablets. Since then, plenty of new hardware has come along in that space, including the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, and now the iPad Mini. However, the original Nook is still at least somewhat relevant, thanks to the help of the CyanogenMod developer team.

For quite a while, the only builds of CyanogenMod or Android that actually worked well on the Nook Color were those based on Gingerbread, even after the Android 4.0 source code was released. With newer ROMs, there were quite a few problems with accelerated video and other drivers, making the builds less than useful for media consumption and gaming. Fortunately, although it has taken quite a while, most of the bugs seem to have been ironed out. The CyanogenMod team just recently released an alpha build of CM10 for the device, and it seems to be the best one yet.

Quite a bit of work has gone into making the build great, and bugs with YouTube, H.264 video playback, and OpenGL acceleration seem to finally have been fixed. There are still going to be a few things that don’t work quite right, but they should be small in comparison to the benefits of finally updating to CM10.

I still have an original Nook Color, which has been stuck running CM 7.2 for quite a while, because I didn’t think that the Android 3.0 and greater builds were quite ready. It may have taken quite a while, but now they are finally good enough. I’ll probably install the CM10 alpha on my Nook Color just to see how well the device can work after all this time, and would suggest that anyone else with an original Nook Color gather dust do the same.

[xda-developers]