Saturday, October 30, 2010
Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:30 AM
"Barnes & Noble Inc. is introducing a new Nook e-reader with a color touch screen for $249 as competition in the fast-growing industry heats up ahead of the holidays. As the first full-color touch electronic reader, the Nookcolor stands apart from black-and-white competitors... [and] can be used to read books, magazines, newspapers and an expanded array of children's titles. It also takes hints from Apple Inc.'s iPad with more games, Web browsing, music streaming and its own application store. Like earlier versions, it runs on Google Inc.'s Android operating system."
Barnes & Noble appears to be sticking with the "e-reader" designation, even though the new Nookcolor appears to blur the lines between e-reader and tablet with its feature set, which includes: 7-inch color touchscreen, microUSB port, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, and ability to play audio and video files - with sound piped through a built-in mono speaker or via a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. In addition to promising "over 2 million" book titles (and over a million free titles!), the Nookcolor includes several games, the ability to access Pandora internet radio, and works with the same "LendMe" app that the original Nook offers. Barnes & Noble is also attempting to leverage their brick & mortar stores by offering Nook owners free Wi-Fi, special discounts, and the ability to read free books (up to an hour per day...) when visiting one of their locations. The Nookcolor can be ordered now, with deliveries expected beginning November 19. Is this a brilliant hurry-up-and-order-one / go-stand-in-line device, or an awkward jumble of e-reader and tablet?