New B&N Nook Touch-enabled Android Reader. Kindle-Killer?

The 1st edition of Nook ebook reader was kind of innovative. It featured two screens: small color LCD for menus and larger E-Ink display for reading. The newest Nook seems to be much less inventive, though reasonably priced.

Barnes&Noble cannot avoid comparisons with the Kindle. They call their ebook reader “All-new Nook” pointing out simplicity as the most important feature. That strategy is understandable because many avid readers are willing to buy readers that are easy to use. With the price of $139, Nook comes as an attractive alternative to Kindle.

All-new Nook is small and lightweight, actually it weighs 7.48 ounces (212 grams) which equals to some larger smartphones. B&N used in their newest device a technology called E Ink Pearl Display capable of 80-percent less flashing during page turns (which are “lightning fast”) and makes it easy to read also in bright sunlight. The screen has a diagonal of 6 inches and it’s fully operated by touching. The interface includes searching for words, highlighting passages, changing the font’s size and style, there’s also a responsive on-screen keyboard available.

How about software? Nook uses Android 2.1 OS which perhaps is a plus and gives lots of opportunities. It gives WiFi access, though sadly there is no 3G capability. The reader copes with PDF and EPUB files and it’s hard to say how about files that were not bought in B&N digital bookstore (eg. TXT and DOC). I would expect them to be unavailable on Nook without changing the software.

What’s probably most important to some users, B&N claims to be in possession of an impressive 25% of digital book market. That gives a choice of around two millions of books, magazines and newspapers. Most of books cost $9.99 or less and there’s over a million of classics free to download.

Well, Barnes&Noble surely direct its product to quite old-fashioned customers or those who expect that the gadget is used only for reading and purchasing books. Others perhaps won’t replace their iPads even for the greatest E Ink reading experience anyway.

Interested in digital books and stuff? See Kobo eReader Touch Edition or an article describing new features of Google eBooks.

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