Hey, Nook! Barnes & Noble’s E-Book Reader is Official

By  |  Tuesday, October 20, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Nook LogoThe salient details had all leaked out already, but now they’re real: Barnes & Noble has unveiled its e-book reader. It’s called the Nook, it packs both a 6″ e-ink screen and a color touch one below, and comes both 3G and WiFi, 2GB of memory, and an SD slot. The Nook will offer both bestsellers and other new releases (“many” at $9.99) and over a million titles in total, including free public-domain works. It costs $259–the same as Amazon.com’s cheapest Kindle–and is due to ship by the end of November.

Oh, and it syncs with Barnes & Noble’s e-reading software for PCs, Macs, iPhones, and BlackBerries, and has a lending feature that lets you virtually loan an e-book to a friend for two weeks. Let’s op

As with Spring Design’s Alex, the Nook’s two-screen design feels like a kludge to deal with the deficiencies that both e-ink and color LCDs still have. (The color display has an impact on the Nook’s battery life: ten days on a charge, vs. fourteen for the Kindle.) But maybe it’s an elegant kludge–I look forward to getting my hands on a Nook soon.

The single thing about the Nook that I’m most excited about is something kind of mundane: Like Sony’s Readers–but unlike the Kindle–it supports the industry-standard ePub format, and therefore doesn’t render your book purchases worthless if you someday decide to switch to an electronic reader made by someone else. I’m a mostly happy Kindle owner, but the current explosion of interesting alternatives from other companies leaves me hesitating each time I’m about to plunk down money for an e-book. I wonder how long it’ll take until Amazon decides that its proprietary book format is a drag on sales?

(Footnote: I’m still not clear whether the fact that the Nook and Sony Reader both support ePub means that I can just move my books back and forth starting right now. But that’s the direction the whole industry needs to go, and it can’t happen soon enough.)



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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Cathy Says:

    It’s not just the Kindle’s format, it’s the way your ownership changes from day to day–now you own it, now you don’t, hey we forgot to tell you that there were limits on downloading and their policy of getting even bigger discounts from publishers so they can sell things cheaply. Have to go read the paper PC World on Windows 7, all my old machines are about to fall apart.

    If you talk with them, might you ask them if they have any policies about libraries lending them?

  2. Gabriel Says:

    My only comments is very simple. Books that you can buy in Amazon Kindle for 25$ are not for sale on B&N ebook format. If you want to buy it in other ebook online store, it will cost you 40$….????

    so how can people think that nook with kill kindle????


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