Tag Archives | Barnes & Noble Nook

The Nook Goes Color

Barnes & Noble just announced its new Nook e-reader–and as rumored, the big news is that it has a color screen. No, it’s not some bleeding-edge color electronic ink: The $249 Nookcolor uses an IPS LCD, the same type of screen used by the iPad, but in a 7″ size. Like the original Nook, it runs Android, and B&N says it will run for eight hours on a charge.

Barnes & Noble is calling the Nookcolor a “reader’s tablet,” cleverly splitting the difference between Kindle-style e-readers and  iPad-esque tablets. It’ll only succeed if it’s good, but its positioning seems distinct and comprehensible–unlike a Kindle, it has a color touchscreen, and it’s much more portable and affordable than an iPad.

That doesn’t make it the ideal device, of course–it can’t compete with the Kindle’s battery life or the iPad’s third-party app riches. (I can’t tell from B&N’s site if the device can run stock Android apps, but I’d tend to doubt it.)

The Nookcolor is supposed to start shipping around November 19th; more thoughts to come.


Kindle to Get Lending

One of the key advantages that Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader has over Amazon’s Kindle is a lending feature that lets you temporarily transfer a digital book you’ve bought to another Nook owner. But Amazon says it’s readying something similar for Kindle users.

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The Nook in Living Color?

Barnes & Noble is holding a press event in New York next Tuesday. (Jacqueline Emigh will be covering it for us.) Here’s an intriguing rumor: Supposedly, the news involves a $249 color Nook.

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Mossberg on iPad E-Reading

The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg prefers to do his e-reading on an iPad. (So do I, most of the time.) And he’s reviewed iPad e-readers: Apples iBooks, Amazon’s Kindle, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.


E-Readers are Dead. Long Love E-Reading!

Over at Ars Technica, Jon Stokes is noting that the explosion of new e-readers that seemed to be coming this year has turned out to be more of a whimper than a bang. Plastic Logic’s Que ProReader is dead, Hearst’s Skiff reader shows no signs of life, Samsung’s E-Ink reader is apparently skipping the US market, and none of the umpteen readers from lesser-known companies has become a breakout hit.

Still in the game: Amazon’s Kindle (the e-reader that’s synonymous with e-readers), Barnes & Noble’s Nook (which B&N is about to double down on), and Sony’s Reader (the first modern e-reader). Oh, and there’s Kobo, the Canadian e-reader backed by Borders. I don’t see any of these going away anytime soon–actually, as Slate’s Farhad Manjoo points out, the likely scenario is that they’ll get even cheaper and sell even better.

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Barnes & Noble Doubles Down on the Nook

Amazon.com’s Kindle may have the highest profile of any e-reader, but Barnes & Noble seems to be pretty darn serious about its Nook. The New York Times reports that the company is planning to make space for Nook boutiques in its superstores, dedicating a thousand feet of floor space near their cafés to Nooks, Nook accessories, and in-person and video demonstrations.

B&N plans to free up room for Nooks in part by shrinking space devoted to CDs; in this era, you gotta think that it probably would be deemphasizing sales of music on shiny discs no matter what. It says it’s not going to carry fewer dead-tree books.

The move presumably means that B&N is in the hardware business for the long haul and already has future generations of Nooks in the works. The first-generation Nook got off to a somewhat bumpy start–its software was slow and buggy, and some promised features weren’t immediately available–but the company has improved it through multiple software updates. It’s also knocked the price down to $199 and introduced a $149 model with Wi-Fi but no 3G connection.

Barnes & Noble also offers e-reader software for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, PC, and Mac, and it powers the e-book stores for devices from Nook competitors such as Pandigital. The Times doesn’t say whether the new boutiques will spotlight any of these other ways to read digital books.


Good (But Confusing) News for New York Times Fans Who Own iPads

Barnes & Noble has released a Nook application for Android and is (logically) rebranding all its other e-reader apps with the Nook name. But it has another piece of news today that’s more intriguing: iPad owners can now use Barnes & Noble’s app to subscribe to a full-blown digital edition of the New York Times. Cool–but I’m more confused than ever by the Times’s own iPad app, which is beautifully and intelligently designed but which offers only a smattering of content.

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Borders Sort of Responds to the E-Reader Price Wars. You Out There, Sony?

As of Sunday night, the Kobo e-reader sold by Borders was a $150 gadget that dramatically undercut the $259 pricetag on Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook. Then B&N cut the Nook’s price to $199 and introduced a $149 model, and Amazon responded by knocking the Kindle down to $189. The Kobo is still a cheap e-reader, but not strikingly so–especially considering that it has neither a 3G connection nor Wi-Fi.

So Borders has taken action, but not in the form of a straight price reduction: It’s including a $20 gift card with purchase of the Kobo, reducing the effective cost of the e-reader to $129. I don’t think Kobo matters enough (at least not yet) for Amazon or B&N to feel forced to react to this price cut. But I suspect that before all the product introductions and price reductions are done with, we’ll see three standard price points for e-readers: $200 or thereabouts for 3G models, $150 or thereabouts for slightly less fancy ones, and $99 or thereabouts for basic models that you might still plausibly want to own.

Still to be heard from: Sony, whose $169.99 Reader Pocket Edition and $199.99 Reader Touch Edition are now a tad pricey–and whose already-big-ticket $349.99 Daily Edition is totally out of whack with the e-reader economics that Barnes & Noble and Borders established yesterday,


Nook Pricing Conundrum

As of today, Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader costs $199. Yesterday, on Father’s Day, it was still $259, but with a special offer. My old pal Brad Grimes continues, in a comment from our post today on Amazon’s Kindle price cut:

I bought a $259 Nook yesterday (Sunday) as a gift for my father, enticed by an offer for a “free” $50 gift card. When I saw the price today, I called to see if I could get the difference back. I was told I could get only $10 back. It turns out, after looking at my receipt, they didn’t charge me for a $259 Nook and then give me a “free” $50 gift card, as advertised. They gave me a $209 Nook and charged me $50 for the gift card. Was I just shafted by Barnes & Noble? Harry, help an old friend!!!

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