Tag Archives | Barnes & Noble Nookcolor

Nook Color’s New App Market, Software Emphasize the “Tablet” in “Reader’s Tablet”

A little over a week ago, I wondered whether the world needed tablets that were significantly less costly and significantly less fancy than the iPad and its most prominent rivals. A couple of commenters said that such a beast already existed: Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color e-reader. They had a point. At $249, B&N’s Android-based tablet is half the price of the cheapest iPad. Its 7″ color screen and industrial design are quite nice, but it doesn’t have a 1-GHz dual-core processor or  cameras or gobs of storage (it has a merely adequate 8GB) or 3G or other features which are becoming de facto accouterments on higher-end models.

Of course, Barnes & Noble has never pitched the Nook Color as an iPad killer. It calls it a “reader’s tablet,” and it gave the device a modified version of Android that doesn’t have the standard Android interface or access to the Android Marketplace. It’s Amazon.com’s cheaper, E-Ink-sporting Kindle that’s been in B&N’s crosshairs.

But when the company released the Nook Color last year, it did say it was working on an app marketplace of its own–a move that would make the Nook Color a little less of a dedicated e-reader and a little more of a general-purpose device. (Already, some geeky buyers had rooted their Nooks to turn them into standard Android tablets.) Today, B&N is launching that marketplace–which is a new section in the shopping area where it already sells books and magazines–as part of the Nook Color’s version 1.2 upgrade. And while it’s sticking with the “reader’s tablet” idea and saying it’ll focus on reading materials and complementary items, it’s also saying that it’s listened to consumers who think that a $249 Nook Color has a place as an alternative to pricier, more powerful tablets.

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Last Gadget Standing: The Results Are In!

The suspense is over! Yesterday morning, a standing-room-only throng of CES attendees attended the tenth annual Last Gadget Standing event (co-sponsored by Technologizer and LGS creator Robin Raskin’s Living in Digital Times), and witnessed demos–from the straightforward to the wild and crazy–from the ten finalists. Then they voted for their favorite gizmos by clapping, cheering, whistling, hooting, and hollering.

The Last Gadget Standing–as determined by applause-o-meter at the event is Acer’s Iconia, a notebook with two 14-inch screens and a touchscreen interface. And the People’s Choice winner–determined by an online poll–is Barnes & Noble’s Nookcolor “reader’s tablet.”

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E-Readers: They're All Selling Like an Unspecified Number of Hotcakes!

Back in August, I wrote about Amazon.com’s odd habit of frequently bragging about sales of its Kindle e-reader without ever providing explicit numbers. It continues to do so–and it’s inspired its competitors to do some similarly evasive crowing of their own.

Barnes & Noble issued a press release today that it had sold “millions” of Nooks since the first version’s release in December of 2009. But it mostly bragged about Nook sales without disclosing them, by saying that Nooks are the company’s best-selling products ever, and that the Nookcolor is its best-selling gift this holiday season.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today announced that with millions of NOOK eReading devices sold, the line has become the company’s biggest bestseller ever in its nearly 40-year history.  The new NOOKcolor Reader’s Tablet, introduced just eight weeks before Christmas, is the company’s number one selling gift of the holiday season. Barnes & Noble also announced that it now sells more digital books than its large and growing physical book business on BN.com, the world’s second largest online bookstore.

[snip]

Demand for the critically acclaimed NOOKcolor remained high following the product’s introduction in late October through the holidays. Sales have continued to exceed the company’s high expectations.

The only hard number in the release is the “millions” of Nooks sold; we can apparently assume that B&N has sold at least two million devices. (A few weeks ago, it was a minor news story when an Amazon staffer said that “millions” of third-generation Kindles had been sold in 73 days; I wonder if B&N would have been even this specific if Amazon hadn’t made the leap first?)

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Last Gadget Standing: The Ten Finalists

Dozens of companies that will be demonstrating their products at next week’s Consumer Electronics Show nominated themselves for the Last Gadget Standing competition. We judges whittled the contenders down to 25 semi-finalists. And now we’ve cut down that list to ten finalists who will get to show their stuff at our event at CES in Las Vegas next week. One of them will be…the last gadget standing.

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Android vs. Android

Time for another Last Gadget Standing face-off! On the surface, Google and Samsung’s Nexus S and Barnes & Noble’s Nookcolor don’t have all that much in common—after all, one is a smartphone and one is a “reader’s tablet.” But they’re both based on the same operating system, Google’s Android, and that makes them distant cousins, at least.

I’ve reviewed and (mostly) enjoyed both of them–they’re both worthy Last Gadget Standing semi-finalists. Now it’s time for you to weigh in.


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