NookColor promises more e-reader flexibility


The NookColor won't be much bigger than a standard Nook, but it will have more functionality. Image: Flickr / Todd Barnard / CC-BY-SA

The latest e-reader to be announced, the Color Nook, is the latest offering of Barnes & Noble. The Color Nook will start shipping around Nov. 19. This new e-reader crosses the lines between tablet computer and e-reader.

Barnes & Noble introduces color Nook

A full-color touchscreen device, the Color Nook is going to be sold and supplied by bookseller Barnes & Noble. There are multiple differences between the original black and white Nook and the new NookColor. The color Nook will not use e-ink, but a “laminated” touchscreen that allows for color but must be backlit. The NookColor will also be available only as a $249 Wi-Fi version, while the e-ink version has a 3G connection available. The NookColor will also run on an Android-based operating system, which will provide faster page turns and faster responsiveness.

The statistics of the NookColor

The NookColor is an e-reader that is about half an inch thick and weighs about 15 ounces (less than a pound). With an 8GB internal memory chip, the NookColor will hold about 6,000 books. The built-in battery will allow for eight hours of continuous reading. The laminated touchscreen display will flip pages more quickly than e-ink displays. The NookColor will be offered in tandem with e-ink Nook devices. E-ink is supposedly easier on the eyes for long periods of time, though Barnes & Noble says the lamination narrows this “comfort gap.”

Blurring lines with NookColor

The NookColor is, more than ever, blurring the lines between tablet computers such as the iPad and Galaxy Tab and e-readers such as the Nook and Kindle. The NookColor is being opened up for “limited app development.” There is also going to be built-in social, Facebook and Twitter functionality. In short, the display remains the only big difference between e-readers and tablet computers. It is likely only a matter of time before the differences between them are hard to noitice.


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