Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Nook Attempts to Top Kindle

On Tuesday, B&N unveiled the "Simple Touch Reader". Designed for a “pure and simple” reading experience without buttons, keyboards or complexity, the new compact Nook will be available around June 10th in stores or online.   B&N CEO claims the Simple Touch would be the “easiest to use, most portable e-book reader ever.” He outlined several advantages to the new Nook over its Amazon rival.

Sounds good, but I wouldn't ditch my Kindle just yet.  I would have to first see a comprehensive comparison between the K3 & this new Nook, before even thinking about making the jump, since I prefer Amazon's large stock, website, & prices over B&N.  I don't see any major advantages over the former, other than the extended battery life. The memory expansion function is overkill in my opinion, since most ereaders already have the ability to hold over 3,000 books. And if you need additional space for non-book media, you might want to look to a multi-function device, like the iPAD. Not that I would ever buy that expensive-overhyped toy for reading anything other than periodicals.

Features:
  • 6" Pearl E Ink display 
  • Weighs-in at just under 7.5 ounces 
  • 35% lighter than the Original Nook
  • 2 Month Battery Life  (Twice the length of the K3)
  • Price-$140 (Same price as the Kindle 3, but not as cheap at the $114 Kindle with ads.)
  • 80% Less flashing (annoying “ghosting” effect between pages)
  • 50% Better Contrast than the 1st edition Nook
  • “Soft Touch,” (Contoured back, presumably to make it comfier to hold.) 
  • 2 GB w/ Expandable Memory a Slot, that can be boosted to 32GB.

As with previous models, readers will be able to browse entire e-books in the Barnes & Noble physical stores over Wi-Fi, and share recommendations with friends via Facebook and Twitter

While the touchscreen turns the new e-reader into more of a tablet than its predecessor, the new Nook does not offer apps or 3G. Those additions would interrupt the “straightforward reading experience,” said Lynch. The Simple Touch Reader will cater to a particular segment of the population: people who don’t salivate over newest generation apps and just want the basics, please.

For those who do itch for a little more, the company’s popular Nook Color recently got a software update, which includes new apps, support for Flash and built-in email. It’s meant to be the “reader’s tablet for all forms of digital content and rich web browsing,” the Nook Color is second only to the iPad in tablet sales. More than a million apps have been downloaded since they became available in April.

With these two devices, the world’s largest brick-and-mortar bookseller is in a good position to vie with Apple and Amazon for the tablet and e-reading market. Barnes & Noble has already had surprising success since it launched its first Nook in 2009, and now accounts for 25 percent of the digital book market. No doubt this caught the eye of media billionaire John Malone of Liberty Media, who just offered $1billion for a 70% stake in the company.

-Life is too Short to Read a Bad Book-

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