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After several months of delays, Barnes & Noble on Monday announced availability of its highly-anticipated Nook electronic book reader. Starting the 10th of February, Nook devices will be available in B&N online and retail stores.

“We are excited to announce that Nook is now available online and will be in stock at the majority of our stores by mid-week – just in time for Valentine's Day,” a statement by Barnes & Noble reads.

 In retail stores it will be possible to access and enjoy the exclusive “More In Store” content and promotional offers. The "More In Store" content will be updated weekly and available for a four-week period. In February, Nook users in Barnes & Noble stores can enjoy 10% off any CD, the company said.

Barnes & Noble Nook e-book reader is based on Google Android platform, measures by 7.7” x 4.9” x 0.5” (196.2mm x 126mm x 12.8mm), weighs 11.2 ounces (317 grams), features black and white 6” e-ink Vizplex screen with undisclosed resolution, 3.5” colour touch-screen for navigation, 2GB of onboard flash memory for books or news-papers (microSD port also available) and up to 10 days of battery life with wireless connectivity off. The device features AT&T’s wireless EDGE/HSDPA/UMTS mobile broadband connectivity as well as Wi-Fi support to download the content everywhere. The Nook will be able to playback MP3 music, display photographs using its black and white screen.

The main advantages that Barnes & Noble’s Nook offers compared to other e-book readers is access to more than a million titles, 500 thousand free e-books, exclusive content and unique ability to lend books to friends (who use Nook services on platforms like Apple iPhone/iPod, select Blackberry or Motorola phones, PC, etc) for up to 14 days, something that other e-book devices lack completely.

Unfortunately, Nook still has two major disadvantages of Amazon Kindle: it works and is available only in the U.S. (there is an international version of Kindle 2 is available in over 100 countries) and it costs $259, quite a lot for a device that does not feature truly state-of-the-art technologies.

Tags: Barnes & Noble, Nook, E-Book

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