Barnes & Noble, the largest chain of book stores in the U.S., on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its Nook electronic book reader with colour screen. Aimed primarily at those, who reads magazines, books with colourful pictures or children's books, the Nook Color comes with pre-installed social network applications and can feature a web-browser, which brings it close to tablets.
The Nook Color (NookColor) features 7" VividView touch-screen with 1024*600 resolution and IPS matrix that is similar to those used on notebooks. The e-book reader is based on Google Android 2.1 and features 8GB of internal flash memory, Wi-Fi network controller and so on. The device supports playback of MPEG4 video and MP3 music. The NookColor sports an SD card reader and its memory can be expanded with a 32GB SD card.
The new electronic book reader comes with pre-installed Facebook, Twitter and email clients. Naturally, since it is Android 2.1-based, an Internet browser can also be used to browse the Internet. As a result, B&N essentially sells a tablet that's specialty is reading electronic books.
“With NookColor, we’ve combined the functionality and convenience of a 7" portable wireless tablet with the reader-centricity of a dedicated eReader, and employed a breakthrough color screen technology that will wow customers. NookColor enables Web browsing over Wi-Fi, music, games and much more, but reading anything and everything in brilliant color is the killer app and squarely the product’s focus,” said William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble.
Nook supports viewing of various files, including those in PDF, ePub, JPG, PNG, GIF and BMP formats as well as comes pre-installed with Quickoffice software to view Microsoft Office files including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
The device is relatively compact - 8.1"/20.57cm x 5"/12.7cm x 0.48"/1.2cm and weighs just 447gramms (15.8 ounces), which is below the weight of popular tablets, but is higher compared to the original Nook. Unfortunately NookColor does not have a long battery life: it is only claimed that it will last for about 8 hours with Wi-Fi disabled in reading mode.
NookColor is now available for $249 for pre-order at Barnes & Noble online and retail stores. It will begin shipping on or about November 19. B&N will continue to sell original Nook e-book readers with e-ink black and white screens for $149 and higher.