By Chris Scott Barr
The last month has been a pretty big one for e-book readers. Some of the highlights include Sony’s touchscreen e-reader, another from Irex and the international version of the Kindle. Well another big name has decided to throw their hat into the ring, and it’s a damn-good looking hat.
Barnes & Noble announced that they will be launching their own reader, dubbed ‘Nook’. The first thing you’ll notice about the Nook is that it has a pair of screens (not unlike the Alex Dual Screen we saw on Monday) instead of just the traditional one. There’s not much to say about the top 16-color e-ink screen, but the bottom is a full-color 3.5 inch touchscreen LCD. This can be used to browse through your library, or as a virtual keyboard for input.
The second screen isn’t the only thing the Nook has on most popular e-readers. In addition to having 3G service (through AT&T) for downloading content, it will also feature Wi-Fi. Why this has been left out of readers like the Kindle, I still don’t understand. As for content, it will support PDF’s natively, along with EPUB and various other eReader formats. They claim that you’ll have access to over a million ebooks.
Other notable features include 2GB of internal storage (expandable by 16GB via microSD), the ability to play MP3 audio (but no text-to-speech) and the ability to share books. That’s right, you can “loan” out an e-book to friends using compatible devices for up to 14 days at a time. How cool is that? The only requirement is that your friend needs to have a device that is running the Barns & Noble software.
The Nook is going to go on sale sometime in November for the price of $259. With all of these features, you have to wonder what’s going through Amazon’s mind right now.
[ Barns & Noble ]