Barnes & Noble sizes up the competition with Nook HD+ and Nook HD tablets

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on September 26th, 2012

Like clockwork Barnes and Noble has outed new slates to compete head-to-head with Kindle’s new Fire tablets. There’s two of ‘em, a 9-inch and a 7-inch, and they take aesthetic tips from their predecessors Nook Tablet and Nook Color, so let’s dive right in.

The 9-inch Nook HD+ boasts a full HD display (1920 x 1280 resolution, 256 pixels per inch) and it’s powered by a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s lightweight at 515 grams and promises up to 10 hours of reading and 9 hours of video playback. As far as ports go there’s a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack, one HDMI-compatible port, microSD, and a charging port. WiFi 802.11b/g/n and Bluetooth are built-in. It comes in a black “slate” color in 16GB ($269) and 32GB ($299) storage variants. The HD+ is up for preorder today and goes on sale in November.

The 7-inch Nook HD packs a 720p display (1440 x 900 resolution, 243 pixels per inch) and it’s powered by a 1.3GHz OMAP 4470 dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. It’s even lighter than it’s more powerful sibling at 315 grams and its battery promises nearly the same life expectancy. The ports, expanded memory, and wireless connectivity remain the same. It comes in not one but two colors–black “smoke” and white “snow.” The 16GB models will sell for $199 and the 32GB models will go for $199 when the HD releases this November. Like the HD+, it’s available for preorder today.

So if you’re in the market for a new device that delivers reading experiences (books, magazines, newspapers), video and music playback, and apps, the competition (read: Google, Amazon, Apple) just heated up.

[Via B&N]

Barnes & Noble announces Nook Tablet, updates and drops prices of Nook Color & Nook Simple Touch

Posted in Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on November 7th, 2011

Kindle Fire, meet your head-to-head competition. Today Barnes & Noble announced their latest e-reader, the Nook Tablet. On the outside, the Nook Tablet looks nearly identical to its predecessor the Nook Color. This time around, it’s almost entirely what’s on the inside that really counts. The Tablet is fast, packing a 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. The 7-inch multitouch screen (1024 x 600) displays 16 million colors ultra-bright and features full IPS lamination to reduce reflection and glare and offer extra-wide viewing angles and clarity. The display can play full HD 1080p content. Battery life is quite impressive, too. The Tablet offers up 11.5 hours of reading time or 9 hours of video viewing. There’s 16GB of onboard storage, and this can be expanded with an SD card. Built-in WiFi allows for web surfing and downloading books, magazines, newspapers, comic books, apps and other content. (Note that though the Tablet runs Android Gingerbread, users will not have access to the Android Marketplace.) It’s thinner than the Color weighing in at 14.1 ounces and it features a soft touch back design. A built-in microphone allows users to take advantage of the new Read and Record feature which allows parents to record narration and let their kids play it back when they’re reading their favorite stories. The newest Nook also sees an upgrade in entertainment selection. It comes preloaded with Netflix and Hulu Plus apps for movie and TV show selections (Flixster with UltraViolet is coming soon) and Pandora, Rhapsody, Grooveshark, and MOG are available for streaming music.

During their press event, B&N highlighted their Tablet’s advantages over Kindle’s Fire. In addition to featuring a better display with superior viewing angle, more than 2X the memory, a lighter design, more RAM, and better content rendering, Nook Tablet owners will also have the assurance that if they ever need product support they can visit a local Barnes & Noble store to resolve their issue. That is something Amazon sadly can never offer as it is strictly an e-tailer. The Nook Tablet is now up for preorder at $249 and it releases next week on November 18. That is a fat $50 more than the direct competition coming from Amazon, so be careful when you’re shopping this holiday season.

Besides announcing the Nook Tablet, B&N also took time to refresh and make cheaper their other e-readers. The new and improved Nook Color will ship with B&N’s “largest software update ever” that will bring Netflix, Hulu Plus, and music streaming apps to the device, as well as a refreshed library and enhanced shopping experience. The new Color ships this December at $199. Existing owners of the Color will automatically receive the update at no cost over WiFi next month. And finally there’s the tried and true Nook, now renamed the Nook Simple Touch. It will also come preloaded with a software update that will enable better battery life (users can read for up to 2 months for one hour a day). The update, which is now available for existing Nook owners to download, also makes the screen crisper and the page turn rate faster. The rebranded Nook Simple Touch is available to buy today at a low $99 with “no annoying ads.” Stings a bit, doesn’t it Amazon? Game on.

[Via Barnes & Noble] (Click here for more…)

Barnes & Noble announces new Nook, “the simple touch reader”

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on May 24th, 2011

Today Barnes & Noble unveiled a new addition to their e-reader family. The all-new Nook “the simple touch reader” is noticeably small and ultra-light. It packs a 6-inch E Ink Pearl touch display and weighs only 7.48 ounces. Its package is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the original Nook (WiFi), and its no-glare display offers 50 percent more contrast. It features a soft-touch rubber back that B&N says makes the reading experience all the better. The battery life is phenomenal; with WiFi turned off the new Nook will last for up to 2 months on a single charge. Equally impressive is that the new Nook offers 80 percent less flashing than other e-readers; page turning on an e-ink screen is normally a headache-inducing activity, so we should all be happy that B&N is doing all they can to combat the “flashing” issue. The company also outlined the new Fast Page feature which allows readers to jump to various sections of a book at ease. Readers will also be privy to the number of pages left to go in a book. The new Nook runs Android 2.1, boasts 2GB of storage that can be expanded with use of the microSD slot, and is WiFi-capable. A 3G model is not being offered at this time. The tiny Nook goes on sale June 10 for an acceptable $139 at B&N, Best Buy, Walmart, Staples, and Books-A-Million. It is up for preorder today. Full PR after the break. Head over to the source link to see the new Nook in action.

[Via Engadget] (Click here for more…)

E-ink, shme-ink, says Barnes & Noble; meet Nook Color

Posted in Images,News,Technology by Scott Meisner on October 27th, 2010

Yesterday Barnes & Noble unveiled the next version of their Nook e-reader.  Nook Color is more than a simple e-reader, proclaims B&N; they call it a “reader’s tablet.”  Let’s run through the impressive specs and features, shall we?  The new Nook was designed in collaboration with industrial designer Yves Behar and it packs a 7-inch (1024×600) LCD color touch display (from LG) that can show more than 16 million colors and has a wide viewing angle thanks to integrated IPS screen technology.  The “VividView” display is covered with a lamination screen film that promises to minimize glare.  E-ink is no where to be found here–this is LCD all the way.  Liken this to iPad reading, not Kindle reading.  It’s light and portable at 8.1” (height) by 5” (width) by 0.48” (depth) and 15.8 ounces.  Built-in 802.11 b/g/n WiFi is used to explore, purchase, and share content.  A 3G model was not announced.  There’s 8GB of internal storage, and that can be expanded up to 32GB thanks to the microSD slot.  B&N claims it has an eight hour battery life with WiFi turned off–a steep price to pay for color support (the original Nook boasts a 10-day battery lifespan).  Nook Color runs Android all across its 7-inch touchscreen (the original Nook features a large E-ink screen with a small Android-powered touch display below it).  Swiping through books and pinch-to-zoom are present and accounted for.

Content and apps time.  The NOOKbook Store includes over two million books for Nook owners to preview and purchase.  NOOKnewsstand brings a whole slew of newspapers, periodicals, and magazines to Nook; they include The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA TODAY, Rolling Stone, Esquire, US Weekly, National Geographic, Martha Stewart Living, Cosmopolitan, and Elle.  Periodicals will be available by subscription and single copy.  Reading is optimized for the touchscreen; ArticleView allows you to customize the reading experience to your liking.   NOOK kids brings over 130 digital picture books and 12,000 chapter books aimed at children.  AliveTouch enables children to interact with words and pictures; it also gives them the option for the device to read a story aloud (death to parenting!).  The Read In Store program allows Nook owners to read Nookbooks for free one hour at a time inside B&N stores only.  With the LendMe app, owners can lend their friends books and request to borrow books from friends; sharing books is free and books can be lended for up to 14 days.  Books can be recommended and shared with friends over Facebook, Twitter, and email; yes, the Nook has gone social.  Since Nook Color technically is a tablet too, developers can now create engaging apps for the device.  B&N calls them “extras” and those available at launch will include Pandora (for music streaming), Quickoffice (for reading Microsoft Office files, PDFs, JEPGs, and more), and games (crossword puzzles, Sudoku, chess, etc.).  Though it runs Android, users will not have access to the Android Market or Market apps.  The upswing?  A full browser is included to surf the web (Flash is not supported).

Nook Color hits store shevles November 19 for $249.  You can preorder today at the B&N website.  It will go on sale at Walmart, Best Buy, and Books-a-Million in late November.  Full PR after the break.

In addition to announcing Nook Color, B&N took time to share details about a pending software update for the original Nook (WiFi) and Nook (WiFi+3G) models.  Expect faster page-turn speed, improved search functionality, customized B&N Library organization, password protection, and continuous reading across all NOOK devices and software.  Firmware update 1.5 will be available as a free download via WiFi this November.

[Via B&N; Engadget]

(Click here for more…)

B&N Nook’s LendMe feature has its limitations

Posted in News,Technology by Scott Meisner on October 24th, 2009

Barnes & Noble recently unveiled their entrance into the e-reader business with their announced of Nook, a two dual-screen WiFi/3G enabled wonder, really.  One of its selling features is what B&N calls LendMe, or the ability to virtually lend a book you purchased on the device with friends and family who also own a Nook, an iPhone/iPod touch, other cellular devices, or a PC/Mac.  The person who receives the lent book has fourteen days until it expires to read it.  So is there a catch?  Well, it’s not so much a “catch” than it is a set of rules that always seems to follow around DRM-encrypted stuff.  Those rules are as follows: Once you lend a book to someone, you can never lend that same book ever again; during the fourteen day lending period, you cannot read the lent book that you purchased in the first place; lastly, every book sold in the B&N e-reader store will not have the ability to be lent out (it’s up to the publisher’s discretion).  Though these rules are rather lame, having the ability to lend a book is better than not having it, right?

[Via Engadget]

Barnes & Noble announces Nook, the coolest e-reader yet

Posted in Images,News,Technology,Video by Scott Meisner on October 20th, 2009

Step aside Amazon Kindle 1, 2, DX and make way for the most innovative and stylish e-reader yet.  Barnes & Noble invites us to indulge in what they are calling the Nook, a 11.2 ounce (7.7- x 4.9- x 0.5-inches) e-reader device that will surely change the game in the e-reader realm.  Priced at a competitive $259, the Nook features two displays, a top 6 inch e-ink display from Vizplex and a 3.5 inch LCD touchscreen below it.  It includes 2GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot for expandable storage (you can load up pictures, music, and personal PDF documents), Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a microUSB port for charging.  B&N claims the Nook will run for up ten days before it needs a recharge (which takes 3.5 hours).  And oh yeah, it runs Google’s Android OS.

The Nook allows you to browse the B&N e-book store and choose from over one million titles.  Browsing can be done cable-free via Wi-Fi (for free at Barnes & Noble stores, and onlyat B&N stores at launch) and over AT&T’s 3G data service.  All books can be previewed for free and most bestsellers and new releases cost $9.99.  You can also keep updated with the latest news by receiving  newspaper and magazine subscriptions.  Nook’s LendMe technology allows you to share your purchased books with others by wirelessly “lending” a copy of your book to their e-reader, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, select Blackberry and Motorola phones, and soon Windows Mobile phones.  All you need is the eReader Software (free) installed on your particular device.  A lent copy of a book expires after 14 days.

B&N is taking preorders for the Nook today and the expected ship date is November 30.  Look after the break for a video demo; see the Nook in action.

Barnes & Noble deserves a round of applause.  After waiting in the shadows as companies like Amazon and Sony pumped out e-reader devices year after year, B&N has gone and surprised us all and rocked the e-reader industry with its latest creation in the Nook.  Its dual-screen format looks like a winner; easy touchscreen navigation on the bottom and clear, glare-free reading on the top.  It’s simple yet efficient design makes B&N’s Nook a new and worthy competitor in my book (pun intended).

[Via Engadget; Gizmodo]

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