Watch Out, Amazon — Barnes and Noble Unveils Their New Nook eBook

b&n nook

The Barnes and Noble Nook eBook

We’ve all probably been to Barnes and Noble a couple of times over the past years– either by choice or for something for school reading. What if told you that soon those trips won’t be needed and you can have every book from there physical stores in your pocket? Interesting, yeah? Its true. Today, book giant Barnes and Noble have announced their entrance into the future for books with their new eBook called the Nook. This is ready to take on Amazon’s hit Kindle, and boy did Barnes and Noble do a great job with this device (case in point, look up at the pic– wow is right). And that top pic is only part of the story– read on to learn all about Barnes and Nobles new eBook and how they plan to continue to change books as we now know them.

Ok, so obviously this thing looks a whole lot nicer than Amazon’s Kindle 2. Like the Kindle, you got a nice 6 inch e-ink (aka electronic ink, or a screen that doesn’t use a lot of power and provides an experience that is similar to reading a book on paper), and a very thin, portable design (about the size of a paperback book). And while s the Kindle’s got that full QWERTY keyboard going for it under the screen for notes and searching for books, the Nook has a 3.5 color touchscreen to do all that and more. This acts as a keyboard when needed for the aforementioned tasks, and even does other cool tricks like letting you go through your book collection in a “Cover Flow” like way. I really like this design a whole lot better than the Kindle’s and pretty much any other eBook out there. Oh, and you can also buy a bunch of accessories and designer covers to customize this to your style.

b&n nook pic 3

The Nook in “Cover Flow”

Now let’s go to some of the more spec type details of the Nook. Like the Kindle, this also has built in 3G for downloading books, magazines and newspapers anywhere you are (thanks to AT&T), but unlike the Kindle, it even throws in built in WiFi, with free WiFi in all Barnes and Noble bookstores (no shock here).  There also is 2 GB of built in storage for about 1,500 eBooks (yeah, that’s a whole lot of books), and you can add up to 16 GB through the microSD slot to take a whopping 17,500 books where ever you go (there goes the library).You also get a built in Mp3 player, 3.5 mm (regular size) headphone jack and a speaker so you can put some music on here, and a PDF and image viewer where you can create your own screensavers and keep some pix on your Nook. All this powered by Google’s Android OS, which is interesting and cool at the same time (though no you can’t browse the web on here, which would look pretty bad on the current e-ink screens. Apps though are unknown at this point if you’ll be able to just load them on).The battery life is also said to be pretty good– 10 days with wireless off (though lower than the Kindle’s claim of 14 days with wireless off).

b&n nook screensaver pic

Pix on your Nook

Best of all is the bookstore for this beautiful device. Over a million books are ready in Barnes and Noble’s eBook store, with free samples available for trying out a little bit of the book and even 500,000 free eBooks available. Again, wow. You also get the previously mentioned ability to get magazines and newspapers on the device, so there should always be something new for you to read. The bestsellers and new release books will, like the Kindle’s bookstore, also be priced at $9.99. Throw all this with a built in Miriam Webster dictionary and your English class should become a lot easier and more interesting.

If that isnt enough to make this a solid device and Kindle rival, Barnes and Noble also makes free apps for PCs, Macs, BlackBerrys and iPhone/iPod touches (and soon Windows Mobile and possibly Android), that allow you to download and view your stuff on the go. Barnes and Noble decided to really tie that into the Nook experience, automatically syncing up your notes, highlights and where exactly you left off across all these devices (the Kindle also has a feature like this, but right now it only works with other Kindles you own, iPod touches and iPhones). But they even take this one step further using a new feature called “LendMe,” which let’s you actually lend out your digital book to someone else with either a Nook or another eBook device.  How long you’ll be able to lend the books out we don’t know, and this will only be with books that publishers allow to be shared (something Barnes and Noble is trying hard to push to get everyone on board).

This is a pretty sick eBook in my opinion (and I’m not even a big book reader– though this definitely makes me more interested in reading more often), and something I think has a lot of potential to really give Barnes and Noble a nice spot in this eBook race. The Nook will be available in November for $259, and you can pre-order it today from Barnes and Noble’s site.

Can you–bookworm or not–see yourself getting one of these? What do you think of its potential?

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Posted on October 21, 2009, in eBooks and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’m 12 and I just bought a Nook…it’s really amazing and reads really well. It’s only downfalls are that you can’t read in the dark (kinda lame if you ask me) and that I can’t seem to download my I-Tunes music onto it. That’s where all my music is,so oh well I guess that’s why I have my Iphone. Also there seems to be almost none of the books that girls my age buy on the Store, but oh well I read Classics anyway.vvAll in all, great purchase and it just keeps geting better.

  2. I’m 14 and I got one too. It is kinda lame that you can’t read in the dark but thats what keeps the screen so crisp and matte, it’s lack of backlighting along with the e-ink. I can’t get my i-tunes music onto it either but thats because I found out the nook does not support the itunes mp4. format for audio- only mp3 and AAC.

  3. 500,000 free ebooks seem like it almost makes it wirth the price of admission. I’m warming up to the idea of letting go of my HUGE bookshelves in my house and breaking down and getting some kind of Nook or eBook like this. Thanks for sharing.

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