B&N announces $149 Nook WiFi and firmware 1.4 with AT&T hotspot access

Barnes & Noble released a $149 Nook with WiFi only radio, dropped the price on the existing Nook, and updated the firmware with support for AT&T hotspots. More features were added and the Nook continues to be the best ebook reader around.

My Barnes & Noble Nook is my favorite ebook reader (see my review) and firmware updates have continued to make it even better. Today, we see the release of firmware 1.4 for the existing Nook, announcement of the WiFi only Nook, and a price drop on the existing 3G/WiFi Nook. The new WiFi Nook is available for only $149 while the price on the existing Nook drops from $259 to just $199. The only physical differences between the two is the WiFi only Nook has a white back cover while the 3G/WiFi Nook has a gray cover and a weight of 11.6 ounces vs. Nook 3G’s 12.1 ounces.

I previously wrote about the $149 Kobo eReader and still think that is a compelling device. However, I would probably go for the Nook WiFi if I was considering a new lower cost ebook reader because having some kind of connectivity is much more convenient than requiring a USB connection to get ebook content. I honestly rarely even use the 3G connectivity on my Nook so think the WiFi only model is a great deal. All the same great features and software, including special in-store offers, are supported on the new Nook WiFi.

The 1.4 firmware update is a welcome addition and offers you the following:

  • Extended AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspot support — FREE and seamless connection to AT&T's entire nationwide Wi-Fi network including restaurants, hotels and additional locations, and wherever you see an AT&T Wi-Fi sign.
  • New extra extra large font size
  • Go-To Page feature allows users to go to a specific page in their eBook

I am VERY pleased to see the Go-To Page feature and know this is something that people have been asking about for a long time. The AT&T WiFi hotspot support makes the Nook WiFi even more compelling and connected too. I understand performance is also improved and am updating my Nook right now.

UPDATE: I installed the updated and one of the first things I tried was the Go-To Page feature. From within a book you simply tap the Go to option in the bottom color window and then choose Page from the list. A slider bar pops up with the page number out of total pages (for example, 17 of 424) appearing above the slider bar. You simply slide your finger along the bar and your Nook will take you immediately to the selected page. You then tap the X in the upper right corner to close out the page selector.

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