Barnes & Noble on Tuesday unveiled the first major color e-book reader, its Nook Color.
In contrast to Amazon's strategy for its popular Kindle e-reader, in which it went thinner, lighter and cheaper, B&N instead sought the value-add with LCD technology. It remains to be seen whether readers will go for an LCD screen over e-Ink.
With a 7-inch, 16 million-color touchscreen IPS display, the Nook Color is targeting magazine and newspaper readers, as well as parents, making specific mention of children's books. The display -- which is viewable at angles as steep as 178 degrees -- offers 1024 by 600-pixel resolution at 169 pixels per inch.
The device has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as a "LendMe" function to share content with friends. It has 8 gigabytes of storage (approximately 6,000 e-books, the company says), with a microSD memory slot that's expandable to 32GB.
It's 0.48 inches thick and weighs just under 16 ounces. It's approximately 8 in. tall and 5 in. wide.
It offers six sizes of text, as well as an audio player for MP3 and AAC files. (It also supports MP4 video, and has a built-in mono speaker, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.)
The reader supports EPUB, PDF, XLS, DOC, PPT, PPS, TXT, DOCM, XLSM, PPTM, PPSX, PPSM, DOCX, XLX and PPTX files for reading. (Please note that it does not support Amazon's LIT or AMZ file formats nor Sony's LRZ or LRX formats.)
Barnes & Noble says the Nook Color lasts eight hours between recharges, which takes about three hours. It will retail for $249.
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Editor's note: The original version of this post said the Nook Color used e-Ink technology. That is incorrect; it uses an LCD display. I regret the error.