Barnes & Noble unveiled an all-new, nearly buttonless version of the Nook e-book reader at its flagship store in New York City on Tuesday. The most surprising spec is the staggeringly long battery life.
[Image Gallery: Hands-on with all-new Nook e-reader]
[Image Gallery: Image Gallery: Nook e-reader with extra-long battery life]
Dubbed the "simple touch reader" for readers of all ages, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said this pocket-sized version of the Nook was "inspired for readers turned off by buttons, keyboards and complexity." Lynch also boasted that this new version is the "easiest to use, most portable e-book reader ever."
- 6-inch touch screen e-Ink pearl display
- 800Mhz processor
- 7.5 ounces; can be held in one hand
- Form factor contoured for reader's hand and long stretches of reading
- Wi-Fi connectivity; Connects to 24,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hot spots
- Connects to B&N eBookstore
- 50% more contrast, 15% thinner and 35% lighter than original Nook
- Can hold 1,000 books with 2GB storage
- microSD card slot (expandable up to 32GB)
- Virtual keyboard
- Supports Nook Friends lending app
The feature that garnered the most applause at the media event was that the battery life on this new e-book reader can last up to two months on a single charge based on an average reading time of 30 minutes per day. That means a reader could use the device starting now on a full charge until past the Fourth of July.
Priced at $139, Lynch touted the new Nook as the "best value in e-book reader market." Taking on Amazon's Kindle 3 head-on, Lynch argued that the Nook is "10% less bulky" and the Kindle 3 has 38 buttons - 37 more than the all new Nook.
The all-new Nook will be available for pre-order in stores and online immediately, and it will ship around June 10th. Additionally, the first generation of the Nook will be sold for $119 and $169 for the Wi-Fi and 3G editions respectively while supplies last. Software for these old models will not be able to be upgraded to the new platform that the upcoming Nook will run on. Books, of course, will continue to be compatible on all versions of the Nook.
Here's a snapshot of the additional take-away notes from the event:
- The Nook Color is second overall in tablet sales to the iPad
- Nook eBookstore hosts more than two million e-books and largest children's digital book store
- B&N has direct relationships with over 50.000 digital publishers
- Nook owners have already downloaded a million apps since Nook Apps launched in late April
- First platform to launch digital lending with Nook Friends app
- Digital Newsstand sales have exceeded 1.5 million magazines sold in six months (more digital sales than Apple or any other digital newsstand)
- myNook personal e-reading platform launching next month
- Millions of Nook-branded devices have been sold, but Lynch wouldn't reveal exact numbers again