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Barnes & Noble Rivals Amazon With 'nook' eBook Reader

Gordon Kelly


Barnes & Noble Rivals Amazon With 'nook' eBook Reader

Sometimes it takes a giant to bring down a giant...

US mega book chain Barnes & Noble has officially announced its much anticipated eBook reader which will compete head on with Amazon's immensely popular Kindle. The curiously named 'nook' takes a very different approach to the Kindle opting for a dual e-ink and colour LCD display, the latter working like a virtual bookshelf to allow swiping through titles via book covers.

Like the Kindle you'll find 3G and WiFi for downloading titles (free 3G via AT&T and WiFi will be provided in B&N stores), while there's also 2GB of native storage plus a microSD expansion slot, a 3.5mm headphone jack and mono speaker. Format support covers EPUB and eReader along with PDF, MP3, Jpeg, Gif, Png and BMP. Battery life is quoted as up to 10 days without WiFi and charging can be done over micro USB.

Where the nook misses out compared to the Kindle is a strange omission of text-to-speech and increased weight (317g vs. 289g), though considering all its extra features the Kindle 2 matching $259 RRP looks pretty good value for money.

Ultimately, however, the irony in all this is having waited nearly a year for the international Kindle launch, the next company to carry the torch is a US only firm. As such UK availability of the nook seems a distant hope at present unless it plans a sudden global expansion.

Chin up, given the current trend it probably won't be long before we see a Waterstone's eBook reader - though that doesn't really inspire the same confidence, does it?


Barnes & Noble nook product page


October 21, 2009, 10:46 pm

What, no .txt or .html support?


October 21, 2009, 10:58 pm

@Ryan - they weren't listed on the specs page, but I suspect B&N treated them as a given since they are virtually ubiquitous. It certainly would be a huge surprise if they weren't supported.


October 30, 2009, 12:53 pm

Barnes and Noble Nook is an e-book reader, and it's priced to move. The Kindle has already proved popular, though it's had criticisms, and the e-reader market is starting to pick up. (One of those would have been awesome in college &#8211 no textbooks!) The nook uses the Android platform, and has a micro-USD memory expansion slot, and it's priced to sell at around $250. It's also set up to operate on 3G wireless and Wi-Fi, and since B&N stores have Wi-Fi, it's setup for use in stores. It might be worth an <a rev="vote for" title="Barnes and Noble Nook Competes with Kindle" href="http://personalmoneystore.c... ">instant cash loan</a> for a Barnes and Noble Nook.

for a Barnes and Noble Nook.


June 22, 2010, 11:56 am

I'm sorry, while the price cuts to make it more tempting, the real sticking point for me is that in the majority of cases the e-books themselves do not offer value for money over their physical counterparts.

With all the savings in shipping, printing and storage (ok, you have bandwidth to pay for, but they aren't exactly BIG files) how come they are STILL mostly around the same price as physical books


June 22, 2010, 4:12 pm

@gingerbreadman85. 2 reasons.

1. We have to pay VAT on ebooks whereas physical books are VAT free.

2. the shipping printing and storage costs to the publisher are not actually that much, the biggest parts of the price go to publisher, author, editor, cover artist, proof reading teams, retailer etc.

so when you get rid of the tiny part of the cost and add on a 17.5% increase in tax and you still want to make a profit in selling the things you end up with the price normally being more expensive than the physical book.

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