Shipping at the end of November, the Nook will sell for $259
– roughly in line with the Kindle. It features the dual touchscreens the rumor
mill predicted, along with 2 GB of internal storage (which will hold up to
1,500 books, magazines and newspapers), a microSD slot and a MP3 player.
Like every other eReader on the market, the main screen will
feature E Ink technology. The color screen below is used to browse covers when
shopping and navigate to different features.
It’s the features that make Nook stand out. Owners will be
able to lend eBooks to friends for up to 14 days. Better still, those friends
won’t have to own a Nook to borrow the book. The device will send it to cell
phones and computers as well.
Downloads on the go are done via AT&T’s 3G network or
Wi-Fi, but customers who take their Nook to their local B&N get an added
bonus. In-store, Nook owners will be able to read any eBook in the company’s
collection for free.
Granted, that’s not much of a stretch. You can do the same
thing with print books in any store – but it’s something the Kindle can’t
The Nook does have disadvantages, though. Primarily, Barnes
& Noble’s eStore doesn’t have the depth that Amazon’s does.
Barnes & Noble was briefly taking pre-orders for the
device earlier today when it prematurely launched the Nook’s website. That’s
down again now, but should be back up after a 4pm ET “official” unveiling of
the device in New York.