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B&N’s Nook

I haven’t blogged about this yet because for some reason I though Barnes and Noble’s e-reader had already been announced (probably due to all the speculation online about it). Anyway, from the website, B&N’s Nook features many snazzy things that Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t: a color touch screen LCD, “library view” for scrolling through your books, Wifi, memory expansion capabilities, a PDF viewer…and it costs about the same. But for me the biggest thing is: the ability to lend your books to your friends. Woah. Of course, it probably helps if they have a Nook too, and you *can* do this if you hack your kindle files, but let’s just assume most people wouldn’t want to do this. I think it’s interesting though that B&N’s product comparison page on their website only compares the Nook to the Kindle. I guess they don’t think Sony is much of a competitor.

My previous post about Spring Design’s e-reader (which hasn’t been released yet, so no idea about the price) talked about the fact that both of these devices have color LCD screens, but it looks like the Nook isn’t meant for browsing the web, but more for browsing your device. I’m torn as to whether this is cool or not. The e-ink b&w pictures do look pretty darn good, so if the Kindle had an option to “browse by book cover” I think this would be just fine. But of course, if they both cost the same, why get the Amazon version? It’s a tough call.

One thing I just realized though: the Nook (oh wait, nook is *supposed* to be lowercase? lame)–pardon me, the nook–doesn’t have a keyboard! You can still take notes so I guess it pulls up a keyboard for you somehow? Oh, according to Wired the color touch screen turns into a keyboard. I see. Hmm. Not sure how I feel about that one since I actually like Kindle’s keyboard (and I don’t like Apple’s touch keyboard so much).

Anyway. This post is getting longer than I meant it to. So I’ll leave you with one last link from which asks the following: How will this new product will affect B&N’s physical stores? An interesting question since B&N isn’t as big of an on-line retailer as Amazon.

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