For some reason, B&N's press release covering the announcement focuses primarily on the tablets' weight – both the 7" NOOK HD and its 9" HD+ counterpart are the "lightest HD and full HD tablets," with the HD+ earning the title of "lightest, lowest-priced full HD tablet ever." There's so much more to the new set of NOOK tablets, though. First, let's take a look at some shots.
Going where no book store has gone before (as far as I'm aware), Barnes & Noble announced that it's launching a movie streaming and download service today called NOOK Video. The storefront will offer streaming options from a variety of content partners like Viacom, Warner Bros, HBO, and others. B&N also plans to launch a companion app for the service, which will presumably be available on a variety of Android phones and tablets, as well as the company's Android-powered NOOK tablets.
There's no indication that any of these titles will be rentable, though, and the initial list of partners includes only four of the "big six" movie studios here in the US (Universal and Fox are not listed).
eReaders have long been plagued with the problem of being damn near useless in low-light scenarios, but thanks to the recently announced NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, those days are finally past us. Using a front-lit (as opposed to backlit, which doesn't really work with eInk) display, the new Simple Touch eReader allows you to enjoy the pleasure of eInk reading without having to worry about adequate ambient lighting.
This should be especially good news for those who enjoy reading in bed or during long flights. Check out the images and video of the new NOOK in action, and don't forget to hit up Engadget for the hands-on.
Users of Barnes & Noble's 16GB Nook Tablet may be aware of the device's rather strict memory partitioning, which currently reserves 12 of the available 13GB of memory exclusively for Nook Store content. This means users have a paltry 1GB of storage space for their own personal content, unless they opt for a microSD card.
With the announcement of the Nook Tablet's 8GB variant (which allows users 4 of the available 5GB of storage space), it looks like B&N has decided to reach out to customers of the 16GB model, allowing them to have their devices repartitioned more fairly. The book giant has added a note to their Nook Tablet page indicating as much, and telling users (in itty bitty print) when they can have their devices reconfigured:
Barnes & Noble announced today that it is considering selling its NOOK business, citing significant shortfalls in sales and cutting its full-year forecast.
B&N also cited NOOK sales which fell below expectations, and investments in advertising and expansion as reasons for a predicted shortfall in fiscal 2012 sales of between $200 million and $320 million less than average estimates of $7.32 billion.
The major bookseller indicated that it plans to market the NOOK for "years to come," but that it "over-anticipated the growth in consumer demand for single-purpose black-and-white reading devices this holiday," as the company's simplest e-reader lagged far behind in sales compared to other members of the NOOK family.
It sure seems that way, according to Android Guys. They claim competing eBook apps such as Kobo and Aldiko don't appear in search results when using the Amazon Appstore on a Kindle Fire tablet. Additionally, eBook reader developer BlueFire claims that while his app is listed as Kindle Fire-compatible on the Amazon Appstore, it too fails to show up in search results on the device.
We've not heard of many apps mysteriously not showing up in the Fire's app list (presumably Amazon had lots of time to work on ensuring most apps on its store would be compatible) for a lack of compatibility, so if this does turn out to be true, we can probably assume that Amazon made a conscious decision to keep competitors' apps out of the hands of users.
It seems earlier suspicions that Barnes & Noble would be unveiling a replacement for the NOOK Color on November 7th have been all but confirmed by an e-mail invitation the company has sent out to major tech outlets:
There has been no reliable information about the next NOOK Color leaked at this point, though with a week to go, we won't be surprised if the device gets an unauthorized blurrycameo before its official unveiling.
What do you think, can B&N out-Kindle Amazon with the next NOOK Color? Amazon's extremely narrow (read: negative) profit margin on each Kindle Fire will make them hard to undercut, or even match, with any kind of comparable hardware.
If you're looking to get a decent Android tablet, but don't want to break the bank, then little compares the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. Sure, it may take a bit of hackery to turn this e-reader into a full Android tablet, but for the price, it gives you the most bang for your buck than pretty much anything on the market. It has modest specs, comparable to most mid-range smartphones (on the inside, that is):
- 7 inch 1024x600 display
- 800MHz TI Processor
- 512MB RAM
- 8GB built-in storage
So, if you want to pick up a super-portable tablet on-the-cheap, hit the link below to grab yours before they run out.
It seems Barnes and Noble gave everyone a bit of a surprise today. It was expected that the bookseller would be launching a 3G version of its wildly popular NOOK e-reader (or maybe even a 3G NOOKcolor), but instead, B&N went straight for the competition's throat, launching the 6-inch e-ink display sporting, Android-powered (albeit Android 2.1) NOOK Simple Touch Reader. And all for the low, low cost of $140 - a price suspiciously reminiscent of a certain other e-book reader.
Look mom, no buttons!
Anyway, as I said, the screen is e-ink - so you're only getting black and white. But you're also getting absolutely ridiculous battery life: B&N claims 2 months on a single charge with Wi-Fi turned off.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A major national bookseller decides that they want to make "The Reader’s Tablet." So they grab the Android source code, and they don’t bother to get their device approved by Google so that it can run their apps. Instead, they charge full speed ahead, with not just a custom UI layer but a complete reimagining of what an “Android” device should look like.
The app drawer? Gone. Pull-down notification area? Canned. Hardware keys have gone the way of the dustbin, except for a single iPad-style button. Even the concept of the home screen has been done away with, to be replaced with a bookshelf and a store.