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Nook Gives Kindle 2 Serious Competition

nookBarnes & Noble debuted Nook on Tuesday evening, and announced the new eBook reader will be shipping in November. Nook offers several advantages over Amazon’s Kindle 2, most notably the 3.5″ color touch screen at the bottom of the E-ink display. The touch screen utilizes technology similar to the iPhone, and can be used to navigate content, purchase eBooks, or browse downloaded tiles by book cover. Nook can connect through AT&T’s 3G network, or through free Wi-Fi at all Barnes & Noble retail stores. While in store, users can browse any complete book for free, just as they would a real book. This feature is another key advantage over the Kindle 2, since Amazon has no brick and mortar storefronts and is unable to provide content in this way. One of the drawbacks of eBook readers has been that titles cannot be shared or loaned for free. Barnes & Noble has addressed this issue by allowing certain titles to be lent to friends for free for up to two weeks. eBook borrowers will not need a Nook to read titles, they can be viewed using an iPhone, Blackberry, Mac or PC. This borrowing option is up to the publisher, so Barnes & Noble is currently working with the major publishing houses to enable this feature on more titles.

Nook runs the Android OS, but does not currently support any third-party apps. There is the potential for future apps, although Barnes & Noble has not said definitively if they plan to move in that direction. Nook also supports a variety of eBook formats that the Kindle 2 does not, such as PDF and ePub, and has a Micro SD expansion slot for a 16GB card that can hold up to 17,500 more eBooks. With a similar physical size and the addition of several innovative features, Nook sets itself apart from the Kindle 2. Both are priced in the U.S. at $259, but a side by side comparison shows Nook to be the much better buy.

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  1. Jason Clarke
    October 26th, 2009 at 10:18 | #1

    I think the Nook looks awesome. The touchscreen interface, while sluggish, seems to be easier to use than the Kindle. I like the idea about sharing a book but it is limited to one share and only for 2 weeks.

    I’m glad to see healthy competition in the e-book reader space. Hopefully, competition will bring the prices down. The $259 cost for entry seems high to me. I don’t think e-books will go mainstream until the prices get closer to $99.

  1. January 28th, 2010 at 01:12 | #1

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