The e-reader fight just got another player: the Barnes & Noble Nook. Set to leverage the brick-and-mortar retailer’s history and give it a much-needed boost in the digital world, the $259 Nook will compete with Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s various e-reader models. The Nook runs a version of Google Android, has both E Ink and LCD screens, and is connected through WiFi or AT&T 3G. Here are the specs:
- Height: 7.7 inches
- Width: 4.9 inches
- Depth: 0.5 inches
- Weight: 11.2 ounces (317 grams)
- AT&T 3G
- 2GB internal storage, microSD slot
- MP3 player
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Google Android OS
While it looks great on paper, there are a few things to note.
Even though it runs Google Android, buyers should not expect the full Android experience. For example, the Nook does not have a web browser and cannot run most Android applications. Given the open-source nature of Android, I expect a ton of hacks for the Nook that will extend its capabilities, but that might be too complicated for some (most?) Nook buyers.
One cool feature of the Nook is its ability to sync up purchases with other devices. If you leave your Nook at home, but still want to get in a chapter or two of your latest purchase, you can get in some quick reading on your Blackberry or iPhone (app required for both).
While I’m impressed with its stat sheet and curious about the device, I’m not convinced that it will succeed. A lot of it has to do with company backing it. To me, Barnes & Noble is an archaic company that time is passing by. While the Nook represents a huge technological stride for it, my head is just wired to automatically think Amazon when I think books. Having physical stores might be attractive some people (particularly older customers), but this is an online device. Even though it has some features the Kindle doesn’t, I rather go with Amazon for an online experience.
What do you guys and gals think of the Nook? Any of you interested in picking one up? How do you think it will fare against Amazon’s Kindle?t