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Like this article? We recommend Barnes and Noble NOOK

Barnes and Noble NOOK

Not to be outdone by Amazon, bookseller Barnes & Noble offers its own eBook reader, dubbed the NOOK (see Figure 2). There are two versions of the NOOK available, the original black & white model and the newer NOOKcolor. Both have their distinct advantages.

Figure 2 B&N’s new color Nook (left) and the original black & white version (right).

The original NOOK is pretty much a direct competitor to Amazon’s Kindle. It’s priced at $149 (but often discounted), and has a similar-sized 6” screen. The NOOK does not use the newer E-ink Pearl technology, however, opting for the original E-ink technology, which isn’t quite as sharp as the newer Pearl screens.

What makes the original NOOK unique is the small color touchscreen beneath the main black & white display. You use this touchscreen to browse the books stored on your NOOK. Books are purchased from the NOOKbook Store, which you can access from your NOOK or from your personal computer. The NOOK itself has WiFi connectivity built-in.

The original NOOK definitely looks like old technology, however, when compared to the newer NOOKcolor. As you can surmise from the name, the NOOKcolor features a color LCD display; at 7”, it’s also slightly larger than the original NOOK display. In addition, the NOOKcolor display features touchscreen technology, which makes for more intuitive operation.

Of course, you pay more for this additional functionality—both in terms of money and battery life. The NOOKcolor sells for $249 and only gets about 8 hours to a charge, compared to the original NOOK’s 10-day battery life. Both NOOKs use Google’s Android operating system, if that matters to you. They read books in the universal EPUB format; they cannot read Amazon’s MOBI-format books.

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